#171: 8 Perfect Christmas Movies for Learning English

Christmas is one of the most important holidays in English speaking country. Contrary to popular belief, for most people it is no longer a religious celebration, but rather a cultural celebration. It is an excuse to stay warm by the fire, get together with family, exchange presents, and enjoy delicious food and sweets.

One of the best ways to learn about Christmas is to watch one of the many popular Christmas Movies, which will show you what the holiday is like and the sorts of values that it represents for Americans. But there are so many to choose from–so we wanted to make a list of our favorites, which are ideal for learning English and getting a taste of what celebrating it is like!

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Words You’ll Learn:

  • Jolly – Happy, joyful (used a lot at Christmas or to describe Santa)
  • Sleigh – the carriage that Santa drives with Reindeer
  • Deck the halls – to decorate the house for Christmas
  • Stocking – a big sock that is hung at Christmas, which Santa fills with presents
  • Merry – Happy (also common at Christmastime)
  • Gather – to get together
  • Kegger – a party with large barrel(s) of beer
  • Attic – the top part of the house between the top floor and the roof, often used for storage or as an extra bedroom
  • Supervision – watch over someone to make sure they behave correctly or are safe
  • Twist – an unexpected change in a movie/series
  • Spoiler – a piece of information that gives away the end of a movie, series, book, etc.
  • Spoiled – to be given everything one wants (e.g. a spoiled child)
  • To burgle – to rob (usually a house)
  • White picket fence – a barrier of wooden posts painted white (common of American homes)
  • Redneck – someone from a rural area of lower education
  • Hick – a person who lives in the country, as opposed to the city
  • Trailer Trash / White Trash – someone who is poor, uneducated and usually impolite
  • Orphanage – a place for children without parents
  • Elves – a small, magical creature that looks like a human, but with pointed ears. They are believed to help Santa make presents
  • Naughty – badly behaved, disobedient
  • Carol – a Christmas song
  • Stumble upon – to find something by chance
  • Buddy – friend


Christmas Movies We Covered

1. Home Alone

2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

3. A Christmas Story

4. Elf

5. Love Actually

6. A Nightmare Before Christmas

7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Dr. Seuss)

8. A Christmas Carol – Scrooge 

9. Miracle on 34th Street

10. It’s a Wonderful Life

10. Die Hard

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  • Cris says:

    Great movie selection and very informative podcast!

  • Homero says:

    Very intersting scene and meaningful lesson for students who want to get native accent and pronuciation!