By Libby Mislan, 17′

As the holiday season fast approaches, unfortunately so does winter weather. Snow, ice, and temperatures below 32 degrees await us along with Santa Claus and Christmas presents. One enjoyable way to wait out a blizzard or snowstorm is to cuddle up with with loved ones and a cup of hot chocolate and watch holiday movies. In preparation for the next storm, I’ve ranked and reviewed my top 5 favorite holiday movies.

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Still from the 1964 TV special. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

5. “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”

Starting off my list is the timeless classic, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” This movie tells the story of Rudolph, a reindeer in the north pole, who is made fun of because of his unique red nose, which ends up coming in handy. Even though the animation techniques are outdated, the memorable and uplifting story remains the same. Complete with a catchy song, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” is the perfect movie to watch with small children and adults alike.

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Still from the movie, “Love Actually”. Photo Courtesy of Nehuén Mingote Kisler.

  1. “Love Actually” :

Coming in at number four, “Love Actually” follows the lives of eight very different, loosely connected, couples during the holiday season. It has a similar format to the movies, “Valentines Day” and “New Year’s Eve” and also features an extremely talented, star-studded cast including, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and Keira Knightley, just to name a few. With many memorable moments including, a slightly cliche, airport scene, a fantastic performance of Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, and multiple declarations of love, “Love Actually” is the perfect choice for romantic comedy fans in the mood for a holiday movie.

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A movie poster for the 2009 version of “A Christmas Carol”. Photo Courtesy HimmelrichPR

3. “A Christmas Carol”

Third on my list is the 2009, animated, “A Christmas Carol,” adapted from from a novella of the same name written by Charles Dickens. “A Christmas Carol” is the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, who is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future. This version, written and directed by the talented Robert Zemeckis, who also directed The Polar Express, is unique in its use of animation and 3D. Jim Carrey provides the voice for Scrooge and his performance is more muted than he is in previous roles. Although animated, some of the scenes can be scary so use caution when watching with small children.

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Still from the movie, “Elf”. Photo Courtesy of Travis Spencer.

2. “Elf” :

Runner-up, “Elf”, starring Will Ferrell, tells the story of one of Santa’s elves, who finds out that he is actually a human. After discovering this, he travels to New York City to find his father and chaos ensues. This movie is simply hilarious. Though the concept is very cheesy, a talented ensemble cast including Zooey Deschanel of “New Girl” fame and Peter Dinklage who is currently starring in the popular HBO series, “Game of Thrones”, is able to make this potentially awful movie into a Christmas comedy classic.

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Still from the black and white version of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Photo courtesy of Travis Spencer.

  1. “It’s a Wonderful Life”:

Topping my list is the classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. This movie stars Henry Travers and James Stewart as Clarence the guardian angel and George Bailey. It begins on Christmas Eve with George Bailey, a family man, contemplating suicide. Clarence, who is an angel, is sent to save George in order to earn his wings. This movie’s uplifting message and quality plot has made it an ageless film, still constantly on television during the holidays. If you want to watch a feel good movie this holiday season, especially during this time of divide, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, is a great choice.