The Ultimate Watch Guide: 90s Christmas Movies

I know ya’ll didn’t think I would create an 80s Christmas Movies Ultimate Watch Guide without making one for the 90s, too, right? #duh Since you’re already snuggled up on the couch with hot chocolate, egg nog or hot apple cider and a nice big bowl of buttered popcorn, you might as well let the Christmas movie marathon continue with more holiday favorites from the 90s! Your couch would really miss you if you didn’t. 90s Christmas movies have a completely different feel from the collection of satirical and sometimes racy cinema classics from the 80s. Don’t get me wrong, the 90s holiday movies on this Ultimate Watch Guide are still HILARIOUS, just with a far more family-friendly, warm-and-fuzzy type of humor. Also, many of these feature films drew huge box office numbers, especially for Christmas movies, and starred A-list actors from the decade. So, without further ado, I present to you the Ultimate Watch Guide for 90s Christmas Movies. Enjoy!

5. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS | 1993

One-Sentence Summary:

Jack Skellington (aka the Pumpkin King) grows bored by his success in Halloweenland planning and executing the most frightening Halloween holidays until he accidently discovers Christmasland and decides to hijack the enchanting holiday as his own creating a creepy mash-up of Christmas and Halloween.

Most Iconic Quote:

Jack Skellington: “Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!”

Tim Burton typically freaks me the heck out. Except for Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas is the only other movie of his I have ever seen. *gasp* This stop-motion, animated Disney movie has a very loyal cult following. If you visit the Disney parks, you’ll find Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise everywhere, crowds waiting to meet the Jack and Sally characters and crazy-long wait times in Disneyland when they theme the Haunted Mansion attraction with a seasonal Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Are you surprised? With a completely unique and inventive storyline and a surprisingly appealing soundtrack, The Nightmare Before Christmas is truly one-of-a-kind. There is no other holiday movie out there like it. Also, because it covers Halloween and Christmas, you can watch this feature film around BOTH holidays. #twoforthepriceofone

4. JINGLE ALL THE WAY | 1997

One-Sentence Summary:

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad play a couple of fathers, among crowds of other desperate parents, searching on Christmas Eve for the must-have toy of the season in order to fulfill their children’s wishes.

Most Iconic Quote:

Myron Larabee: “As if I didn’t have enough trouble, my son sends me out for some goofy-butt toy. Some fruity robot named Turtle Man.”

Howard Langston: “It’s Turbo Man. My son wants one, too.”

You couldn’t visit a movie theater in the 90s without seeing a poster for an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and Christmastime was no exception. In Jingle All the Way, Schwarzenegger plays Howard, a character most parents can surely relate to. In the hustle and bustle of the everyday life, Howard realizes he has been preoccupied by work and has ignored his family for much of the year. As a grand gesture, Howard makes a promise to his son to get him the toy he (and every other kid in the universe) wants for Christmas. I am sure many parents during the 90s promised their kids a Talkboy, Yellow Power Ranger or Tamagotchi before fulling understanding what a feat obtaining one of those might be. I know my parents could certainly tell a few stories about surviving stampedes of grown adults and seeing moms and dads throw blows just for a crummy piece of plastic that meant everything to their children. Memories of those shopping trips to Toys ‘R Us probably still haunt them today, but they did it. You know why? 1. Because they wanted to see our adorable faces light up with excitement when we opened the perfect present that we wished so much for. 2. Online shopping did not exist yet. #thankgoodnessforamazon

3. THE SANTA CLAUSE | 1994

One-Sentence Summary:

Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) reluctantly inherits the job of Santa Claus (thanks to a fine-print legal agreement) after he causes his predecessor to fall off a roof on Christmas Eve.

Most Iconic Quote:

Scott Calvin: (shaking his belly) “Does this look like a little weight to you?!”

How great is Tim Allen? Hot off the success of his hit ABC show, “Home Improvement,” the Santa Clause was actually his FIRST motion picture. As a kid, there is a lot of uncertainty about Santa Claus and what exactly is real. Reminiscent of Miracle on 34th Street, this film touches on what it means to genuinely believe and that lesson transcends St. Nick and Christmas into so many other facets of life. It’s touching to see a child (mainly Charlie, Scott Calvin’s son) stand so firmly in his beliefs, even when adults try to discourage him. I love when Charlie says, “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” His steadfastness eventually makes Scott Calvin a believer and soon the other adults follow suit. Besides having this tender message of conviction, this film contains some side-splitting one-liners throughout. Who else finds themselves shaking their guts in the mirror after a hearty holiday season asking, “does this look like a little weight to you?!” Just me? #holidayweight

2. HOME ALONE | 1990

One-Sentence Summary:

Kevin McCallister, a young boy, is accidently left at home by himself when his family leaves for a holiday vacation and must defend his home from a couple of clumsy crooks who try to burglarize it.

Most Iconic Quote:

Kevin McCallister: “You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?”

You weren’t truly a child of the 90s if you haven’t watched and quoted this movie incessantly. I’m sure most of us have wished for our families to just leave us alone in the house by ourselves at least once before. And, left to his own devices and unsupervised, Kevin does what any of us would do. Eats junk food, watches inappropriate movies and jumps on the bed. And when a couple of bumbling criminals try to interrupt that simple joy, he protects his home they only way he knows how, with some homemade booby traps. It had most of us thinking that we could actually defend ourselves should it come down to it. It was empowering to watch as a youngster. It still holds up after all this time, too. We showed it to our nephew a couple years ago for the first time. He LITERALLY fell off the couch laughing when Marv and Harry got hit by a paint can or stepped on a nail. And all the adults did, too.

1. HOME ALONE 2 | 1992

One-Sentence Summary:

Kevin McCallister gets separated from his family at the airport during another Christmas vacation and ends up alone in New York City where the same criminals who tried to terrorize his house look for revenge.

Most Iconic Quote:

Kevin McCallister: “You can mess with a lot of things, but you can’t mess with kids on Christmas.”

Home Alone 2 is one of the few sequels that surpassed the original. Kevin isn’t just left home alone this time, though. He makes it to New York City with his father’s carry-on stocked full of cash and credit cards to live out every kid’s dream. No, I don’t mean actually owning a Talkboy. He books a swanky hotel room, orders room service, explores the bustling city and befriends some characters with moving backstories. Kevin evolves and instead of defending just himself and his home, he stands up for needy children that the Sticky Bandits (aka Marv and Harry) attempt to steal from. A hero for children everywhere! I love seeing his small gestures of friendship. They prove that sometimes the simplest acts, mean the most. Also, Marv and Harry get hurt a bunch more, which is just hilarious.

Well, there ya have it, folks. The Ultimate Watch Guide for 90s Christmas Movies. A collection of family-friendly and festive films sure to bring you glad tidings and joy. Did I cover all of your favorites? What movie-watching traditions did your family and friends have growing up? Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Miss Reminisce newsletter for blog updates and insider info on upcoming posts. Oh, and if you missed The Ultimate Watch Guide for 80s Christmas Movies, click here to check out my picks! Merry Christmas!

Ultimate Watch Guide 90s Christmas Movies

2 comments

  1. My favorite movie quote is from The first Home Alone. Marv and Harry are looking out of the upstairs window at Kevin in the treehouse. Marv says to Harry “he’s gonna call the cops! Harry: he’s gonna call the cops from a treehouse?!” Makes me laugh every time.

    1. There are so many good quotes! I love, “Buzz, your girlfriend, woof.” Did you know that the director actually used a young boy for that photo because he didn’t want a girl to feel self-conscience? Fun fact!

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