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14 Nostalgic Vintage Christmas Movies

December is fast approaching, which means it's time to put on your coziest soft socks and matching family pajamas.

Curl up with a holiday film, charming Christmas novel, or if you want something different, try watching these Nostalgic Vintage Christmas Movies that celebrate the best things about the holiday – love, family, peace and joy. 

Nostalgic vintage Christmas movies refer to classic films from earlier decades that evoke a sense of nostalgia, capturing the charm and traditions of bygone eras.

These movies often have a timeless quality that resonates with audiences, transporting them to a simpler and more festive time.

What to Expect from Nostalgic Vintage Christmas Movies

Nostalgic vintage Christmas movies typically explore timeless themes that resonate across generations, capturing the essence of the holiday season. Some common themes in these films include:

1. Family and Togetherness: Vintage Christmas movies often emphasize the importance of family bonds and spending time together during the holidays.

These films celebrate the joy of reunions and the warmth of familial relationships.

2. Generosity and Giving: Many classic Christmas movies highlight the spirit of giving, whether through acts of kindness, charity, or the exchange of thoughtful gifts.

These themes reflect the altruistic nature of the holiday season.

3. Redemption and Transformation: Stories like “A Christmas Carol” often revolve around the themes of redemption and personal transformation.

Characters who start off as cold or selfish undergo a positive change, learning the true meaning of Christmas.

4. Belief and Wonder: Nostalgic Christmas movies frequently incorporate elements of wonder and belief in the magical aspects of the season.

RELATED:  Amazon Prime Video Christmas Movies for Kids

This includes faith in Santa Claus, miracles, and the enchantment of the Christmas spirit.

5. Traditions and Rituals: These films often showcase beloved holiday traditions and rituals, such as decorating the Christmas tree, caroling, and festive gatherings.

The emphasis is on the continuity of these customs over time.

6. Friendship and Community: Vintage Christmas movies often highlight the importance of friendship and community.

Characters come together to support one another, fostering a sense of unity and shared joy during the holidays.

7. Reflection and Gratitude: Some films encourage reflection on the past year and gratitude for what one has.

This theme is often intertwined with the idea of appreciating the simple pleasures of life.

8. Magic and Romance: Many classic Christmas movies infuse a touch of magic and romance into their narratives.

Whether it's the magic of Santa's sleigh or the romance of the season, these elements contribute to the overall festive atmosphere.

These enduring themes contribute to the timeless appeal of vintage Christmas movies, making them cherished classics that continue to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Vintage Christmas Movies

Here are our favorite picks:

White Christmas
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, Vera Ellen (Actors)

White Christmas

Two talented son-and-dance men (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) team up after the war to become one of the hottest acts in show business.
Christmas in Connecticut
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet (Actors)

Christmas in Connecticut

Journalist Elizabeth Lane is one of the country's most famous food writer. She describes herself as a hard working farm woman and an excellent cook. But this is all lies.
It's A Wonderful Life
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore (Actors)

It’s a Wonderful Life

After George Bailey wishes he had never been born, an angel is sent to earth to make George's wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there.

To continue this unit study, check out It's a Wonderful Life Movie Bible Study.

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A Christmas Story
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren Mcgavin (Actors)

A Christmas Story

In this holiday classic, Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the '40's, dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn (Actors)

Miracle on 34th Street

A department store Santa is out to prove he's the real Claus in this spirited 1947 holiday classic.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Michael Caine, Steve Whitmire, Frank Oz (Actors)

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet's rendition of Charles Dickens' classic tale puts a unique twist on a favorite holiday story.
One Magic Christmas
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mary Steenburgen, Gary Basaraba, Elizabeth Harnois (Actors)

One Magic Christmas

Award-winning actress Mary Steenburgen gives a solid performance as Ginny Grainger, a young mother who rediscovers the joy and beauty of Christmas, thanks to the unshakable faith of her six-year-old daughter Abbie and Gideon, Ginny's guardian angel.
Come to the Stable
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Loretta Young, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe (Actors)

Come to the Stable (1949)

Two French nuns are faced with a series of obstacles when they set out to build a children's hospital in New England.
The Bishop's Wife (1947)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven (Actors)

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

This Christmastime angelic intervention sparkles with good humor as Dudley the angel is sent to help a bishop and his wife survive their attempt to finance a new cathedral.

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RELATED:  10 Best Santa Movies

Holiday Inn (1942)

“White Christmas” and other Irving Berlin tunes highlight the tale of an inn that is only open on holidays.
Holiday Affair (1949)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey (Actors)

Holiday Affair (1949)

Classic Christmas romantic comedy stars Janet Leigh (“Psycho,” Touch of Evil”) as a poor young widow torn between a boring successful businessman and a romantic ne'er-do-well.
It Happened on 5th Avenue
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Don Defore, Ann Harding, Charles Ruggles (Actors)

It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)

A hobo and friends take up residence in a mansion whilst the family is away on Christmas holiday.

The Shop Around the Corner
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Frank Morgan (Actors)

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

James Stewart is a Budapest store clerk who finds himself feuding with his co-worker, Margaret Sullavan, only to unknowingly fall in love with her.
Beyond Christmas (In Color)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Harry Carey, Charles Winninger, Aubrey Smith (Actors)

Beyond Christmas

This uplifting story begins on Christmas Eve in New York City, as three elderly businessmen prepare to enjoy a festive dinner together. They receive visits from two kind-hearted strangers, each has come to return a wallet they believe one of the gentlemen has lost.
 
This charming 1940 holiday classic is perfect for the Christmas season. Expertly restored and in Color for the first time!
 
If you're looking for more holiday movies that the whole family will like, check out our list of the Best Christmas Movies for Kids that the whole family will enjoy.

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