If you’ll be home for Christmas this year, will your family be spending quality time together around the tree, or heading to a theater nearby to eat popcorn rather than string it along some evergreen branches? Or maybe you’ve decided to keep the holidays casual this year by catching a movie with your squad instead of exchanging gifts. Either way, if your holiday tradition is to spend time surrounded by loved ones while you all watch a festive film, why not check out theaters showing classic Christmas movies? Think of it this way: Box office hits that open on Dec. 25 will still be in theaters after the holiday, but it’s not every day that some of the most iconic holiday films of all time are re-released to theaters.
Personally, I’ve only gone to see a movie on Christmas day once in my 28 years of Christmases, and it was a pretty random, spur-of-the-moment decision. We had just wrapped up dinner and dessert, when my brother and his now-wife suggested we go see a movie. We saw It’s Complicated starring Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin, and it was a fun time and all, but doing this kind of thing on Christmas just didn’t really resonate with me. Of course, that’s just my personal preference, but I also think it had something to do with the fact that the storyline had nothing to do with the holidays. I was trying to sustain a merry mentality while watching a movie about a messy divorce and silly love triangle. It was good. It just wasn't Christmas.
Anyway, if a festive movie is your personal highlight of the holiday season, there are so many big-screen Christmas classics to choose from that, even if your favorite one isn't being re-released in 2018, the next best thing is to gather around the living room TV set with your folks, siblings, cousins, aunts — the entire fam bam — pop in the DVD, and enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Yes, pajamas are a must, and hot cocoa topped with giant marshmallows should be served.
But, if you're lucky enough to spot a holiday classic listing at a theater near you that you know the whole family would enjoy, why not organize a trip for before or after dinner? Trust me, I'm all about keeping tradition, but sometimes it's OK to mix things up a bit, especially if it's in the name of enriching the holiday spirit for your loved ones. Be sure to scope out the options around your area, but for reference, here are a few theaters playing classic Christmas movies in 2018.
Theaters Across Central Indiana Are Showing The Polar Express From Now Through Dec. 23
When it seems the magic's slipped away, The Polar Express encourages you to find it all again on Christmas day. But let's be honest: Whether it's Dec. 25 or July 25, watching this childhood classic is going to have you daydreaming of white Christmases, fantastical trains, and Santa's workshop at the North Pole. Luckily, as per CBS 4 News, theaters across central Indiana are re-releasing the film from now until Dec. 23.
The IFC Center In New York City Is Showing It's A Wonderful Life, Featuring A Surprise Guest
Even if the holiday season is super hectic, and I'm scrambling to finish last-minute shopping, baking, and wrapping, I will always make time to watch the 1946 classic It's A Wonderful Life. This year, the IFC Theater in New York City will be showing the film from Monday, Dec. 17 through Christmas Day on Tuesday, Dec. 25.
And if that isn't enough of a treat, Mary Owen, aka the daughter of actress Donna Reed, who played Mary in the film, will be at the theater to introduce the movie to the audience. Now that's what I call a true Christmas miracle.
A Christmas Story Will Be Showing At The Franklin Theater In Tennessee
Earlier this month, a rumor began circulating that TBS canceled its 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon because of its bullying scene. Luckily, those rumors were put to rest pretty quickly, and the TV network's tradition will reign on. However, if you're in the area, or suddenly have an itch to take a family road trip down south this season, The Franklin Theater on Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee will be showing the 1980s classic on Dec. 20, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Elf Comes Back To The Big Screen In Select Regal Theaters On Dec. 22
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear — or forcing your family to go see Elf with you for the millionth time on Dec. 22 because, honestly, Will Ferrell's best role will forever be Buddy The Elf. So grab a cup of the world's crappiest cup of coffee, pack snacks pertaining to the four major food groups (candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup), and find a Regal Theater near you re-running this modern Christmas classic.
Macaulay Culkin Will Be Home Alone For The Millionth Time At The Music Box Theater
If it just so happens that you'll be visiting Chi-Town for Christmas this year, why not stop by The Music Box Theater on either Wednesday, Dec. 19 or Thursday, Dec. 20 to watch Kevin McCallister defend his household against two mediocre burglars in a hilarious '90s classic? Even if you've seen this movie a million times, you can't deny it's still ho-ho-hilarious.