The holidays are nearly upon us, and while many of you out there will undoubtedly be spending your time roasting chestnuts on an open fire (or some other cheery activity) with your family, there’s going to be down time. And what better way to spend that time than by watching some classic holiday movies?
There are far too many feel-good Christmas movies (as well as some feel-bad holiday movies) out there to choose from, so if you find yourself stumped come December 25, never fear — the MTV Movies team has compiled our all-time favorite holiday movie viewing experiences to make your season bright.
“Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho.” These words, written on a dead bad guy’s shirt by New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) and uttered by the Grinchiest of movie menaces Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), exemplify why Christmas at Nakatomi Plaza is so much fun. The original “Die Hard,” a classic action flick which captured the wisecracking talents of Willis on the brink of his mega-stardom, is infinitely quotable and just as enjoyable on the tenth viewing as on the first. -Tami Katzoff
More than 20 years after Kevin McCallister sledded down his staircase and into theaters, “Home Alone” continues to be one of my favorite Christmas movies. Starring blond moppet Macaulay Culkin as the left-behind lad, the 1990 romp follows the boy who stayed as he protects his home from a pair of bungling burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), all the while seamlessly weaving heartfelt holiday-ness with hilarious hi-jinks. I (and the American Dental Association) approve. (I probably shouldn’t speak on behalf of the ADA, so for legal purposes, please consider this an assumption.) -Amy Wilkinson
Is there anyone who doesn’t love this wonderfully well-received ensemble romantic comedy? Even the most testosterone-charged of my male friends get all warm and fuzzy when they mention it. The reason it’s perfect for the holidays is obvious: it’s set right around Christmas, but unlike other films that try to capitalize on an already over-commercialized season with kitschy gimmickry (see “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve”), “Love Actually” works because it’s central theme is real love: The good, the bad, the messy, the hard to watch. Plus you could not assemble a better cast: Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Rodrigo Santorro, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln (pre-“Walking Dead!”) and amazing Bill Nighy performing the best new Christmas song ever, “Christmas Is All Around.” -Kara Warner
“The Christmas Toy”
With “The Muppets” back in the spotlight, there’s no better time to revisit this little-seen Jim Henson made-for-TV gem about a group of toys who come to life when no one’s looking. No, we’re not talking about “Toy Story” — “The Christmas Toy” dates the Pixar classic by several years, and while I’d stop short of saying it’s a better film, it’s certainly the one I cherish more. Old friends, dear friends, Meteora, eww-it’s-Mew, Rugby the Tiger (aka the greatest Christmas toy of all)… this movie has it all. Hands down, my favorite holiday movie of all time. -Josh Wigler
“The Lord of the Rings” Extended Edition
It’s not the most obvious choice, but stick with me here. In all, the three extended editions of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy clock-in at a butt-numbing 12 hours. Now, I love these movies, but when I am supposed to watch them and not feel bad about sinking four hours on “Return of the King” on a random Saturday? The holidays offer the perfect combination of guilt-free sloth and large amounts of free time, the ideal movie marathon conditions. Aside from being convenient, the time of year always reminds me of “The Lord of the Rings,” because they were guaranteed Christmas presents each year they came out on DVD. So maybe it isn’t that weird after all, jerk. -Kevin P. Sullivan
What are your favorite holiday movies? Tell us in the comments section and on Twitter!