News 9: Here Are Our Favorite Christmas Movies!

We recently got to thinking about what the News 9 team liked to watch over the holidays. So, we posed the question, "What's your favorite Christmas movies and why?"

Monday, December 4th 2023, 9:09 pm

By: Ryan Welton


It's the most wonderful time of year, isn't it? We get together and talk about our favorite Christmas movies and whether "Die Hard" counts as one.

And for the record, the answer is, "It most certainly does."

C'mon! Hans Gruber does his dirty deeds during the office Christmas Party held on Christmas Eve. And If that isn't enough, Joshua St. Clair with Men's Health magazine referenced another site that counted nearly two dozen Christmas references from songs to "Ho ho hos!"

Anyhoo, it got us to thinking about what the News 9 team liked to watch over the holidays. So, we posed the question, "What's your favorite Christmas movies and why?"

Amanda Taylor, News 9 Anchor:

Here are my Top 3 - and in reality, this could go in any order depending on the day!

3. Elf - You just can’t help but smile throughout this movie! From Buddy pouring syrup on everything to his encounter with the mall Santa and an “angry elf," this movie is full of laughs. 

2. Christmas Vacation - This movie is one of my faves. We even got our family to dress up one year like the Griswolds for a Christmas card (I was Eddie’s wife, Catherine) LOL!

1. A Christmas Story - My all time favorite Christmas movie. There are so many memorable moments like the bunny pajamas, the leg lamp, and the example of why you should never put your tongue on a light pole! Such a classic!


Karl Torp, News 9 Anchor:

OK. My list is a little cliche ...

1. It’s a Wonderful Life - I saw this for the first time last year. I watched it by myself with some wine. That may explain why I got a touch emotional. It’s got some cheesy moments, but others that melt your heart. Plus, I do a mean Jimmy Stewart. 

1-A. Love Actually - Such a fun and delightfully sappy holiday film set in London that nails the ensemble cast. All others pale in comparison. Funny, charming and British. 


Bobbie Miller, News 9 Anchor:

Miracle on 34th Street – both original and newer versions. It’s such a big-hearted, and historical Christmas story.


Lacie Lowry, News 9 Anchor:

1. Home Alone (the original)

2. The Family Stone

3. Elf

4. Love Actually 

5. It’s a Wonderful Life 


Cassie Heiter, News 9 Meteorologist:

1. Home Alone

2. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

3. The Santa Clause

4. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (Claymation version)

5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

6. A Christmas Story

7. Scrooged

8. Frosty the Snowman

9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

10. The Holiday


Justin Rudicel, News 9 Meteorologist:

Here is my Top 9 list:

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

2. Santa Clause

3. Home Alone

4. Die Hard (It is a Christmas movie)

5. New animated Grinch

6. Polar Express

7. Love Actually

8. It’s A Wonderful Life

9. Elf


Jordan Ryan, News 9 Reporter & Anchor:

  1. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation 
  2. Elf
  3. Polar Express


Caryn 'Sassy Mama' Ross, News 9 Food & Travel Host:

Elf (I love an overgrown super happy guy in an elf suit...can't help but make me laugh year after year! Buddy's enthusiasm is infectious!) I challenge Karl to do a Buddy the Elf impersonation for this year's Christmas party! BEST CHRISTMAS 🎄 EVER! 


Ben Smith, News 9 Marketing Coordinator:

1. Christmas Vacation (Family archetypes and the emotional highs and lows of the Christmas season blended perfectly into a comedy. It’s just so relatable!)

2. Elf

3. A Christmas Story

4. White Christmas

5. Home Alone


Grayson Cook, News 9 Video Editor:

Christmas movie: Die Hard.

Editor's Note: We approve this message. See above.


Kelly Merka, News 9 Producer:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the Jim Carrey version specifically

Why? Because Jim Carrey is comedy gold, and that movie is full of relatable quotes, gives me the warm fuzzy Christmas feelings, while addressing the consumerism of the holiday in an understated, meaningful way.

Second favorite is Christmas with the Kranks!

A bah-humbug of a dad decides to avoid the holiday but is forced to remember the meaning of Christmas when his daughter comes home for the holiday.

Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis were the perfect cast!

The Muppet Christmas Carol - a both serious and funny take on a classic Christmas tale


David Prock, News 9 Digital Producer:

Here's my Top 8, one for each tiny reindeer, well, minus Rudolf - but he's in there. Don't worry.

1. The Santa Clause - This 90s Christmas movie is pure nostalgia for me, but it still holds up. It's funny and sentimental, perfect for families and kids of any age. Plus, Tim Allen just looks and sounds like Santa. It's weirdly perfect casting.

2. The Muppet Christmas Carol - I have seen almost every adaptation of this Dickens story, and I can honestly say this still may be the most all-around entertaining. Not the most faithful, but closer than a lot of others. Kermit, Gonzo, Piggy, and Rizzo are all great, but Michael Caine steals the show by acting as though he's not in a Muppet movie at all.

3. Any Rankin/Bass Christmas Special - Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, The Year Without a Santa Claus, The Little Drummer Boy. Take your pick.

4. Elf - This is kind of an expected pick, but hey, it was a hit for a reason. Ferrell is hilarious, and the movie is a sweet family story.

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) - This special directed by 'Looney Tunes' legend Chuck Jones took the Dr. Seuss story and brought it to life in a new way. The animation design and song "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" are iconic and deserve a yearly watch. (Jim Carey's version is also good, but I love this special a little bit more.)

6. Klaus - This may be a bit of an uncommon pick, but this 2019 animated film creates a new origin for Santa that may have you crying by the end. Starring JK Simmons, Jason Schwartzman, the late Norm Macdonald, and more, this movie features a selfish mailman who has to find a way to bring a town of feuding families together. When he meets a lonely and mysterious woodsman, he discovers the power that giving can have. The film features a blend of traditional animation enhanced with new technology, which makes it look like a classic film from long ago.

7. Christmas Vacation - I was a latecomer to this movie, but watching it with my friends made it an instant classic.

8. Either Version of A Miracle on 34th Street - Both the 1947 film and the '94 remake will do the trick this Christmas.


Sydney Langley, News 9 Digital Producer:

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - This movie is an all-time favorite of mine and my family’s. There is something about its depiction of the middle-class family during the holidays that I can relate to. From the kooky grandma to the unenthusiastic kids, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is an excellent, comically exaggerated midwest Christmas.

2. Elf - This movie is a classic for a reason. Will Ferrell’s impersonation of an innocent elf from the North Pole in contrast to the often problematic New York City is amazing. It is the perfect movie to watch while decorating a Christmas tree or drinking a cup of hot chocolate.

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - No, this is not technically a Christmas movie. However, my yearly urge to watch it always happens around Christmas. There is something about the child-like wonder that this movie does so well that makes me feel holiday-ready. In my defense, Harry is given the iconic invisibility cloak as a Christmas present.


Image by stockking on Freepik


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