Crashing from your Christmas Eve holiday high? There’s only one way to ease your way down: An all-day Christmas movie marathon. And we’re not talking about TBS’s 24 hours of A Christmas Story. (We still love you, Ralphie.)
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This Christmas, thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, it’s never been simpler to spend Christmas Day watching all your holiday movie must-sees. And with so much Christmas-centric content to choose from, whether you’re setting up camp in Dad’s rocker recliner or gathering your chosen family ’round your own flat-screen TV, we guarantee there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
So put on your fancy PJs, grab a stack of Grandma’s holiday sugar cookies, and cuddle up, kittens. Twenty hours (at least!) of pure cinematic Christmas joy ahead!
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Home Alone (Amazon)
Admit it. When you were a kid, Home Alone inspired you and your siblings to innovate all kinds of DIY home-defense mechanisms using ordinary household items. Us, too! And we’ve got the scars to prove it.
But in our case, no homemade security strategies we devised quite measured up to Kevin McCallister’s burglar-busting booby traps. And we think it’s safe to say our moms will never forgive us for the unintended destruction our “inventiveness” wrought.
Best to watch Kevin’s war on the Wet Bandits from the safety of your own home this Christmas. Trust us, your mom will thank you.
White Christmas (Netflix)
If Christmas classics keep your home fires burning, you’ll love this movie musical featuring songs your grandma most certainly knows by heart.
Invited to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont, song-and-dance duo Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) and sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) conspire (later on, by the fire) to save the quaint venue’s owner from financial ruin by putting on a yuletide musical extravaganza complete with real(ish) snow.
Equal parts merry and bright, this festive flick is a feast for the eyes — and food for the soul.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Netflix)
Everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss holiday bedtime story comes to furry, green life in this heartwarming live-action adaptation. Hellbent on ruining Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville, the Grinch, played to a green “T” by Jim Carrey, slithers down from his mountaintop home to snatch everything holiday-related out from under the Whos.
But ol’ Grinchy better watch out. Little Cindy Lou Who is on a mission to melt our haughty, hirsute anti-hero’s icy heart. Who will save Christmas? A Who, that’s who!
The Holiday (Hulu)
It’s Christmas and time to treat yo’ self to a heaping helping of holiday schmaltz — and few movies serve up the sweet, melty, holiday gooeyness quite like The Holiday.
In the wake of devastating breakups, two women, one from England and the other from Los Angeles, swap homes for the Christmas holiday to mend their broken hearts. But when they each meet the men of their dreams while on their respective escapes abroad, they wonder if their country-spanning, cross-cultural romances can last. Oh, our hearts!
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Netflix)
If you prefer your Christmas more dark and twisted than merry and bright, behold Tim Burton’s gift to you: The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Meet Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s reigning pumpkin king, who has grown bored with his kingdom’s annual “real world” Halloween scare-fest. When Jack stumbles through a mysterious portal to Christmastown, the yule-themed town’s holiday cheer inspires Jack to bring Christmas to Halloweentown. Or rather, Halloween to Christmastown. Or, er… maybe both at the same time.
What will happen when Jack’s dream worlds collide? Watch this delightfully weird Halloween-Christmas movie mash-up to find out.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Amazon)
Poor Clark Griswold. The perennially put-upon patriarch of the Griswold clan can’t even catch a break at Christmas. Eager to host the perfect family Christmas, Clark goes to great lengths to make everything just so for his teenage children, visiting parents, grumpy in-laws, and interloper Cousin Eddie.
But when a string of hilarious — and Christmas spirit-crushing — events (a Christmas tree fire, wild squirrel attack, and Christmas Eve kidnapping, just to name a few) threaten to unravel Clark’s good old-fashioned family holiday, the Griswolds must come together to keep their Christmas from going up in smoke.
Buddy’s not like the other elves. As a baby, he stowed away in Santa’s sleigh and ended up stranded in the North Pole where was raised by elves. But Buddy never really fit in (literally!) so he decides to travel to New York City in search of his real father, a selfish children’s book publisher and a mainstay on Santa’s naughty list.
Silly, sweet, and starring everyone’s favorite fruitcake Will Ferrell (at his physical comedy finest) as Buddy, Elf will have you rolling on your wrapping paper-strewn floor with laughter.
This holiday-horror hybrid has forever seared into the memories of countless children the three simple rules of mogwai care: No bright light. Don’t get them wet. And whatever you do, never feed them after midnight or… GREMLINS!
When a gadget salesman looking for a special gift for his son comes across what looks like a teddy bear come to life at a mysterious Chinatown gift shop, the creepy shopkeeper cautions him that the mogwai is not a toy.
But like all the warnings issued in this Christmas classic, it falls on deaf ears and before long, gremlins take over the town of Kingston Falls, slinging drinks at the local watering hole, singing along to Snow White at the neighborhood cineplex, and wreaking havoc everywhere they go. Great gift, Dad.
The Family Stone (Amazon)
Year after year, it’s the Christmas gift that keeps on giving: family drama. And the Stones give it just as much as they get it. Case in point: the introduction of big brother Everett’s strait-laced fiancée, Meredith, to his free-spirited family over the Christmas holiday.
Desperate to win over her new family, but feeling out of place and outnumbered, Meredith begs her own sister to join her Chez Stone to help ease the getting-to-know-you awkwardness.
But the Stones don’t make it easy, and soon, Meredith finds herself stuck between a rock and a hard place: Accept the Stones for who they are, or lose Everett forever.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (HBO)
Starring Michael Caine as the greedy, growling Ebenezer Scrooge and a supporting cast made almost entirely of felt, Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas morality tale gets the Jim Henson treatment in this spirited update.
Rest assured, all your favorite ghosts of muppets past make lively appearances. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy — with a litter of frog and pig children in tow — embody all the heartwarming, familial goodness of the Cratchits. Angry old men Statler and Waldorf materialize as the eternally damned ghosts of Jacob Marley. And Fozzie Bear is no joke as Scrooge’s endearingly good-natured former boss, Fezziwig, er… Fozziwig.
In the spirit of Christmas love and joy, they all contribute their fair share — and then some — ensuring this new Christmas classic is as timeless and enduring as the original.
Merry Christmas, all! And happy streaming!