For us, holiday movies are as big a part of the season as spending time with the family, opening up presents placed underneath the Christmas tree, or overeating and totally regretting it the morning after. Each year, we await the latest crop of holiday flicks, and look forward to dragging out the classics, because what’s Christmas without the 24-hour “A Christmas Story” marathon on TBS, right?
But let’s face it: Not all holiday movies are created equal. And some of them are actually pretty terrible (many of those feature either Ben Affleck or Vince Vaughn). A quick poll around the office found that there are definitely some winners and losers when it comes to Christmas movies we can’t wait to watch again and again.
We’ve taken a look and ranked 12 films from favorite to least favorite. Take a look and tell us what you think of our picks!
"A Christmas Story:"
The story of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), who valiantly tries to convince his parents he needs a Red Ryder BB gun. Along the way, he endures the indignities of a mean mall Santa Claus, gets his tongue frozen to a telephone poll, and witnesses his dad win the coolest leg lamp of all time.
What It's Like: Finding out there really is a Santa.
"It's A Wonderful Life:" Jimmy Stewart stars in this holiday classic, about a man who's given the chance to see what life would be life if he never existed. All the tears! What It's Like: Petting a North Pole reindeer.
"Love, Actually:" The love lives of eight cantankerous Londoners come to a head in the month before Christmas in often hilarious and touching ways. What It's Like: Waking up Christmas morning to find out there's a brand new car with a bow on it in your driveway.
"Elf:" Buddy the Elf, played by Will Ferrell, travels from the North Pole to find his real father. Hijinks ensue. What It's Like: Seeing awesomely beautiful snow on Christmas morning.
"White Christmas:" A couple of friends fall in love with a pair of sisters and team up to save a failing Vermont Inn — through song, of course. What It's Like: Happily fallling asleep in front of a roaring fire.
"The Family Man:" Nic Cage stars as a man who's visited by a spirit who replaces his high-intensity life by a slower existence. His sports car and younger girlfriend are suddenly exchanged for a wife and kids in the suburbs. What It's Like: Somehow skipping the return line the morning after at the mall.
"Scrooged:" A retelling of the classic "A Christmas Carol," Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a cynical, mean, television executive who gets visited by three ghosts to learn the true meaning of the holidays. What It's Like: Getting pleasantly tipsy on eggnog.
"Serendipity:" Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack play Jonathan and Sara, a couple of stupidly hopeless romantics, who meet and feel an instant spark while Christmas shopping. But rather than exchange numbers, they decide to test fate and go their separate ways. Will they come back together again? (Uh, duh). What It's Like: Getting gifted the novelty tee shirt you'd never buy yourself.
"Reindeer Games:" Ben Affleck stars in this convoluted casino heist movie about a gang of thieves who rob a casino dressed as a bunch of Santa Clauses. Bad idea. What It's Like: Finding a pair of tube socks stuffed in the bottom of your stocking.
"Jingle All The Way:" The story of a hapless father (played by Arnold Schwarzeneggar) who will do whatever he can to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. What It's Like: Eating last year's stale Christmas fruit cake.
"Four Christmases:" Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn play a couple who's forced to visit all four sets of their parents in one day. It ends disasterously. What It's Like: Accidentally lighting the Christmas tree on fire.
"Surviving Christmas:" Ben Affleck plays a young obnoxious millionaire who pays a family to spend the holidays with him. What It's Like: Finding Christmas cookies stuffed under your couch ... a year later.