This Holigay Flowchart Will Tell You Which Christmas Movie You Really Want to Watch

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. ‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems,
    In a place that perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams,
    For the story that you are about to be told,
    Took place in the holiday worlds of old,
    Now, you’ve probably wondered where holidays come from,
    If you haven’t, I’d say it’s time you begun

  2. This chart is everything I’ve ever needed.

    Also, thank you for understanding the difference between the REAL and GOOD Grinch and the upsetting, garbage one that somehow people are totally cool with. (I haven’t seen the newest, but I can say with certainty that it will land in the middle)

    • Dr. Seuss’ widow, a legendarily kind a generous woman, hated Jim Carrey’s Grinch so much she got up and left during the middle of the premiere. And that’s that!

    • Agreed! Although it is a list ranking Scrooge rather than the whole overall adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and in the Muppets Christmas Carol Scrooge is not the most important factor of it being the best adaptation ever. I think he’s a fine Scrooge, but for me its Gonzo as Dickens and the other parts of the adaptation that make it truly spectacular!
      Highly recommend the essay “Starring Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit: Muppets as Actors” by Ginger Stelle in the book Kermit Culture, for anyone who really wants to nerd out about The Muppets and this movie in particular.

        • It’s fantastic!!! So many amazing critical essays and lots of deep Muppet knowledge! I nerd out over it a lot, and have used it in undergrad and grad school a number of times for writing papers. Its not the cheapest, but worth every penny for a Muppet nerd

  3. Oh god I didn’t think Edward Scissorhands could still get to me 25+ years later but that was a PUNCH to the GUT thanks

  4. No love for the George C. Scott Christmas Carol? It at least wins the award for “Most Terrifying Christmas Present Incarnation”.

    The only redeeming part of the Jim Carrey Grinch movie is Chrstine Baranski as Martha May Whovier.

    • I assume you meant most terrifying Christmas Future Incarnation. In which case I would definitely concur.

  5. Honestly, why am I even surprised that this chart led me to Home Alone? I already KNOW that Home Alone is the Christmas movie I want to watch because it (and the second one) are the only Christmas movies I’ll watch outside of the single showing of Frosty and Rudolph on TV.

  6. Surely there is something wrong with even straight people who don’t want to see Michelle Pfeiffer in a leather suit!

  7. 1. The Muppet’s Christmas Carol Foreverrrrrrrr
    2. I humbly submit Patrick Stewart’s Scrooge as a close second to Michael Caine

    • I second the nomination of Patrick Stewart’s Scrooge! He and Michael Caine are my favourites which is a hard job considering my family and I collect every unique edition of A Christmas Carol we can find.

  8. Also I’m loving the Sense and Sensibility duo because Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. 10/10 Well done Heather.

  9. This is super!

    I wish Olive the Other Reindeer became a Christmas classic instead falling into obscurity.

  10. I made a beeline for Carol, but I’ve always thought Therese’s co-workers at Frankenberg’s with the cat-eye glasses were ringers for Santa’s lady elves in Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

  11. No Christmas with the Kranks or Arthur Christmas or Rise of the Guardians? :-(

    Side note: imagine trying to make a flowchart using ONLY Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies…

  12. This is a very good and helpful chart, Heather.

    I feel that people should know that the best Thanksgiving movie is What’s Cooking. No one ever talks about it, but Mercedes Ruehl, Alfre Woodard, Joan Chen, and lesbian lovers Kyra Sedgwick and Julianna Margulies are in it.

    • Oh, I loved that movie! Hm, maybe that’ll be my new T-day tradition: great cast, lesbian couple, most characters get tied together at the end.

    • THANK YOU! I don’t have any go-to Thanksgiving movies that I like (yes, I know Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a thing) and having holiday movies is very much My Thing. Looking forward to checking this out alongside my annual Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving episode binge

  13. This is dope and I’m all about it!!

    But I have just one question —> THE FAMILY STONE??

    Lolz guiltily my all time fave – def under the tears a flowing section

    Thanks for this <3

  14. What about The Nutcracker? There’s been many versions of this but I am partial to the 1993 version.

  15. This is fantastic! Also may I humbly submit for consideration: Little Women (1994) and The Family Stone (sobbing forever).

  16. this is amazing, not least because my first ever heterosexual date (at age 13) was to go and see Jim Carrey’s Grinch and it was indeed the worst and now I am gay and Carol is great.

  17. The librarian contingent has my express permission to skip directly to Desk Set, for what it’s worth.

  18. I am delighted to see my favorite Christmas Carol get high praise (Mickey’s)

    Scrooge (1970) is a delight and I got a lot of queer energy from it this year but being freshly out, I’m seeing BQE everywhere

  19. This was scarily accurate. Batman Returns it is! (Also one of my all time favorite movies for obvious reasons.)

  20. I’m shocked that the live action version of The Grinch is labelled the worst. It’s one of my favourites!

    And reading through the comments, it seems that everyone agrees. Can someone explain the hate?

    I may get a lot of hate for this next statement: I hate Carol. It’s more of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen.

    • I actually love Jim Carrey’s rendition of the Grinch and Faith Hill’s Where Are You Christmas always makes a yearly appearance on my extensive Xmas playlist even though it makes me weepy. Maybe people are put off by his Jim Carrey-isms? I dunno. My whole family loves the live action movie and I also love the new animated one that came out a few weeks ago. Honestly, I just love Dr. Seuss, the characters and the story.

  21. This is missing a vitally important Christmas movie (well two)

    Do you need a film which traverses language barriers/because you don’t wanna hear anyone talking? The film You’re looking for is The Snowman (and it’s spin off The Snow Dog)

    Maybe this is only a “thing” in the UK, but they are really beautiful music-only films

  22. Yesterday this was delightful, today it is immensely practical as I am home sick with a stomach bug. Thank you for your brilliant community service.

  23. Humbly submitting the obscure Muppet Family Christmas from 1987. It’s ridiculously expensive to buy now, but you can see a decent version online. You will not be sorry. Literally all the Muppets. The Swedish Chef tries to cook Big Bird. Animal sleeps on a clothes hanger in the closet. Fraggle Rock cameos. 100% the cure for holiday ickiness.

    • Easily my all time favorite Christmas tv movie. As one online personality put it: If you really wanted to show Scrooge the true value of Christmas, don’t bother with the ghosts. All you had to do was play him A Muppet Family Christmas.

  24. All though it’s been said many times, many ways…a wonderful gift and at exactly the right time. Thank you Heather.

  25. Wait I haven’t seen Carol does this mean I have to forfeit my lesbian card? Or do I get a 30 day grace period to rectify the issue and renew my lesbian license?

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