1 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
‘Miracle On 34th Street’
“Miracle On 34th Street“— Disney Plus.
What happens when the real Santa Claus becomes a Macy’s store Santa? This sweet and comical classic features Christmas in New York post-WWII. When no one believes Kris Kringle is the real deal, a holiday trial is held to prove his authenticity.
2 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
“Home Alone“— Disney Plus.
When you’re 8-years old not much can spoil Christmas — except maybe being left accidentally at home while your family goes on vacation. But don’t worry, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) can handle himself even against two nincompoop burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.
3 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” — rent for $3-4 on iTunes, Google Play or Amazon Video
Neal Page (Steve Martin) just wants to get home for Thanksgiving. But everything goes wrong — especially when he meets Del Griffith (John Candy). Their epic and hilarious journey takes them from New York to Chicago and everything in-between — including two pillows.
4 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
‘A Christmas Story’
“A Christmas Story” — rent for $3-4 on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Video.
When it was released, “A Christmas Story” didn’t do too well at the box office. But over time, it has become a true holiday favorite. The film centers around Ralphie and his desire to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. So turn off your leg lamp and queue up this holiday film — we triple dog dare you.
5 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” — YouTube.
This is the holiday movie that keeps on giving all year long. It follows the Griswold family as they try to survive Christmas. The film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Brian Doyle Murray, Doris Roberts, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Juliette Lewis. And it’s as funny as the day it was released.
6 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’
“The Muppet Christmas Carol” — Disney Plus
Michael Caine and the Muppets make this one of the best adaptations of the book “A Christmas Carol”. Kermit the Frog is Bob Cratchit with Caine as Scrooge and Gonzo as Charles Dickens — obviously it’s funny.
7 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
‘It’s A Wonderful Life’
“It’s A Wonderful Life” — buy it for $7 on Google Play
This is always one of the most iconic holiday films. It centers around George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) who has decided to end it all. But his guardian angel Clarence tries to convince Bailey why his life’s worth living.
8 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
“Elf” — Rent for $3-4 on iTunes and Google Play.
When he was a toddler, Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally taken to the North Pole and raised there alongside elves. As an adult, Buddy travels to New York to find his real father. This film provides as many laughs as it does touching moments.
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“White Christmas” — Netflix.
This 1954 musical features Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney — you know, George Clooney’s aunt. The most notable part is Crosby singing the title song “White Christmas”.
10 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
“Love Actually” — rent for $4 on Prime Video
This romantic comedy is now 13 years old. But it still delights in large part to its great cast: Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant among others.
11 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” — buy for $10-13 on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Video
This Emmy and Peabody award-winning short features Charles Schultz’s beloved characters as they try to put on a holiday play. Over the years, the wonderful score by Vince Guaraldi has become a holiday staple.
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“Scrooged” — rent for $4 on Prime Video
Bill Murray is an executive forced to learn the true meaning of Christmas. This is one of the wackiest and weirdest adaptations of the Charles Dickens’ classic. But Murray manages to make it work.
13 of 18 Screenshot Patrick Holland/CNET
“Bad Santa“— rent on Prime Video
Who doesn’t love an inebriated mall Santa!? And who doesn’t love Billy Bob Thornton as the aforementioned inebriated mall Santa!? This movie is equal parts hilarious and redeeming. Definitely check it out before you see the sequel: “Bad Santa 2.”
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‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ (animated, 1966)
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” — watch on Prime Video
This classic animated short, based off the Dr. Seuss book of the same name, features a big nasty green Grinch who wants nothing more than to ruin Christmas for Whoville. This short features Boris Karloff’s narration and the famous title song “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” sung by Thurl Ravenscroft aka Tony The Tiger.
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‘A Very Murray Christmas’
“A Very Murray Christmas” — Netflix.
Sophia Coppola made an irreverent Christmas variety show centered around beloved actor Bill Murray. And that’s why it’s amazing. Guest stars include: George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, Rashida Jones, Jenny Lewis, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and many others.
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‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’
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‘Santa Claus Conquers The Martians’
“Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” — rent for $2 on Prime Video.
If you are a Martian and there’s no one to give your children gifts, what do you do? You kidnap Santa Claus. This 1964 sci-fi comedy might not be the first movie that comes to mind as a holiday classic, but it is one of the most unique holiday movies ever made.
18 of 18 20th Century Fox
Die Hard — Peacock in the US or Disney Plus in Australia.
I don’t want to talk about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie. I don’t want to argue about it. It’s here, okay! Just leave me in peace. Thank you, and enjoy the holidays.