The 10 Best Christmas Movies (According To The NRCC Communications Team)

December 20, 2013

Well, the big day is almost here. Let’s put politics aside for a moment and have a little fun…

To put it simply, Christmas movies are a tradition. For 6 weeks every year, our old friends Kevin, Clark, and George come to town and we know it really wouldn’t be the same without them.

Some are new, others are old. Some are common classics, others are more unique. But no matter what: we all have a favorite.

So before everyone heads home and celebrates, we here at the NRCC thought we’d share some of our favorite Christmas movies.


 Love Actually


Chosen by Andrea Bozek, NRCC Communications Director: If this movie doesn’t make you believe in love and appreciate all its forms, nothing will. Even a pessimistic political hack like myself can’t watch this movie without tearing up. I am not ashamed of loving this movie. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch this movie make sure to put it on your list to download over the Christmas season.


How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

jordan_davisChosen by Jordan Davis, Policy Director and Communications Adviser: One of my favorite Christmas movies is How The Grinch Stole Christmas…the Original, not that abomination starring Jim Carrey as a Grinch who’s still dealing with childhood angst and rejection issues that drags on for two hours. Nope. I’m talking about the 1966 classic half-hour cartoon. What’s not to enjoy? From the songs to Max the Dog with his “antler.” I mean, come on.

But the main reason I like the Grinch is that it sneaks up on you at the end with some deep insights into the Christmas Season. Something all of us should take to heart during the Holidays. I’ll let Boris Karloff take it from here…


Christmas Vacation

gormanChosen by Matt Gorman, Rapid Response Director: “Worse!? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We’re at the threshold of hell.”

Can you imagine that line coming from George Bailey’s mouth? Don’t get me wrong. There’s a place for sappy Christmas movies, but when the holiday season has you stressed, why not kick back and laugh at the walking Christmas calamity that is the Griswold family?

The beauty of the movie is that it’s both eminently relatable (who among us hasn’t wanted to karate chop plastic reindeer after dealing with lights?) and unbelievable (relatives arriving a full week before Christmas?).  In college, watching this movie alongside my friends was an event–with its catchphrases heard throughout the year. Even as Clark melts down with his “jelly of the month” tirade and Cousin Eddie’s septic tank causes the front yard to explode, this cast of characters still manages to have a “good, old-fashioned family Christmas.” The Baileys they’re not…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Meet Me In St. Louis

prillChosen by Katie Prill, Midwest and Southeast Regional Press Secretary: Meet Me In St. Louis might not be a Christmas movie to everyone but it’s one of my all-time favorites during the holidays. Being the little sister in my family, I could always relate to the rambunctious Tootie Smith who, like myself, was nothing but trouble as a kid. While all of my family is back home in Detroit for Christmas, it is fun watching movies I enjoyed growing up that remind me of home. Meet Me In St. Louis is a good classic film that has truly stood the test of time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth checking out!


It’s A Wonderful Life

scarpChosen by Daniel Scarpinato, National Press Secretary: “It’s a Wonderful Life” defined, if not created, the Christmas movie, which is why I’m stunned to meet people who have still never seen this classic of classics. Whether it’s the idyllic main street of Bedford Falls or that famous scene where George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and Mary (Donna Reed) cascade into a swimming pool while dancing the Charleston, this movie is jam packed with romance, drama, wittiness, and a heavy dose of Americana you’d expect out of any Frank Capra film. But it’s the underlying message of the movie that’s timeless, and one that we all need to be reminded of, especially around Christmas. As George Bailey eventually learns through his many trials and tribulations, wealth is not measured in treasure or possessions – it’s our human relationships that, in fact, define our success. When his fellow townspeople angrily storm the vulnerable Building and Loan during a run on the bank, George reaches into his own pocket and doles out his own life savings, canceling his honeymoon, to ensure the villainous Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) doesn’t take advantage of them and gain a monopoly over the entire community. “We can get through this thing all right,” George begs of the mob. “We’ve got to stick together, though. We’ve got to have faith in each other.” I’ve seen this movie who knows how many times, but it’s the final scene that still leaves me blurry eyed every time, as George’s brother Harry raises a glass and toasts: “To my big brother George, the richest man in town.” Why? Because no man is a failure who has friends.



White Christmas

annie_clarkChosen by Annie Clark, Director of Radio and TV: Christmas simply isn’t Christmas without “White Christmas.” Call me old-fashioned, but nothing quite says Christmas like a cup of hot cocoa, a fire in the fireplace, snow on the ground, and Bing Crosby crooning in the background. If you haven’t seen ‘White Christmas’ or haven’t seen it in years, there is no time like this Christmas to enjoy the most incredible Christmas movie of all time.

Why you ask?

Well, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of two old-war buddies—who also happen to be famous and talented performers—that try to save an old Vermont Inn and end up winning the hearts of two sisters in the process. You have dancing! You have singing!  You have comedy! You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll wish you could sing half as well as Bing Crosby!

In short, there’s really no reason not to pull the VHS out of storage and start dreaming of a White Christmas.


Home Alone

Houlton PicChosen by Tyler Houlton, Deputy Policy Director and Policy Press Secretary: Home Alone is a Christmas movie classic. Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy left at home over Christmas, is forced to live by himself and protect his house from the “Wet Bandits” – two foolish burglars robbing every house in the neighborhood. Kevin uses every trick in the book to guard his house and catch the burglars.  For a plot based on one kid’s holiday adventure, the cast of characters is second to none. From Harry and Marv to Buzz and Uncle Frank, Home Alone is a non-stop laugh riot for all ages.



PROFILEPICChosen by Andrew Clark, Digital Press Secretary: The Christmas classics are great, but Elf really puts you in a fun and festive mood whenever its on TV. Will Ferrell’s hilarious acting and the movie’s funny quotable moments put smiles on everyone’s face all December!



Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

AlleighChosen by Alleigh Marre, West Regional Press Secretary: Family, a roaring fire, some (spiked) hot chocolate, Christmas PJs, and the dog at your feet. Sounds like a pretty complete Christmas Eve, right? WRONG. Christmas Eve isn’t complete until you’ve watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. But not just any version of Rudolph, the stop motion 1964 TV special.

Unlike the traditional version of Rudolph which is focused only Santa and his reindeer, the side storylines in the TV special including the “Island of Misfit Toys,” Yukon Cornelius, and Bumble the Abominable Snowman could hold even my attention as a young child. In fact – many of these characters have left a lasting impression on me today; the misfit toys can teach us all a thing or two about self-esteem, Clarice has instilled an appreciation and aspiration for perfect eyelashes, Yukon Cornelius and his beard taught us that sometimes taking a chance is the only way out, and Herbie solidified my fear of dentists.

This year when you’re preparing your Christmas Eve movie queue, be sure to add Rudolph to your list.



A Christmas Story

ian_priorChosen by Ian Prior, Northeast Regional Press Secretary: One line from the move says it all: “Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas around which the entire kid year revolved.” This movie perfectly encapsulates that truth. Whether it be a school project about “what you wanted for Christmas,” a trip to the tree lot to pick out that perfect Balsam Fir, or a fight at school that could ruin everything if Santa happened to see, watching a Christmas Story is like getting into a time machine and traveling back in time to the wheelhouse of Christmas awesomeness.