[The following is a lightly edited excerpt from an email I wrote to a friend.]
As far as Christmas movies, I'd recommend Die Hard. Just kidding.
I've actually not seen too many Christmas movies, I don't think. For example, I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. Or White Christmas. Or Miracle on 34th Street. And I don't really have a desire to see these either.
I'd like to watch A Christmas Story, though, since I've heard it's quite funny.
But I'm not always moved by movies which are tailored to a certain holiday, just because they are holiday films which happen to play during the particular holiday.
Unless it's the Charlie Brown holiday specials. Well, actually, I had a fondness for them when I was a kid, but I don't know how they'd fare if I were to rewatch them today. Same goes for other children's Christmas specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Although ones like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the more mature A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott) might still work for me. But maybe that's because they're based on children's books which I once enjoyed rather than because the movies themselves are worth watching. I'm not exactly sure.
Also, it probably goes without saying, my tastes are not necessarily other people's tastes -- and vice versa. I tend to like dark comedy, for instance. So Scrooged (which I've not seen in a while) or A Nightmare Before Christmas (which I've never seen in its entirety) might suit me, but not others.
Speaking of Christmas funnies... do you watch NBC's The Office? They had a Christmas special last Thursday which you can download via iTunes for $1.99. It's called "A Benihana Christmas" and I thought it was a good laugh. Not "must-see TV," just throwaway fun.
On the other hand, it's true that Christmas time puts one in a certain mood, which in turn affects the sort of movies one wishes to watch.
What's more, and despite my own poor viewing habits, for Christians Christmas should be a time to reflect upon our Lord and Savior. This should be true all the time, of course, but perhaps especially during Christmas (and Easter). So, as is the case with all movie-watching, our Christmas movie-watching should reflect this as well.
On that note, maybe The Nativity Story currently out in theaters would be good to watch? Or One Night With the King about the Book of Esther, even though it's about Purim. I've not seen either, but they could be appropriate to watch during the holidays. Given the main theme and atmosphere throughout the film, last year's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe might be suitable to watch during Christmas time, too.
Generally speaking, though, I just like to watch good movies whether or not they have a seasonal theme, and whether or not the flick fits the season -- as long as I'm in the mood for it. So I wouldn't mind watching, say, the LOTR trilogy over Christmas. Or The Gospel of John, etc.
And if all else fails, there's always our Governator's Jingle All the Way! ;-)