It’s that time of the year again… when the world is filled with mistletoe, candy canes, presents and for an avid movie aficionado like myself, holiday movies. Here are my top five favorite Christmas movies—the ones I am always sure to revisit again and again throughout the holiday season.

1.  It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

My fondness for this movie cannot be understated. I absolutely adore this movie with every fiber of my being. I find it very inspiring and moving. It’s one of the few movies to get me truly misty-eyed and continues to do so every time I watch it. The movie tells the story about about one George Bailey (played brilliantly by James “Jimmy” Stewart), a man whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (also played brilliantly by Henry Travers), who shows George all the lives he has touched and the contributions he has made to his community.

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2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Ah…Christmas with the Griswold’s… what could possibly go wrong? How about everything! Especially when you throw Cousin Eddie into the mix! It’s Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for the annual family celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark (played by Chevy Chase at his career peak), his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and their two kids (a young Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki). Clark’s continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests (including a scene-stealing Randy Quaid as the obnoxious and dim-witted, but endearing, Cousin Eddie), but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is coming soon. However, the Griswold’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster!

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3.  Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

This Disney take on this classic tale is quite a charmer. It includes all the classic Disney animated characters playing various roles in this animated retelling of the Charles Dickens masterpiece. Uncle Scrooge McDuck is, appropriately enough, Scrooge and is visited by his dead partner, Jacob Marley (played clumsily by Goofy) and three spirits (The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future) on Christmas Eve to help Scrooge remember the joys of Christmas.

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4.  Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

From the awesome team of Rankin and Bass, the movie starts with Sam the Snowman telling a story of a young misfit reindeer with a red nose named Rudolph who teams up with Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and Yukon Cornelius, a prospector. They run into the Abominable Snowman and also find a whole island full of misfit toys. Rudoph vows to see if he can get Santa to help the toys by going back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. However, due to fog, it looks like Santa’s sleigh might be locked in for good… until Santa looks over at Rudolph and his very shiny nose and gets a very, very bright idea.

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5.  A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

This heart-warming classic features Charlie Brown and the gang during this festive season, however, Charlie Brown feels that Christmas has gotten a little too commercial and tries to find the true meaning of Christmas. On Lucy’s suggestion, he becomes the director of the school Christmas pageant. However, it proves to be a frustrating struggle as everyone but Charlie wants to vary from the original text and make something more modern. Trying to restore the proper spirit, Charlie buys a little fir Christmas tree which everyone teases him for until Linus helps everyone to see what the true meaning of Christmas really is. This is another Christmas movie sure to bring a wee tear to one’s eye!

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So gather the family ’round the tree, bring out the eggnog and hot chocolate and bask in the Christmas spirit with Christmas movies of the highest caliber! “That a boy, Clarence! That a boy!”