Photo: IMDB

Everybody has their favorite holiday movies. The ones they watch every year to get them into the spirit of things. Some have to watch the classics, others are into comedies, or romances, or even horror movies. There has been something made for everyone. Here are some movies from many different genres that bring a Christmas smile when watching them.

1Holiday Inn (1942)

This is the movie that introduced the song “White Christmas” written by Irving Berlin, sung by Bing Crosby. It is about an inn that is only open on holidays and the twisty love lives of the people who perform there. One interesting fact, Pearl Harbor was bombed on the day they were filming the Fourth of July segment.

2Scrooge (1970)

There are many, many movies that tell the story of “A Christmas Carol”, including one with the Muppets, but this musical version really sticks thanks to the performance of Albert Finney as a very distasteful Ebenezer Scrooge. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song “Thank You Very Much”, which is the turning point in the movie, where the townspeople cheer the death of Scrooge and he joins in with them not understanding the celebration. It is both hilarious and sad.

3Love Actually (2003)

An ensemble piece by the writer and director of Four Weddings and Funeral, it follows eight couples and their frantic lives during the month leading up to Christmas. It explores love and loss, falling in love and falling out of love, familial love, and love between old friends. Woven through the movie is the Christmas themed song “Love is All Around Us” that has-been rock star Billy Mack, played by Bill Nighy, is in the middle of promoting as a come-back even though he makes no bones about it being crappy.

4Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)

There is something about Christmas and songs sung by the greats of old, like Burl Ives singing “Silver and Gold” and of course, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. It is a timeless theme of finding your own strength and acceptance for who you are. Besides, who can resist toothless Abominable?

5Die Hard (1988)

Okay, laugh. But action-adventure can be a part of any Christmas rotation of movies. Bruce Willis kicked butt and what better villain than Alan Rickman (AKA Snape, see Harry Potter below) playing the high-strung Hans Gruber. And for those who remember the Russian ballet great Alexander Godunov, he had a supporting part in the film as an evil German terrorist.

6Home Alone (1990)

“Keep the change, you filthy animal,” says the movie clip that eight-year-old Kevin McCallister uses to make the pizza delivery guy think he has not been left alone in Chicago when his family accidently leaves him when they fly to Paris for the holidays. Written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus (again see Harry Potter), it is a timeless classic. After watching it once, you will never look at an iron or broken glass ornaments quite the same again. Ouch!

7The Holiday (2006)

Two women with messy love lives swap houses during the Christmas season. One moving from the English countryside to Los Angeles and the other from LA to a small English village. Both end up finding happiness after dealing with culture shock and facing up to old loves who are no longer good for them. It is light and sweet fun.

8Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Picking a horror movie for a Christmas movie offers many possibilities, but this Tim Burton animated cult classic is more sweet than bloody. It is the story of Jack Skellinton, his desire to bring Christmas to Halloweentown, and the large mess he causes. It was created from a poem that Tim Burton wrote when he was an animator for Walt Disney Productions in 1982.

9Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

More than any other, this movie brings to life the magic of Christmas and the power of belief. It pulls together the Macy’s Christmas parade, Santa and all of the otherworldliness of the season. Including the sparkle in Kris Kringle’s eye. Is he Santa or is he not?

10Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Several turning points in the Harry Potter saga take place in this film as the group of friends struggle with love and loss as the threat of Voldemort finally becomes very real. But in the middle of the movie is the Yule Ball, with a very funny bit where Professor McGonagall is teaching Harry’s friend Ron how to dance. And Hermione Granger cleans up real nice and shows herself to be a lovely young woman in her beautiful ball gown. Alan Rickman delves deeper into Snape and Chis Columbus takes back the reigns on the films, which he then holds on to until the end.