I've got a secret obsession with holiday films. For the purposes of this post I am, of course, talking mainly about Thanksgiving and Christmas themed movies. They're mostly sappy, lots of them are predictable, some of them are downright trite, but many of them also create that warm and fuzzy feeling that will help you get into the holiday spirit. I hate seeing Christmas decorations showing up right after Halloween and I'm never in the mood for carols before December 1st, but I've been known to watch some of these holiday films beginning in September. I think I have a problem.

1. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

This is hands down one of my favorite holiday films. I love Steve Martin and I love John Candy; the two of them together made movie magic. At first sight, this is a holiday comedy: straight-laced businessman gets thrown together with extroverted slob as they try to get to their respective homes for Thanksgiving. In addition to having one of John Candy's best character speeches (and one of the funniest comedic moments those aren't pillows, y'all!), it has one of the most touching endings in the world. Talk about warm and fuzzy!

2. Eight Crazy Nights

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

This might seem like an unlikely choice as well, but bear with me and my abiding love for Adam Sandler. There are far too few movies about Hanukkah, and although parts of this animated film are in bad taste, the story is really quite lovely. It focuses on a lot of great traditions of Hanukkah and Christmas, and there's a sweetness there if you can get past all the gross parts like deer with smeared teeth and disturbing dreams of kittens.

3. A Christmas Story

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

I can't let a holiday season pass without watching this approximately twenty times. Ralphie's story always makes me laugh, but it's the family scenes I love the most. It manages to evoke every emotion you feel around the holidays: excitement, frustration, greed, exhaustion, and love, most of all. Plus, you know, there's the whole tongue scene. That's epic.

4. Love Actually

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Love Actually is such a charming film. It manages to highlight so many stars without ever losing its story, unlike some American attempts think Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve. The vignettes come together so well, and besides that, it has Alan Rickman and Colin Firth. At the same time, in the same movie. Do you need anything else?

5. The Holiday

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

I'll be honest, this one is here for Heather. The Holiday makes her feel warm and fuzzy even when she watches it in July which she does, frequently. To be even more honest, although I think the movie's adorable and will admittedly watch anything starring Jude Law or Kate Winslet this one's a warm and fuzzy choice for me just because I like curling up with the princess to watch it.

6. It's a Wonderful Life

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

I've always preferred It's a Wonderful Life to A Miracle on 34th Street. I love Jimmy Stewart, first of all, and I love the idea behind the film. George Bailey is a wonderful man, so giving, and we don't often stop to think that people who give so much might have problems of their own. Even if we don't have our own Clarence, I think we can all stop to think about what life would be like without us sometimes.

7. This Christmas

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

As if my enduring love for actors and actresses like Loretta Devine, Regina King, Idris Elba, and Mekhi Phifer wasn't enough, they're all coming together for Christmas! The premise has been done in lots of movies, but there's a realness to it here that moves me every time I watch it. It shows just how the holidays can bring you together; distance, tiffs, or even differences of opinion don't have to matter so much.

Sometimes a good holiday film will get you in the spirit when all else fails. Sometimes they're just entertaining, no matter when you see them. Is there a particular movie, or even a song, that gets you ready for the glut of winter holidays?