In celebration of Christmas, here is a list of my Top 5 Christmas Movies! This will not include Christmas specials, dramatic or horror films that were released during the Christmas season, or Hallmark movies. This list became very nostalgic for me. It’s hard for it not to be. Anyway, with that, let’s take a look at some films that make us feel nice and warm inside.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

I know this film has been made into a more modern take of this story, but I decided to go with the classic original. Watching this film in black and white, takes me back to a simpler time, which is what the film is intended to do. Though I wasn’t born until the late 80s, seeing this classic movie takes me back to being a kid. Going to the mall to see and take pictures with Santa. This is a beautiful film that can relate to those old and young.

4. Christmas Vacation (1989)

What can I say about Christmas Vacation? It’s not like the other National Lampoon Vacation films, where the Griswolds go to a far off vacation spot, only to let it turn into one of the worst vacations ever. When so many other Christmas movies focus on the beauty of the holidays, Christmas Vacation shows how spending one moment with your extended family, can drive you insane.

3. Home Alone (1990)

How can Home Alone not be on this list? Being a kid, and watching this movie for the first time, I wanted to be similar to this Kevin McCallister kid, played by Macaulay Culkin. I loved how independent he was. But what made this film so enjoyable, was the showdown between Kevin and the two moronic burglars, Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Kevin is able to use different household items (including a load of Hot Wheels cars) in order to make these burglars wish they had never messed with him. It’s an incredibly entertaining film. I would recommend seeing the second one, if you have not done so, but then stop there. The rest of the Home Alone films became too childish and ended up taking the franchise down a deep dark hole.

2. A Christmas Story (1983)

“You’ll shoot your eye out!” If you haven’t heard this line, whether it be from this film, or someone trying to be funny and saying it to you, I don’t know where you have been. A Christmas Story makes me laugh more than any other holiday movie out there! By far it’s the most quotable and the most memorable. This film shows both the upside and downside to the holidays. Set in the 1950s, whenever I watch this film with my family, it never fails that I hear memories about when my parents were children during Christmas, and them shopping with my grandparents at all the old department stores. With scenes such as the pink bunny outfit, or the boy sticking his tongue to the frozen pole, A Christmas Story will always find it’s place in families’ homes during the Christmas season.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

When I was a kid, the network television stations used to show this film around Christmas time. Then they started showing it around Thanksgiving. But now, it’s rare if you even find it on any channel other then Turner Classic Movies. All I can say is, what a pity, because this film is magnificent. I was a little kid when I first saw this film, and I’ll never forget it. Phrases such “hot dog” stuck in my head along with the more well know ones such as “every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.” Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, who as his life seems to collapse around him, goes to a bridge to commit suicide. During his suicide attempt, George meets an angel named Clarence, who basically shows George what people’s lives would have been like without him. It’s a moving film that makes me want to cry just thinking about it. It’s a wonderful movie with an even more wonderful meaning.