I am not quite sure what the heck is going on, but on or around the time I have finished my last piece of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, the feeling comes bubbling up, and I am in Christmas mode again. I know scores of people just shudder at this thought, but I am not talking about hitting the malls and waiting in line. I am talking about deciding what Holiday films I am going to watch this year.

So without further ado, here are my must see holiday films, of which I try to catch every year.

Outside of number one, there is no order to them.

1.It's a Wonderful Life

I know....I know, but this slice of Americana is timeless, and its universal message of hope over despair always gets to me. With an excellent cast, this darkly toned masterpiece by Frank Capra is often copied, but never have they come close to matching its perfection.I never get sick of this movie, which is one of my favorite films of all time. This is a timeless masterpiece.

2.National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

I love this movie. It is a hilarious and very sentimental holiday film with a very big heart, and is right up there with A Christmas Story. It also has a great soundtrack starting with the now classic theme song.

3.A Christmas Story

I don’t care what you say, the two day marathon of continuous airings is something I love. In between putting together toys, eating, and foggy naps, this classic shines. You feel the cold of the dirty snow these kids trudge through in their cumbersome winter clothes.

I know that sounds odd, but this movie gets the kid perspective so right.

4. How the Grinch stole Christmas

Perfect in every way, and Boris Karloff’s’ narration is unforgettable.

5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

I watch this, with those lovely songs, like I was 8 again every time.

6. White Christmas

Really? Never seen it? Have you at least heard of that song?

7. The Polar Express

This was an instant classic when it was first released. Like most holiday films, this takes you back to an idealistic archetypical place in our childhood. It also has a somewhat kind of creepy and mysterious North Pole which is so right. Tom Hanks, the modern day Jimmy Stewart, was also the only choice for this movie, playing multiple roles, and nailing every one of them.If you saw this in IMAX 3D,it was magic!

8. The Family Stone

I just love this movie for so many reasons. It has that perfect chaotic holiday theme: Where is everyone going to sleep back home?  The closeness and distance of family members who know each other all too well, and the odd feeling of being so out of place,if you are a stranger in the house. Couple that with a family illness and great acting, this is a bittersweet holiday gem.

9. Scrooged

As years go by, I love this more and more. Sure, Bill Murray hams it up a bit too much at times, but that's why we love him.
(I will also add that any version of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is always worth it to catch).

10. Miracle on 34th Street

Again…If you are one of the few…this is just magic! By the way, (Edmund Gwenn) who plays Kris Kringle, won the Academy Award for Best Actor for good reason.

 Happy Holidays!