Orchestral tracks from our favorite seasonal films

With themes of childhood imagination, familial bonds, and belief in magical things, Christmas movie soundtracks evoke a particular nostalgia. I didn’t grow up with the film adaptation of The Polar Express, but its main musical theme still feels familiar in that special Christmas way.

On this playlist you’ll find bits and pieces of the orchestral accompaniment to seasonal favorites like Elf and A Christmas Story (and, yes, The Polar Express). It’s all instrumental (save a few wordless choral additions), so if you, like me, cannot work while music with words plays in the background, these tracks will offer some non-disruptive Christmas cheer. 

Whether the last time you watched Home Alone was on VHS or you can call to mind each track’s accompanying scene, pop in your earbuds and hit “play” to bring strings and sleigh bells to your workday—and to feel like you’re the star of your own personal Christmas movie.