Can You Name These Classic Holiday Films?


By: Beth Hendricks

7 Min Quiz

Image: CBS

About This Quiz

Is it that time of year?! Is it time to once again hibernate and watch Christmas movies? Gosh, we sure hope so! We've only been waiting for 300+ days for the next opportunity! Is there anything better than baking treats, piling on the couch and turning on "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "The Polar Express?" (Yeah, we know those are both cartoons ... don't judge.)

The holiday season is magical, no matter what age you are (or what age you claim to be). It's a time of giving, sharing and family togetherness. And that last one is as good a reason as any to curate a list of classic holiday films that offers something for everyone. Want to subtly remind someone of their inner Grinch? Maybe you should break out, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Caught up in the hustle and bustle and pushed the real meaning of the season to the background? Cue up "It's a Wonderful Life." Or, maybe you're just looking for laughs. There's no shortage of choices there, either, like "Home Alone," "Elf" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

This quiz is a veritable playlist of Christmas flicks, so we won't be offended if you get some inspiration here. For now, though, untangle your tinsel and put down the pumpkin pie and see how many of these holiday classics you can remember. Don't be a Scrooge – give it a whirl!

This guy was famous for leading Santa's sleigh ... but his nose might have played a role. What film is named in his honor?

You know Dasher and Dancer ... oh, and probably how the rest of those song lyrics go. "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" has become a holiday tradition that appears yearly on television, telling the story of a bullied reindeer who rescues Santa's Christmas Eve trek.


An eight-year-old outsmarts a pair of criminal nitwits in which of these iconic Christmas flicks?

OK, how realistic is it really that an eight-year-old would be forgotten at home while the rest of the family boards a plane? We're not sure either, but it makes for great entertainment in the form of "Home Alone."


We hope you're "dreaming of a ..." correct answer here. Which title is a logical fit?

A 1954 musical movie, "White Christmas" had a bit of something for everyone — acting, singing, dancing and comedy. While it's credited with contributing to the success of the song by the same name, "White Christmas" was actually sung for the first time years earlier.


No one's irreplaceable; not even Santa. Which film follows a newbie Santa filling in for the real deal?

Tim Allen's "The Santa Clause" was such a holiday hit that it spawned two sequels. In the original, Allen is forced to fill in for Santa Claus when he inadvertently knocks the real Santa from his rooftop.


A Christmas classic since 1965, this televised feature is no small "Peanuts." What TV movie is it?

We're pretty sure the holiday season can't start until there's been at least one viewing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Charlie Brown looks for the true meaning of Christmas in this yearly televised tradition.


Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you hadn't existed? The premise of this movie explores that idea. What is it called?

George Bailey has just about reached the end of his rope in "It's A Wonderful Life." In true Christmas miracle fashion, however, an angel helps Bailey see what the world would've been like without his existence.


Stealing a magic hat certainly doesn't seem like holiday spirit. What movie is based on this premise?

"Frosty the Snowman," like the lyrics to the song ("There must have been some magic/In that old silk hat they found"), is all about someone trying to steal the snowman's hat while he attempts to elude warmer temperatures.


"You sit on a throne of lies!" Which holiday favorite is this quote from?

If you don't quote lines from "Elf" the entire month of December, are you really even in the Christmas spirit? We think not. Since it debuted in 2003, "Elf" has become a perennial holiday favorite, telling the story of a human raised by elves.


Santa Claus undergoes a mental health evaluation in which of these Christmas classics?

When the Macy's parade Santa falls ill, he is replaced by Kris Kringle – yes, that Kris Kringle. Unfortunately, not everyone believes that Kringle is the real deal. A court battle – and mental health evaluation – ensue.


What movie features song lyrics that state, "It’s a magic carpet on a rail?"

All aboard "The Polar Express!" This 2004 release is already moving to the top of our holiday favorites list, despite being one of its newer entries. Hollywood A-lister Tom Hanks voices the roles of six different characters in this classic based on a book.


Two holidays merge in this spirited film starring Jack Skellington and a plot to kidnap Santa. What movie is it?

With a name like Jack Skellington, you'd have to assume (correctly, as it were) that he has something to do with Halloween. Indeed, Skellington lives in Halloweentown and hatches a plan to bring Christmas to his community ... even if it takes a kidnapping to do it.


It's been a book, an animated television special, a live-action movie, a Broadway production, and a 3D animated film. Which popular holiday movie are we referencing?

Dr. Seuss would be proud. His "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" has been adapted, made and remade countless times since the book first hit shelves in 1957. We're still partial to the animated TV version, which features Boris Karloff narrating the story.


Who hasn't felt the holiday rush when fighting over a canned hickory honey ham like the matriarch in this film. Which one is it?

Admit it: You've felt a twinge of the anxiety and desperation Mrs. Krank experienced in the grocery store when shopping for her holiday dinner. We can't see a canned ham anymore without thinking of that scene from "Christmas With the Kranks."


Who buys a kid a Christmas gift that comes with these instructions: "... no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight?" What movie is it from?

Here's another movie you might think of as borderline Christmas, but we promise it falls into the holiday category. It starts with a trek to buy a Christmas present and ends up with furry creatures wreaking havoc on the town on Christmas Eve. Happy holidays?


It's a Christmas movie! It's not a Christmas movie! We're settling the debate once and for all. Which of these Christmas films stars Bruce Willis as policeman John McClane?

This settles the everlasting debate or at least the discussion that has gone on since "Die Hard's" release in 1988. We're calling this film a Christmas movie despite the fact Bruce Willis says it's not. The studio, however, calls it “the greatest Christmas story ever told." See? Settled.


Who hasn't chased the hottest toy of the season all over town for their kid? Arnold Schwarzenegger does it in which of these movies?

When Arnold Schwarzenegger's character promises his son a Turbo Man for Christmas, he doesn't realize it will take an all-out, all-across-town pursuit to try to make it happen. Oh, and everyone else is looking for the same toy? "Jingle All The Way," indeed.


A Christmas movie starring Billy Bob Thornton could only go by one name. What is it?

Billy Bob Thornton IS the bad Santa in "Bad Santa," using his gig as a shopping mall Santa in order to rob the mall's businesses. But, like all good holiday films, the movie ends on a high note, and we all enjoy that heartwarming Christmas feeling.


Santa has many modes of transportation, including via taxi, in which of these movies?

"Ernest Saves Christmas" is really about Ernest, well, saving Christmas. Santa is seeking out someone to take over his holiday duties and employs taxi driver Ernest P. Worrell, played by Jim Varney, to get him there.


We promise you won't "shoot your eye out" answering this one. Which movie is all about Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun?

"A Christmas Story" came out in 1983 to a lukewarm reception, but the years since have been kind to the film, which has grown into something of a cult classic during the holiday season. Some channels air it for 24 straight hours, beginning Christmas Eve.


It's not a horror movie, but it does feature three ghosts. What popular Christmas story is it?

"A Christmas Carol" is another one of those holiday flicks that has been made and remade many times over. (We're partial to the George C. Scott version, circa 1984). Mickey Mouse has also starred in an animated retelling of the "Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come."


Rudolph isn't the only of Santa's reindeer with his own movie cred. Which film features a young girl nursing a reindeer back to health?

Move over, Rudolph! Prancer's got a movie, too. Although it's a bit different from its red-nosed counterpart, "Prancer," released in 1989, tells the story of a young girl who cares for a reindeer she believes is one of Santa's own.


"You better watch out/You better not cry/You better not pout/I'm telling you why." You better get this question, with lyrics from a song of the same name, right! What film is it?

The stop-motion special, "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," shares its title with a popular childhood Christmas tune. In this movie narrated by Fred Astaire, a mailman shares how Santa Claus answers the requests of children all over the world.


Elves to the rescue! Which of these features tells the story of a "right jolly old elf" whose job has him in a funk?

Even Santa Claus is not immune to a job that brings him down from time to time. "The Year Without A Santa Claus" follows Santa in a Christmas slump, until Mrs. Claus and some of his elves recharge his Christmas spirit.


Bill Murray gets visited by ghosts in what we promise is definitely a Christmas movie. What is its title?

In an adaptation of "A Christmas Carol," Bill Murray plays a modern Scrooge in the film named — you guessed it — "Scrooged." Murray is a cranky TV executive in this 1988 film when three ghosts give him a chance to get it right.


This televised holiday special is a Muppet-ized take on "The Gift of the Magi." What is it called?

"Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" finds both Emmet and Ma separately entering a talent competition to buy Christmas gifts for the other. As the story progresses, each much give up what they love in order to proceed with the contest. Now that's the true spirit of Christmas.


The jig is up in this 1945 holiday film when a columnist's domesticated deception is uncovered. What was it called?

A war hero recovering from his injuries grows fond of a columnist's domesticated writings while in the hospital. After arrangements are made for him to visit the writer's home, the columnist must figure out a way to keep up her not-so-domesticated ways.


The title character in this film has a knack for ice sculptures. What movie are we talking about?

You may not necessarily think of "Edward Scissorhands" as a Christmas movie until you remember the scene when it's Christmastime, and Edward is carving an ice sculpture, which rains down snow on the neighborhood. And everybody loves a good, white Christmas, don't they?


It was the original "Wife Swap!" (sort of.) Which of these movies follows two women — one in Hollywood, one in England — swapping houses during the Christmas season?

Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz star opposite one another in "The Holiday." The two opt to swap homes — from California to England and vice versa — during the Christmas season, with both rediscovering themselves and love along the way.


Which of these movies follows a young girl in need of protection from an evil rodent?

You're probably most familiar with seeing local productions of "The Nutcracker" onstage. Still, several movies based on the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ballet have been created as well — most notably, a 1993 version that starred Macaulay Culkin.


Did you know Santa had a brother? Turns out, he's the black sheep of the family. What movie tells the story?

"Fred Claus," which stars Vince Vaughn, details the sibling rivalry between the squeaky-clean Nick (that's Santa to you) and his troublemaker brother, Fred. Of course, by the end of the film, Fred sees the error of his ways.


College pals use the holidays as a reason to reconnect, and like all reunions, new drama comes to the forefront. What movie is it?

"The Best Man Holiday" was a sequel 15 years in the making, following 1999's "The Best Man." As college friends assemble over the holidays, new crises emerge, and friendships are deepened as a result.


He loves me! He loves me not! This Christmas flick recounts the story of adversaries and penpals. What is it?

Who remembers penpals? OK, we admit, it's been a while. "The Shop Around The Corner" recounts the story of two co-workers who loathe each other by day and write to each other (unknowingly!) as penpals by night.


Which of these movies featured the debut of the popular holiday song, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?"

You might look at the title of "Meet Me In St. Louis" and scratch your head. That's no Christmas movie! Yeah, we hear you ... except it is. It's also the debut of the popular Christmas song, sung by leading lady Judy Garland.


Think your family holiday get-together is a disaster? You've never seen anything like the chaos in one of these classics. Which is it?

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation's" Clark Griswold is determined to have a "fun, old-fashioned family Christmas." What ensues is actually pretty funny, but mostly for those of us watching, not those of us who've been in similar situations.


Christmas isn't complete without a good slasher flick, amirite? Which of these films follows sorority sisters trying to outwit a serial killer?

Released in 1974, "Black Christmas" follows a group of coeds as they deal with a menacing stranger (and we don't mean Santa Claus). We're not sure exactly how this film will put you in the holiday spirit, but it's certainly a good change of pace.


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