NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Christmas is the perfect time of year to spend some overdue time with families, and what better way to bond than by watching a few holiday classics? Here are some holiday flicks to add to your list.

The Shop Around The Corner (1940) 

This classic from 1940 stars Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart and Frank Morgan. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch, the film centers on two employees working at a leathergoods shop in Budapest who can barely tolerate each other, not realizing they are actually falling in love as anonymous correspondents through their letters. This plot concept was also revived in the 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail”, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The Shop Around The Corner is listed in Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 movies and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1999, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress.  

Where to watch: HBO Max 

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 

Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, the film follows Bailey who has given up his personal dreams in order to help others in the community. When Bailey begins to have thoughts of suicide on Christmas Eve, a guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, played by Henry Travers, intervenes. Although the movie initially received mixed reviews and was a box office bomb, it became a Christmas classic after its copyright lapsed, putting it into the public domain which allowed it to be broadcast without licensing or royalty fees. Today, the film is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, and among the best Christmas movies. It was also nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made. Remember, no man who has friends is a failure, and “every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video 

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 

This story is told between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City and focuses on the effect of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. The film has become a perennial Christmas favorite and stars Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn, with George Seaton directing. Miracle on 34th Street took home three Academy Awards: Gwenn for Best Supporting Actor, Valentine Davies of Best Story (an award given until 1956), and Seaton for Best Adapted Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “Gentleman’s Agreement”.  

Where to watch: Disney+

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) 

This stop motion animated TV special first aired in 1964 and has been telecast every year since, making it the longest continuously running Christmas TV special in the country. In 2014, the TV special turned 50 years old, and on Nov. 6 of that year, the United States Postal Service unveiled a series of postage stamps featuring Rudolph.

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video 

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) 

“Christmastime is here.” In this 1965 animated TV special, Charlie Brown finds himself depressed, despite the cheerful holiday season. Lucy suggests he direct a neighborhood Christmas play, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his friends when he chooses a real, but tiny, Christmas tree as a centerpiece. This special was written over a period of several weeks and produced on a small budget. The producers took an unconventional role and hired child actors for the special, while the program’s soundtrack was also nontraditional, featuring a jazz score by pianist Vince Guaraldi. The special also did not have a laugh track, and grouped with the above factors, the producers and network thought the project would be a massive failure. However, the special was met with high ratings and critical acclaim. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has won a Peabody and Emmy Award, and its jazz soundtrack was also successful, selling five million copies in the United States.  

Where to watch: Apple TV 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) 

This 1966 animated TV special directed and co-produced by Chuck Jones is based on the 1957 children’s book of the same name by legendary author Dr. Seuss. The Grinch, an unfriendly green creature voiced by Boris Karloff, sets out to ruin Christmas for the townspeople of Whoville below his mountain hideaway. Aired for the first time in December 1966, it went on to become a perennial holiday special.  

Where to watch: Peacock 

Black Christmas (1974) 

Who said horror has to be left in October? This 1974 slasher film produced and directed by Bob Clark stars Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Lynne Griffin and John Saxon and follows a group of sorority sisters who receive a series of threatening phone calls, only to be stalked and murdered by a deranged killer during the Christmas season. The film was inspired by the urban legend “the babysitter and the man upstairs” and a series of murders that happened in the Westmount neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec. Despite initially received mixed reviews, Black Christmas has since received critical re-appraisal, and film historians note it for being one of the earlies slasher films, praising it for its influence on John Carpenter’s “Halloween” from 1978. The film has since earned a cult following, two remakes and recognition as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. 

Where to watch: Peacock 

A Christmas Story (1983) 

This holiday favorite directed by Bob Clark stars Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley. Based on the writings of author Jean Shepherd, this film features Ralphie Parker who spends the majority of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” While frequently butting heads with his father and receiving comfort from his mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his hopes (and glasses) intact. “A Christmas Story” has been shown in a marathon annually on TNT since 1997 and TBS since 2004, consisting of 12 airings from the evening of Christmas Eve to the evening of Christmas Day. Just remember to keep your tongue away from metal surfaces in the extreme cold. A legacy sequel titled “A Christmas Story Christmas” was also just released.  

Where to watch: HBO Max 

Trading Places (1983) 

“They’re not just getting rich….they’re getting even.” John Landis mans the director’s chair in this 1983 comedy starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott and Jamie Lee Curtis. As the title suggests, the film follows wealthy upper-class commodities broker (Aykroyd) and poor street hustler (Murphy), whose life circumstances are swapped when they unwittingly become the subject of an elaborate bet. “Trading Places” was a box office success, earing over $90.4 million to become the fourth-highest-grossing film of 1983 in the United States and Canada, and $120.6 million worldwide. The film also launched or revitalized the careers of its main cast, especially Murphy who became one of the highest-pain and most sought after comedians in Hollywood. In 1988, Bellamy and Ameche reprised their characters in Murphy’s comedy film “Coming to America”, also directed by Landis.  

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV 

Gremlins (1984) 

This black comedy horror film follows the story of a young man who receives a strange creature he names Gizmo as a pet. Gizmo eventually spawns other creatures who transform into small, aggressive, destructive monsters that terrorize a whole town on Christmas Eve. Written by Chris Columbus and directed by Joe Dante with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer, the film stars Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday and Frances Lee McCain, with Howie Mandel providing the voice of Gizmo. The film’s title draws on legends of folkloric mischievous creatures that cause numerous malfunctions in the British Royal Air Force dating back to World War II. “Gremlins” was released to critical and commercial success, but was also heavily criticized for some of its violent sequences.  

Where to watch: HBO Max & Peacock 

Lethal Weapon (1987) 

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover star in this buddy cop action film that tells the story of a pair of mismatched LAPD detectives who work together as partners. “Lethal Weapon” grossed over $120 million on a $15 million budget and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound. The film’s success spawned three (soon to be four) sequels, a television series, and Glover’s reoccurring catch phrase, “I’m getting too old for this….” I’ll let you finish it. 

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV 

Die Hard (1988) 

Staying on the action front for a bit, “Die Hard” is based on the 1979 novel “Nothing Lasts Forever” by Roderick Thorp and stars Bruce Willis who plays NYPD detective John McClane, who gets caught up in a terrorist takeover of a skyscraper in Los Angeles while visiting his estranged wife. Popular actors, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, turned down the role of McClane, leaving the role for Willis, who was known mainly for his work in television at the time. Willis was paid $5 million for the role, putting him among Hollywood’s highest-paid actors. Despite mixed reviews upon release, “Die Hard” has been critically re-evaluated and is now considered one of the greatest action films and is often named as one of the best Christmas films. 

Where to watch: Starz and available to rent on Amazon Prime Video. 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) 

Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as Clark and Ellen Griswold in this Christmas comedy classic. The Griswolds spend Christmas vacation at home with their relatives and, like all Griswold family vacations, mayhem ensues despite them not leaving their house this time. Despite the mayhem, Clark eventually takes pride in giving his family an enjoyable holiday, ending the film on a happy note. And remember, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone this holiday season, a one-year membership in the jelly of the month club is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. 

Where to watch: HBO Max 

Home Alone (1990) 

“This is my house. I have to defend it.” The first film in the Home Alone franchise stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard and Catherine O’Hara. If anything, this Christmas classic taught us to appreciate what we have and that loud TV sets and firecrackers can make excellent security systems. 

Where to watch: Disney+ 

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992) 

The team of director Chris Columbus and writer/producer John Hughes return from the original “Home Alone” to make this successful sequel. Wet Bandits Harry and Marv (Pesci and Stern), having escaped from prison, evolve into the “Sticky Bandits” and seek revenge on Kevin McCallister (Culkin) for the pain he inflicted on them courtesy of booby traps set throughout his Chicago home in the original film. Remember the loud TV set in the first film? It would appear the same tactic works against hotel concierge (not that you would ever need to use that, but you get the idea). 

Where to watch: Disney+ 

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1994) 

This 1993 stop-motion animated film from the mind of Tim Burton stars Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, Paul Reubens, Glenn Shadix, and Ed Ivory. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of “Halloween Town” who stumbles upon “Christmas Town” and tries to take over the holiday. A critical and commercial success, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but lost to “Jurassic Park”. As for whether “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween or Christmas movie, well that’s a debate for another time. 

Where to watch: Disney+ 

While You Were Sleeping (1995) 

While you were sleeping, Santa Claus was liking filling your stockings and carefully putting presents under your Christmas tree, but in this 1995 romantic comedy, lonely Chicago fare token collector Lucy Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) finds the greatest gift out there: love. The film was a critical and commercial success and grossed over $182 million at the box office.  

Where to watch: Disney+ 

Bad Santa (2003) 

This 2003 Christmas black comedy isn’t for everyone, but “grinches will find it uproariously funny,” as quoted by Rotten Tomatoes. It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, John Ritter and Bernie Mac. The Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, are credited as executive producers and the film would be the last live-action film of Ritter’s career before his death on Sept. 11, 2003. The film was dedicated in Ritter’s memory and received positive reviews from critics. It centers on Willie T. Stokes (Thornton) and his partner (Cox), who reunite once a year for a holiday con where they pose as a mall Santa and his elf, ripping off shopping outlets on Christmas Eve. However, as Willie’s physical and mental health decline, his erratic behavior causes mall security to grow suspicious, but after befriending a young boy brings out his kinder side, Willie begins to improve.  

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV 

Elf (2003) 

Are you really having Christmas dinner if the four main food groups (candy, candy canes, candy corns, and maple syrup) aren’t on the dining room table? Will Ferrell stars as Buddy the Elf (what’s your favorite color?), a human raised by Santa’s elves, who later learns about his origins and heads to New York City to meet his biological father. Released on Nov. 7, 2003, “Elf” became a major critical and commercial success, grossing $220 million worldwide against a $33 million budget. The film’s popularity has also made Buddy the Elf’s outfit into a timeless Halloween costume. 

Where to watch: HBO Max 

The Polar Express (2004) 

“All aboard the Polar Express!” Join a young boy on the Christmas adventure of a lifetime when on Christmas Eve, he sees a mysterious train bound for the North Pole, stop outside his window and is invited aboard. The film stars Tom Hanks, who also served as one of the film’s executive producers, in multiple distinct roles, with Daryl Sabara, Nona Gaye, Jimmy Bennett and Eddie Deezen in supporting roles. “The Polar Express” was later listed in the 2006 Guinness World Records as the first all-digital capture film. The film also marks Michael Jeter’s last acting role before his death, and the film was thus dedicated to Jeter’s memory.  

Where to watch: HBO Max