The season for ugly sweaters, eggnog, and re-watching our favorite holiday movies is upon us. But among hundreds of classics, choosing one to start from can be a bit challenging. So we’re here to help: below is a list of 7 classic holiday movies to watch with your family (or by yourself), in no particular order, and where to find them.
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1. Elf (2003)
Buddy, the syrup-loving human, raised among Santa and his elves in the North Pole, discovers that he is not an elf as he assumed to be. He travels to New York to search for his biological father, and hilarity ensues.
Where to stream it: Hulu
2. Home Alone (1990) & Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Yes, we know technically this is two movies, but if you were to watch them back to back or two nights in a row, it could count as one. There are probably very few who don’t know the story, but here’s a quick rundown: the McCallister family is headed to France to spend the holidays in Paris, only to forget their youngest child Kevin at home. Left to his own devices during Christmastime, Kevin faces off against his neighbor (whom he suspects might be a serial killer) and two burglars trying to steal his family home.
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Bored with the annual routine of frightening people, Jack Skellintong, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, stumbles upon Christmastown and is instantly enchanted by its bright colors, warm spirits, and joy. He concocts a plan to put Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and bringing him back to Halloweentown so his people, too, can experience yuletide. But, of course, things don’t go according to plan.
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
“4:00, wallow in self-pity. 4:30, stare into the abyss. 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one. 5:30, jazzercize” and 6:30, after re-watching our favorite grump falling in love with Christmas. Based on Dr. Seuss’s 1957 storybook of the same name, all of the residents of Whoville are enjoying the Christmas spirit...all except for the Grinch, of course. Through an unlikely friendship with six-year-old Cindy Lou, the vengeful Grinch grows to understand the true meaning of the holiday season.
5. A Christmas Carol (2009)
Although London joyfully prepares for Christmas, the spiteful and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge does not have the holiday spirit at all. (“Bah, humbug!”). Three spirits visit him on Christmas eve, taking Scrooge on a journey through his past, present, and future, showing him the dire fate that awaits him if he does not choose to change his ways and become a better person.
6. Love Actually (2003)
Nine seemingly separate stories involving eight couples beginning five weeks before Christmas, examining the complexities of love and relationships. But for now, let us say, without hope or agenda just because it’s Christmas (and at Christmas, you can tell the truth), to us, this movie is perfect.
7. White Christmas (1954)
And last but certainly not least, a true holiday classic. An unlikely foursome gets together to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont, where they run into a WW2 commander from their past. General Waverly’s inn is failing, and these four come up with a plan to save it in time for the holidays - a true Christmas miracle indeed.