12/20/2012 04:57 pm ET Updated Feb 19, 2013

Top 5 Holiday Movie Recommendations

Film nerds like myself love the holidays. There is a plethora of titles to choose from and it doesn't matter how many times you have seen the movie before, the holidays make it fresh again, bringing back familiar emotions and feelings. For example, I've seen Elf about 16 times now (including twice this season) and in spite of the fact that Elf is a comedy, I can't help but weep like my wife during the film's climax, when the world's failing Christmas spirit is revived thanks to Buddy the Elf.

For this post, I thought it would be fun to share my list of the top five holiday movies, as according to my family. Most of these are comedies, with one being inappropriate for our 3-year-old, but all receive considerable play at our home during the holidays. For added giggles, I added my favorite sound bite from each film. If your family is like ours, you will find yourselves huddled together in front of the television at least once over the next week, watching holiday movies. When you do, take this list into consideration.

1. Elf: Perhaps the most comedic, most appropriate and emotion-grabbing holiday film of all time? My friends and other family members like to put It's a Wonderful Life or Christmas Story at the top of their list, but my family prefers Will Ferrell over Jimmy Stewart any day of the week. He's On The Naughty List 2. The Polar Express: Animation at its best, along with a beautifully crafted message about brotherhood and belief. This film, starring Tom Hanks as the wise, charming train conductor, is a fascinating thrill ride to the North Pole and like Elf, reaffirms the true meaning of Christmas. What matters is deciding to get on 3. Miracle on 34th Street: Typically my kids will not sit through an older film, especially one that is black and white, but Miracle on 34th Street is compelling theater regardless of age, or generational affiliation. The message is simple to digest -- corporate greed and public fear standing in the way of belief, even as proof stares our characters directly in the face. This movie is beautifully directed and the screenplay is spot on. If you are looking for a classic to present the kids, this is the one I would recommend. But he's so kind and nice and jolly. He's not like anyone else. He must be Santa 4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: I was torn between putting the Grinch here, or Scrooged, but the Grinch wins because of its family-friendly nature. Who do kids love more than Dr. Seuss? From the time our kids were aware enough to be read to, Dr. Seuss has maintained a strong hold over the content we allow our children to consume. Tried and true, How the Grinch Stole Christmas brings Dickensian themes to a modern audience in a humorous vehicle led by Jim Carrey. Oh, No The Sleigh The Presents 5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: When the kids go to bed, toss in this Chevy Chase classic. National Lampoon's Vacation franchise was a winner, with this third entry in the series matching the original Family Vacation for laughs. Cousin Eddy? Classic. Chase once again portrays the loveable, but clumsy Clark Griswold as if he were born to play the character. The language and sexual situations in Christmas Vacation make it adults only viewing for us. And of course, there is the everlasting allure of Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold. This is a Full Blown Four Alarm Holiday Emergency Here!

Are you ready to snuggle in front of the fire with your family for a holiday film marathon? Get the popcorn and holiday treats ready. The holiday vacation is about to begin in earnest.

Happy Holidays!

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