Old Christmas Movies are just fantastic. They're full of nostalgia, and the kind of innocent, homespun morals you don't normally see. I mean, can you even imagine anyone today trying to reprise Jimmy Stewart's iconic role in It's a Wonderful Life? Don't get me wrong, I love Bad Santa and A Christmas Store like crazy, but there's just something about old Christmas movies, even though I don't quite share all of those values myself. If you're looking for some really classic holiday flicks to watch with your family, though, here are some fantastic old Christmas movies you're sure to love!
1. It's a Wonderful Life
It seems like many of the best old Christmas movies are black and white, and this one is the best of the best. Poor Jimmy Stewart, facing ruin and ready to end it all, left to see what the world would be like if he wasn't in it. For years after I saw this for the first time, snuggled up in between my mom and dad, I honestly thought that an angel was getting its wings every time a bell ring. Incidentally, I also rang one whenever I had the chance – just to help some poor guardian angel along, you know?
2. Miracle on 34th Street
Naturally, I'm talking about the original. I don't need that remake, thank you very much! Santa Claus never seems more real than in this movie. It proves that you don't always need technicolor to be dazzled – and you don't have to be a kid to believe in the magic of Christmas!
3. White Christmas
Some of the best old Christmas movies are just a little campy. This one is one of those, but it's just spectacular. I adore Danny Kaye, and Bing Crosby shines in this rollicking, charming film. It's got lots of camp, like say, but the movie has a big heart, too – and so do the lovelorn vets who star in it!
4. Christmas in Connecticut
This movie is absolutely sweet, although it revolves around a lot of fakeness – fake husbands, fake housewives, fake scenarios. The heart of it is real, though, and the charm – and if you love the beautiful Barbara Stanwyck, then it's definitely a must-see!
5. An Affair to Remember
This is one of the best old Christmas movies I've ever seen for several reasons. For one thing, it has Cary Grant, and I love anything by Cary Grant. For another, it was actually the inspiration for Sleepless in Seattle, but although I love that movie, this one does it so much better!
6. March of the Wooden Soldiers
It doesn't hurt to get a little campy around Christmas time, as you saw with White Christmas. You can't get past the camp when Laurel and Hardy are involved! This movie is really adorable – I once did a shorter play version of this in grade school. Who doesn't love it when toys come to life?
7. A Christmas Carol
As I think I've said before, I prefer the version with Alastair Sim, but they're all great old Christmas movies. Whether the muppets are starring, or George C. Scott, the tale is an important and entertaining one. It really teaches you to be kind and generous, especially during this time of year. Goodness knows I wouldn't want to deal with any of those ghosts!
8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
So needless to say, I'm not talking about the Jim Carrey live action version, although that's quite awesome. The hour special, a short movie made for TV, will always be my favorite. I adore the cartoon Grinch, and I can never watch his capers without laughing, or see his heart grow without getting the sniffles.
9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
This isn't a film in the classic sense either, but it's still one of the best old Christmas movies ever! It's a made for TV movie but it's still a classic, one I still enjoy watching every year. No Rudolph will ever be cuter than this Rudolph, and his message is still relevant, because aren't all of us just looking for a place to belong?
10. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie Brown's specials always have slightly religious undertones, yet I can't help but love the Peanuts gang. The Halloween special is my favorite, but I can never pass up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas during the holidays either. That sad little tree, you know?
I just love old Christmas movies, and if they're black and white, so much the better. I hate when Hollywood tries to remake older films, especially old Christmas movies – Miracle on 34th Street, anyone? The good news is that, even if all of these films get remade, you know the new versions will be nothing like the originals. So, tell me, what are your favorite old Christmas movies to watch with your family?
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