Best Christmas Movies to Watch Over Break

Author: Claire Solomon

Best Christmas Movies to Watch Over Break

It’s finally the most wonderful time of the year – winter break. These long-awaited weeks are a time for spending lots of quality time with family, reuniting with friends from home and spending more than a little time unwinding from the demands of a semester at Notre Dame.

On the car ride home after a long, stressful week of finals, I realized that amidst my late night study sessions and caffeine binges, I had almost forgotten that it was Christmas season. As I drove past billboards advertising sales for last-minute Christmas shopping and countless houses adorned with twinkly string lights, I wondered how I was ever going to get myself in the Christmas spirit in time for the holiday itself.

Thankfully, that is why Christmas movies are made, and what better time to watch them than over Christmas break with a warm cup of hot chocolate in the comfort of your own home?

From traditional classics to newer holiday releases, there are Christmas movies to fit everyone’s tastes. Here are some of my favorites that are sure to get you in the Christmas mood.

It's A Wonderful Life Poster

It’s a Wonderful Life

This classic feel-good flick, starring Jimmy Stewart, has been a popular favorite for several decades. The movie, located in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls, tells the story of businessman George Bailey and his angel friend Clarence. This is the perfect movie to watch with family or friends and is sure to prompt some heartfelt discussion about life and all the blessings and memorable moments from the past year.


Polar Express Poster

The Polar Express

The movie adaptation of my favorite Christmas book is a necessity on every must-watch holiday movie list. The Polar Express is the type of film that reminds me of my childhood Christmases and is filled with holiday magic, excitement and childlike wonder. The tale, set on Christmas Eve, takes us on a journey with Billy, a young boy who decides to ride a nighttime train to the North Pole to visit Santa himself. With the dynamic voice talents of Tom Hanks, catchy music and beautiful animation, this film is perfect for the holiday season for people of any age.


Elf Poster


Love it or hate it, there’s no doubt you’ll find Elf playing on some TV channel this holiday season. Elf is the perfect combination of comedy and pure Christmas cheer. The 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel has been so popular that it was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2010. Will Ferrell’s loveable character, Buddy the Elf, a human raised by Santa’s elves, returns to New York City to find his biological family and, of course, hilarity ensues. Don’t be a cotton headed ninny muggins and watch this movie ASAP for some light-hearted Christmas cheer.

Santa Clause Poster

The Santa Clause

Last but certainly not least is The Santa Clause, an enjoyable family Christmas movie starring Tim Allen. Allen plays Scott Calvin, a divorced advertising executive who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall off a roof on Christmas Eve, and consequently finds himself legally roped into becoming the new Saint Nick. This film is sure to remind you of the true meaning of Christmas and exudes good old-fashioned holiday spirit sprinkled with the right amount of laughs. After finishing the first movie, be sure to check out the other two installments in the Santa Clause trilogy, The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. 


All photos from