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Prominent Yorkers share their favorite holiday movies

York Dispatch

Admit it, you have a favorite holiday movie. One that makes you laugh, every time, every year, because of course you watch it every year. Or one that makes you cry, every year, because of course you watch it every year.

You're not alone.

For some people, Christmas isn't Christmas unless "A Christmas Story" is playing for the fourth time that day. (TBS will run "A Christmas Story" from 8 p.m. Christmas Eve until 2 p.m. Christmas Day, btw.)

Others can't imagine a holiday season that doesn't include "Love Actually" or "Elf." Others — probably your younger brother — like some action on the holiday and insist "Die Hard" is appropriate viewing for Christmas Eve.

Some people like a few tears in their eggnog and a box of tissues under the tree. They might prefer one of the many versions of "A Christmas Carol" or "Polar Express."

And if animation is your style, there's a sleigh full of choices, from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to "Arthur Christmas" to "A Charlie Brown Christmas." (Yes, "Charlie Brown" isn't actually a movie, but it belongs on any holiday viewing list.)

York Dispatch reporters asked some of the people they talk to every day about the films they watch every holiday season. Here are their picks.

"It's a Wonderful Life," 1946, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. A man contemplating suicide sees what the world would have been like if he had never been born.

Incoming York County Commissioner Susan Byrnes: "All time favorite of mine ... 'It's a Wonderful Life' with Jimmy Stewart ... I cry every time I watch it. It's all about GIVING of oneself to your family, friends and community! 😍"

Commissioner Doug Hoke: "My favorite OLD Christmas movie is 'It's a Wonderful Life.' It makes me realize how acts of kindness by a person can touch so many people in a positive and helpful way."

"A Christmas Carol," 1938, starring Reginald Owen and Gene Lockhart. Based on the classic Charles Dickens tale of a miser who is visited by three ghosts who show him the error of his ways with views of Christmases past, present and future.

York City Council President Carol Hill-Evans: "It's one of the first (Christmas movies) I remember seeing. ... I like the theme of it — reawakening, renewing." Laughing, Hill-Evans said she liked the narrative of someone having a "light bulb moment after having the crap scared out of (them)."

"Miracle on 34th Street," 1947, starring Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn. A Macy's Santa Claus insists that he is the real Kris Kringle, and a woman and her young daughter regain the wonder of the season.

Commissioner Steve Chronister: "I can watch over and over." He also admitted a weakness for the movies running on the Hallmark channel throughout the month, with their recurring themes of getting back to your roots and finding love.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas," 1966, with the voice of Boris Karloff. From the Dr. Seuss book where the Christmas-hating Grinch steals all the presents, decorations and food from Whoville, and Christmas comes for the Whos anyway.

Commissioner Chris Reilly: "I grew up watching it, and so did my three kids."

"Home Alone," 1990, starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. A boy is accidentally left home when his family goes on vacation for Christmas; the boy outwits a pair of burglars with a series of ingenious traps.

City Council Vice President Henry Nixon: Nixon: "I think that's just great fun. I can watch that over and over again. It's completely stupid — how could anyone forget their child? It's absurd but it's fun and it makes a person laugh, and that's what you should be doing during the holidays."

York County Commissioner Susan Byrnes is shown at Veterans' Helping Hand Shelter at 412 West King Street in York, Pa. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Byrnes is also the Board President of York County Veterans Outreach, who partnered with Veterans Helping Hands to to raise more than $100,000.00 to renovate the 2500 square foot structure that would become the shelter.  (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)
"Just in Time for Christmas," starring William Shatner and Eloise Mumford
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

— Gayle Eubank, Greg Gross and Julia Scheib contributed to this report.