Gen Z’s Guide To A Nostalgic Holiday Movie Marathon

There are a few things that make the winter season magical:holiday decorations, warm pajamas and sweet treats to enjoy while watching nostalgic holiday films from your childhood. 

With the holidays just around the corner, Folio has curated an essential list of all the holiday movies you need to watch with your family and friends for that perfect touch of nostalgia.

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♬ home for the holidays – everything christmas!

With movies from the early 2000s, we’ve compiled a guide of loved movies from Gen Z childhood to enjoy during the upcoming holiday season.   

From comedy to romance to drama, this guide covers some of the best classic and most-loved flicks you have to watch (or re-watch) this holiday season. 

Home Alone 1 (1990)

A still from the movie home alone, featuring main character Kevin.
Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 1 (via Pinterest).

The film revolves around a bratty young boy, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), who gets locked up in the attic before his family holiday, mistakenly getting left behind and having to protect the entire house from robbers by himself. This movie will have you laughing and maybe even wishing you had the house to yourself for a bit. Nonetheless, it just isn’t the holiday season without the McCallisters.

Elf (2003)

A still from the movie Elf.
Will Ferrell in Elf (via Vocal Media).

Hi Buddy! Elf is another classic movie that will have you clutching your stomach in pain from all the laughing. Starring Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf, this movie is about a human toddler who grew up in the North Pole, raised by Santa and his elves. Overcome by the feeling of not belonging, Buddy sets out to New York in search of his real family. 

The twist? His father, Walter Hobbs, (James Caan) ends up being a snotty businessman with no interest in Buddy. With the help of a DNA test proving they are family, Buddy and his dad set out to make up for the years lost in their father-son relationship.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

A still from the movie How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
Jim Carrey in How The Grinch Stole Christmas (via Timeout).

Rolling with the theme of classics, this one is an absolute must-watch. Starring Jim Carrey, the live-action version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas follows the Grinch’s bitter life as he sets out to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. With a plan ready in action to destroy the festivity of Christmas, he encounters young Cindy Lou Who. Six-year-old Cindy befriends the Grinch and teaches him the true meaning of Christmas. 

The Polar Express (2004)

A still from the movie The Polar Express.
Image still from Polar Express (via PennLive)

This movie is even better if you’ve read the original book by Chris Van Allsburg. This story is about a doubtful young boy who takes the train to the North Pole to meet Santa. On his journey, he meets other kids who are equally doubtful of Mr. Claus, embarking on a journey to self-discovery.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

A still from the movie A Christmas Carol.
Image still from A Christmas Carol (via YouTube).

While there are many versions of this movie, the one that makes our list is the 2009 version starring Jim Carrey. Carrey plays Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable and hateful man who gets a visit from three very special spirits; the ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. Their purpose? To show him that he better fix up and become a better person, or face his doom in the fires of Hell. 

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

A still from the movie Miracle on 34th Street.
Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street (via Radio Times).

Lastly, here’s a nostalgic movie for all members of the family. Another classic mixed with fantasy and drama, this movie focuses on an older man, Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough), filling in for a drunk Santa at Macy’s Annual Thanksgiving Parade. Soon after, people start noticing something magical about Kringle, who claims he’s the real Santa Claus. Follow the no-nonsense special events director Doris Walker and her daughter Susan on a truly magical (and hilarious) journey.