The Ultimate 80’s Christmas Movies


If you’re in your 30s and older calling the 80s retro can sound harsh and, let’s face it, a little depressing. 

Luckily, with the retro title comes sweet nostalgia for all the weird and crazy things the decade has given us. 

One of those things is incredible Christmas movies, many of which in hindsight make us go “wait, what”? 

With the season upon us, it’s comforting and entertaining to re-watch the holiday classics (preferably with some wine or beer!).

Here are the ultimate 80s Christmas movies.

Gremlins (1984)

Not many people will list Gremlins as their top Christmas movie. And no wonder – it’s a horror-comedy full of gore and ridiculous moments. 

The movie is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet. Unexpectedly mogwai begets other creatures who then transform into small, destructive, evil monsters and all create chaos in the town on Christmas Eve.

It’s said to be inspired by the legends of mischievous folkloric creatures “gremlins” that caused problems in the British Royal Air Force going back to World War II.

The movie received its PG-13 rating after thousands of parents got angered about the horror elements. Despite that, it earned $153 million with a production budget of $11 million. If that’s not a success, nothing is! 

Trading Places (1983) put this Eddie Murphy movie in its “20 classic and alternative movies everyone should see at least once” list. 

And it deserves the honour! Loosely based on the Mark Twain’s 19th-century novel “The Prince and the Pauper” it revolves around two men, played by Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, who switch lives.

Oh, yes, one of them is filthy rich, and the other is dirt poor! And just like the players in BetAmerica NBA odds, these men are subject to a bet to see which one of them performs better in opposite life circumstances.

There are some moments in the movie that will make your cringe in 2020, but if you don’t let that bother you, you’ll have a holly jolly time! 

It’s also fun to see the talented Jamie Lee Curtis in her role as a tough and no-nonsense call girl. (she won British Academy Film Award for Best Supporting Actress).

Scrooged (1988)

It’s clear to anyone with eyes that anything Bill Murray touches turns to gold. And this Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is shining bright!

A modern-day (ahem, modern 80s day) Scrooge named Frank Ross is a mean, arrogant TV executive that makes his staff work on Christmas Eve. Gasp! 

All the three ghosts visit him in what seem to be almost psychedelic experiences that transform Frank and show what Christmas is all about. 

There’s also a long lost love Claire Phillips, who works at the homeless shelter, whom with Frank reunites after he makes amends for his mistakes.


A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)

Who doesn’t love muppets? Really? They’re fluffy, cute, sometimes a little naughty and just adorable. 

This hour-long Christmas special is one of the most successful and beloved holiday specials of all times. 

Fozzie Bear surprises his mother Emily on Christmas Eve by bringing the entire Muppet gang to her farm to celebrate the holidays. All the characters from Sesame Street – including Big Bird, Bert, Ernie – join the festivities. But, oh no, Miss Piggy has been caught it snowstorm and is missing, and Kermit is worried! 

Luckily, all ends well with a little help of best friends, and Miss Piggy gets to the house. The Muppets have a grand celebration with gifts, carols and a party (remember those?).

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

You either love or hate Chevy Chase and by extension the entire Lampoon family series.

In this 80s classic, the all-American Clark Griswold tries his best to give the family traditional Christmas. He’s actually the kind of man who gives his best at any task – be it putting out lights or taking out the trash.

Unfortunately for them, and luckily for us, problems and drop-dead funny moments occur when extended family come to visit and stay at their small house in suburbia. calls Chase timelessly hysterical, but says that it’s Randy Quaid’s reprisal of “Cousin Eddy” that truly steals the show. 

If you love to Christmas, cringe and physical comedy – this one’s for you!