To keep up with the holiday theme of this season, I am writing about my favorite holiday movies growing up. They are all so good and they remain my favorites to this day. I love the nostalgia that comes with watching movies that used to make me even more excited for the holiday season than I already was growing up. I also love the messages behind these movies and the feelings that come from watching them every year. So, here are my favorite seven:

1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

AH, such a classic. This movie was my favorite growing up out of all the incredibly well-done claymation movies of that time. I love the random turn of events that make the movie not exactly what the viewer was expecting. One would assume that the entire movie is just going to be leading up to when Santa asked Rudolph to help save Christmas after everyone treats him like crap growing up because of his absurd nose, BUT NO. Lots of twists here people, you'd never see it coming. I think the underlying principles of the movie are really good; self-acceptance, following what your heart, and always doing what you can to help other people.

2. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (the new one)

This movie is gold. Jim Carrey is SO funny and cast perfectly for the character of the Grinch. The movie itself is really well done, making it flow well through humor but also still incorporating Dr. Seuss’ rhyming and style. I love the message behind the story, that Christmas is about so much more than presents and materialistic expectations. It should always focus on family, community and the spirit of kindness and love.

3. The Santa Claus

First off, TIM ALLEN, what a BOSS. I love the encouragement to never lose the spirit of believing and to never take that away from someone else. I appreciate how they really expand on the life at the north pole; children love seeing what they imagine put into real life scenery. All the Santa Claus movies are SO GOOD. I want to go watch them now. Everyone join me

4. Elf

This movie came out later in my childhood years (2003), but man is it good. Will Ferrell is another one of my favorite actors and brings so much energy to this role. He couldn't be more perfect playing the role of a human raised as an elf immersed in the sometimes cold city of New York. I love this movie so much because it is a more modern made film, but still always made me so excited for the Christmas season and being with family. This movie is an instant classic because a 6-foot man uncontrollably excited over seeing Christmas season in New York City provides endless entertainment and humor for viewers of all ages.

5. The Polar Express

I always loved this movie because I grew up loving the book. Any film with Tom Hanks also pulls at my heartstrings. I love the spirit and message behind this movie as well as the fact that it is so well done. It always encouraged me to continue believing in the spirit of Christmas while growing up.

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas

This is an obvious one. Charlie Brown RULES. This movie is freakin’ great. Also, this classic made it okay and charming to have a small, pathetic and wimpy tree.

7. Muppet Christmas Carol

Growing up I was obsessed with pretty much any Muppet movie. Incorporating Tiny Tim and Scrooge character stories into their usual crew of hooligans made for a great movie that I still enjoy watching every year. This movie is a 10/10 for me, highly recommend it.

All these movies listed are great. I appreciated them when I was little and I appreciate them now. They're great to watch in the holiday season and even randomly during the year. They capture the essence of what the holidays should truly be about while never taking anything too seriously. Now let's make some popcorn, grab some blankets and watch them all.