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Holiday Movies Throughout the Decades: 1940s-2012

Winter holidays just might be the best ones throughout the year. Surpassing the likes of Halloween, it’s my opinion that Christmas, Hanukkah, and other December holidays are where all the magic happens. There’s no wonder why so many movies have been made for the holidays. I dug up some movie titles from each decade starting from the 1940s til now. If you’re having a movie night, rent some of these babies and make sure you’re in comfy PJ’s. You can try out Netflix, Redbox, visiting a traditional movie store, or streaming online with Amazon or even YouTube–remember, if it’s legal, it’s good.




You have to see this holiday classic from 1946, where an angel convinces a disheartened businessman of his life’s importance by showing him what the world would have been like had he never been born.



Filmed in 1942, a singer decides to retire and opens a night club for holidays only to have his buddy come up and try to woo away his love interest.




Released in 1954, this musical film starts off on Christmas Eve somewhere in Europe.



This 1951 version of Dickens’ tale of Scrooge was first released in Britain. Compare it to other adaptations you’re more familiar with.




A 1965 Peanuts Gang classic . Join Charlie in his search for the true meaning of Christmas.



What would Christmas be without this 1966 musical classic based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved book? A Grinchmas, that’s what!




Santa decides to take a holiday one year, so Mrs. Claus gets the help of children of the world to show Santa that people still believe in him, in this cute stop-motion animated film from 1974.



Not exactly a Christmas movie, but this satirical comedy filmed in 1979 is a comedic account of an ancient Israelite whose life parallels Christ’s. Watch only if you’re in the mood for laughs all in good fun.




This 1983 coming of age comedy is a can’t-miss. During the holiday season, it plays over and over on the TBS network.



1984 was the year for this black comedy film to offset the year’s Christmas-time cheer. Great for tossing a little chaos in the mix this season.



Michael Caine always shines in movies, but in this 1992 film, he gets outshone by a bunch of muppets. This is hands down my favorite adaptation of A Christmas Carol.



In 1993, Tim Burton gave us a delightful gift. Jack Skellington from Halloween town discovers Christmas town and plots to take Christmas for himself.




From 2002, Adam Sandler creates an animated musical comedy-drama featuring characters who celebrate Hanukkah.



Will Ferrell stars in this 2003 film about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he’s really a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father. Hilarious!


This year there hasn’t been a holiday movie release, but there are two films I’m particularly excited to see:  The Hobbit and Les Miserables. Check your local show times for these at the big screen.

What movies will you be watching this holiday season?

2 comments on “Holiday Movies Throughout the Decades: 1940s-2012

  1. Super Sasha
    December 24, 2012

    I do my best to watch as many of the “Christmas Story” reruns as I can. I usually try to catch “Scrooged” with Bill Murray when I get a chance. “Well, Charles Dickens would want to see their nipples!” Hahaha, love it!


  2. latelyleslie
    December 27, 2012

    “You’ll shoot your eye out!” haha! “Home Alone” I love watching all year round but Christmas is the best excuse for me to watch “Jingle All The Way” and not be judged for my bad movie taste…


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