20 Christmas Movies to Watch in Theaters This Month

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When the weather gets cooler and pretty Christmas lights start popping up everywhere, it's nice to cuddle up in front of the TV and enjoy your favorite holiday movies with a mug of hot cocoa in hand. While staying in has its perks, why not change things up this year and pack that hot cocoa to go? You can head to the theater with your family and friends instead. Stadium seating, buttered popcorn, a holly jolly audience of moviegoers who are all ready to be merry and bright right there with you as you watch Macauly Culkin make that Home Alone face—you know the one. What could be better? Maybe you'll be so moved by the spirit of Christmas that you'll turn to your neighbor and grab your cheeks like Macauly, causing you both to laugh with your bellies shaking like bowls full of jelly.

We've rounded up all the Christmas flicks playing at theaters around town this month. Here are some classics, to start you off:

Miracle on 34th Street
Is Kris Kringle crazy? Or is he really the Santa Claus? Watch this 1947 film at the Bijou and find out for yourself! Click here for showtimes.

It’s a Wonderful Life
George Bailey wishes he’d never been born, and it’s up to Clarence the angel to show him what life would truly be like if he’d never existed. Take your melodramatic friend to see this one and teach her that, even if she thinks she's having the worst holiday season ever, all her friends and family could still show up at her house with baskets full of cash on Christmas. They probably won’t, though. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details.

White Christmas
Best friends fall in love with two singing sisters and the four of them team up to save a ski lodge! This Christmas classic is playing everywhere this December, so there’s no excuse to miss it. (Well, except for the excuse that it’s old. And it’s boring. And sure, “White Christmas” is sung by Bing Crosby in the movie and that’s great, but you can just listen to it on a CD instead… Or at the mall, or on the radio, or anywhere that will be playing music at all this month…) Villa Finale will have a free showing of White Christmas on December 19. The film will also be shown at the McNay and Santikos Rialto. Showtimes vary.

Play "Shoot My Eye Out" at Alamo Drafthouse's "A Christmas Story" Quote-Along - COURTESY
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  • Play "Shoot My Eye Out" at Alamo Drafthouse's "A Christmas Story" Quote-Along

Now that we've gotten Grandma and Grandpa's favorite Christmas movies out of the way, let's move on to some holiday hits from the 80s. Yule love these. 

A Christmas Story
“You’ll shoot your eye out!” Head over to Alamo Drafthouse for the A Christmas Story Quote-Along event. You can roleplay as Ralphie and try to shoot the host’s eye out with your very own Red Ryder that shoots eyeball-safe foam bullets. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details. 

Scrooged
Who doesn’t love a grumpy Bill Murray? Watch him as he’s tormented by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, à la Ebenezer Scrooge. Alamo Drafthouse will provide bubbles and confetti to enhance your viewing experience, and the theater encourages you to harass your neighbors every time the Ghost of Christmas Present smacks Frank Cross (Murray). Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Here’s a Christmas bonus for ya – Alamo Drafthouse is giving National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation the Rocky Horror treatment. You'll be able to shout out lines along with the accident-prone Griswolds, and the nice Alamo employees will provide special scene-specific props and super-secret surprises during the movie. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation will also be playing at Santikos Bijou on December 11.

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All of the movies up until this point have been oldies but goodies. These, however, are a little more modern. The overall Christmas message is still the same in these films, though: Everyone should be thankful for what they have, and everyone deserves to be happy during the holidays—even the Grinch. Though he's mean and hairy and smelly... he's kinda sweet. 

Elf
Will Ferrell’s sickeningly sweet portrayal of Buddy the Elf taken in combination with Alamo Drafthouse’s complimentary Elf scratch ‘n sniff cards might leave you feeling a little ill (what does spaghetti with maple syrup actually smell like?), but who cares! It's Christmas! You'd have to be a cotton-headed ninnymoggins to pass up this Quote-Along. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details.

Home Alone

Alamo Drafthouse’s Home Alone Quote-Along event is doubling as a pizza party, meaning you can enjoy a "lovely cheese pizza" (just for you) while reliving Macauly Culkin’s precious days before all the drugs and before his band, Pizza Underground... Wait a second... Has Macauly come full circle? Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details.

The Polar Express
After watching this movie several times, I’m still not 100% sure what it’s about. It always makes me want hot chocolate, though. The Polar Express will be playing at Alamo Drafthouse's Stone Oak location on December 27. Click here for details.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey as the Grinch is so over the top and ridiculous, but damn it if baby Grinch isn’t the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. When all those Whos are mean to lil Grinch, I just get so mad. No wonder he became so mean, guys. I totally get it. Also, Taylor Momsen was still a human during the making of this film. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details.

Christmas Movie Quote-Alongs
And because it's Christmas, the Alamo Drafthouse will be nice enough to let you talk in the theater, but only during these three Christmas classics. The Drafthouse's always enjoyable quote-along are getting in the holiday spirit with screenings of Bill Murray's Scrooged, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and perhaps the greatest holiday movie of them all, Love Actually, which even after all these years still gets me right in the feels. Check drafthouse.com for times and locations.

Aww, he couldn't possibly be dangerous! - COURTESY
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  • Aww, he couldn't possibly be dangerous!

Now for something a little different—Christmas movies that aren't quite Christmas movies, but we love 'em just the same.

Gremlins
Gizmo, the Christmas gift that keeps on giving, turns 30 this year. You can head to Alamo Drafthouse this month and cheer Billy on as he battles the mischievous Stripe, while discussing with your friends whether or not you think you'd be able to follow the three rules of owning a Mogwai. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details.

Edward Scissorhands

Remember when Johnny Depp wasn’t too weird, but he was, like, just weird enough? That was right around the time he portrayed the title character in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. The scene of Edward creating snow for Kim to dance in is so romantic. She doesn’t even get upset when he accidentally slices her hand open afterwards. That is true love. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details. 

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Billy’s parents are killed by a criminal dressed as Santa Claus. Billy then grows up, dresses as Santa Claus, and becomes a murderer himself. Merry Christmas. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details. 

Die Hard
Are you one of those people that claims Die Hard is their favorite Christmas movie? Ugh. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - COURTESY
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  • Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

These next events on the list are for those of you that don't have the patience to sit through an entire movie, but still want to get into the Christmas spirit:

The Xmas Pops Sing-Along
Featuring songs by Mariah Carey, NSYNC, the Peanuts Gang, Bob Dylan, and the Biebs (just to name a few), the Xmas Pops sing-along is sure to put a spring in any Scrooge’s step. There will be trivia and videoke, so you can impress your friends with both your knowledge of mediocre Christmas ballads and your eggnogg-fueled singing. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details. 

Cartoon Cereal Party: Christmas Edition
Beginning at 11:00am for us lazy adults, this Cereal Party will feature over two hours of retro Christmas cartoons. The selection could include Animaniacs, X-men, Ren & Stimpy, you name it. I would gladly sit through a Spongebob Christmas cartoon if it meant I could also watch Angelica Pickles receive a lump of coal in her Cynthia Dream House. Alamo Drafthouse showtimes and locations vary. Click here for details. 

Finally, this last event is for you guys that want to be sophisticated and cultured this holiday season, but on a budget:

Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker
The Bolshoi Ballet’s interpretation of The Nutcracker is being released in select theaters around the U.S. on December 21. One of those theaters is our very own Santikos Rialto. So, if your kids are too bratty to take to Ballet San Antonio’s production, you can just take them to the movie theater instead! Click here for details. 

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