Underrated + Lovable Christmas Films

Written by Ann Burns

December 23, 2022

When the Villains are Beautiful

I have so many happy memories of Christmastime.  As a child, it seemed to take ages for Christmas to arrive, but now it comes at such a speed it blows my mind! Yet, fast or slow, the magic of the season only grows. 


In 2020, I celebrated Christmas for the first time with my husband; in 2021, I celebrated Christmas with the overwhelming joy of knowing we had a baby on the way, and this year, 2022, my little girl gets to experience her first Christmas.  As I reflect on the season, and ask Christ to help me uproot anything that keeps him from my Heart, I keep returning to the happiest thought: just like the magic of the season, if we let it, love only grows. 


From a little girl to well into my early twenties, I always savored the evenings during the season where my family and I would pull out the board games or good old movies — everything is extra cozy by the soft twinkling lights of a Christmas tree. I remember so much laughter and warmth, the images alone fill me up each year.  Yet now, I can take those precious core memories and build upon them with my new, sweet family.  It’s such a gift, that I wanted to share some some delightful (but underrated) Christmas movies to add to your rotation this holiday season:


Joyeux Noel (2005)


When I was in French class, we’d have movie nights; we’d all come together for yummy desserts and French films. One of the films we watched is called Joyeux Noel, which means Merry Christmas.  It is a war drama that recounts the Christmas truce of December 1914, told through the eyes of French, British, and German soldiers. I was so moved, I went out and purchased my own DVD copy and brought it home on break to share with my family. 


Bachelor Mother (1939)


1939 is remembered as the year of movies, as films like Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz hit the screen.  Yet, one less renowned classic is Bachelor Mother.  I watch this movie almost every year, and while it’s arguably more of a New Year’s Eve film, it’s perfect for right after Christmas day/before New Year.  Ginger Rogers and David Niven star in this heartwarming comedy about a young woman who finds a baby on her doorstep. It’s. So. Fantastic. 


It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)


My Dad gifted this movie to me, and I love it! Brimming with humor, this film recounts the story of a homeless man who winters in a vacant New York City Mansion over Christmas. My husband and I watched this together last year, and we both agreed it is a gem. 


Shop Around the Corner (1940)


Klara (Margaret Sullivan) and Alfred (James Stewart) absolutely loathe each other at work, constantly finding themselves in tiffs and verbal sparring matches.  Yet, both are falling in love with their anonymous pen-pal.  




I think not… 


Eloise at Christmastime (2003)


If you grew up with the Eloise books, then this film will definitely bring a smile to your face, as Hilary Knight and Kay Thomason’s delightful six year old fills up the TV screen. And of course, don’t forget her Nanny, played by the incomparable Julie Andrews. I, for one, cannot wait to start reading Eloise to my little girl. 


And of course, there’s always A Christmas Carol — and its million and one adaptations!  While the Muppets’ A Christmas Carol is quite charming, nothing beats the Alastair Sim Scrooge (1950); the only adaptation that brings me to tears. What do you think? 


I hope you enjoy this list and have the merriest of Christmases! God bless you! 



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