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Pour some eggnog and relax with these 10 festive Christmas flicks

Few holidays have inspired quite the number of films as Christmas. Maybe it’s the themes of love and generosity, perhaps it’s the wintry weather of the season; whatever the reason, Christmas films have an enduring popularity that few genres can match. While many Christmas-centric films are overly commercialized, or just plain bad, the best achieve a timeless quality. For those who want to hunker down by the fireplace and watch something festive, here are 10 of the best Christmas movies currently available to stream. Just keep in mind that some of them may stretch the definition of “Christmas” movie.

More: 12 of the best TV Christmas specials ever, plus one more for good measure

White Christmas

What better way to get you in the holiday spirit than an iconic musical? White Christmas opens with two soldiers, Bob (Bing Crosby) and Phil (Danny Kaye), returning from World War II to become Broadway entertainers. After they catch a musical performance by two sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen), the two couples woo each other through song and dance. Full of jubilant musical numbers, graceful dancing, and one of the most famous Christmas songs ever written, White Christmas is heart-felt Christmas fare of the highest order.

Watch now on:

Netflix

Scrooged

A Christmas Carol is one of the most widely adapted works in all of literature and, over time, those many retellings tend to blend together. Scrooged stands out among the pack, however, namely due to its ‘80s sensibilities and the indelible Bill Murray. The film follows Frank Cross (Murray), a coldblooded television executive who is forced to confront his lack of humanity when visited by three uproarious ghosts on Christmas Eve. Scrooged has a noticeably cruel sense of humor thanks to Murray’s deadpanning, but well worth watching for his cartoonishly mean performance and inevitable redemption.

Watch now on:

Netflix

Love Actually

Christmas is a time for excess, in food, in gifts, and — in the case of Love Actually — in characters. This romantic comedy is a sprawling ensemble piece that follows numerous love stories revolving around Christmas, with an all-star cast that includes Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, and Emma Thompson. It’s a fairly messy script, sure, but the film’s utterly sweet view of love and humanity feels right for the season.

Watch now on:

Netflix

The Year Without a Santa Claus

A classic stop-motion animated film, The Year Without a Santa Claus begins with Santa, disappointed in mankind’s lack of Christmas spirits, deciding to take a year off. Mrs. Claus ultimately sends two elves on a mission to spread good feelings, but their quest is complicated by two brothers, Heat Miser and Cold Miser, magical beings whose family feud could prevent Christmas from coming at all.

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Amazon

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Yet another adaptation of Dickens’ timeless ghost story, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a bit more cheerful than the source material, thanks to the presence of Jim Henson’s effervescent Muppets. The role of Scrooge is played by Michael Caine, who brings a grumpy gravitas that plays well against the colorful and comical wonderland of Muppet-infested London. Although this version of A Christmas Carol lacks the grim horror of the original, its buoyant charm is hard to resist.

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HBO Amazon

Home Alone

Family vacations can be a hassle, so when Kevin McCallister’s (Macaulay Culkin) family forgets to take him with them on their Christmas trip to Paris, he doesn’t mind spending the time alone. His solitude is interrupted when a pair of burglars attempt to break in, however, and as a small child, he must rely on trickery to survive, building a series of elaborate traps throughout the house. Home Alone is a slapstick comedy, one that’s lighthearted and suitable for viewers of all ages.

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HBO Amazon

Bad Santa

The rare Christmas movie that is definitely not meant for kids, Bad Santa follows an alcoholic mall Santa named Willie (Billy Bob Thornton), whose job is a cover for him and his assistant, Marcus (Tony Cox), to rob malls. After he meets a kindhearted but weird kid being bullied, Willie feels an urge to change his ways. Bad Santa is a dark, often grotesque comedy, making it the perfect antidote for those tired of overly sweet holiday cheer.

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HBO Amazon

Gremlins

Giving pets as Christmas gifts can be misguided, doubly so when those pets have a penchant to turn into ancient, mischievous demons. Directed by Joe Dante, Gremlins follows Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), a teen who receives a strange pet know as a “mogwai” for Christmas. The mogwai is cute, but it comes with dangerous secrets. Gremlins is the type of darkly comedic creature feature that was popular in the ‘80s, one that’s loaded with plenty of slapstick humor and even a little horror.

Watch now on:

Amazon

Batman Returns

Christmas is a busy time for many people, especially billionaire superhero Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton). Corrupt energy tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) is trying to corner the market, a deformed crime boss called the Penguin (Danny DeVito) is attacking the city, and a mysterious vigilante known as Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) is conjuring sheer chaos. As if shopping for presents wasn’t stressful enough! Directed by Tim Burton, Batman Returns is one of the weirdest films in the Batman catalog, and definitely one of the strangest movies set during Christmas. On the one hand, it’s a sad tale about outcasts and their attempts to either fit into or destroy society; on the other, it features penguins with rockets strapped to their back.

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HBO Amazon

Miracle on 34th Street

A product of Golden Age Hollywood, Miracle on 34th Street begins with Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) getting a job as Santa in the Macy’s Day Parade. He becomes a success, but his firm stance that he is in fact the real Santa leads to a trial of his mental health. Lawyer Fred Gailey (John Payne) and Macy’s event director Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) must then prove he’s the real thing. Miracle on 34th Street is a charming fable about the perils of consumerism and, in turn, the true meaning of Christmas.

Watch now on:

HBO Amazon