These are the films that your grandparents approve of and for good reason: they’re wonderful.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life
Arguably the most-watched film each holiday season, George Bailey’s never-been-born adventure is sure to make you cry tears of life-is-beautiful joy.
2. Holiday Inn
Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire: what more do you need? How about the debut of the now-classic song “White Christmas”? Warning: this film will make you want to quit your job and only work on holidays.
3. White Christmas
After you’ve seen Holiday Inn, watch its Crosby-starring spin-off, “White Christmas.” Rosemary Clooney is a dream — as are the fur-trimmed capes and painted Vermont landscapes.
4. A Christmas Carol (1951)
The classic Dickens novel has countless adaptations. A top recommendation: the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim. It will destroy your inner “bah, humbug!”
5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
In this 1947 Oscar winner, Santa Claus is on trial. By the inspirational movie’s end, you’ll believe again.
6. The Bishop’s Wife
The non-musical inspiration behind The Preacher’s Wife, this film stars Cary Grant as an angel-slash-marriage-counselor. Enough said.
7. The Bells of St. Mary’s
More Bing Crosby, the face of classic Christmas movies. This 1945 film features a Christmas pageant at the run-down school he and a nun are trying to save.
8. Meet Me in St. Louis
This Judy Garland classic is on the list merely for the scene in which she sings a magical rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
9. Babes in Toyland
Laurel and Hardy rescue Tom Tom and Bo Peep from Bogeyland in this 1934 adaptation of Victor Herbert’s operetta. Disney’s adaptation was released in 1961.
Image courtesy: Liberty Films