Make It Better Staff Picks: Our Favorite Holiday Movies and Traditions

The most wonderful time of the year is also the busiest, so it’s always special when you can curl up on the couch with your loved ones and turn on a beloved holiday movie. Here are just a few of our favorites to inspire your holiday movie watching. Tell us what movie you can’t miss every year in the comments below!

Anna Carlson

Digital Managing Editor

“On Christmas Eve, my mom makes Chicken-Apple Chili and we watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ The ending gets me every time!”

Julie Chernoff

Dining Editor

“I’m a nice Jewish girl, but I’m a cotton-headed ninny muggins for the movie ‘Elf!’ I want to live in that world of swirly twirly gumdrops, where three of the four food groups are candy (the fourth: syrup!), and Santa is real. Last time I watched it? July.”

Sharon Krone

Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Director, Make It Better Foundation

“Our family has a tradition of watching ‘Star Wars’ movies mid-December, thanks to the regular stream of new releases for the past several holiday seasons. The quintessential drama of light’s arrival and triumph over evil. What could be more appropriate?!”

Brooke McDonald

Editor in Chief

“My siblings and I swear our dad is Clark Griswold, and it’s not officially Christmas in our house until we’ve watched ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’ And just about all of our annual Christmas traditions, from putting up the tree (‘Looks great. Little full, lotta sap.’) to the lights (‘You taught me everything I know about exterior illumination.’) are punctuated with quotes from the movie. Everyone’s favorite? ‘Why is the carpet wet, Todd?’ ‘I don’t KNOW, MARGO!'”

Susan Noyes


“My family’s holiday movie tradition is going to whatever new blockbuster release appeals to the majority of us on Christmas night. We do a big Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas brunch with just family, Christmas afternoon present share, and early casual dinner with our favorite neighbors. By night, we are celebrated out, just want to eat popcorn and share an experience we have always enjoyed together: blockbuster opening nights. ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘James Bond,’ Marvel hero movies usually earn our patronage. I bet it’s ‘Star Wars’ this year too.”

Jennifer Speaker

Technical Advisor

“Our holiday movie is the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas.’ It has such a simple message and my kids are now at the age where they laugh at Lucy and scream in glee at Snoopy as the Red Baron. We love it!”

Cara Sullivan

Print Managing Editor

“When I was little, my sister and I watched ‘Home Alone’ nonstop during the holidays. Now my husband and I watch it with our daughters, who think it’s the funniest thing in the world. That classic scene where Kevin screams in the mirror gets belly laughs every time.”

Jennifer Woolford

Strategic Events

“Probably nothing new but our family adores watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘White Christmas’ together. We almost named our Aubrey a family name and were going to call her Zuzu. Who doesn’t love Zuzu?!”

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