Updated: Jan 29, 2021
It's time to count down the days to Christmas, and to do so, Salem & Binx has a heap of holiday movie titles you'll love to make time to watch this season...
Behold! The 2020 Holiday Movie Countdown!
From December 1st to Christmas a much-loved holiday movie title will be selected from a hat - because let's face it, there's no definitive way to rank these festive flicks as they're all delightful in their own ways; from wholesome heartfelt plots to chaotic comedies - and beyond! Each will be featured here in our top 25 holiday movie list and, of course, mentioned on our instagram.
I'll Be Home For Christmas
In this delightful Disney favorite, Jake (played by Johnathan Taylor Thomas) plans on getting his girlfriend back, getting across the country for Christmas, and getting a Porsche if he makes it by dinner! But when he wakes up in the desert with nothing but a Santa suit and that ever- familiar JTT charm we all know and love, he'll be forced to both use all that charm, and somehow end up less shallow in the process!
If you remember the book, you may remember the cartoon! Originally a picture book by Raymond Briggs, this animated version was created for Britain’s Channel 4 and is still praised today, having been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and having won a BAFTA TV Award. This classic short film tells the wintery tale of a boy who creates a snowman who not only comes to life, but takes the boy on a magical journey through the night sky, and even to a snowman soiree! Filled with charm, winter magic, and let’s not forget that amazing song “Walking in the Air,” The Snowman is a seasonal must-watch!
Jingle All the Way
It’s Turbo time! Remember the simpler days of the 90’s when kids actually wanted toys? Jamie is one of those kids, pining away for THE toy of the season: The Turbo Man! His father Howard, already in the doghouse for being a little caught up in his work life (ok, a LOT), must obtain the popular toy in time for Christmas - but will be forced to face every obstacle imaginable to do so - even become Turbo Man himself!
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
It’s that Rankin/Bass classic you know and love! The iconic 1964 stop-motion animated Christmas TV special tells the tale of Rudolph, who is teased for his one-of-a-kind nose. But all the teasing is put aside when awful weather threatens to ruin Santa’s flght, and Rudolph’s bright nose is suddenly the perfect trait for a reindeer guiding Santa’s sleigh! Also, there’s an elf who wants to be a dentist.
12 Dates of Christmas
This ABC Family (now Freeform) favorite captures the essence of Groundhog Day, but instead takes place on Christmas Eve. After Kate spends her Christmas Eve flaking out on her blind date, Miles (in hopes she can win back her ex), she wakes up to discover she’s reliving the same Christmas Eve again! With each Christmas Eve, she gets more aquatinted with Miles and gets to know her family and friends better too, realizing how important it is to be open to new experiences!
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
This National Lampoon classic is about who else but the Griswold family! It’s Christmas time and although Clark has many a festive activity planned, hoping to create a perfect good ol’ fashion family Christmas experience, one thing seems to crumble after another until the holiday becomes one good ol’ fashion family meltdown!
Did somebody say snow?! After the marvelously successful song-and-dance duo “Wallace & Davis” get smitten with sister act “The Haynes Sisters” the four venture to Vermont. While at the Columbia Inn, Wallace and Davis are reunited with their former commanding general who they discover is now the owner. With help from the ladies, lots of connections, and the spirit of the season, the team puts on a grand show to save the failing inn - and it finally snows!
All I Want for Christmas (1991)
Leslie Neilson is Santa Claus, need I say more!? New York natives Hal' and Ethan want one thing for Christmas: for their divorced parents to get back together. After finding out their mother, Catherine, is planning to wed a new man, they realize they must essentially pull a holiday 'parent trap' before it's too late - and they may even get a little help from Leslie- I mean Santa Claus, to make it happen!
The Santa Clause
Cynic and skeptic Scott Calvin doesn't usually dress up as Santa Claus, but when he does he's forced to take on the role for real! After putting on the real Santa's iconic red suit, he's found himself under the ultimate magic-binding clause; one that officially makes him "the big guy." Is it harder to become Santa than it is to believe in him again? Can Scott believe in himself, for that matter?
*Relive the magic - and our Christmas episode from last year - featuring co-host Bri Gabay!
It's a Wonderful Life
Heehaw! It’s the most wonderful time of year to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, the classic Christmas tale you know and love! George Bailey feels spent, exhausted, and defeated by life’s many woes and forgets how important he really is to the lives of those in Bedford Falls. Thankfully, an angel named Clarence comes down from Heaven to remind him of just that! Upon seeing what life for those he loves would look like without him, he regains faith, and returns home only to be filled with joy!
December 11th: *DOUBLE FEATURE*
The McCallister’s embark on a family vacation to celebrate Christmas in France, except they forgot one thing: their son! Kevin, enjoying the house to himself, soon realizes two burglars, the Wet Bandits (Harry and Marv’), are out to rob his family’s home, so he’ll do anything - and everything - to defend it!
December 11th: *DOUBLE FEATURE*
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
What are the odds that Kevin McCallister would run into the same two burglars that previously tried to rob his home - but this time in New York City?! Well, it happens! In this sequel to the original Christmas favorite Home Alone, Kevin boards the wrong plane for this holiday’s family vacation and ends up in the Big Apple - and must, once again, stop Harry and Marv’. He may not be on his own turf, but he’s still got every trick up his sleeve!
Raised by elves in the North Pole, Buddy learns he's been human all along! When Santa and the elves inform him that he was an orphaned baby from New York, and that his real father is in fact on the naughty list, he decides to visit the Big Apple and AND restore his father's Christmas spirit - but, of course, it won't be as easy as Buddy thought!
After a failed burglary, Gus needs a place to hide - and fast. As Christmas Eve would have it, he picks the worst couple imaginable to take hostage. If Caroline and Lloyd are making their own marriage counselor crazy, just think of how insane they'll make a desperate, grumpy, and armed Gus who just wants to get out of this quaint Connecticut village - and, oh yeah, happens to be covered in cat piss.
Jessica Riggs may be at an age where many children stop believing in Santa, and although she is ready to face the growing pains of coming up in a poor small town (on a struggling family farm), she stubbornly holds onto her faith in Santa. Low and behold, this makes her the perfect person to happen on one of Santa’s own reindeer: Prancer! When she finds he is injured she nurses him back to health all on her own, only to be surprised by the support of her family, friends, and community!
Who hasn’t been friend-zoned?! Chris Brander sure has - for all the years he’s known Jamie Palamino. The rejection turned him into a superficial womanizer for the past ten years, but upon returning home during the holidays, he can’t help but still have feelings for Jamie - and maybe this time she has feelings for him…
Holiday in Handcuffs
Much like 12 Dates of Christmas, this Freeform TV movie is actually pretty good! Trudy, already struggling to get her life together, gets royally dumped by the boyfriend she promised her family she’d bring home for the holidays. Desperate to impress her parents, Trudy (obviously not in her right mind) kidnaps the next guy she sees, David, and drags him to the mountain cabin where her family plans to spend the holiday. Oddly, Trudy manages to sabotage David’s every attempt at escaping to keep up the charade - and what’s more, the two start to like each other!
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
The Santa Claus origin story - but as told by Rankin Bass, so ya know, it’s bonkers!
A Christmas Story
Add some Americana to your holiday with this tale about a boy growing up in 1940s Indiana, who wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Rider BB Gun! But, of course, every grown-up cautions him against it, even department store Santa! Will he or won’t he receive the ever-dangerous boyhood staple and firearm?
John McClane, an NYPD officer, is in LA for less than an hour and is already thrust into high stakes! While he visits his wife’s fancy office at the Nakatomi Plaza, her company’s holiday party is suddenly interrupted by German terrorists pulling a heist. They take everyone hostage - except John who escapes from their sight. In an epic game of cat and mouse, he, alone, must outsmart them, take out the Germans, and save each of the hostages - his wife included!
Willy is a mess, and that’s putting it lightly. Although he’s the worst mall Santa ever, he just gets by long enough to rob the mall on Christmas Eve with his partner and “elf” Marcus. The tradition has helped them hoard big bucks over the years, as long as they hit up a new mall each season - this time, they’re in Phoenix, AZ. While Willy’s state is worse off than any Christmas before, he also happens to befriend a naive kid who could really use some toughening up. Willy, on the other hand, learns from his new pal how to have a softer heart during the holidays!
Facing Christmas completely alone, rich advertising guru Drew Latham happens upon his childhood home, meeting the family who now reside there: The Valco’s. Feeling nostalgic and festive, he offers them $25,000 dollars if they’ll let him spend Christmas with them, essentially renting them for the holidays. Despite the Valco’s cynicism, they reluctantly cater to every one of Drew’s cheesy Christmas traditions, eventually warming up to him and each other!
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story
The TV film that spawned the long-running series The Waltons first aired on CBS in 1971, telling the tale of the Walton family, prepping for the homecoming of their father John. While they become increasingly worried about whether or not he’ll be home by Christmas, the oldest, John-Boy, is sent out to search for his father. After the rather festive journey, and as Christmas Eve night draws to a close, John-Boy discovers more about his home, his family, and who he is - and that his family couldn’t be prouder of him!
Christmas in Connecticut
Famous domestics journalist, Elizabeth Lane, is an original Martha Stewart known for describing her delicious recipes, wholesome family, and idyllic farm home in each article - but this is all lies! In reality she’s a New Yorker with zero domestic expertise! When the owner of her magazine decides to have a war hero, named Jefferson Jones, stay as a guest on her farm for the holidays, she and her friends Felix and John commit to a ruse fully equipped with a Connecticut farmhouse, festive Christmas tree, and even a real live baby to call her own! Bringing the articles she’s written to life, Elizabeth soon becomes smitten with Jefferson, so how long can she keep up the act?
Miracle on 34th Street
When Doris Walker, a practical mother and special events director for Macy’s, hires a seasonal Santa Claus in a pinch, she is delighted to learn he is a sudden customer favorite. His lack of high pressure sales tactics, and emphasis on honesty with customers, however, is due to the fact that he insists he is the real Santa Claus. When competitors get wind of this, they go as far as the courtroom to deem him unfit to serve Macy’s, for he couldn’t possibly be the real St. Nick. With the help of Doris, her neighbor and lawyer Mr. Gailey, and all those who believe in him - including Doris’ no-nonsnese daughter, Susan - Santa may have a chance to prove his authenticity!
A Christmas Carol (1984)
You know the tale! In this classic story by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge is known as a mean, stingy, old banker who couldn’t be more anti-Christmas. When he is visited by several spirits on Christmas Eve, he is faced with his awfulness and learns he must change! By Christmas morning, he embraces friendship, kindness, joy - and Christmas!
THANK YOU to all who have enjoyed this year's "The Holidays - From a Hat!" Salem & Binx Present... Holiday Movie Countdown!
'Til next year...
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