List of the Best 90s Christmas Movies

90s Christmas Movies: To be honest, 1990s movies are all over the place—and Christmas and holiday movies are no exception.

90s Christmas Movies

90s Christmas Movies

The decade was filled with auteurs making daring choices (like everything Tim Burton made, but especially the movie about Halloween and Christmas at the same time), insta-classics (The Preacher’s Wife, Muppet Christmas Carol), and some wild setups that have aged *weirdly* but still give us the nostalgia feels (While You Were Sleeping, Home Alone, The Santa Clause, and a whole bunch more). Seriously, revisit some of your old favorites and recall how we just accepted Arnold Schwarzenegger as a regular Minnesota salesman (Jingle All the Way).

Anyways. Aside from the classics you already know and love, there is a slew of films on this list that you probably missed the first time around—or haven’t seen in decades. If you grew up watching ’90s movies, I’m about to refresh your memory with some underrated classics and tell you where to watch all your old favorites. If you simply enjoy the ’90s and want to watch everything from that era, I’ve got you covered for the next few weeks if you watch one every night. And, if you’ve already seen Elf 10,000 times and want to try something new for your holiday viewing experience, start at the top of this list and work your way down. Enjoy your holiday viewing!!

Best 90s Christmas Movies

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas

90s Christmas Movies Nightmare, the unexpected Halloween-Christmas crossover, is also a stunning stop-motion piece of art that has aged admirably. Tim Burton is a big fan of the holidays (this is the first of two appearances on this list), and his deeply strange vision is surprisingly moving—who hasn’t felt like Jack Skellington desperately wishing for Christmas but also not quite getting it right?

2. While You Were Doing Nothing

90s Christmas Movies This film did not have to take place during the holidays, but the fact that it does helps to sell the story. How else do you explain Sandra Bullock’s Lucy lying to an entire family (and falling in love with a comatose man’s brother!) for most of the film? Still, Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, and falling in love in snowy Chicago sparked a nationwide obsession.

3. Muppet Christmas Carols

90s Christmas Movies I know there are other beloved Muppet movies, but this one is *it* for me. Michael Caine is giving it his all here, which means there’s some seriousness mixed in with the laughs. It also has the scariest scene in a Christmas movie ever (hello, Ghost of Christmas Future, and all the nightmares you gave me when I was 10) as well as the saddest/cutest scene (Beaker and the scarf!!).

4 Alone at Home

90s Christmas Movies This one is a strange throwback to the 1990s—imagine pitching a “a kid is abandoned by his family for Christmas and then nearly murders the two burglars who’ve come to rob his house” film premise in 2022. But watching a literal child beat the crap out of two grown men made a bunch of ’90s kids extremely happy. The sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, is also enjoyable, but it is essentially the same film set in New York.

5 Returns of Batman

90s Christmas Movies Hello, Tim Burton, and your bleak holiday vision!! To be clear, Batman Returns is a “movie set during the holidays,” not a “holiday film” (though I believe it is more of a holiday film than Edward Scissorhands). Discuss!). If you want a classic Burton look at the nightmare beauty of Christmas—plus a good superhero movie—you should watch it in December. Just make sure you’re in the right mood to watch it, ok?

6. The Pastor’s Wife

90s Christmas Movies Oh, no worries, it’s only the best-selling gospel album of all time! Even if you only know the music, you should watch this Whitney Houston-Courtney B. Relationship drama starring Denzel Washington, Vance, and a literal angel. If you watched it as a kid, you know it has all the cheesy, saccharine, feel-good qualities that the holiday season demands.

7. All the Way Jingle

90s Christmas Movies This is a strange movie, and not just because it preaches that Christmas is all about buying stuff you don’t need. Arnold Schwarzenegger is cast as a frustrated Minneapolis mattress salesman, and things only get weirder from there. But if you’re watching it for nostalgia or to remember how crazy it was, go for it!

8. I’ll Be Spending Christmas at Home

Nothing says the ’90s like Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the teen heartthrob of millions. In this admittedly bizarre premise, JTT plays a noncommittal boarding school teen whose father promises him a Porsche…if he returns home in time for Christmas dinner. A strange and bizarre road trip ensues (and life lessons are learned, obv).

9. We’re going to Grandmother’s house

If you liked the Olsen twins, you probably watched this a lot (guilty as charged). It’s a distinctly ’90s TV movie in which they played separate characters for the first time. This one is a wild ride, literally, as the kids are just trying to get to Grandma’s and instead end up having a lot of adventures in a delivery truck. Just go with it; it’s delicious.

10. Die Hard 2

This film is an obvious attempt to recreate the magic of the original (which was released in 1988 and thus does not make the list). It’s also essentially the same film in an airport. Although Bruce Willis’s muttering, “Just once, I’d like a regular, normal Christmas,” during a flurry of action shenanigans is annoying, it is still entertaining to watch.

11 Goodnight, The Long Kiss

This is another action film that didn’t *have* to be set around the holidays, but it’s more fun that way. Geena Davis is the coolest as a suburban housewife with amnesia who turns out to be a hardcore assassin, and she clearly enjoys working with Samuel L. Jackson. Oh, and it has an unexpectedly happy ending, which, if that isn’t a Christmas movie, I don’t know what is!

12. Nutty Mix

This early Nora Ephron film is absolute chaos (which is probably why you’ve never heard of it), but the star-studded cast of Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Rob Reiner, and Adam Sandler, to name a few, can’t be beaten. And they’re doing all the slapstick at the same time, which should make for an entertaining hour and a half.

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