12/01/14 by Krystin Olinski
Talk of the holidays conjure up plenty of visions, from cookies and Christmas trees to family, friends, parties and shopping.
One aspect of the holidays that often goes overlooked is the entertainment element, particularly the movies that define this time of year. Plenty of people have their all time favorite, and typically those are the easiest ones to identify, perhaps the most obvious selections.
Classics like "Miracle on 34th Street," "It's a Wonderful Life" or even the "Frosty the Snowman" cartoon ring in the holidays just as well as any movie in this particular genre. Ranking them purely is based on preference as far as what you want out of your holiday movie (like rarely do you see "Lord of the Rings" listed as a favorite holiday movie, even though some argue that it was released in December).
When you talk holiday movies, you are focusing more on the central theme of the movie being related to everything you've come to know that is synonymous with the holidays, not so much when a film was specifically released.
There's no shortage of worthy contenders, so narrowing the field down to five figures to leave a lot of worthwhile movies unwrapped and left under the tree.
1. "Scrooged" - Bill Murray never truly gets credit for carrying movies that, if another actor was trying to play the lead, would fail miserably. Movies like "Groundhog Day" showcase just how Murray can overtake a film and truly be so magnetic that he really makes the movie what it is. "Scrooged" is what you would call Murray at his comedic finest. He's electric as the fictional Frank Cross, a television network executive who can't embrace the holidays without being visited by his three ghosts, a take on the classic "Scrooge" story. Murray is hilarious in all facets of the film and makes this one of the staples of the holiday movie watching experience.
2. "Just Friends" - This one is a personal preference. Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart and Anna Faris work exceptionally well in this movie that is a fun holiday film that zips by in about 90 minutes and allows you to laugh about coming home from the holidays as the former ugly duckling (Reynolds) to show off to your new good looks and great job to your high school crush, the girl that always labeled you as a "friend."
3. "A Christmas Story" - OK, so TBS plays the movie for 24 hours beginning on Christmas Eve, and while most people will tell you that they don't make it a point to watch the movie, they will eventually admit that at some point during that one day span, they'll sit down and actually enjoy this iconic movie from beginning to end. The movie is charming, funny and is one of the films that won't lose its spot as one of the defining holiday films forever.
4. "Home Alone" - As odd as Macaulay Culkin has become as a 34 year old adult, his eight year old self in "Home Alone" was cute and magnetic in this box office smash from 1989. John Hughes struck gold with Culkin as the savvy, eight year old child that his parents left at home on a family getaway to France. Culkin roughed up a few burglars with an ending scene that is pure masterful mischief and hilarity for kids and adults alike. Who still doesn't laugh when Daniel Stern, playing one of the bumbling burglars, lets out a lady like scream when Culkin puts a tarantula on his face?
5. "Elf" - Some are calling this a modern holiday classic since its release in 2003. It's one of those film that right around December 20 and on you'll have no trouble finding on cable more than a few times. Will Ferrell, much like Murray in "Scrooged," owns this movie, and the film wouldn't be anything without his performance.
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