I realize that everyone's list is different, but here are my favorites.
(Note:I wanted to show pictures from some of them, but there have been warnings lately about sites being sued for using copyrighted pictures. This is truly sad when you think of how many authors are being ripped off by pirates who sell our eBooks without giving us a penny in royalties, yet if we use a picture we get sued. Sigh...but back to Christmas cheer...)
A Christmas Carol: The older one, with Alistair Simms as Ebeneezer Scrooge. Since the entire cast is British, the accents are a part of the experience. And old Alistair is truly wicked in the earlier parts as he browbeats Bob Cratchitt, but like a child in his happiness at the end. A very short movie, only a little over an hour, but well worth it. I used to watch this with my Mom every Christmas Eve, late at night, and would snuggle next to her on the couch as she fell asleep, usually before the ghosts even made their appearances. I would be scared of the ghosts, but comforted by my snoring mother's warm body. No wonder I love this movie! Mom's been gone 2 years as of today, and I still miss her.
The Bishop's Wife: Not the remake, but the original with David Niven as the preacher who prays for guidance, Loretta Young as his long-suffering wife he mostly ignores, and Cary Grant as the sexiest angel you ever saw! When I was younger I'd wonder how on earth she could choose to stay with skinny old David Niven, when she could have had Cary Grant!
The scene with the song he plays on the harp near the end always brings a tear to my eye. And Cary Grant is...well...Cary Grant. Sigh.
Miracle on 34th Street: Once again, not the remake, but the original with Natalie Wood as the precocious youngster who doesn't believe in Santa Claus. (Why on earth do they remake movies that are already perfect?) I dare you not to smile at the scene where Santa learns that blowing bubbles with gum when you have a full beard is not a good idea...or when he's teaching the young Natalie how to pretend she's a monkey. Try not to tear up when Santa speaks Dutch to the little adopted girl.
And my all-time favorite, the absolutely perfect Christmas movie?
The Cheaters:This move was made in 1945 (a tough time for the USA, what with the "haves" accumulating wealth while the "have-nots" got poorer...hmmm). Joseph Schildkraut stars as a down-on-his-luck actor who gets invited by an upper-class family living in Manhattan, to spend Christmas with them so the older daughter can impress her blue-blooded soldier boyfriend whose high society mother always has "charity in the house" for the holidays.
The father is almost broke because his ditzy wife, Billie Burke (who played Glynda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz), has thrown all of his money away on frivolous spending. They scheme to cheat an actress out of money that their eccentric millionaire uncle has left to her by not letting her find out about it. There are some scenes you will laugh at, some you will tear up at, and the whole movie makes you feel good, with a big smile at the ending. Trust me, it's worth the search.
So how about you? What are your favorite Christmas movies? What makes them so perfect for the holidays?