However you may do Christmas, make sure these four movies are on your watchlist this holiday season.

Decorating a Christmas tree, getting out decorations from the garage and setting up the Christmas lights are all activities done in preparation for the holiday season. My favorite thing to do to get fully into the spirit is to get some hot chocolate and Ghirardelli peppermint bark chocolates and turn on a classic Christmas film next to the fireplace. 

Everyone has their favorite Christmas movies like Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life, Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street to name a few. Don’t be slow to dive into my four favorite Christmas movies: Christmas With The Kranks, Four Christmases, The Santa Clause and The Holiday. These may already be favorites for some and sleepers for others. Whether you fall under the latter or the prior description, here’s why you should still have these on your Christmas film rotation. 

Christmas With The Kranks

The on-camera chemistry between Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis is like two ballroom dancers gliding across the stage — it just works. Plus, Allen is so funny in this Christmas classic. Originally released in 2004, this movie has heartfelt moments about family, community and leaning into the holiday season and all that comes with it. It also has some memorable moments like when Luther Frank (Allen) goes to get his tan in the mall and walks out with his wife Nora (Curtis) and is embarrassingly greeted by a minister from their church. Other great moments include always being a good neighbor to those actually in your community to even those people that dress up as Santa Claus selling umbrellas. Overall, there is so much to like about this movie. Allen and Curtis are so hilarious and deliver a great Christmas Classic. This movie is free on Amazon Prime Video. 

Four Christmases

Is there anything better than a Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn link up? To me, there aren’t many other better duos. Released in 2008, this romantic comedy was often talked about because of headlines about co-stars Reese Witherspoon and Vaughn not getting along during filming. However, what the two were able to conjure up in front of the cameras was some hilarious moments. In the movie, whose title is self-explanatory, a couple decides to split Christmas into fourths, spending one-fourth of each day at both of their parents’ houses. With many different personalities and family drama, this film is a great one to laugh at and let loose. Many notable and familiar actors appear, and a cameo from Tim McGraw makes this movie random but all in all work. You can stream this one on Hulu!

The Santa Clause

Tim Allen makes a double appearance here on my short list, and I have no regrets about it. Being such a notable figure, he is best-known for his jokes, looks and, of course, the classic voice that played Buzz Lightyear. This story’s take on Santa Claus was always my favorite as a kid and gave me a thread of hope that Ol’ Saint Nick just might actually be real. Released in 1994, this one just feels like home. The soundtrack, the ‘90s vibes and Charlie Calvin make it so memorable. In this movie, Scott Calvin (Allen) inadvertently kills Santa Claus and takes over as the big man with a beard through something called the Santa “Clause” soon after. The transformation into Allen’s character accepting his fate and caring about his son is emotionally compelling. My favorite scene is when Allen is starting to gain weight and grow out his beard, and during a business meeting at work, he orders an insane amount of food along with numerous sweet treats. The way his coworkers look at him is nothing short of being disgusted. Out of all the movies on this list, this is a must watch, and I know it will fit into your yearly rotation. You can watch Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause and the sequel on Disney+.

The Holiday

What can I say? I got a thing for rom-coms — blame it on my three sisters. All jokes aside, The Holiday has something for everyone. Jude Law is perhaps nearly every woman’s crush and Cameron Diaz is at times so corny but so funny in this one. Jack Black and Kate Winslet make for one of the most surprising romantic flames, but it works so well. In this movie, Winslet and Diaz’s characters trade places for the holidays and house-sit as they can’t bear to go through the holidays in their own hometowns. Winslet is all for it and goes with the flow while Diaz’s character has a tough time adjusting to the lifestyle switch and being alone. Iris (Winslet) and Arthur’s (Eli Wallach) friendship is almost too precious to sit through and watch, but it is a healthy reminder about showing some love to the elderly, especially those who are typically alone during Christmas. It has the romance and the comedic efforts to be one of my favorites. A bit tougher to access, this film has periodically been streaming on Netflix and Hulu but can be rented through Apple TV and Amazon Prime for only $3.99.