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Considering how many heartwarming, uplifting, or just plain hilarious stories have hit the silver screen around Christmas each year, narrowing them down to a single list is certainly a daunting task. Nonetheless, gmc TV’s honed in on 10 of the best, interspersing timeless classics like A Christmas Story with newer flicks like gmc’s Christmas Angel(and check out all of the great Christmas movies on gmc, here) that share the remarkable ability to impact audiences of all ages.

Though a mere 10 selections still leaves plenty of room for hunting down your personal favorite, this light-hearted trip through Christmases past and present assures a whole lot of laughter, a likelihood for some tears, and most importantly, joyful glimpses of the season’s spirit.


First: It’s A Wonderful Life

The 1946 drama isn’t just one of the most treasured seasonal films but also one of the world’s most beloved in general. Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, the tale chronicles a man who’s down on his luck and contemplating taking his own life (on Christmas Eve no less!) until his guardian angel Clarence Odbody (played by Henry Travers) makes a case for life by pointing out the many people he’s influenced over the years.


Next: Miracle on 34th Street

From the following year, Miracle On 34th Street runs a close second as Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) sets out to prove he’s the real Santa Claus while working at the Big Apple’s biggest department store. Though it’s certainly a daunting task, especially when people like Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) and her daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) have their bouts with disbelief. Eventually though, Kris Kringle’s evidence is much too compelling to ignore, which coupled with an equally convincing courtroom defense led by Fred Gailey (John Payne) proves the man in question could really be from the North Pole


Next: A Christmas Carol

Though this Charles Dickens classic was remade many times over, the 1951 edition of the Yuletide masterpiece has unequivocally stood the test of time. Much of the reason stems from Alastair Sim channeling the miserly ways of Ebenezer Scrooge, who may start out as the cranky, frugal villain who’s unkind to those all around him, but eventually finds his heart softening after some harrowing visits from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.


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