1) Home Alone: I can't believe it's been 20 years since this movie came out. I remember watching this in the theater sometime during Thanksgiving and laughing so hard that tears were falling. This was the ultimate holiday movie for me back when I was a kid. There's something really sweet about this film despite all the comedy about a little boy staying home alone and making all his wishes come true. The scene where he orders the pizza and leaves the money for the delivery boy always makes me laugh. Macaulay Culkin, no matter how old he might be, I'll forever remember him as Kevin from Home Alone. It's so comforting to watch this on TV during holiday season and for that reason this is number one of my Christmas movies list.
2) Love Actually: Actually, I just saw this movie yesterday. This movie had me from the very first
frame. It's got my requirements for a good movie: great soundtrack, great British actors and great moments onscreen. From genuine laugh out moments like Rowan Atkinson wrapping up a gift for Alan Rickman to Hugh Grant as Prime Minister bogeying down to the staircase of 10 Downing Street to awww inducing moments of Andrew Lincoln's character Mark holding up the sign "To Me, You are Perfect" for Keira Knightley and finally the grand finale of them all, Thomas Sangster's Samuel doing the mad dash at the airport to get the girl he has been pining for all movie. Like I said, this movie has it all. Yes, it's too much sweetness, too much romance for some people. But at Christmas, it's just right.
3) Elf: I adore this movie. I think this is one of Will Ferrell's finest roles. He plays the clueless idiot in so many movies, it gets old. It was funny this first few times only. But here, he plays the part of Buddy who believes he's one of Santa's elves and when he realizes he doesn't belong, he goes to New York to find his real father. This is director Jon Favreau's more family oriented feature since he has now moved on the superhero flicks. Buddy's enthusiasm for Christmas is infectious and is one of the main charms of the movie. Watch it again this Christmas and remember the joy you felt as a child for Christmas. Never stop believing, no matter what your age might be.
Honorable mention: Sleepless in Seattle. This is not a traditional Christmas movie. But watching this film really reminds me of the holidays and that time between New Year's and Christmas. The golden couple of 1990s, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, don't even meet for much of the film and yet this is one of those feel-good movies of all time.