My Favorite Holiday Movies

Now that DVDs exist, we can all watch Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas movies any old time we want. Sometimes when the mid-summer heat and humidity here in Florida get unbearable, a holiday movie can be just what the doctor ordered for me. There's nothing like sitting in shorts and a tank top with an iced tea while watching Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby sing "Snow, snow snow!" in White Christmas.

I'm quite a creature of habit, though, so I'm much more likely to watch certain movies at specific times of the year. For some reason, the three movies below are particularly subject to a timetable. Like clockwork, I watch To Kill a Mockingbird around Halloween, Home for the Holidays around Thanksgiving and White Christmas at Christmastime. That might seem like a no-brainer to you because they're all related to those holidays. But there are plenty of other holiday movies I watch year-round. These three, however, are somehow more enjoyable if I watch them at about the same time every year. Who knows where such a weird quirk came from. It's harmless, so I just go with it!

Here's my month-by-month must-watch list of holiday movies:

The White Christmas movie and song never seem to go out of style
The White Christmas movie and song never seem to go out of style

More Holiday Movies


To Kill a Mockingbird

I know most people wouldn't consider this a holiday movie. But those who've watched it would probably agree that the final moments invoke the spirit of Halloween. I won't ruin the ending for those who haven't seen it; I'll just say that it's scary in the way that only old-fashioned story-telling can be. There are no special effects; it isn't even in color. The characters have been so well-developed by the end, however, you feel like you're right in that black-and-white world of Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch and his children, Scout and Jem.

I always watch this right around Halloween, but no matter when you watch it, this is about as close to perfect as a movie can be.

Read a more detailed review of To Kill a Mockingbird


Home for the Holidays

My choice for November isn't quite as highbrow as To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, it's probably a 180-degree turn from Mockingbird's wholesome world. But that's okay, because this movie has something Mockingbird doesn't: it's hilarious.

The story follows Claudia, played by Holly Hunter, as she joins her strange family for Thanksgiving. When she meets up with her brother, played by Robert Downey Jr., at the home of her crazy parents, and her uptight sister and brother-in-law, the action gets progressively weirder. But it isn't all lunacy; there's a love story, too, as Claudia connects with her brother's friend who has come along for the ride.

By the time the movie ends, you'll probably have had at least a few really good laughs, along with the satisfaction of watching someone who doesn't know which end is up find love.


White Christmas

I've literally watched this movie every Christmas season since I was a little girl. As corny as it is, it never wears thin. There was something magical about the combination of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. And when you add Vera Ellen's dancing, Rosemary Clooney's singing and Edith Head's costumes; you have an infinitely watchable movie.

Cronball? You bet. But that's one of the things I love about it. If you watch the DVD, make sure to catch the special features so you can hear Rosemary Clooney share some of the experiences she had while making the film.

Holiday Movies Poll

Which is your favorite holiday movie?

  • White Christmas
  • Home for the Holidays
  • Holiday Inn
  • Bad Santa
  • A Christmas Carol (any of the versions)
  • Scrooged
  • Other
See results without voting

Other Great Holiday Movies

  • Holiday Inn
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Ref
  • Love Actually
  • A Christmas Story
  • Christmas Vacation
  • Scrooged
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • The Polar Express
  • A Christmas Carol (1938 version)
  • Bad Santa (not for kids though!)

More by this Author

Comments 23 comments

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

great movie chocies.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks, Bob. I was serious about being obsessive-compulsive about these movies. It just isn't the holidays unless I've seen all three.

kpfingaz profile image

kpfingaz 8 years ago from ~~~

Yeah those are all great movies.

jormins profile image

jormins 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

I do love To Kill A Mockingbird. I can't watch the entire movie because its black and white (for some reason it drives me crazy w/o normal color) but I've read the book and that story is a great classic.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Maybe some day "Mockingbird" will be colorized so you can watch it. :-)

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

I am not that involved with them but find White Christmas to be an excellent film, I should buy it on dvd.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

"White Christmas" is great on DVD because you get to hear Rosemarie Clooney's view of the filming. She had a great sense of humor and her stories are wonderful.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Mockingbird is an exquisite piece of work and the black and white shadows/light technique is really scary, like Alfred Hitchcock and film noir pieces.

I really like White Christmas and Holiday Inn, along with Santa Clause the Movie a few years back and Charlie Brown Christmas. And for bad movies, I like Santa Clause and the Martians.

Love Actually is awfully good and I enjoyed The Ref. I like The Christmas Story now and I think my roommate is going to get one of those "leg" lamps soon.

Jim Carey as The Grinch was pretty good, too and I'd like to see that back-to-back with The Mask.

And Nightmare Before Christmas is great...I like to see Wizard of Oz in October.

Thanks for the wonderful Hub.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Patty, thanks for the reminder about "Nightmare before Christmas." I forgot about that one. It's a great movie that I'm going to add to the list on this page. I've never seen "The Christmas Story" but I keep coming across references to the leg lamp online. Since I don't know what that means, I guess I'll have to see the movie to find out!

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

WordPlay, your taste in movies is exquisite! White Christmas and Holiday Inn are two of the finest holiday classics. Bing Crosby's made dozens of other great movies as well. Thanks for a great hub.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

William, with Bing as your icon, I guess it's not a big surprise that you like White Christmas and Holiday Inn! :-)

desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

We were definitely seperated at birth!  At our house we spend every Thanksgiving night watching White Christmas. No holiday movies allowed before Thanksgiving night, and White Christmas is always first. Kids do hot chocolate, adults do Bailey's.  My now-grown daughters, love adding new Xmas flicks to the mix...The Die Hard movies even, they do take place at Christmas after all!  Plus, my husband likes having a bit of Bruce Willis testosterone mixed in with the more typical sugary Miracle on 34th Street type fare.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

desert blondie: Another White Christmas lover! Welcome to the club. I love that movie so much, even if it is the corniest thing ever.

HolidayInnFan 8 years ago

A new color version of “Holiday Inn” will be released by Universal in October, 2008. Colorization was done by the same company that produced It’s A Wonderful Life for Paramount Pictures in 2007 which won wide acclaim from both critics and consumers. The new process is the most sophisticated in the world and was used to add color in Scorseses's "The Aviator". The colorization company brought on Edith Head’s personal sketch artist, Jan Muckelstone as a special color design consultant for costume authenticity.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks for the update! I look forward to seeing the new version.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

I just bought a copy of White Christmas this afternoon at local 2nd hand bookstore.

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Hi, Bob. I'm glad you got a copy. It's an excellent addition to any film library. I watch it several times a year, so I'll probably wear my DVD out at some point!

Kambakkht Ishq 7 years ago

White Christmas ,is just great,I just love that movie

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

I agree, Kambakkht Ishq. :-)

David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

What about A Christmas Story? You'll shoot your eye out kid! Home for the Holidays was great... don't forget Christmas Vacation!

WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 6 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

You're, right, David! I've added A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation to the list.

ipodmovies 6 years ago

Home Alone! Great movies to watch during the Holidays.

Dave Harris profile image

Dave Harris 5 years ago from Cardiff, UK

I think It's A Wonderful Life is a top film anytime of the year. Also really like The Polar Express

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