The Top 5 Holiday Movies Adapted From Books

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s time for eating, drinking and celebrating, but most of all, curling up in front of the fire to watch holiday movies. There are many great holiday movies – from Elf to Home Alone…It’s a Wonderful Life to Miracle on 34th Street – but not every festive movie is a good one. So, what makes a Christmas movie so great? Well, they all include one or more of these comfortable clichés: a picturesque town; a heartfelt romance; a tragedy of some kind; festive cheer in any form; and at least one epiphany. But more importantly, the best ones are nearly always adapted from books… If you’re looking for inspiration to make your next novel a big hit on the silver screen, take a look at our top 5 holiday movies adapted from books.

1. Let it Snow, 2019

Let It Snow is Netflix’s adaption of The New York Times’ Bestseller Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances. The novel, written by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle, is a mix-up of three stories which eventually come together to make one charming romance. Set on Christmas Eve, in a small American town, the novel follows a brooding romance between two strangers, the sparks between two old friends and what true love really means to one individual. The Netflix version is a funny, easy-watching rom-com that’s perfect for viewing with your best friends. It’s silly, effortless and boasts just the right amount of festive cheer.

2. The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992

The Muppets Christmas Carol is a joyful and dazzling adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Though there have been many adaptations of this Victorian novel, this particular version is brilliantly buoyant and total viewing pleasure (not to mention, guarantees lots of belly laughs). A Christmas Carol is one of Dickens’ most prominent novels and was first published in 1843. It follows the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a grumpy elderly man who is visited by Ghosts of Christmas to change his outlook on life before he dies an old and lonely man. Not unlike the novel, The Muppet Christmas Carol follows Scrooge as he’s visited by Spirits of Christmas.


3. Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944

Though Meet Me in St. Louis isn’t branded a typical holiday movie, it’s a longstanding favorite over the holiday season, with some critics even citing it one of the best holiday films. And, of course, it’s where we first heard Judy Garland sing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. Written by Sally Benson in 1942, the novel follows the Smith family at the end of 1903, looking forward to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The movie follows the same story, but with song, dance and amazing costumes, making it a must-see, feel-good holiday movie.

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000

Adapted from Dr Seuss’ famous book of the same title, originally published in 1957, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a fantasy/comedy starring the ridiculously talented Jim Carey. The book and movie follow the cast-out Grinch who lives alone outside Whoville, a town dedicated to loving and celebrating Christmas. The Grinch, however, hates Whoville and the people in it and especially hates Christmas – that is until he meets Cindy Lou. The 2000 film adaption is arguably one of the most fun holiday movies out there, and with its multiple awards, including the Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Movie, it’d be hard to argue.

5. The Snowman, 1982

Adapted from Raymond Briggs’ 1978 picture book, The Snowman, this fantasy short film is one for the kids but will certainly evoke a sense of nostalgia within the adults. The Snowman (both movie and picture book) is a heart-warming tale of friendship between a young boy (James) and his snowman. After James’ snowman magically comes to life, it takes the youngster on a flying adventure to meet Santa Claus. If this silent movie doesn’t get the whole family in the spirit for Christmas then we don’t know what will, it’s simply wonderful.