The best holiday films to turn on right now

Holiday and winter traditions are as diverse as the person who celebrates them. For some, that may involve Chinese food and a trip to the movie theater or family time at home with a stack of DVDs and frosted cookies. These films are the perfect things to get you in the holiday spirit while snow falls softly outside or to enjoy during family celebrations.

Holiday and winter traditions are as diverse as the person who celebrates them. For some, that may involve Chinese food and a trip to the movie theater or family time at home with a stack of DVDs and frosted cookies. These films are the perfect things to get you in the holiday spirit while snow falls softly outside or to enjoy during family celebrations.

“The Santa Clause” (1994)

This funny holiday film follows Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) and his son, Charlie, as they try to celebrate Christmas together. The twist? Scott Calvin investigates a noise on his roof on Christmas Eve only to discover a sleigh with reindeer. It’s every child’s dream for his father to turn into Santa Claus, right? As a bonus, this film is simply the first of three, so if you’re in the spirit, have a marathon with “The Santa Clause 2” and “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.”

“Love Actually” (2003)

Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman and Colin Firth lead this romantic comedy with intertwining love stories at Christmastime in London. Watch as several couples at different stages in relationships—newly dating, just married or married for 20 years— navigate their relationships during the chaos of the holiday season. Fans of “The Walking Dead” will enjoy a young Andrew Lincoln in his native British accent.

“A Christmas Story” (1983)

Filmed in Cleveland, this movie has local ties with the “Christmas Story” house, available for tours year-round. Get in the holiday spirit by watching this coming-of-age tale of Ralphie and his quest for a Red Rider BB Gun. To top off the experience, visit the house in Cleveland and pick up a cool leg-lamp T-shirt.

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)

In a fine performance by Jim Carrey, this movie is family-friendly with lots of humor. Carrey’s Grinch learns the true meaning of the holidays with a dash of chaos and some help from Cindy Lou Who. This movie was directed by Ron Howard of “Happy Days” and “The Andy Griffith Show” fame.

“Elf” (2003)

Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a grown man orphaned and then raised by elves at the North Pole. Too big for the North Pole, Buddy is sent to find his real family, but he has some comic trouble adjusting to life outside Santa’s workshop. If you watch closely, a cameo by Peter Billingsley, the actor who played Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” can be seen among the elves.

No matter what your holiday tradition embraces, there is a holiday film to suit your needs, whether that means watching a Christmas classic, a romantic comedy, a roll-on-the-floor-with-laughter flick or something with a bit of heart. Or better yet, watch all of these films for a good mix and a day well spent.