I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need: Christmas songs performed by various movie characters. In no particular order, here are some of the best…
1. Mean Girls (2004) – ‘Jingle Bell Rock’
2004 was a bright time and a right time for Lindsay Lohan, mathletes, Glen Coco, and army pants and flip flops. This holiday talent show performance by The Plastics has it all: pleather, a stage mom and a boom box to the face.
2. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) – ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’
This endearing performance is pure commercialized Christmas! There’s Santa, Rudolph, elves square dancing, presents, a giant tree, mistletoe, tinsel, and the most classic Christmas icon – the abominable snowman. This holly jolly song is performed by the film’s narrator, Sam the Snowman, who is actually folk singer Burl Ives in real life! This adorable performance reaffirms that Christmas really is the best time of the year.
3. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – ‘What’s This?’
What’s this, what’s this? This is a beautiful performance that you can enjoy at Halloween and at Christmas. Jack perfectly captures how it feels to experience Christmas for the first time if you come from a terrifying, nightmarish world.
4. Home Alone (1990) – ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’
Here is an amazing performance by the one and only Kevin McCallister. When the wet bandits threaten to burglarize his home, Kevin stages an elaborate party to fool them into thinking he’s not alone. Brings me back to my high school days! This party has all the essentials: turntables, string dancing, empty cups, fake gambling and a cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan. This clip is hard to come by, so please enjoy the scene below starting at 0:34, ya filthy animals.
5. Elf (2003) – ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’
One of the most endearingly inappropriate scenes in the film, Buddy the elf joins his co-worker Jovie in the bathroom for a secret duet. Can you blame him? Bathrooms always have the best acoustics. Keep your eyes peeled for Zooey!
6. Meet Me In St Louis (1944) – ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’
This classic Christmas song made its debut in this lovely film about a family who is preparing to leave their beloved hometown of St. Louis, Missouri for New York City. In this scene, Esther (the incomparable Judy Garland) tries to comfort her younger sister Tootie, who is distraught at the thought of leaving home. Esther’s pure, beautiful voice will have you tearing up – just like that little baby whose mama sang “My Heart Can’t Tell You No.” If the song itself doesn’t get you, Tootie’s emotional breakdown via snowmen murder will.
7. Scrooged (1988) – ‘Put A Little Love In Your Heart’
One of the things I enjoy most in life is when movie characters break that fourth wall and speak directly to the audience. Even better than speaking is singing, and that’s what Scrooged delivers as the credits roll. Is it explicitly a Christmas song? No, but put a little love in your heart and just accept it as part of this list. This performance is random, beautiful, interactive, and it’s the closest most of us will ever come to speaking with Bill Murray.
8. Love Actually (2003) – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’
An outrageously talented pre-teen, a gospel-esque choir, some b-boy dancers, a potential political scandal and a little drummer boy to boot! This entertaining and heart-warming performance raised the bar for school Christmas pageants everywhere. Sadly, most parents had to sit through patchy renditions of Joy to the World on recorder flutes.
*Honorable mention goes to rock and roll legend Billy Mack
9. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) – ‘Welcome Christmas’
Here’s a song for the small and the tall who know that Christmas still comes without any toys at all. Welcome Christmas is performed by the Whos at the end of the story as they celebrate Christmas in all its glory.
10. Holiday Inn (1942) – ‘White Christmas’
Remember the days before cell phones and television when we used to just sit by the fire, play piano and sing for hours on end? Me neither, but there’s something about this performance that makes you want to put your phone on airplane mode and give this quality time thing a shot. Enjoy the musical stylings of Jim (Bing Crosby) and Linda (Marjorie Reynolds) – in color!
11. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ & ‘Auld Lang Syne’
In one of the most touching scenes in Christmas movie history, the town of Bedford Falls comes together to help out their dear friend George Bailey. As a viewer you can feel the love in the air as they sing in celebration of Christmas, community and family.
12. Muppets Christmas Carol (1992) – ‘One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas’
As we all know, every Muppet performance is amazing. This performance in particular made the cut for one major reason: Kermit figure skates! It may only be for a brief moment, but nothing puts a smile on your face like watching those skinny green felt legs whirl about.
Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to YOU!
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