Every year, numerous specials based around Christmas and the holiday season are released and aired during November and December. Many people grew up watching these Christmas films and have developed a love for these movies. Many of these specials are still airing and are perfect to watch in order to get into the holiday spirit.

“Polar Express”

     “The Polar Express” is an animated Christmas-classic based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. What unfolds in this movie is the adventure of a doubting young boy named Chris who takes a magical train ride to the North Pole. Upon visiting Santa’s home, Chris learns the valuable life lesson of self discovery, prompting him to receive a special gift, one of Santa’s bells, that only believers of Santa can hear. “The Polar Express” has been considered a Christmas favorite since its 2004 release due to its catchy songs and heartwarming message.

“Home Alone”

     “Home Alone” is a comedy movie that was released in 1990. The film centers around a young child named Kevin who was accidentally left at home when his family goes on a Christmas vacation. Kevin must defend his family’s home against two burglars who attempt to break in. Kevin uses a variety of homemade traps in order to defeat the dimwitted burglars. After a while, Kevin’s parents realize they left him at home and frantically attempt to get home. This movie is a beloved classic due to its comedic nature and humor.

“Rise of the Guardians”

     “Rise of the Guardians” is an animated film that was released by Dreamworks Animation in 2012. The movie centers around Jack Frost, who wakes up with amnesia, after being frozen in a lake for three hundred years. Jack soon finds the guardians, a group of mythical creatures, including the Tooth Fairy, Sandman, Easter Bunny and Santa. These creatures, known as the Guardians, get their powers from the belief that children have in them. Due to an evil entity called Pitch, more and more children stop believing in the Guardians, causing them to lose power. Pitch is also in possession of the only thing that can give Jack his memories back. In the movie, Jack and the Guardians must defeat Pitch in order to get kids to believe in the Guardians again and for Jack to get his memories back. This movie is highly suggested for anyone looking for a deeper Christmas film with more action and plot.   

“The Santa Clause” Series

     The “Santa Clause” is a trilogy of comedic Christmas movies starring actor Tim Allen. The series revolves around a man named Scott Calvin who accidentally causes the death of Santa, resulting in Scott becoming Santa’s replacement. Throughout the rest of the series, Scott lives as Santa, dealing with his newfound responsibilities and hardships. Kids and adults alike enjoy “The Santa Clause” series for both its family-humor and holiday cheer.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

     “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is an extremely popular holiday musical by Tim Burton, released in 1993. In the film, the king of Halloweentown, Jack, stumbles into Christmas Town and wishes to recreate the joy of it among his own bats, ghouls and goblins. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” proves to be a wonderful movie for all ages through music and Tim Burton’s one-of-a-kind imagination.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

     “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” is an animated Christmas special released in 2000, based on the song of the same name written by Randy Brooks. The Christmas special revolves around a young boy named Jake Spankenheimer whose grandma goes missing after being hit by Santa. The whole special centers around John trying to get his Grandma back, save Santa Claus from being sued for damages and protect his grandma's store from being bought by a CEO. This movie has become beloved after many years of being aired.

“Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer”

     “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” is a stop-motion animated Christmas film based on a song by Johnny Marks. This classic movie follows a misfit reindeer whose nose, unlike the other reindeer, glows red. The movie is about Rudolph learning to accept himself and his attempts at getting the rest of Santa’s village to approve of him as well. The movie has strong morals of accepting people even if they are different, making it a beloved children's holiday special.

“Miracle on 34th Street”

     “Miracle on 34th Street” is an award-winning holiday film that aired in 1947. In this Christmas classic, a man named Kris Kringle fills in for the Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Kringle, proving to be a hit, gets promoted to appear regularly in Manhattan’s main store, where he claims to be the real Santa. Kringle’s claims lead to a court case aimed to determine his authenticity. “Miracle on 34th Street” proves to be a heartwarming story about the importance of childhood love and trust.

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

     “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 film about a man, George, who is so unsatisfied with his life that he thinks about ending it during the holidays. The movie takes the audiences back through George’s life, narrated by angels. One of the angels rescues George as he prepares to jump off a bridge. Clarence, the guardian angel who saves George, shows George what his town would have looked like without all that he has done. “It’s a Wonderful Life” brings cheer into the homes of those who watch it and teaches the valuable lesson of appreciation.

“A Miser Brother Christmas”

     The Heat and Snow Misers, who first appeared in the 1974 Christmas special, “A Year Without Santa Claus,” received their own stop motion Christmas special in 2008. The plot of this holiday special centers around the Heat and Snow Misers, two brothers with a strong rivalry, setting aside their differences in order to act in for Santa Claus, who was supposedly injured by the brothers' feud. Not everything is as it seems, though, as the misers' other brother, North Wind, plots to permanently replace Santa. This movie, at its emotional core, is about family, and how the holidays can bring the family closer.

“Frosty the Snowman”

     “Frosty the Snowman” is an animated holiday classic that was released in 1969, based on a song by the same name. In “Frosty the Snowman,” a group of schoolkids bring a snowman named Frosty to life during recess on Christmas Eve by placing a magician’s top hat on the snowman’s head. The magician, after seeing Frosty brought to life by the hat, decides that he wants his hat back, but the children will not let him have it. As the day grows warmer, one of the schoolchildren, Karen, decides that she should take Frosty to the North Pole so that he does not melt. Then, hijinks ensue as Karen and Frosty reach the North Pole and must stop the magician from taking Frosty’s hat. Eventually, the girl must head back home, so she says goodbye to Frosty. Frosty promises her that they would meet once again someday. This classic is a beloved movie with an emotional ending.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

     “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is an original animated Christmas special that is based on the Peanuts comics by Charles M. Schulz. This special first aired in 1965 and has since become a beloved Christmas classic. The special follows Charlie Brown, a mellow kid who is not in the Christmas spirit, in his attempts to try to get into a festive mood. While Charlie Brown is the main character, there are plenty of other characters in the movie that bring a sense of comedy and charm to the movie, including Snoopy, Charlie Brown's dog, and Lucy, a friend of Charlie Brown.