There is one thing we require of a Christmas movie: the happy ending, in whatever form, from whatever arc, it ends happy. The guy always gets the girl, the girl always gets the girl, the boy always gets the boy; maybe even a Christmas wedding. The family feud always gets resolved, the long-lost sibling comes home, divorced parents come together for the sake of happiness, best friends reunite…the root cause is happiness because Christmas. The movie does not have to be deeply emotive, it doesn’t even have to make sense, it can serve up fluff to the nth degree, it does not have to solve the world’s problem but it has to fulfil our need for comfort; allow us to recline a little deeper into the couch, snuggled up further under the covers, without us having to engage the inner recesses of our brain to follow the story. It indulges us in comfort and wraps us up with warmth because we are comforted by the knowing fact of the formular, there will always be happiness, encapsulated by softness, some of it doesn’t even have to make sense, it has to be outlandish and ridiculously happy, snowy white Christmas, roaring warming fires, charming, and above and beyond charming décor… everything sickly sweet with candy on top complete with candy cane stripped bow wrapped around it. The rest we will deal with in other blockbusters.

I am a stickler for traditions, meaning you do not start Christmas until the 1st of December, you must give the Americans time to get through thanksgiving and what not but come first of December all bets are off. Lights. Camera. Action. Its carols, movies, champagne at inappropriate times, and merriment of Christmas lights and gorging on Christmas movies. It’s not as if Christmas movies are earth shattering and life changing, nope, matter of fact nothing changes, it all remains the same and we find comfort in the sameness. The plots are predictable, the dialogue is toe-curling cheesy, bloody hell isn’t it just. The soundtrack will make you run to your Apple music and download the entire album. We have been there before and more than ever we know how the story ends but damnit we are all for it… every single thing right to the kiss beneath the mistletoe.

It is the stuff of dreams and fairy tales. So, what are we watching over the holidays? Here’s some recommendations to start you through, some I’ve talked about before, but repetition is a great way to form a habit ergo, let’s go…

This Christmas: I’ve loved this movie since the moment I dragged my friends to see it when it came out in the cinemas in London. Cinemas? Remember those? It was in Piccadilly Circus Odeon Panton Street, I think. The premise is simple: messy family shenanigans that explodes when family comes together in Madea’s house to celebrate Christmas and the prodigal son returns home. There is a baby oil scene in here that will always remain iconic as will Regina King.

A Christmas Prince: 1,2,3…man I love this crappy movie and everything about it; the royal fairy-tale the kitschy country, the emotionally embattled prince who does not want to inherit… the weird local delicacies, a splashing of New York and what is not to love?

Klaus: a postie is to Christmas what snow is to the North Pole, the very part of the fairy tale and here we have a terrible postman who has been sent to the North Pole where he finds Santa Claus hiding and what ensues is such a sweet story it made me want to move there. Please its Christmas therefore a fairy tale don’t at me. I am also not typically a fan of cartoons but this was a lovely surprise.

The Family Stone: I really did not like SJP’s character in this movie, but I live for a good Rachel McAdams character. Its family coming together brother bringing his fiancée home and no one really likes the uptight ice queen from New York in a family who gets in each other’s way and are in each other’s business. There is also a trope I love where she makes her family recipe for the new family; a recipe for disaster that will always work its magic.

Elf: If you don’t like Elf you are a monster who has no redeemable quality because Buddy the Elf is that ELF! I love this movie so much, Will Farrell will always be a comic genius for this but its also the ridiculous hope it gives in a story about father and son because that’s really what it is; unconditional love and bond of it. found family and quirks that make us who we are.

Scrooge: the ultimate Christmas movie, filled with Christmas spirit and the cheer of the season. If you are in luck, you can catch a live reading in the home of Dickens in London; a rare and fine experience.

The Sound of Music: the best movie ever made in cinematic history. NOT ONE WORD OF CONTRADICTION. This movie is sublime Christopher Plummer can still get it in death. It is the ultimate trope of tropes; widower to seven children and a nanny comes in the mix. There is a Baroness… why am I telling you this story, but this is the movie of all time and for the ages. No there is no snow but who cares. It is a love story.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey: perfect in every way from its over-the-top set to the simplicity of its plot line with a soundtrack that actually bangs and a plethora of Black characters, because you know we love a good fairy tale and celebrate Christmas too, somebody tell those movie people that. A musical set in Cobbleton, where legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle has his fantasy land story. Jeronicus former apprentice steals his invention and his granddaughter gets on the case, setting a cause that will heal the family and bring Christmas cheer. Complete with Robot.

Christmas on the Square: Dolly Parton can do no wrong but throw in Christine Baranski and this is perfection. A small-town story that has a big town meanie; Baranski return home to sell her father’s land to a big town developer that is more than certain to ruin the town and enter an angel to make everything better. Said angel is none other than Dolly Ms Parton.

Falling for Christmas: Lindsay Lohan is back in this ridiculous and over the top Christmas movie set in a snowy town complete with love story. I just love that Lindsay is back on our screens. The movie is ridiculous but its Christmas, so we love it.

The Switch: the chaos that is Vanessa Hudgens sells this movie for me in all aspects of the word she is a princess thrice conceived and she is up to no good. Range? She has it. Trouble? She causes and fixes it. Mischievous and up to no good but this is such a good series thrice over.

A Christmas in Tennessee: a bakery owner goes up against a big town developer threatening to bulldoze through her town with his big city development. But there is a kid who writes letters to Mrs Claus and lots of baked goods. It’s a cliché and we love those around here.

The Bestman Holiday: messy friendships and secrets collide on an annual holiday getaway among this group of best friends. Which also happens to be the best time to reveal these secrets and make for a memorable holiday together.

Angel Falls; a novel holiday: an author moves to a small town to get away, there is a small publishing house in the small town, an old flame comes back to the small town and there’s an angel in the dashing Eric Close. There’s a new one with my all-time teenage crush, Chad Michael Murray on Netflix. I will admit to it not being as good as the first but it is still one you should curl up on the sofa and watch; an angel sent to save a woman’s Christmas ends up falling for her… Angel Falls get it? Sorry!!! LOL.

Christmas Rush: a radio DJ suddenly finds himself down on his luck which also serves as a lesson for his privileged children and him of course. And there is a love story brewing under their noses, Grandma with the age-old wisdom, death of a spouse, and finding hope on the other side. It has all the feels of the holiday season with an overdose of hope we all can use.

How to ruin Christmas: messy Christmas family dramas are my stock in trade because it makes everything, the story, the reconciliation, the love even better. Especially incredible is that this is set in South Africa; everybody has that one reckless sibling that smashes everything and tries to piece is all together. Tumi is that sister and I love her wild side because it ruffles the feathers and primness of her other family members and wherever Tumi goes there is bound to be drama.

The Noel Diary: I really and I mean REALLY enjoyed this movie; it has all the tropes, snow, small towns, woods, family rift, family secrets, a cute dog, one room at the inn, a fiancé somewhere we don’t care about because its about the leads on our screens, and the lead Justin Hartley should be required to be the main character in every Christmas movie rom-com because he has that small town charm thing on lock. It’s the eyes, it sparkles and can do that puppy dog thing when it needs to.

The premise is simple but layered, which makes for the perfect Christmas movie; Justin plays novelist (SOLD) Jacob Turner who learns of his mother’s death and has to clean out her home, they have not been in contact for over two decades. Mummy is a hoarder. Enter Rachel played by the coolest Barrett Doss, I really enjoy her on my screen, who is looking for her mother who incidentally worked for Jacob’s family. What ensues is a perfect love story of the past meeting the present on the bumpy road a happily ever after future. Complete with a love declaration in the snow and a dog in tow. If that isn’t the more Christmas romance type thing ever.

Happy watching.