A Power Ranking of Christmas Specials

Liza explores America's favorite Christmas films.

  1. “The Santa Clause” (1994): Tim Allen rocks the realm of holiday cinema in this film. Not only is it insanely funny and real, the setting is endlessly entertaining (i.e. the real-life Santa’s workshop complete with personable elves). Also, the marital drama between Neal, Scott, and Laura makes for quite a good love triangle.
  2. “The Year Without a Santa Claus” (1974): This heartwarming tale, complete with a compelling cast of characters (i.e., the Miser Brothers and that sweet little baby reindeer) is unforgettable. Also, Mother Nature’s cameo really reinforces the underlying mythical element of the film. 
  3. “The Polar Express” (2004): This animated classic features the remarkable journey of a boy who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas. Though it has it’s scares (the scene with all the puppets screaming from the train ceiling; the weird ghost man that walks atop the train), the whimsicality of this movie is thoroughly convincing and entertaining. 
  4. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964): With an elderly snowman narrator, an ambitious blond elf, and an unconventional reindeer, this movie reminds us that individuality should be celebrated. Also, the relationship between Rudolph and Clarice is utterly adorable. 
  5. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965): Let’s face it, any Peanuts Gang holiday film is a winner. This one, however, is especially magical—complete with the unifying force of friendship, a Christmas musical performance, and a heartwarmingly pathetic tree, this movie is iconic. Also, Snoopy looks super cute in it. Just look at his sweet little hat. 
  6. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989): Simply put, the Griswold’s family Christmas is unforgettably comedic, entertaining, and heartwarming. It perfectly encapsulates holiday family gatherings, over-spirited dads, pesky neighbors, and the dynamic nature of the late 80’s. 
  7. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” (1970): I think we can all agree that this movie is flat-out adorable. The little winter wedding scene between Mr. and Mrs. Claus? Beautiful. The weird german meisterburger villain who bans toys? Captivating. The winter warlock with magical corn? Compelling. The soundtrack? Boppin. 
  8.  “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” (1976): Okay, I honestly had a hard time putting this below the original Rudolph film (but, seniority must prevail). This is movie is a cinematic ROLLERCOASTER! Dear producers, the chronological island hoppin’ journey through time was pure genius.
  9.  “Frosty the Snowman” (1969): Honestly, not too big of a fan of this film. I found the plot to be predictable and quite childish. Frosty kind of freaks me out, too—he looks like a humanoid white blob. Really, the only good part about this film is the theme song, which I will admit is an absolute banger. 
  10. “The Little Drummer Boy” (1968): This film is so sweet, but it ultimately just makes me sad. For that reason, it’s on the bottom. I apologize to it’s fans; I just can’t handle it emotionally. 

    “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year is my favorite Christmas film.””

    — Andrew Zimlich