This article first appeared in part at on December 23, 2008. It seemed like a good time to re-purpose it for new readers here at HitFix and to give the usual list-making shenanigans a rest for a week.

Tis the season, no?

I don’t have the heart to call this a “best” list per se. So I'm giving it a different angle. Every year I have a few staples of the season that make their way into my DVD player or, in some instances — gasp! — my VCR, like new friends come home to visit before going back on the shelf for another 12-month stretch.

While the films on my list might not be the "best" Christmas movies or, in some cases, even considered Christmas movies, they are my Christmas movies. Typically, I just can’t feel right about the holiday season without making my way through each of them at least once. They’ve slowly gelled into my “must-watch” Christmas movie list for various reasons: reminiscence, unavoidable television programming, uniqueness in the face of the typical seasonal film glut, etc.

While there are a handful of classic, well-made staples that would be agreeable to the masses as far as quality is concerned, I think everyone’s list would be different when it comes to this kind of thing. So check out my picks below. And as always, feel free to rifle off your holiday favorites in the comments section below.

Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.