Arts & Culture

The 14 Best Christmas Movies to Feel the Holiday Spirit

Because the holiday season isn't complete without a movie marathon.
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It's the most wonderful time of the year—which means it's finally time to watch all of our favorite Christmas and holiday movies. There's nothing quite like cozying up to watch a festive movie during the holiday season, and Amazon has a wide range of options available to stream on demand. From heartwarming classics like It's a Wonderful Life and modern favorites like Elf to romantic seasonal films (hello, Love Actually and The Holiday) and an iconic remake of A Christmas Carol, these are the best Christmas movies to stream on Amazon right now.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang take on Christmas in the timeless classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. Charlie learns the true meaning of Christmas as the Peanuts prepare for a nativity play and, later, decorate Charlie's Christmas tree. A Charlie Brown Christmas has essentially been required viewing for the holiday season since it debuted back in 1965.

It's A Wonderful Life

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There's no classic Christmas movie quite like It's a Wonderful Life. The film premiered in 1946, and has truly stood the test of time. George Bailey's guardian angel Clarence Odbody shows him all the lives he's changed by walking him through an alternate reality where George was never born. The result is a heartwarming movie you will want to watch again and again—and you'll think of Clarence every time a bell rings during the holiday season. 

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The Grinch

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The Grinchis a holiday staple with multiple adaptations, and the most recent animated version with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the titular character is worth a viewing this holiday season. You'll also recognize Rashida Jones as Cindy Lou Who's mom and Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum in this superbly well-done version of a beloved Christmas classic.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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It's not Christmas without the Griswold family. Chevy Chase stars as Clark Griswold, who is planning for the perfect family Christmas until just about everything goes awry. Their hilarious adventure captures the highs and lows of the holiday season, ending with some much needed Christmas cheer.

A Christmas Story

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Ranked as one of the greatest Christmas films of all time, A Christmas Story has stood the test of time as a beloved holiday film. The movie centers on Ralphie Parker's one dream Christmas gift: a Red Ryder BB gun. Other stories come to light along the way as the Parker family prepares for the holidays, but despite all the drama Ralphie is delighted when he receives the greatest Christmas gift of all time.  

Elf

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It's not Christmas until you've seenElf. Will Ferrell's stars as Buddy the Elf, a human raised by elves in the North Pole who eventually moves to New York to find his real father. Countless moments of festive joy and hilarity ensure, along with one tearjerking Christmas sing-a-long that saves the holiday.

Home Alone

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Nobody does Christmas quite like Kevin McCallister. The Christmas classic spawned multiple sequels, but we keep coming back to the original year after year. All Kevin wanted was to be left alone, but once it becomes a reality and he's home alone for Christmas, he wants them back.It's often ranked among the best Christmas films of all time, so it's a must-watch every holiday season. 

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The Santa Clause

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The Santa Clauseis a family-friendly comedy starring Tim Allen at his finest. The movie centers on Allen's character, Scott, who fills in for Santa on Christmas after Santa falls off Scott's roof. No Santa experience would be complete without a trip to the North Pole (Scott's son Charlie tagged along for that adventure), and eventually Scott is obligated to become the new Santa, delivering gifts with Charlie year after year. If you're looking for a movie marathon,The Santa Clauseis a good place to start: you can also streamThe Santa Clause 2andSanta Clause 3: The Escape Clauseon Prime.

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A Christmas Carol

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There are several adaptations of Charles Dickens' classicA Christmas Carolavailable to stream this holiday season, but the 1984 made-for-television version remains a standout choice. George C. Scott brings the iconic Ebenezer Scrooge to life, taking him through the past, present, and future to teach him the spirit of Christmas.

Love Actually

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There's something for everyone in Love Actually's various intertwining love stories, ranging from an unrequited love story of a man in love with his best friend's wife, a blossoming romance stifled by language barriers, a widower helping his stepson find love, a heartbreaking story of a man embarking on an affair with his secretary, and a surprising love affair between the Prime Minister and a member of his household staff, to name a few. Just add one epic performance of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" andLove Actuallyearns its place as one of the greatest Christmas movie of all time. 

Miracle On 34th Street

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This remake of the original 1947 stands out as a classic of its own. Richard Attenborough stars as Kris Kringle, who takes over the role of Santa at Cole's Department Store in New York. Kringle brings a little holiday magic to the children he meets, and soon everyone believes he's therealSanta Claus—which eventually is proven in court. This heartwarming film is a must-see holiday classic. 

The Polar Express

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If you're looking for an action-packed Christmas movie,The Polar Expressis a must-see. On Christmas Eve, a young boy boards the Polar Express train heading to the North Pole, meeting friends along the way and eventually arriving in Santa's workshop. It will inspire even the most cynical viewers to believe in a little Christmas magic. 

Four Christmases

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The holidays can be a tense time for families coming together, andFour Christmasesbrings that idea to the next level. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon's characters have planned the perfect family-free holiday with an exotic vacation, but they're forced to change their plans and spend time with their families instead. The comedy will relate to anyone bracing for nonstop family time during the holiday season. 

The Holiday

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This is how Nancy Meyers does a Christmas movie: Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz star as two women who swap homes for two weeks before the holidays, with Winslet's character ending up in Los Angeles while Diaz arrives at a cottage in Surrey, England. Both ladies find a romance in their new locales, resulting in an unexpected holiday seasons for each.

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