10 fantastic holiday movies and where to find them

By Terry Terrones Updated: December 23, 2016 at 10:25 am • Published: December 23, 2016 0
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Fewer things are more enjoyable than watching a classic holiday film with the family. There's just something special about gathering together and sharing movies you've grown up with.

But surprisingly, old standbys we've all come to associate with yuletide merriment are harder to find than you'd expect. To save you the hassle, I've found 10 enjoyable holiday movies you can access from the comfort of your own couch.

There's no need to get out of your pajamas. Just gather the family and check out these flicks for yourself.

- "White Christmas" (Netflix) - Hollywood legends Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney join forces to save a resort from going out of business in this 1954 film. There's plenty of singing and dancing, and the closing number features the famous holiday song "White Christmas."

- "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (HBO) - Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit and Michael Caine is his boss, Ebenezer Scrooge, in this Muppet take on "A Christmas Carol." The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat help narrate this faithful yet humorous adaptation.

- "Miracle on 34th Street" (HBO) - You can watch the 1996 version with Richard Attenborough and Dylan McDermott on Netflix and Amazon, but there's no substitute for the original. Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood go to court to prove Santa Claus is real in the 1947 black-and-white classic.

- "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (HBO) - Jim Carrey brings a character well-known for having a heart two sizes too small to life in this live-action version of the Dr. Seuss children's story. Carrey is zany and silly, but just like the 1966 cartoon, Max the dog steals the show.

- "Scrooged" (Netflix) - Bill Murray is an egomaniacal television executive who only cares about the bottom line in this twist on the Charles Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol." While it earns its PG-13 rating, "Scrooged" sure is fun.

- "Home Alone" (HBO) - Clever 8-year Kevin McCallister takes down two bumbling thieves (Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci) known as the Wet Bandits in a role that made Macaulay Culkin a star. John Candy has a great cameo as a polka-playing musician who helps Kevin's mom get back home.

- "A Christmas Story" (Available to rent or buy on iTunes and Amazon video) - Indiana school boy Ralphie Parker dreams of getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. While he waits for the big day, Ralphie must take on bully Scut Farkas and deal with his old man's obsession with a "major award."

- "Elf" (Available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon video) - Will Ferrell is Buddy, an elf from the North Pole looking for his father in New York City. Zooey Deschanel is the sweet-voiced department store employee who befriends the socially awkward Santa's helper.

- "Die Hard" (Available to rent or buy on iTunes and Amazon video) - The Mr. Mystery guest on this list is John McClane (Bruce Willis), a cop with a goody bag chock full of one liners. An R-rated film might seem like an odd holiday diversion, but this Christmas-themed caper is full of enjoyable action.

- Virtual Yule Logs (YouTube) - If you're looking for something a little more unusual and don't own a fireplace, try running a virtual yule log for a few hours while reading or playing board games.

Standard ones are easy to find, but Nick Offerman's Yule Log and the Darth Vader Yule Log are much more entertaining.

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Follow Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.

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