It seems like the holiday season comes earlier every year. The Hallmark Channel began their holiday themed movies a month out! It’s hard to believe there are so many. Holiday movies.

So what makes a movie a holiday classic; one that you just have to see year after year?

I think it all has to do with how you relate to the characters and the storyline in general.

Allow me to explain by dissecting one of my all time favorite holiday movies, 'National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation'.

Chevy Chase’s portrayal of Clark Griswold has to be one of his greatest character performances. Clark is identifiable on so many levels; he’s a family man, working class slob, and he shows he’s very much human during his bumbling moments.

The surrounding cast of characters are endearing and portrayed by truly gifted actors, including Beverly D’Angelo, E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brian Doyle-Murray, brilliant child actors at the time Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki, and a few stand out performances from Mae Questel as Aunt Bethany (she was also the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoons) and Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie.

This was the directorial debut for Jeremiah Chechik who had never seen a 'National Vacation' film, so he had a lot of autonomy and creativity when it came to creating the characters.

Did you know that 'Christmas Vacation' was only one of two Christmas movies that was released in 1989?! The other was 'Prancer'.

This movie tops my list of holiday favorites for the above reasons. A few others on my list include 'Jingle All The Way', 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'Elf' and 'Bad Santa'.

While you ponder your own favorite holiday movies, check out some clips from my favorites!