CHRISTMAS TOPS WITH THE SENTINEL: Erin's top five favorite Christmas movies

In an effort to kick our holiday spirit into high gear as we have reached December, The Sentinel-Echo newsroom staff is sharing our top picks for three different Christmas topics over the course of the month. In each newspaper, you will see the top picks for the topic of the week chosen by one of our staff members. We hope you all check out some of the picks we have selected to get ready for the holidays! This week we are sharing our top Christmas movies.

1. "A Christmas Story"

Somehow I made it until my middle school years before watching this movie, and since then, it has been a staple on our television at my parent's house each Christmas. If a movie can be played for 24 hours straight and a television channel still earn a profit from it, it has to be good. All of us have been Ralphie wanting that one present from Santa and would do just about anything to get it, add in the narration of the movie along with the acting and it just has me laughing every year. It's the holidays as we all can relate to and I think that's what makes this my number one Christmas movie.

2. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"

My favorite movies are ones that make me laugh, and just as my number one Christmas movie does, this one has me laughing too. Again, I feel like this is a family we can relate to — maybe it's a little extreme at times — but we all have dysfunctional families and watching Clark Griswold navigate through it all while he tries to stay cheery is entertaining to say the least. Again, this is one of the staples on our TV on Christmas. We laugh and cry with Clark through his holiday season and it leaves me wanting to try the “non-caloric, silicon-based kitchen lubricant” on the bottom of my sled each year.

3. "It’s a Wonderful Life"

This movie is the epitome of the perfect Christmas movie showing that while things may not always be ideal, you can still have a wonderful life full of love, kindness and community. I can't remember the first time that I watched this movie, but I know it was with my dad. I remember him always quoting, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings" and him telling us what movie it was from. It sits in the top five movies for me because I always think of my own family gathering to watch it and the values it shares as well.

4. "The Santa Clause"

Several Christmas Eves were spent as a kid watching Tim Allen as Santa Claus in this movie. I would lay in bed later that night listening intently in hopes of hearing the reindeer land on the roof and I'd be able to take a ride to the North Pole — I may or may not still hope to hear that and get to put on the Santa suit like Scott Calvin does. "The Santa Clause" explained to me how Santa got into my house that had no chimney and showed me how not to cook a turkey. For me this is a holiday classic from the memories of watching it with my family each year.

5. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Once a year CBS always played "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and each year you would find my family and I sitting down to watch it (now it's on DVD and it's played a couple times on TV throughout the season). From the Island of Misfit Toys to Hermey the Elf to Yukon Cornelious and Rudolph himself, this made for TV movie shows us all that the oddballs have a place too. The songs and the story always left me happy as everyone found their place. It's a glowing story of friendship and a Christmas classic. Christmas wouldn't be the same without Rudolph.

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