Come the end of December, watching Christmas movies becomes an essential part of the holiday mood for many of us. The ideal situation: Christmas tree is shining bright, with all of your favorite decorations hanging in there, you are wrapped up in a soft blanket, a cup of steaming hot chocolate in your hand, and the spicy gingerbread cookies smell is in the air. As Billy Mack would sing: “Christmas is all around me, and so the feeling grows”!
We’re bringing you a medley of Christmas movies: from family classics and romantic comedies to animated pieces of art and action movies, our Mysa list is here to remind you of the films you loved or inspire you to watch the ones you usually wouldn’t.


Home Alone

One thing is sure, we cannot have a Christmas movie list without the iconic first two “Home Alone” movies (or all the other ones, if you’re in for a marathon). Since the early 90s,  these movies have become a holiday tradition, and Kevin McCallister’s shenanigans are a time machine that takes millennials down memory lane to their childhood Christmas days.

For those that haven’t watched it (we doubt that you haven’t, but still), the first movie revolves around eight-year-old Kevin McCallister who is accidentally left home alone during the Christmas holidays after the rest of his family goes to Paris. Thinking that his wish to spend Christmas without his family miraculously came true, Kevin soon discovers that being alone for Christmas isn’t that great after all – from having to defend his house from the iconic burglars Harry and Marv, to feeling lonely, the message of togetherness is spread throughout the whole movie.

Film poster for Home Alone movie with a photo of Macaulay Culkin pressing his hands against his cheeks, presumably screaming

Love Actually 

Who would have believed that twenty years have gone by since “Love Actually” premiered and became a beloved, if not the best Christmas movie of all times (judged by the humble opinion of our editorial staff)? A typically British romantic comedy, with a row of tears and a row of laughter, we follow nine intertwined love stories in the weeks leading up to Christmas. With an iconic English cast (from Emma Thompson, Keira Knightly, and Alan Rickman to Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, and Hugh Grant), the movie shows the complexities and joys of love that remind us oh-to-well of our own loves: from first childhood crushes, love at first sight, and no love in sight, to the challenges of long-term relationships, the enduring power of love in all its forms warms our hearts each and every time we rewatch “Love Actually”.

Movie poster for Love Actually, showing photos of 10 actors, wrapped with a red ribbon bow


The Nightmare Before Christmas

A visually enchanting, typically Tim Burton’s twisted and spooky stop-motion movie takes us to the strange and haunting Halloweentown- presided over by Jack Skellington, its pumpkin king. When Jack gets bored of his annual routine of frightening people in the real world, he finds a secret passageway to Christmas Town. Enchanted by the joy and colors of Christmas, he kidnaps Santa Claus with a plot to take over his role- naturally, that causes chaos and confusion, and we’ll let you discover the rest nested on your sofa, lights turned down (with a string of sparkly Christmas lights if you wish).

Movie poster for The Nightmare before Christmas showing a silhouette of the Pumpkin King on a cliff in a fantasy landscape with lighted pumpkin heads and a giant moon


How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This hilariously funny, animated movie is, as always, with Jim Carrey’s performances taken over by his brilliance in portraying the Grinch – a cranky, solitary creature that hates Christmas. Inside a snowflake hides a magical land of Whoville, whose citizens, the Whos, love Christmas. Grumpy Grinch, with his heart two sizes too small, despises the festivities and decides to come down from his mountaintop home and steal Christmas from the Whos. Let’s just say that things didn’t go quite as he imagined – Christmas spirit cannot be stolen easily, after all.

A poster for the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas with a photo of the Grinch with a Santa's hat above the snowy village of Whoville



Add Will Ferrell portraying an overly enthusiastic human raised by the elves to a Christmas movie – and you have a recipe for an iconic, all-time favorite. Will Ferrell, or Buddy the Elf, travels from his North Pole home to the bustling streets of New York City in search of his biological father. Charmingly innocent and excited about all things Christmas, Buddy faces a crude reality: his father is a cynical businessman who doesn’t believe in Christmas, his young brother thinks that Santa doesn’t exist, and the Christmas spirit of New Yorkers is at an all-time low. In an attempt to connect with his father and raise the spirits in the city, a row of hilarious situations unwind – with Buddy’s unwavering holiday cheer transforming the lives of those around him.

A poster for the movie Elf with a photo of Will Ferrell dressed as an elf in green and yellow festive suit


It’s a Wonderful Life

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a timeless Christmas classic, considered one of the greatest movies of all time. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best movies ever made in America.
Released in 1946, the movie tells the story of George Bailey, a man on the edge of despair during the holiday season.

The narrative takes a magical turn when George, wishing he had never been born, is visited by his guardian angel, Clarence. As Clarence shows George an alternate reality in which he was never born, he realizes the far-reaching consequences of his actions and his positive influence on people around him.
While many aspects of our world have changed since the film’s release, the core message of “It’s a Wonderful Life” remains timeless — a reminder that each person can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.


Die Hard

You probably haven’t expected Die Hard to make the list; however, it’s the ultimate holiday action classic: on Christmas Eve, NYPD detective McClane travels to Los Angeles to visit his estranged wife. As he arrives at a party at the headquarters of the company she works for, a group of German terrorists seizes the building, and everyone but McClane is held hostage. When the detective realizes that saving the hostages is up to him, the action begins (and some critics consider the film the gold standard for action movies). Starring Bruce Willis, who until then worked mainly on television (the film turned him into a movie star and an action hero) and our favorite villain, Alan Rickman, this movie is sure to spice things up in a row of feel-good Christmas rom-coms. 

A poster for Die Hard movie showing Bruce Willis and a tall-rise on fire

Tokyo Godfathers

We’re bringing you this moving Japanese animated movie to deflect further from the established Christmas canon. On Christmas Eve in Tokyo, three homeless people – a middle-aged alcoholic Gin, a former drag queen Hana, and a teenage runaway Miyuki, while rummaging through the garbage for presents, find a newborn baby. Led by a note and a bag with clues to the parents’ identity, the trio sets out to the streets of Tokyo to find the baby’s parents. The movie features lovely storytelling, deep humanism, and a unique plot – and is a perfect choice to watch something different this Christmas.

A poster for the movie Tokyo Godfathers showing three anime characters floating in a space above the town



The movie Carol is taking us back to 50’s New York, the era of fabulous outfits and elegant Manhattan department stores – where an aspiring young photographer and a glamorous woman in search of a doll for her daughter meet. The two women form an instantaneous bond that turns into an affair and a love story with a complicated outcome. The characters are played by outstanding Cate Blanchet and Rooney Mara, whose performances, along with a skillful book adaptation, made both the audience and critics love it (the latter often describing it as extraordinary).

A poster for the movie Carol with faces of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara