To be a Christmas movie a film needs to hit several marks including scenes with snow, a minimum of 3 classic holiday songs either played on the radio or sang by a choir, a mention of the big man in red at least once, among other yuletide elements. As long as there is a hint of Christmastime in the storytelling which greatly impacts the audience experience.

Every year (almost like tradition) the debate comes up, whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not. And sure the story would work any other time of year but the overall experience would be different. That said, Christmas movies are not a genre but rather a personal definition.

Here are some Christmas and winter-inspired movies that I’m looking forward to watching this season.

SPOILER ALERT: You will not find any Hallmark movies on this list!

  • Snowday (2000)
  • National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
  • Die Hard (just the first one)
  • Santa Claus 1 – 3
  • Elf
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  • Jingle All The Way
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • Harry Potter 1 – 7
  • Home Alone 1 & 2
  • Frozen 1 & 2
  • Ernest Saves Christmas
  • Noelle
  • Eight Crazy Nights
Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
  • Snow Dogs
  • A Bad Mom’s Christmas
  • Christmas With The Kranks
  • Just Friends
  • The Polar Express
  • Grumpy Old Men & Grumpier Old Men
  • The Family Stone
  • 4 Christmases
  • Snowpiercer, Seasons 1 & 2

Let me know your favorite holiday movie in the comments!