Certain films need to be digested during the holidays because the season almost doesn’t feel right if we don’t. Classics like A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life always seem to make the cut. Each picture has helped shape our collective thought of what holiday films should look like. They, too, carry remnants of the past, the people and the moments we’ve shared with them. Sure, sometimes there’s a bit of wine-grade cheese involved and the occasional dose of “the real meaning of Christmas” shtick, yet most holiday films are timeless because they’re exceptionally well-made.
So are the holiday films that are Christmas-adjacent—the films that aren’t exactly Christmas movies but revolve around the holiday in some fashion. And, for that matter, tend to re-air and populate to the top of streaming platforms come November and December. Always a topic of conversation around this time of year is whether these films are actually holiday films. While the perennial debate rages on, here are 10 of the best holiday films that may or may not be holiday films in the first place.