Review: Three Christmas Classics to See During the Holiday Season


Photo by: Sophia Henning

Elf, Home Alone, and Christmas Vacation are three great films that embrace holiday cheer.

Sophia Henning, Student of Journalism

People all over the world have been waiting all year for a chance to kick their feet back and enjoy the simpler things in life. They have been longing to be surrounded by family and friends as they often represent a source of comfort and belonging. According to, “Spending time with family helps construct valuable life principles and improves overall mental health. Spending time with family is also key to promoting adaptability and resilience.” When relaxation is the key priority, nothing beats watching Christmas movies to get in the festive holiday spirit. 

My main priority in this review is promoting three Christmas classics that are well known: Elf, Home Alone, and Christmas Vacation. Elf is a family-friendly classic appropriate for many young viewers who relish the infectious energy that Buddy gives off. Home Alone is another family-friendly film recommended for children 10 years and up because of  several instances of violence and inappropriate language. Lastly, Christmas Vacation is a modern Christmas film designed for more mature audiences because of  several mature references.

The Christmas movie Elf places great emphasis on valuing loved ones no matter who they are as everyone deserves a sense of love and belonging. The plot also provides anticipation as the viewers never know what will happen next as they follow the journey of Buddy the elf, a human who grew up in the North Pole. The movie will bring many laughs as Buddy ventures into the real world to discover his family: whom he has never met before. 

Elf has a critics rating of 85 and an audience score of 79 because of  its joyful spirit and yuletide cheer, according to Rotten Tomatoes

Seniors Lily Heidorn and Gabby Belke both agreed that “Elf is the greatest Christmas movie because the storyline is simple, allowing the viewer to enjoy the journey that Buddy the Elf goes on.”

Home Alone is another movie that will keep the whole family entertained. It preaches the importance of treasuring loved ones and others as relationships last a lifetime. The plot of the movie also provides great suspense as it has rising action, climax, falling action and resolution as the viewer follows the journey of 8-year-old Kevin McCallister and his family as they work to be together on Christmas.

Overall, Home Alone holds a critic rating of 66 and a solid audience score of 80 because of  its funny nature and strong acting, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

“Part of what makes Home Alone enduring is, like any true classic, the emotional core changes as one gets older, appealing to both children and adults on different levels,” according to Matt Grant, a writer, and contributor for the HuffPost.

Another great Christmas classic Christmas Vacation lays out the perfectly relatable narrative of how chaotic the holiday season can be for any ordinary family. It focuses on the everlasting importance of family regardless of the trouble and dysfunctionality that a family may stir at times. Although it is not the most family-friendly in its entirety, the movie will surely bring many laughs as the Griswold family navigates hosting the holidays for their extended family.

While Christmas Vacation has a lower critic rating of 67, it holds a better audience score at 86 because of its great comedy and holiday cheer, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Eighth-grader Sam Henning believes that “Christmas Vacation is the best Christmas movie because of the relatable storyline with the Christmas chaos and the endless laughter he experiences.”

Altogether, these movies are on multiple different platforms. Elf and Christmas Vacation are streaming on HBO Max while Home Alone is shown on Disney+ and Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas countdown.

Overall, the holiday season brings good opportunities for families to get together and enjoy their time relaxing. Watching these three festive Christmas movies will surely provide an escape from the stress of everyday life.