Steamboat Pilot & Today staff-recommended Christmas movies |

Steamboat Pilot & Today staff-recommended Christmas movies

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The snow’s coming down, and we’re watching it fall while chestnuts roast on an open fire. After a long day enjoying the powder that has made Steamboat Springs Ski Town USA, there’s really only one thing to do: watch holiday movies.

Whether animated, claymation, black and white or a Hallmark original, there’s really no wrong answer when it comes to choosing a movie. If you’re having trouble selecting from the sea of options, here are our recommendations.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today editorial staff listed their top three movies, and these were the most popular. Many are obvious classics, while some might surprise you.

No. 1 “Elf”


No one can call you a cotton-headed ninny muggins for liking this movie. This highly quotable gem was an instant classic when it came out 2003. Copy Editor Mackenzie Hicks was lucky enough to see this movie in theaters. She still watches it every year.

Kids and adults alike love following Buddy, a human raised by elves in the North Pole, return home to New York, meet his father, fall in love and bring Christmas spirit to the entire city.

“”Elf“ is by far the best movie,” said reporter John Russell. “It just makes you want to put maple syrup on spaghetti.”

Reporter Alison Berg also selected “Elf” as her favorite holiday film.

If you say you don’t like this movie, you sit on a throne of lies.

No. 2 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

An oldie, but a goodie. There are countless versions of this story, but we all know the claymation version is the best. Did you know that the movie came out in December of 1964? Our favorite misfits are 56 years old.

Shared Copy Desk Supervisor Katie Berning chose Rudolph as her favorite, and two others had the movie in their top three.

Burl Ives’ Sam the Snowman actually inspired the character, Leon the Snowman,who we see in the beginning of “Elf.” The songs and lessons in Rudolph are timeless, but if you have one takeaway from this heartwarming story, let it be this: “bumbles bounce.”

No. 3 (four-way tie) “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Digital Engagement Editor Bryce Martin chose Chevy Chase’s holiday film as his favorite. It’s even more special since it was partially shot in Summit County. That Walmart scene? That was filmed at the Frisco Walmart.

No. 4 “The Santa Clause”

The Santa Clause

This Tim Allen movie is nearly perfect, except for the fact that it has two subpar sequels. We suggest just watching the first one and leaving it at that.

No. 5 “It’s a Wonderful Life”

It's a Wonderful Life

Reporter Dylan Anderson loves this movie because it goes a little further than other films.

“It always seemed to be a tradition around the house,” he said. “And it is a really touching movie that explores issues more than most holiday movies.”

No. 6 “The Polar Express“

The Polar Express

This animated musical is reporter Shelby Reardon’s favorite and made Berg’s top three. Nothing will make you want hot chocolate more than watching a cartoon version of Tom Hanks serenading a train car of pajama-clad kiddos.

Honorable mentions:

Editor Lisa Schlichtman’s favorite movie is “White Christmas,” a 1954 treasure starring Bing Crosby. While “A Christmas Story” didn’t make her top three, Schlichtman said the movie will always hold a special place in her heart.

“Mike loved ’A Christmas Story,”” she said. “I didn’t like it at first, but after watching it 35 times over the years, it grew to be one of my favorites.”

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