Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Best holiday films to get in the Christmas spirit

Jenna Taylor

Searching for some quality Christmas movies to watch while bundling up in fuzzy blankets and drinking hot cocoa? Look no further. Whether it be a film to binge with the family or a holiday chick-flick for a girls’ night, these suggestions will satisfy your Christmas cravings.

  •  “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

While it is widely debated whether this classic Tim Burton stop-motion film is more of a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, it is a great transition film after enjoying all the traditional Halloween films. This story follows Jack Skellington through his journey of kidnapping Santa Claus and bringing him to his home in Halloween Town. Jack devises a plan to hijack Christmas by taking over Santa’s role of delivering colorfully wrapped presents by replacing Santa and delivering ghoulish gifts. However, his plans are heavily scrutinized by the members of Halloween Town, including his rag-doll girlfriend Sally, who sees the errors in Jack’s ways. 

  •  “Love Actually” (2003)

“Love Actually” is a feel-good Christmas rom-com that follows nine seemingly unrelated characters with different storylines. As the personal love lives and relationships of each character begin to unfold and fall apart, the characters’ storylines begin to intertwine. This cast is absolutely star-studded, with main characters consisting of Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, just to name a few. “Love Actually” is an endearing film for the holiday season that encourages viewers to spend their holidays with people who love and care about them.

  •  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)

Originally based on Charles M. Schultz’s comic strip “Peanuts” comes the film adaption, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Although “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is technically considered a short film with a duration of only thirty minutes, it is a Christmas story following some of the most iconic animated characters of all time. A down-in-the-dumps Charlie Brown searches for deeper importance in the Christmas season after being depressed by the materialism and consumerism that people get wrapped up in during the holidays. In hopes of raising Charlie’s spirits, Lucy offers him a position as director of his school’s Christmas pageant, in which Charlie accepts. Experience the joys of the holiday season along with Charlie, Snoopy, Linus and the rest of their friends.

  •  “The Night Before” (2015)

One of the funniest adult Christmas comedies is “The Night Before,” which highlights the 10-year-long Christmas tradition between three childhood friends. The trio,  played by Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie, meet every Christmas and go on wild adventures to celebrate. However, their traditions are coming to an end as they celebrate Christmas Eve for the last time together as a trio before one of them becomes a first-time father. In honor of their last Christmas Eve together, they spend their night creating absolute chaos amongst the snowy, lit-up streets of New York City. With further comedic performances from James Franco, Lizzie Caplan and Mindy Kaling, “A Night Before” has plenty of characters with amazing timing and acting abilities.

  •  “Home Alone” (1990) 

The “Home Alone” series would be nothing without the first two movies, which are arguably the best films to come from the series. “Home Alone” follows the story of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, played by the young Macaulay Culkin. Kevin had been displaying bad behavior on the night before the family’s Christmas trip to Paris, resulting in his mother making him sleep in the attic. The next morning, as the McCallisters rush to the airport, they accidentally forget Kevin and leave him in the attic. When Kevin wakes up, he thinks his parents literally disappeared, which he wished for the night prior. He begins running around the house and enjoying his Christmas morning alone until two con men, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, enact their plan to rob the McCallister home. Kevin is the only person there to protect his home, and he does it in the most creative of ways.

Of course, you can also venture for other amazing Christmas classics such as “The Grinch” or “Elf,” but if you are searching for some new films to add to your rewatch, these are some jolly alternatives. Happy holidays and merry Christmas to all.

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About the Contributor
Jenna Taylor
Jenna Taylor, Magazine Editor
Hi! I am Jenna (she/her) and I am a senior communication major as well as the Magazine Editor for both of the Paisano's 2023 magazines. I love writing and graphic design and am grateful to spend my last year with my fellow editors and staff members!

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