We all know someone who says they don’t like Christmas movies. Depending on your temperament, you may or may not be on speaking terms with them. I know how disheartening it can feel when they won’t watch Christmas movies with you, but it’s not their fault. I’m sure they were inundated at a young age with the worst of the worst of festive movie fare. So, whether this is a friend, a sibling, or a partner, you owe it to them to show them the way. Hopefully, watching these four films in approximately this order should bring them back into the Christmas fold.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)
Technically, this is a “Holiday” movie more than it is a Christmas movie, but it’s the perfect first choice. It revolves around getting home for Thanksgiving, so you could even put this on shortly after Turkey Day. This way, you’re softening them up early for the rest of the viewing playlist. Also, this just so happens to be one of the funniest movies ever made. My family watches this every single year and I don’t think I can even comprehend someone disliking it.
Where to watch: Paramount Plus, Hulu
White Christmas (1954)
This is a great follow-up film that’ll keep you in the realm of the “real world.” The movie does involve Christmas but in a more practical, celebratory fashion. It’s also one of the most famous musicals of all time. Bing Crosby anyone? If they can get through this and enjoy it, the next film will inch you closer to that celluloid Christmas magic.
Where to watch: Netflix
The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)
This may be one of the most enjoyable retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The full Muppets ensemble perform in this riotous Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit and Michael Caine playing the stingy miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Other Muppets weave in and out of the story as Scrooge receives his visits from the spirits of Christmas past, present and future. Full of great muppet led comedic timing and songs that will surely get stuck in your hear, this movie will bring a smile to the face of a teh scroogiest movie watcher.
Where to watch: Disney+
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
A movie about a Santa skeptic? How appropriate! The original classic, Miracle on 34th Street has just the right amount of magic. It’s also a movie that never panders to its audience. Instead, it reminds us of the child in all of us. The balance achieved here between Christmas cynicism and wide-eyed wonder is still awe-inspiring. After this, they’re ready for one last film.
Where to watch: HBO Max
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Of course this is on our list even though technically this is a television short and not a movie. However, this is not only the definitive version of Dr. Suess’ story but the most effective twenty-six minutes you will ever see. I’m not ashamed to admit it still chokes me up, those darn Whos get me every time. It’s the perfect length to either entertain small children at the party for a bit or to use in between two longer films.
Where to watch: Aired on NBC, Rent or Buy