When the holidays are in full force and work is nothing but a distant dream (for the precious time being, anyway),’tis the season to get cozy and get into the spirit of things. There’s nothing better than catching up with family and spending quality time over mugs of hot chocolate or eggnog. But forget gathering around the fireplace—why not gather around a television and remind yourselves of the true meaning of Christmas instead?

We’ve rounded up a few holiday classics, as well as some wild cards that deserve more love, for a marathon that’s sure to be the gift that keeps on giving.



Home Alone (1990)

Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister’s family is all set for a trip to Paris—except for the part where they’ve left him all alone in the attic. When two robbers attempt to make the McCallister house their next target, Kevin has no one to rely on but himself to make them go away, and he doesn’t waste any time. (Or resources.) Rewatching Home Alone is especially fun for those of us who grew up with it, because we get to see how much more far-fetched it would be had it been made today.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

We know figures like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman as imaginary icons of our youth, coming to us on special occasions and in dreams. But in this film, they are immortal Guardians, tasked to protect children and give them hope. When Pitch Black, otherwise known as the Boogeyman, threatens to make children lose their faith in the Guardians, it’s up to new recruit Jack Frost to save the day. The animated feature appears to be set in Spring, but with the presence of Santa, his elves, and Jack’s wintery, frolicky spirit, it’s perfect for family fun on Christmas morning.



It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

George Bailey wishes he had never been born, and when an angel makes it come true, he comes to see the impact he makes on the lives of many different people. A sweeping and heartfelt film for the holidays, this Jimmy Stewart favorite has launched a thousand imitators, but the lesson remains: life would be so much duller without ordinary people and the simple delights in our lives.

9 Mornings (2002)

A young man who has turned to self-destructive activities to mourn the death of his girlfriend learns that he stands to inherit a fortune from his grandmother—if he completes all nine days of Simbang Gabi. In his slightly dubious efforts to comply, he meets a young woman who has some demons of her own and falls in love with her. Centered around a longstanding Filipino tradition, 9 Mornings shows us that it’s always possible to love, and through love, to heal.  



Serendipity (2001)

It’s a story we all know: girl meets boy during Christmas season, girl and boy lose each other, girl and boy decide to let fate intervene if they’re really meant for each other. Over the next several years, they have enough close calls and missed chances to redefine frustration, but the payoff will have you believing in both destiny and romance. Sip some frozen hot chocolate a la New York’s Serendipity 3 for this one.





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