Christmas movies: they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. (Or my taste was worse back then. Or I’m a sucker for 80’s nostalgia. Could be that).

My family looooved Christmas movies, and these were some of the movies on heavy rotation in my house during the holiday season.

A Christmas Story

This is the classic childhood Christmas movie, right? Poor Ralphie just wanted a BB gun, but the adults in his life were convinced he would shoot his eye out. This movie was such an accurate portrayal of childhood angst and family drama that it just got funnier the older I got. And who could forget the TRIPLE DOG DARE tongue on the flagpole, and the sexy leg lamp?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

This John Hughes-penned film based on the Griswold famliy is an 80’s classic. Who could forget Clark’s blinding Christmas lights, his war with the neighbors, and the cigar that launched Santa into the night sky. This is one of the few movies I remember causing my dad to laugh until he cried.

A Very Brady Christmas

I grew up watching the Brady Bunch, so I remember being so excited for this reunion, where all the Brady kids came back together as adults. However, this movie got awkward fast as it focused on the adult issues of the middle-aged family (Peter is sleeping with his boss! Jan is having marital issues! Sam left Alice for another woman!). This Christmas special was a bit of a downer for kids like myself who loved this big, loving family and then suddenly got to watch them as very human adults with real-life problems bigger than getting hit in the nose with a football. Womp womp womp.

Ernest Saves Christmas

Oh, Jim Verney. He was a comic genius to my 10-year-old brain. In the third Ernest movie, he tries to find a replacement for an aging Santa Claus, resulting in lots of wacky hi-jinks I would probably detest this movie as an adult, but we watched it over and over again. KnowWhatIMean?

One Magic Christmas

This is an obscure one, but probably the most-watched VHS tape in my house each holiday season. This made-for-tv Disney movie focused on a mom who was visited by an angel (Harry Dean Stanton, no less) to teach her the true meaning of Christmas. So cheesetastic.


Last but certainly not least, my favorite holiday movie ever has to be Scrooged. This comedic take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was chock full of popular 80’s actors. The last scene, which breaks into a musical version of “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”, is one that got my family dancing every time.

What are some of your favorite holiday movies from childhood?