Many are schmaltzy, a few actually festive, and plenty completely unwatchable, but like it or not, the annual viewing of many a holiday film classic just comes along with the season. And if someone in your house is going to watch one anyway, you might as well make it something worth revisiting year after year.
So, let's have it.
What's the greatest Christmas movie of all time?
This isn't about your own personal favorite, or the one you always watch first to get you in the spirit. My own personal go-tos – Home Alone and A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All – are important to me for a variety of reasons, but I can't reasonably argue either of them is greatest holiday film ever.
I'm open to taking write-in nominations, but in my mind, there are only a handful of serious contenders: those that have just the right amount of holiday cheer while still remaining legitimately watchable, and even high quality, films. We're also vetoing anything that takes place at the holidays, but doesn't use the actual spirit of the season as the occasion for the narrative. (Sorry, Die Hard.)
A Christmas Story | White Christmas | Elf
It's a Wonderful Life | A Charlie Brown Christmas
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Vote your pick in the comments below, share your top three, or tell me why my nominations are BS. Looking forward to your thoughts. Happy Holidays.