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Published December 9th 2019

The Definitive List of the Best Christmas Movies (According to Thousands of Social Media Posts)

Stuck on what to watch? Can't be bothered to argue about it? We've got you covered with the most talked about movies on social!

‘Tis the season to grab the duvet, some cozy jammies, and a ton of snacks. Yes, it’s Christmas movie time.

To get you equipped for the season ahead, I’ve been using Brandwatch Consumer Research to see what festive movies are most celebrated online. We got our list of movies to search for from IMDB’s top 100 Christmas movies (with all of the greats), and searched for mentions of them worldwide in English from 31 October – 10 December 2019.

Here’s to actually finding something to watch (without arguments and without scrolling) for the entire holiday season.

10. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (farse/comedy)

It’s a US treasure. Well, at least it is according to 1,118 social media posts.

From the guys who brought you the literal National Lampoon magazine and Animal House, comes the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Chevy Chase plays Clark Griswold, a dad determined to finally smash his family’s Christmas break. Of course it doesn’t go to plan, leading to hilarious consequences.

Dressing gown! Dressing gown! Dressing gown!

As a bonus, there’s a hilarious Netflix Doc/mocumentary on the the rise of the National Lampoon. Disclaimer: I love this moc, but it’s definitely one for when the kids are out of the room!

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9. The Grinch (fantasy/musical)

The Dr Suess tale that continues to get the love. Actually 1,463 posts full of it.

I don’t think it matters if it’s the OG, Jim Carey’s live-action version, or the newest animated version with Benedict Cumberbatch – it’s guaranteed to make your heart grow three sizes.

The gist? Whoville is consumed by Christmas spirit, but a reclusive and grumpy bah-humbug type wants to ruin it all.

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8. It’s a Wonderful Life (drama/fantasy)

James Stewart and Donna Reed star in this 1946 heart warmer. It is black and white, but there’s a lot of charm, especially if you find a vintage version.

Basically, it’s a tale of George Bailey (James Stewart) growing up and overthrowing corporate greed for the sake of his community.

There are some absolutely hilarious moments in here, some great quotes (I’ll lasso the moon for you), and some really poignant moments too. It’s a tale about good deeds, humanity, and community. That’s what Christmas is about right?

Well 1,900 mentions online thought so!

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7. The Santa Clause (drama/fantasy)

In this 1994 gem, Tim Allen becomes Santa through a legal clause.

By helping Santa Claus with his xmas predicament, dad Scott (Tim Allen) finds he’s agreed to become the next Santa. Now he’s got to deal with his suspicious ex-wife, and his rebellious kid, while trying to keep the secret safe.

As a bonus, there are actually three of these charming movies so there are hours of fun to enjoy!

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6. A Christmas Story (comedy/family)

This gem from 1983 comes from the hilarious genius Jean Shepard. This holiday movie follows youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging his bully (Zack Ward) and thinking about his perfect Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle”.

Ralphie and his cranky dad (Darren McGavin), are frequently butting heads, but he’s comforted by his loving mum (Melina Dillion), as he hopes to make it to Christmas with his glasses and his hope intact.

This is a proper 80s gem. They don’t make them like this anymore! Bonus points if you can tell me what Christmas movie Peter Billingsley makes a cameo in…

I’m sure one of the 2,748 super-fans mentioning this online can!

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5. Bad Santa (drama/comedy – 18+!!!)

This 2003 outrageous Christmas comedy comes from Glen Ficcara (This is Us) and John Requa (This is Us). Don’t confuse this for a soppy Christmas movie though – this is not one to watch with the kids.

A pair of conmen pose as Santa (Billy Bob Thornton) and his Little Helper (Bernie Mac) to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But things take a turn when Santa befriends a troubled kid, and falls in love with a local bartender (Lauren Graham.)

It’s the ultimate tale of festive debauchery. Honestly the trumpet scene is just how Christmas sounds to me.*

*But I don’t eat children’s advent calendars.

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4. A Charlie Brown Christmas (family) 

Who doesn’t love Peanuts? The TV show, not the snack / deadly allergen. Well 4, 201 social media posts do!

This 1965 classic is an animated TV special based on Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz.

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas. It’s truly charming and gives you all those wintery vibes.

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3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (musical/dark fantasy)

Tim Burton’s 1993 classic is still celebrated today, with 4,937 mentions on social. It’s a divisive one, which I think is watched slap bang in between Halloween and Christmas.

Sometimes Christmas is just too much and this is a fun and unusual take on the whole thing! Jack Skellington, a skeletal being from Halloween Town, stumbles upon Christmas Town looking for his cute dog, Ghost. He’s instantly enchanted.

It gets crazy when he kidnaps Santa and takes Christmas for himself,and you’ll be guaranteed to be singing these twisted tales into the New Year.

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2. The Polar Express (family/fantasy/adventure)

It seems I did not appreciate this 2004 animated gem until I just researched it. But apparently 5,188 of you did appreciate it!

A young boy boards a train and embarks on an extraordinary journey to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. His life takes a turn after he encounters special characters that make a once in a life time journey for him.

Tom Hanks (yes THE Tom Hanks), Steve Tyler (Aerosmith), Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Kate Smith make up this movie’s iconic soundtrack.

As IMDB informed me, it’s the best-selling film soundtrack/holiday album hybrid since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking music sales in 1991!

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1. White Christmas (musical)

With 5310 mentions on social, White Christmas takes the crown! This 1954 classic is in colour, and features the greats of music.

Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to do a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into Gen. Waverly (Dean Jagger), learning that their cute country inn is failing.

In the name of Christmas they perform a Christmas miracle: a musical bonanza that’s obviously going to put Waverly’s business back in the black!

If you’re annoyed about the spoilers here, I’d like to remind you this is a movie that’s been out for 60 years. Don’t @ me.

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Do you agree with this list? I’m not sure I do! Let us know in the comments or at @BW_React on Twitter!

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