The Best Movies to Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner

The Best Movies to Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner

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Ashley Poskin
Nov 26, 2015
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Waking up to the smell of that delicious beast cooking in the kitchen, canned cranberry sauce, watching movies late into the night while grazing on leftovers, too much family time... these are all the makings of a great Thanksgiving. While it still might be too early for some, Thanksgiving evening can be the perfect time to ease your way into the holiday spirit by watching a few favorite movies. Whether you prefer the classics you grew up with or newer flicks, we've got you covered.

Classics You Grew Up With:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Who can resist a houseguest who brings his own house?

Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Hilarious, frustrating, full of near-death experiences—this is everything a good holiday movie should be!

Home Alone: '90s dream home decked out for the holidays—need we say more?

The Preacher's Wife: Denzel + Whitney + amazing soundtrack. Did we mention Denzel?

Uncle Buck: Everyone has one: the loud, embarrassing, super-fun, giant-pancake-making uncle. This movie gets watched in our house every year immediately following Thanksgiving dinner.

Home For the Holidays: Have a big, crazy, dysfunctional family? You'll love it.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Classic.

Grumpy Old Men: "Why don't you do the world a favor and pull your lip over your head and swallow". Full of one-liner nuggets and feuding over a leading lady, this winter classic is sure to bring on all the giggles.

Newer, Bound-To-Be Classics:

Elf: So much happiness packed into one movie! If your holiday is off to a slow burn, flip this movie on for an immediate jolt of holiday cheer. Also, Zooey Deschanel has blond hair. Trippy.

Love Actually: "To me, you are perfect." Uhhh, so is this movie. Just watch it. And for you Walking Dead fans, here's a chance to see the softer, more artsy side of Rick,

The Holiday: While it leaves a little to be desired in terms of substance and acting, it makes up for it with gorgeous architectural eye candy.

The Family Stone: Kind of like a Lifetime movie, but with really great actors. Definitely worth a watch.

What's Cooking?: This one gets messy and fun. For the dysfunctional, fun-loving crowd that makes it work.

Vintage Classics:

White Christmas: When making movies was considered making magic. This movie just might change your life.

Miracle on 34th Street: A lawyer defends Santa Clause and a little girl gets the house of her dreams. Pretty perfect!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas: Whether or not you actually sit down and pay attention, this classic animation deserves to be played all throughout the season—not just after Thanksgiving dinner.

It's a Wonderful Life: Classic Christmas movie—is there anyone who hasn't seen it? If you haven't yet, don't bother with the colored version; just watch the original in black and white.

The Shop Around the Corner: You might recognize its storyline, as it was more recently remade as You've Got Mail. SO GOOD.

Holiday Inn: Composed by Irving Berlin, starring Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and Majorie Reynolds. Enough said.

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