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The 5 Best Holiday Movies to Watch This Winter

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With Christmas time fast approaching, the time to watch our favorite holiday movies is finally here. The holidays mean different things to different people, but for me, they are a time to spend with family and friends and reflect on the year’s events. There’s something about a holiday movie that remains endearing and relatable no matter how many times they’re watched. These are my favorite movies that I’ll be watching again this winter:

5.) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts characters are some of the most famous in American entertainment and also some of the most relatable. Even though A Charlie Brown Christmas was released in the 60’s, anyone can empathize with Charlie Brown’s frustrations with his friends as he tries to teach them the true meaning of Christmas. Schulz’s short film teaches an important lesson– one that audiences haven’t been able to get enough of since 1965. It’s a lesson that’s timeless, and that’s why I’ll be watching A Charlie Brown Christmas again this holiday season.

4.) A Christmas Story (1983)

Everyone has probably seen A Christmas Story a thousand times. Kids and adults alike can easily identify with Ralphie’s struggle to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and deal with family issues and bullies at school. Everyone knows how hard it can be to wait for Christmas, and A Christmas Story understands what every child goes through around the holidays. It’s one of those films that can be enjoyed over and over due to its sense of nostalgia and childish excitement. It’s expertly written and has an incredible ability to take audiences back to a simpler time.

3.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

As exciting as the holidays can be, they can also be a time for occasional family drama. Having to deal with in-laws, cousins, aunts or uncles can be maddening, and this is the premise Christmas Vacation explores through the eyes of determined family man, Clark Griswold. This hilarious 1989 comedy is one of the very best commentaries on family life in all of film. Every character is an exaggeration of the typical family member, making it very easy for audiences to laugh at the Griswolds’ antics. From its insane cast of characters to its unbelievable ending, Christmas Vacation is almost impossible not to rewatch every Christmas.

2.) White Christmas (1954)

White Christmas is one of the few musical experiences I enjoy. It’s a movie about friendship and loyalty and love during a Christmas season with no snow. After reconnecting with a wartime friend, performers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis write a musical with two up and coming female singers. Conflict ensues, with the performers having to invest their own money in the project and deal with romantic struggles amongst themselves. It’s a heartfelt film that explores drama within the music industry and love itself during the holidays. It’s a Christmas movie more about human emotion than the fantastical elements of the winter season, and that’s why it earns its status as an undisputed classic.

1.) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life is the pinnacle of Christmas entertainment. Frank Capra’s film about a man down on his luck at Christmas is one of the most emotionally satisfying movies I’ve ever watched. Jimmy Stewart is excellent as the incredibly loyal everyman, George Bailey, and Donna Reed is fantastic as his wife, Mary. It’s a movie about sacrificing what we want most for the people in our lives, and tells a story that’s perfect for the holiday season. Though It’s a Wonderful Life ends on a high note, George Bailey’s story is a heartbreaking one filled with loss of family and broken dreams. Out of all of the Christmas movies I’ve seen, this one is the best and most endearing due to its universal message and themes. George Bailey represents a little bit of everyone, which is why he’s one of my favorite movie characters of all time. He always does what’s best for the people in his family and community, even if it means giving up his aspirations and desires he’s sought after his entire life. It’s a Wonderful Life is a truly special film, and the one I’ve been looking forward to watching again the most this winter.

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The 5 Best Holiday Movies to Watch This Winter