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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Which means it is time to indulge in all your favorite Christmas movies.  If you need classic Christmas movie ideas, here are 20 of them.

 

Poster for the movie "A Christmas Carol"

© 1938 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) − All right reserved.

A Christmas Carol (1938)

There are many version of the movie, however we think this is the best one. Reginald Owen portrays Charles Dickens’ holiday humbug Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser’s miser who has a huge change of heart after spirits whisk him into the past, present and future.

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Babes in Toyland

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Babes in Toyland (1934)

Opposing the evil Barnaby, Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try and fail to pay-off Mother Peep’s mortgage and mislead his attempts to marry Little Bo. Enraged, Barnaby’s boogeymen are set on Toyland. It’s Laurel and Hardy, what’s not to love?

 

Poster for the movie "The Bishop's Wife"

© − All right reserved.

The Bishop’s Wife

The first time I saw this was in college and I was so fascinated by it that I skipped a class so I could see the end. An Episcopal Bishop, Henry Brougham, has been working for months on the plans for an elaborate new cathedral which he hopes will be paid for primarily by a wealthy, stubborn widow. He is losing sight of his family and of why he became a churchman in the first place. Enter Dudley, an angel sent to help him. Dudley does help everyone he meets, but not necessarily in the way they would have preferred. With the exception of Henry, everyone loves him, but Henry begins to believe that Dudley is there to replace him, both at work and in his family’s affections, as Christmas approaches.

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Poster for the movie "Christmas in Connecticut"

© 1945 Warner Bros. − All right reserved.

Christmas in Connecticut

Journalist Elizabeth Lane is one of the country’s most famous food writers. In her columns, she describes herself as a hard working farm woman, taking care of her children and being an excellent cook. But this is all lies. In reality she is an unmarried New Yorker who can’t even boil an egg. The recipes come from her good friend Felix. The owner of the magazine she works for has decided that a heroic sailor will spend his Christmas on *her* farm. Miss Lane knows that her career is over if the truth comes out, but what can she do? Love this version. Don’t care for the modern remake.

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A Christmas Story

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A Christmas Story

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. I know this is an unpopular opinion however, I don’t see why people go crazy over this movie.

 

Holiday Affair

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Holiday Affair

Just before Christmas, department store clerk Steve Mason meets big spending customer Connie Ennis, really a commercial spy. He unmasks her but lets her go, which gets him fired. They end up on a date, which doesn’t sit well with Connie’s steady suitor, Carl, but delights her son Timmy, who doesn’t want Carl for a step-dad. Standard (if sweet) romantic complications follow. Timmy is so cute when he takes the toy train back to the store.

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Poster for the movie "Holiday Inn"

© 1942 Paramount Pictures − All right reserved.

Holiday Inn

Lovely Linda Mason has crooner Jim Hardy head over heels, but suave stepper Ted Hanover wants her for his new dance partner after femme fatale Lila Dixon gives him the brush. Jim’s supper club, Holiday Inn, is the setting for the chase by Hanover and manager Danny Reed. The music’s the thing. Just FYI the song White Christmas is in this movie.

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The Holly and the Ivy

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The Holly and the Ivy  (UK)

A heartwarming tale of an English minister and his family reunited at Christmas time. Their story includes a remembrance of their WWII trials. I’m a sucker for British movies.

 

It Happened on Fifth Avenue

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It Happened on Fifth Avenue

A homeless man moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.

 

Poster for the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"

© 1946 RKO Radio Pictures − All right reserved.

It’s A Wonderful Life

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money, hides it from Billy, and George’s troubles begin.

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Poster for the movie "The Lemon Drop Kid"

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The Lemon Drop Kid

When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally cheats gangster Moose Moran (Fred Clark) out of his track winnings, the Kid promises to repay Moose the money by Christmas. Creating a fake charity for “Apple Annie” Nellie Thursday, the Kid tricks his gang into donning Santa suits and “collecting dough for old dolls” like Nellie who have nowhere to live. Radio personality Marilyn Maxwell assists as the Kid’s girlfriend, while William Frawley and Jay C. Flippen play the lovable, gruff crooks that fall for the Kid’s Santa scam. This one doesn’t get shown on television a lot.

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Poster for the movie "Little Women"

© 1933 RKO Radio Pictures − All right reserved.

Little Women (1933)

Little Women is a “coming of age” drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War, the girl’s father is away serving as a minister to the troops. The family, headed by thier beloved Marmee, must struggle to make ends meet, with the help of their kind and wealthy neighbor, Mr. Laurence, and his high-spirited grandson Laurie.

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Poster for the movie "The Man Who Came To Dinner"

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The Man Who Came To Dinner

Lecturer Sheridan Whiteside slips on the ice on his way into the home of a prominent Ohio family. The Dr. says Whiteside must remain confined having broken his leg. He begins to meddle with the lives of everyone in the household and, once his plots are underway, learns there is nothing wrong with his leg. He bribes the doctor. The owner discovers the fraud, but Whiteside blackmails him (he finds out that the owner’s sister is an axe murderer) and resumes control. Overall I love this movie although Sheridan Whiteside gets on my nerves.

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Poster for the movie "Meet Me in St. Louis"

© 1944 Loew’s − All right reserved.

Meet Me In St Louis

In the year before the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York. To me, this is the quintessential Christmas movie.

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Poster for the movie "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek"

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The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

A small-town girl with a soft spot for American soldiers wakes up the morning after a wild farewell party for the troops to find that she married someone she can’t remember.

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Poster for the movie "Miracle on 34th Street"

© 1947 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation − All right reserved.

Miracle on 34th Street

Kris Kringle, seemingly the embodiment of Santa Claus, is asked to portray the jolly old fellow at Macy’s following his performance in the Thanksgiving Day parade. His portrayal is so complete many begin to question if he truly is Santa Claus while others question his sanity.

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Poster for the movie "Remember the Night"

© 1940 Paramount Pictures − All right reserved.

Remember the Night

Moved to pity by the Christmas season, New York District Attorney John Sargent (Fred MacMurray) lets pretty shoplifter Lee Leander (Barbara Stanwyck) out on bail and offers her a ride home to Indiana. Along the way they have a run-in with a Pennsylvania sheriff, meet each others’ parents, and eventually fall in love. John’s mother, however, disapproves, and warns Lee to stay away, lest she damage John’s career. Not wanting to cause trouble, Lee resolves to leave the man she loves.

I only discover this movie a year or two ago and it is wonderful.

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Poster for the movie "Shop Around the Corner"

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The Shop Around the Corner

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other’s anonymous pen pal. This movie is the basis for You’ve Got Mail.

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Poster for the movie "The Thin Man"

© 1934 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) − All right reserved.

The Thin Man

After a four year absence, one time detective Nick Charles returns to New York with his new wife Nora and their dog, Asta. Nick re-connects with many of his old cronies, several of whom are eccentric characters, to say the least. He’s also approached by Dorothy Wynant whose inventor father Clyde Wynant is suspected of murdering her step-mother. Her father had left on a planned trip some months before and she has had no contact with him. Nick isn’t all that keen on resuming his former profession but egged-on by wife Nora, who thinks this all very exciting, he agrees to help out. He solves the case, announcing the identity of the killer at a dinner party for all of the suspects. Personally, I don’t consider this a “Christmas movie” but have included it because there is a very funny Christmas scene.

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White Christmas

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White Christmas

After leaving the Army after W.W.II, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters (Betty and Judy) who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy travel to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis follow, only to find their former commander, General Waverly, is the lodge owner. A series of romantic mix-ups ensue as the performers try to help the General.

 

Did your favorite classic Christmas movie make our list?