Top 9 Christmas Movies to Feel the Holiday Spirit

The GSHS Brimstone Staff, Reporters

1. Home Alone by Paige Flentge
Home Alone is a classic Christmas movie, with an entertaining storyline that revolves around Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin. This movie is filled with slap-stick comedy and improbable but funny action sequences. The movie does a good job of mixing fear and language to produce a funny, but mildly inappropriate for kids, comedy. The movie follows Kevin’s adventure while he’s home alone, including his routing of some foolish, bullying thieves, and the heartwarming reconciliation between Kevin and his ‘scary’ neighbor, who he realizes is not so scary at all. This movie completely embodies the spirit of Christmas-time, the craziness, the crime, and the warm and cozy feeling that comes from family and friends. Overall, Home Alone is a must-watch movie, if you enjoy mature comedy and ridiculous plotlines.

2. The Grinch who Stole Christmas by Grace Malone
The Grinch is a fun, classic and entertaining movie that will leave you laughing, and ready to watch again! In the movie, a feverish, strange, green character known as The Grinch is plotting against a joyous town screaming with festivity.
He’s known to be bad, and has a heart two sizes too small. As he is sulking in his hatred for Christmas, due to a troubled past, a great idea jumps into his head.
He begins with dressing as Santa Claus, his dog Max at his helping side as he begins to plot against Whoville to steal Christmas! As the Grinch is planning to capture the holiday, he builds a sleigh and grabs some bags, hoping to sneak in houses on Christmas night robbing them of their trees, presents, and holiday spirit. Max, dressed like a reindeer, is pulling the heavy sleigh where his master and his devious attitude are heavily sitting. The Grinch was excited to vandalize the holiday he had always hated, he was to sneak down the chimneys, and steal everything.
As he was jumping from house, he arrived in a house with a small girl known as Cindy Lou, who was getting water when the green devil arrived. She was awaiting Santa Claus, but instead came Mr. Grinch plotting to snatch her spirit away.
She saw him stuffing the glorious tree in his rotting bag and asked what he was doing, and he made a lie that he knew would never be fulfilled, “your tree is broken” he persuaded her, “I am taking it to the Christmas shop to fix it and I will bring it back to you.” She agreed, and he robbed the town of their holiday spirit. As he rode to the top of the mountain of Christmas morning, ready to throw the presents of the side of the cliff, the sound of Christmas sung a song in his heart. “It was said that day his heart grew three sizes that day. And then- the true meaning of Christmas came through and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches plus two!”
As the villagers of Whoville cried out for Christmas, the Grinch came plummeting back down the mountain bringing the Christmas spirit back to the village. This movie is sure to remind you what the Christmas spirit is all about, as well as make any small heart grow 10x bigger!

3. The Polar Express by Danielle Way
Hot, hot, hot chocolate! The Polar Express is definitely a treat to watch with the many Tom Hanks characters, amazing soundtrack, and artful animation.
As a boy questions his faith in Santa Claus, he is greeted by a mysterious train making a direct trip to the North Pole.
On the way to the North Pole, many interesting characters are introduced such as the strong-willed female protagonist, enthusiastic conductor, and haunting hobo that lives on top of the train. Additionally, the run into exciting dilemmas such a missing ticket, caribou and a lake of ice breaking underneath them.
When they finally arrive at the North Pole, they experience further adventure when the train cart breaks off and they must find their way back to the town square in order to witness the first gift of Christmas.
Throughout the movie, there are allusions to the true meaning of Christmas and believing in the magic of the season.
The Polar Express is the perfect movie to watch while sitting on the couch drinking hot cocoa. It puts you in the spirit of Christmas while entertaining you with countless exciting scenes.

4. Elf by Cynthia Jimenez
What’s better than a great christmas movie with comedy? The joy, the laughter, the overall warmth of the movie, and Elf, number four on our top ten classic christmas movies is one of those movies. The 2003 film directed by Jon Favreau, is about a toddler boy, Buddy, that got transported to the north pole and mistaken for a giant elf. He grows up surrounded by Santa’s elves, but he eventually learns he doesn’t truly belong there and heads on an adventure to New York with one goal in mind: to find his birth father. When he does eventually find him, a DNA test proves that Walter Hobbs, is his real father. Walter then tries, awkwardly, to create a relationship with Buddy leading to life changing events.
The movie falls on a family friendly scale, but still needs parental guidance for some scenes. The film delivers a great storyline excellently executed by great actors. Along with the great plot, the dialogue and comedy was perfect for adults and children to enjoy together. It’s a perfect movie for family and friends alike. Comedy was definitely the highlight of the production and it shows how comedy doesn’t have to be inappropriate to be funny and enjoyable for any audience.
Josie Klohtz, a freshman at Glenwood Springs High School gave her opinion on the comedic film, “I thought the movie was good and funny, and all ages can watch it so that’s a bonus because the whole family can see it together.”
Elf is a must watch movie for anyone especially in during the christmas season.

5. Christmas Story by Morgan Reed
“You’ll shoot your eye out!”
We’ve all heard warnings like this from our parents that we displaced as excuses for them to destroy our happiness, as Ralphie would so cheerfully put it. And it is because of similar references that stand the test of time, that Bob Clark’s A Christmas Story, earned the fifth spot on the Brimstone’s Top 10 Christmas Movies list.
The film follows the Parker family throughout a particularly eventful winter of 1940. Nine-year old Ralphie Parker, played by Peter Billingsley, his younger brother Randy, and their parents, must learn to deal with the everyday twists and turns that come with the holiday season.
There’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to the yellow house on the corner of Cleveland Street. It comes with a merry bunch of Bumpus Hounds, Pink Bunny Footie pajamas, and plenty of soap to indulge all of your cravings.
Produced in 1983 and based on the writings of author Jean Shepherd, it transcends all ages and generations and lovers of Christmas with quintessential moments for all audiences to relate to. This generation’s parents are still caught saying “Oh Fudge,” and we’re all guilty of saying Frah-gee-lay, must be Italian. And every neighborhood has a Shwartz to come up with a triple-dog dare designed to test the bravery of the neighborhood Flick.
All audiences hope to win a major award, everyone waits for their own version of a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, and every mother has been tempted to or has buckled to asking their child some version of, “How do the little piggies eat?”
Beyond the references that stand the test of time, the film creates an atmosphere of a perfect Christmas, complete with snow that dazzles and excites the dreams of most children to have a white christmas.
Billingsley can also be seen in a more modern holiday staple, Elf, starring Will Ferrell. Billingsley makes a short appearance as Ming Ming, the main character Buddy’s toy maker manager. The appearance, albeit short, creates a sense of nostalgia for anyone who has seen A Christmas Story.
Overall, the film earned a spot on the Brimstone’s Top 10 Christmas movies list because it truly captures the essence of christmas as seen through the eyes of a child: whimsical, full of wonder, and a time when all dreams can come true.
Whether you love the picturesque atmosphere of walking through bustling streets as clumps of snow fall, or the simplistic nature of what seemed magical as a child, like an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing that tells time, A Christmas Story has something for everyone. But stay vigilant, you could shoot your eye out.

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas by William Marshall
Rarely does a Christmas movie capture the hearts and minds of families like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” does. A movie that will forever be known as the beginning of a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, a ragged tree that is less fancy than your average christmas tree. But there is much more to the movie than a decrepit Christmas Tree. The story starts off as a depressed Charlie Brown visits Lucy in order to ask her what to do about how sad he is, and she advises him to direct the nativity play. While on the way to the play Charlie Brown sees how far his friends have gone from the true meaning of Christmas with Snoopy caring mainly about how well his house is decorated, Sally reading off everything she wants from Santa, and the nativity scene being modernized with song and dance. Charlie Brown determines that the best thing to get his friends to re-realize the true meaning of Christmas if for him to get them a “true” Christmas tree, so him and Linus head out to find a tree. Charlie Brown is disappointed though when all he can find are a bunch of fake trees, so he finds the only real one in the patch, a small ragged tree with barely any branches, Charlie believes that with enough love and attention that the tree can become a true Christmas tree. However, when he returns with the tree, he is ridiculed by his friends for the small tree. So Charlie Brown returns home and puts an ornament on the tree from Snoopy’s doghouse, the ornament is too heavy however and brings the tree down, a dejected Charlie Brown believing that he has killed the tree walks away. The rest of his friends though followed him home and begin helping him set up the tree in order to make it look as close to an actual Christmas Tree as possible. They then begin humming Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and the movie ends. What’s most important is the meaning behind the movie, that the commercialism of Christmas isn’t what’s most important about the holiday but the idea of giving to others that is. As well as how deeply rooted this movie is within family tradition gives it number six on our list.

7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by Kyley Fishman
If this movie doesn’t make you at least giggle, the spirit of christmas doesn not live inside you. Unlike the newest christmas movies that are so filled with fluff your teeth will rot, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the perfect amount of sap. Once again, Clark Griswald, the perfect family man, tries to go all out for his family. His plans for Christmas? 25,000 outdoor lights, a tree from the woods, to many family members, oversized presents- in short, too much holiday spirit. In the spirit of the previous movies, most everything goes wrong, creating a not-to-unrelatable scene of family delirium. Overall, this christmas movie should definitely be on your list for snuggling under the blankets. The movie is festive, cheery, lighthearted, and shows that despite your cat getting blown up, things will be ok in the end. It perfectly captures the chaos of having a big family during the holiday season. Lampoon’s Family Christmas is a wholesome solution to dealing with the pretentious neighbors and redneck second cousins.

8. Christmas Carol by Matthew Potenziani
A Christmas Carol takes place in 1800’s London and follows an old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who hates Christmas and all fun things in general. He owns a money lending business and while he’s at home one day he’s visited by the ghost of his old business partner who tells him to stop being so awful or he’ll go to hell and be forced to carry chains made of his own greediness, he also tells Scrooge that he’s going to be visited by three other ghosts who will show him how to stop hating everything. Ebenezer is first visited by the ghost of christmas past who shows him his childhood boarding school his sister and his wife Belle, left him. He is visited next by the ghost of christmas present who shows him how amazing christmas is when they visit Scrooge’s employee Bob Cratchit and see him having a nice Christmas dinner. When Scrooge takes pity on Bobs sick son Tiny Tim, the ghost informs him that he’s probably going to die before next christmas. The last ghost to visit Scrooge is The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come who shows Ebenezer his own grave, tells him Tiny Tin is dead, a group of businessmen talking about his funeral and saying they’re only coming if theres free lunch, and Mrs Dilber selling his stuff. After this absolute nightmare he wakes up a happier and better person who gives Bob a turkey dinner, donates to charity and goes to his nephews annual Christmas dinner.
A Christmas Carol is a story about an old loan shark hallucinating ghosts after declining an invitation to his nephews Christmas dinner. There are many Christmas Carol movies, but the best are the 2009 version, the Muppet Christmas Carol, and the 1984 version. All of them have the same premise of Scrooge seeing ghosts of christmas, and waking up a better person. The only big differences between them are the directors different spins on the classic Charles Dickens story. Willy had this to say “I loved watching it for 24 hours on TBS when I was a little kid.”

9. Wonderful Life by Sadie Bruner
Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life starring: James Stewart as George Bailey, Donna Reed as Mary Hatch, and Henry Travers as Clarence is one of the top Christmas movies of all time.
It progresses throughout the character growth in George Bailey. After his father dies and leaves him with a business that he never wanted, he has to spend the rest of his life fighting relentlessly for something he never wanted. After he starts a family and learns to accept what he has, everything falls apart. This leaves him hopeless and scared, on the verge of committing suicide. He is saved by an angel named Clarence who shows him what other people’s lives would be like without him. George goes back to his family and in the end, everything sorts itself out.
This movie portrays the impact of hope and kindness from start to end. Throughout the movie, you can see the impact that George has on the world, but see how that affects him. It’s A Wonderful Life not only shows how the actions of others impact people whether good or bad.