The 10 best holiday movies

No matter what you’re celebrating this holiday season, everyone reaches that point when your family makes you crazy and the food makes you tired. Once you reach this holiday plateau, make sure to have one of these holiday favorites on hand.

Released right around most college student’s first birthday and produced by the late and great John Hughes, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a great holiday favorite. Hilarious and heart-warming, it can bring you back to childhood and remind you of the meaning of the holidays while remaining light hearted. Its stooge-like pranks mixed with the main character, Kevin’s, super sick moves create an instant classic. If you’re with an older crowd, try the equally comical but more old-school classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Very rarely are movies from the 1960s up to par against a modern remake, but when it comes to Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the cartoon version is the only way to go. From his too-small heart to his generally crass attitude, the Grinch appeals to the holiday crank if all of us, while the oh-so-adorable Whos of Whoville grab at the loving warmth which (mostly) characterizes the holiday season. If you’re feeling a little dark about the holidays or just cartoons in general, I recommend the musical stop motion Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

After about two weeks at home and stooped in a food-coma, you will have no option but to explore the personality flaws that characterize your love life, so you may as well watch a movie to help. With its surprisingly deep emotional connections and (mostly) realistic depictions of the downfalls of love, Love Actually could win over even the most cynical and heartbroken family members. Funny and smart with a British accent, the movie explores multiple stories of love lost and found through the personalities brilliant actors ranging from Colin Firth and Liam Neeson to Kiera Knightley and Hugh Grant. For those who are not a fan of multi-story films, The Holiday is a great alternative.

Serving as an age-old reminder of the importance of life and the things we do in it, It’s a Wonderful Life pays homage to a different time with a different holiday spirit. This 1946 black-and-white turns from cute to surprisingly serious and tragic after the first 30 minutes, but is sure to bring you back to life towards the end. Keep an ear out for some witty one-liners and classic quotes too. For a more modern and slightly humorous drama, The Family Stone is a solid alternative.

Relating to the hilarity of even your worst holiday disaster, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a fast way to your funny bone. The Griswold’s bad luck accompanies them from one side-splitting situation to another and their obnoxious visiting family adds an instantly relatable element to the otherwise ridiculous film. For a lewd and less family-friendly laugh, Adam Sandler’s cartoon Eight Crazy Nights is a good alternative.