By Brittany Kulick 

Tis the season to be jolly! As December nears, nostalgia is at an all-time high as we prepare to visit family members. For some, tension can also be at an all-time high, for the exact same reason.

Whether you’re in the mood for tender holiday moments or a humorous escape, these six movies are sure to make your holidays merry and bright!

The Holiday

Sometimes, you have to leave everything you know to find a little Christmas spirit. And that’s precisely what happens when Amanda leaves her cheating ex and large house in sunny California, and Iris says goodbye to her newly engaged colleague (and unrequited love) and quaint cottage in Surrey, UK.

The women step into each other’s lives as they swap houses and cars for the holiday season, excited to leave heartbreak and drama with men behind. Although, it wouldn’t be a romantic comedy if all went according to plan. Watch The Holiday if you want to believe in love again after hard times. 

It’s A Wonderful Life 

Debuted in 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life might just be the original quintessential holiday classic. In this movie, Bedford Falls resident George Bailey contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve. (Hang on! It really is a feel-good Christmas movie!) Guardian angel, Clarence, is sent to Earth on a quest to save George, a mission that will result in earning his angel wings if he succeeds. Clarence shows George an alternate timeline of life in Bedford Falls, had he never been born.

The trajectory of a town without George’s good deeds is bleak indeed. This film reminds us that the good deeds we do throughout our life may be insignificant for us, but life-altering for those around us. When we do good for others, it really is a wonderful life!

Elf

Buddy is a human who was raised by elves in the North Pole. When he discovers his true identity, he decides to venture to New York City to find his birth father, a man who’s landed himself on Santa’s naughty list. Will Ferrell (Buddy) promises plenty of laughs as his mission to increase Christmas spirit and get his dad back on the nice list lands him in some precarious situations.

Buddy’s infectious joy, childlike innocence, and boundless Christmas spirit are sure to have you repeating “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear,” while downing an Elf-approved diet of “candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.”

Miracle On 34th Street 

In this heartwarming 1947 film about belief and the true spirit of Christmas, Kris Kringle saves the day when he steps in to replace an intoxicated Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. When he claims to be the real Santa, though, he is set to be institutionalised because Santa doesn’t exist–or does he?

A young lawyer decides to take the case to prove that Kris truly is Santa Claus. Expect Christmas magic and a bit of romance as sparks fly between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade director determined to raise a daughter who sees the world as it is and the lawyer who believes in miracles.  Kris Kringle’s Santa status is put to the test before the courts, as we wait for the verdict on whether there really is a Santa Claus. 

Love Actually 

Who would have thought that a film involving adult entertainment stars, a best man in love with his best friend’s wife, and a boss contemplating an affair with his younger secretary would become emblematic of the Christmas genre?

And yet, year after year, we root for the British Prime Minister to declare his love for the junior staff member and shed tears when a scorned writer finds love (and new language skills) with his Portuguese housekeeper. This film is sure to make you laugh, cry, and ultimately realise–love actually is all around! 

Last Christmas

Last Christmas isn’t a holiday classic–yet. It’s set to be released December 5 in Singapore, starring Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding. The film, written by Emma Thompson and based on the song “Last Christmas,” made famous by Wham!, pair star-crossed lovers in this dramatic, romantic comedy.

Expect laughs, but this film also deals with tough topics like homelessness, illness, and second chances. Kate is the daughter of Eastern European immigrants and an elf at a year-round Christmas store, lacking a zest for life. That all changes when she meets Tom. Discover the magic of Christmas with this movie that might just be a new Christmas classic! 

We’re looking forward to curling up in front of the TV with loved ones to watch old classics for the 75th time and maybe even discover a new one at the cinema. What’s your favourite holiday film?