A guide for a perfect Christmas movie marathon

Sasha Zahler, Staff Writer

As the semester is coming to a close and Christmas approaches, the festive season is just beginning. One of my personal favorite activities is bundling up with a cup of hot chocolate while sitting next to a Christmas tree watching Christmas movies.

There are three different genres of Christmas movies that are typically made: classic, romance and comedy. So to ensure that you don’t waste your time watching overrated movies, here is a guide to set you on the correct path of top-tier Christmas movies in each genre.



So to begin the marathon of classic Christmas movies I suggest you begin with “Elf”. “Elf” follows the character Buddy (Will Ferrell), a Christmas elf that has had a long journey when it comes to family. His story begins with him accidentally ending up at the North Pole as a baby, and is discovered by Papa Elf (Bob Newart) who decides that he will adopt Buddy. As Buddy grows up, he begins to realize that he looks different than the other elves and soon discovers that he is adopted. After this realization, Buddy is determined to find his birth family.

The qualities that make this movie top tier are the setting, soundtrack and storytelling. The main setting of “Elf” is in New York City, which I think is one of the perfect settings for a Christmas movie with all of the decorations and lights. This environment brings audiences in and fills them with a warm comforting feeling and the holiday spirit.

One of the many iconic scenes from “Elf” was created when Ferrell’s co-star, Zooey Deschanel, sang “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. During this scene, Deschanel is taking a shower in the girls locker room and Ferrell is outside of the shower. As she is singing, Buddy, who didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to be in the locker room, starts singing along with her. She screams as this tall elf dressed man is sitting outside of her shower. This is one of the collections of iconic Christmas songs that were played during this movie, such as Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of “Sleigh Ride” and Louis Prima’s “Pennies from Heaven”. In Christmas movies, the sound track is essential to create a cheerful happy atmosphere, and in “Elf” this music provides that energy/atmosphere.

Lastly, and potentially the most important factor, is the way the story is told to audiences. In “Elf”, the story is loosely narrated by Bob Newhart, who plays Buddy’s adoptive father. He has a warm and calming voice that keeps audiences engaged, but also creates a mood that sounds reminiscent and heartwarming. This narration is not typical for a normal movie and since it is considered unusual, it makes audiences more aware of the story and feels like the story is just taken out of a book and put on screen.

Watch Here: HBO Max, Fubo T.V., Amazon Prime Video, Apple T.V.

“Home Alone”

After you finish watching “Elf”, you should continue your journey with “Home Alone”. The story begins with a young Malcaulay Culkin, who plays Kevin, and his chaotic family. The movie opens with the McCallister family, and they are traveling to Paris before Christmas. Kevin is portrayed as the outcast or trouble maker of the story, and when he wakes up and his family is gone the story begins. What makes this movie a classic Christmas movie are themes, compassion, forgiveness and although not a traditional theme some dark humor as well. Some other components that curate this classic are the music and setting.

It is common for some families that when the holidays approach they will have family stay or visit, and it can be a chaotic time just like in the movie. Sometimes the holidays are a stressful time for families, they could be worried about gifts or what food they are supposed to bring to dinner. That’s why watching this movie is a good idea because it is relatable and reassures families that they are not alone and practice forgiveness and compassion, while also providing a comedic relief.

The soundtrack of this movie is also impactful-it makes audiences feel warm inside and brings cheer and playfulness to the plot. For example, one of the more iconic scenes when Kevin is singing White Christmas by Bill Pinkney, Clyde McPhatter, and The Drifters is a very well known and memorable scene. Another classic song that was played in “Home Alone” was “Carol of the Bells” by John Williams, which is also an iconic Christmas song. Lastly, “Home Alone” is a good classic to end on because it wraps up the classic gene while also transitioning into more lighthearted genres.

Watch Here: Youtube T.V., Apple T.V., Amazon Prime Video, Disney+


“Let It Snow”

“Let It Snow” is my first recommendation to audiences because of its relatable topics specifically to high school or young adults. This movie begins with a snow storm in the midwest on Christmas Eve which leaves several high school students in unexpected situations. This movie is great because it portrays topics like young love, comedy, and romance.

It’s very likely that people in their lives will go through relationships whether that is romantic or platonic, and sometimes those relationships experience hardships. That is why this movie will not only get audiences in the Christmas spirit but also connect to viewers’ everyday life. Although this movie is more focused on young love and the drama that comes with, all ages can enjoy and potentially relate to this.

While the movie does have a substantial amount of drama it is also full of heartwarming lighthearted comedy. The jokes presented in “Let It Snow” are viewer friendly for all ages but will also guarantee a laugh. Lastly, the romance in this movie is great because it provides drama with ultimate resolution in the end.

Watch Here: Netflix

“Little Women”

“Little Women” is a book that got adapted to a movie, and although it isn’t traditionally a Christmas movie, it does get me personally in the Christmas mood. T
he story is about the March family/sisters and their journey from childhood to adulthood in a time when womenwereexpected to marry and have kids. This movie will provide audiences with Christmas spirit because of the playful characters and the scenery will also engage the audience and immerse them into Christmas.

With the movie going back and forth and showing the March sisters younger and older, it keeps viewers interested and adds comedic relief. One of the sisters Amy (Florence Pugh) was a playful, interesting child growing up and seeing her interact with family may make the audience remember the times they spent together and become reminiscent of the funny times they spent during the holidays.

This movie takes place in Massachusetts during the Civil War which is where their father is and so the March sisters are all alone with their Mother. Despite the fact that they are poor, the sisters still have fun doing many activities together. There are various scenes where the sisters are seen playing in the snow and doing activities outside when it is snowing. This puts viewers in the Christmas spirit because it might make audiences feel nostalgic of personal memories that they made with their family.

Watch Here: Hulu, Sling T.V., Vudu, Youtube T.V.


“A Christmas Story”

This movie is a great way to begin your comedy Christmas marathon because it can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages. This movie is about young Ralphie Parker (Peter Billinsley), his family and his bully that he is constantly trying to dodge. “A Christmas Story” is great to watch with family because it has lighthearted humor and family adversity.

In the movie, we see Ralphie get bullied by a boy named Scut (Zach Ward), and this scene although kinda vulgar will provide a good laugh amongst families. One of the iconic scenes is when Ralphie gets his tongue stuck to the flagpole.

During the holidays families can struggle with bickering and fighting, this movie reassures families that this is normal. Young Ralphie gets in trouble for cursing and gets his mouth washed out with soap by his mother. This is a great movie to watch with your whole family because this scene specifically will spark conversations with the older generation and possibly encourage stories about how they grew up.

Watch Here: HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube T.V.

“The Grinch”

“The Grinch” is generally a well known movie that focuses on the main character Mr.Grinch (Jim Carrey), and he hates Christmas. The problem is that he lives right outside of Whoville which is a town where everyone loves Christmas. This movie is a good way to end your Christmas movie marathon because if you are surrounded by a family that loves Christmas, you can maybe find this movie relatable and you can enjoy the dark comedy.

“The Grinch” is a movie gets audiences into the holiday spirit becauseof its relatability. In the movie when the Grinch complains about Christmas because of his past trauma, but he does it in a comedic way. As the movie progresses, we see the Grinch become more fond of Christmas and start to appreciate the happy things about Christmas.

While watching this movie, you can expect satire and silly relatable jokes. Mr.Grinch is humorous during the whole movie when he is discussing what he doesn’t like about Christmas.

Watch Here: Hulu, Youtube T.V., Apple T.V., Vudu

Your Christmas movie marathon guide is complete. Now grab some hot chocolate, bundle up with blankets,  grab a friend and enjoy the marathon. I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with joy and happiness.