Facing the looming maelstrom of final exams and an extended visit with extended family, it’s always a good idea to take care of yourself by carving out a little couch time. To maintain the Christmas spirit (read: sanity), take our advice: Bust out the sugar cookie dough, pretend you’re going to bake it, and then flip through this list of cherished holiday movies to plan your binge schedule.
Since these movies are the crème de la Christmas crème, most aren’t available via subscription streaming services Hulu and Netflix. But that doesn’t mean you have to put pants on and trek to the nearest video rental store like it’s 2005. Online rentals from Amazon Prime Video, Fandango Now, VUDU, HBO Now, YouTube, and both Google Play and iTunes have got you covered (unlike your pants).
Whether you’re home alone, in a house packed with relatives, or feeling a little grinchy, there’s a movie to help you through it:
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Nothing makes you feel the warmth of the holidays quite like watching the Griswold family’s Christmas tree burn down. Rent it on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU, YouTube, and Fandango Now (but let’s be honest — this is one DVD to throw on your shopping list). After empathizing with Clark’s emotional breakdown as he punches the plastic reindeer right in their unlit faces, you’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*cking Kaye.
A Christmas Story
When is the last time you wanted something as badly as Ralphie wants a Red Ryder air rifle? Live vicariously through YouTube, Fandango Now, VUDU, iTunes, and Google Play.
One of the all-time classics, White Christmas follows dancing army buddies Bob (Bing Crosby) and Phil (Danny Kaye) as they pair up with sisters Betty and Judy Haynes for a winter dance extravaganza — that’s right, Bing Crosby tap-dancing with Danny f*cking Kaye. The 1950s film is heavy on heart, as the four strive to save their former commanding general’s inn. This is one of the few you can find on Netflix, as well as Fandango Now, VUDU, Google Play, iTunes, and YouTube.
Although it seems less feasible every time you watch it, seeing Kevin McCallister outwit two hapless would-be burglars never gets old. Plus, the pizza and ice cream sundae he whips up for himself is solid inspiration for your own time spent home alone. Rent it on HBO Now, VUDU, Fandango Now, iTunes, VUDU, YouTube, and Google Play.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Told through Brian Henson’s Muppet puppets, the Charles Dickens classic has never seemed so real. This retelling was released in 1992, just in time to be a childhood Christmas mainstay that many of us just aren’t ready to part with. And you don’t have to, thanks to HBO Now, iTunes, YouTube, VUDU, and Amazon Prime Video.
On the other end of the holiday spirit spectrum — really, really far on the end — is Willie, a miserable man running a con on department stores to rob them on Christmas Eve. Pretending to be a mall Santa, Willie ends up befriending an innocent boy and his shady plans are jeopardized. If that’s how you want to celebrate Christmas, find it on Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, YouTube, Fandango Now, VUDU, and iTunes.
Streaming options change often, so these offerings might have changed since posting, so double-check before you pop the corn. If you have your eye on some other holiday tales, check CanIStream.It to see where you can find it from some of the most common sources, and keep you eye on Netflix’s new holiday additions. Happy holiday binging!