SHS Students Share their Favorite Christmas Movies

Sydney Geringer

As the winter holidays are approaching, many students are excited about the winter break and eager to get into the holiday spirit. Baking desserts, traveling, and listening to festive music are some of the most popular activities, but many mention that their favorite holiday pastime is watching holiday movies. The most popular and well-known Christmas movies, according to students from Scarsdale, include: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, Home Alone, and It’s a Wonderful Life.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, directed by Chuck Jones, is a 1967 film that captures the importance of love and affection. The film stars the Grinch, played by Boris Karloff, a selfish and unloving individual whose most effective way of experiencing joy is through ruining Christmas for the people living down in Whoville, where the story takes place. At the end of the story, the Grinch comes to learn that Christmas is not only about presents and toys but also the sensation of happiness and spending time around the people you love most. The 2000 film Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carey as the Grinch, is another fan-favorite. “I feel like it’s one of the first Christmas movies I ever watched and really loved, it never gets old,” explained Christina Semple ’24.

This jubilant feeling is also present in the 2003 film Elf directed by Jon Favreau. This heart-warming comedy stars renowned actor Will Ferell, who plays Buddy. When working as one of Santa’s elves, Buddy discovers his true identity as a human and travels to New York City to meet his biological father Walter, played by James Caan. Buddy shows his true Christmas cheer and spirit during his time with his father, approaching new people and doing what he loves, even if in an unconventional way. During his time in New York City, Buddy learns to value individuality. “This movie is so entertaining to watch, and it’s so funny. It really puts you into the Christmas holiday spirit,” said Claire-Matula Osterman, 24.’ 

A third family-loving film that is a big hit in Scarsdale is Home Alone, directed by Chris Columbus. The film stars Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, a young boy who is accidentally left alone in the house over the holiday break. His sense of excitement that the house now belongs to him ends when he must protect his house from a pair of burglars who plan on robbing the house. “It has a great storyline and it’s such a classic. The movie blends in a great deal of family fun with memorable characters and touching moments,” explained Osterman.  

Another unforgettable classic is the 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra. While some people find this movie overly emotional, the movie demonstrates themes of faith, kindness and the impact family and friends have on others. This movie takes place in a small town during Christmas Eve, when a boy by the name of George Bailey, played by James Stewart, considers suicide until angels intervene and reminds him how he made a difference in the community. “It’s a movie you could never forget, and it’s an all-time favorite of mine,” said Semple. “It did an amazing job of discussing serious topics like suicide and mental illness, while also connecting them to create a sensational movie production. It makes you understand the importance of human life, and how important we all are to others,” concluded Semple.