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Christmas Movies From A To Z

Your favorite holiday films... alphabetized.

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A is for Arthur Christmas

Santa's son Arthur sets out with "Grandsanta" to save Christmas when a gift is left behind. Adorableness ensues.

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Rated PG

B is for Bad Santa

Billy Bob Bloodvial plays a conman who poses as Santa in order to rob stores on Christmas Eve. Lorelai Gilmore costars.

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Rated R

C is for a Christmas Story

Lamp. Bunny suit. Triple dog dare.

If you've never seen this, you need to reevaluate your existence. It's a classic.

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Rated PG

D is for Die Hard

Because nothing says "Christmas" like blood, sweat, and hostages.

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Rated R

E is for Elf

Possibly the most quoted holiday film on the list. Favored by small children and twentysomethings the world wide. #syrup

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Rated PG

F is for the Family Stone

*WARNING* Cancer-mom plotline = all the feels . SJP covered in raw egg almost makes up for it.

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Rated PG-13

G is for Gremlins

Petfinder gone horribly, horribly wrong.

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Rated PG

G is also for the Grinch (Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

Jenny Humphrey (before she discovered eyeliner) takes on a furry version of The Mask.

Q: Where are you, Christmas?

A: About 5 key changes away.

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Rated PG

H is for Home Alone

Kid discovers (like everyone else past the age of 22) that being a grown-up and depending completely on yourself is really f-ing difficult.... and that it's ok to trust creepy old men with snow shovels...although that is maybe not the best life lesson.

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Rated PG

I is for It's a Wonderful Life

Basically a feature-length PSA for suicide prevention... but good god DAMN is it endearing (and really quite a lovely film). Frank Capra, you charming devil, you. #clarenceitschristmas

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Rated PG

J is for Jingle All the Way

The Governator -- unwittingly comedic gold -- and Sinbad battle it out over the season's hottest toy, illustrating that the struggle before the dawn of online pre-ordering was REAL.

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Rated PG

K is for Kermit (in The Muppet Christmas Carol)

The ONLY Christmas Carol movie with which 90s kids are familiar. And let's be honest, it gives every other version a run for its money. Sorry George C. Scott.

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Rated G

L is for Love Actually

Every British actor ever (and a few Americans) in a movie with more stories than the Sears tower. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and if you're looking for love you'll consider being a stand-in for a porn-actor.

If you ask a female millennial for her favorite Christmas movie, chances are that this will be her answer.*

*or, like me, it may be in her list of favorite movies EVER

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Rated R

M is for Miracle on 34th Street

Santa's got a court date. Plot twist: the Mall-Santa is the real deal.

(I recognize that the 1947 original is better, classier, and features Natalie Wood at her cutest. But growing up when I did, the version I know and love is the one starring John Hammond and Matilda.)

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Rated PG

N is for the Nightmare Before Christmas

Skeleton wearing a dapper pinstripe suit goes through an existential crisis and decides to become Santa Claus ("Sandy Claws"). Yuletide: Tim Burton style.

Some people think this is a Halloween movie, and some people think it's a Christmas one. Why can't it be both, people?! Don't put it in a box. Unless you're giving it as a gift to someone. Then a box is acceptable.

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Rated PG

O is for Olive the Other Reindeer

Drew Barrymore voices a spirited dog who saves Christmas when one of Santa's reindeer is injured. Or at least, that's what imdb.com says.

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Rated G

P is for the Preacher's Wife

Denzel Washington plays an angel. Whitney Houston sings. There's fantastic gospel music and a sassy grandmother. Need I say more?

(remake of The Bishop's Wife from 1947 starring Cary Grant)

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Rated PG

Q is for mary Quite contrary (in Babes in Toyland)

Basically Mother Goose did some acid with Uncle Drosselmeyer from The Nutcracker and this is what resulted. It's fantastic.

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Rated G

R is for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Classic stop-motion film in which a woodland creature with body image issues goes on an adventure with an aspiring dentist. Self-acceptance achieved by way of encounters with Misfit Toys and a run-in with an abominable snowman.

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Rated G

S is for the Santa Clause

Buzz Lightyear plays a divorced dad who becomes the new Santa Claus when the previous one falls off the roof. Hilarity results.

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Rated PG

T is for This Christmas

Loretta Devine plays the matriarch of an extremely attractive brood of children (including Idris Elba and Columbus Short) who are together for Christmas for the first time in years. Family drama follows.

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Rated PG-13

U is for Unaccompanied Minors

Fez from That 70s Show must wrangle a ragtag bunch of kids who have been stranded mid-travel at an airport. Bonus: that dude from Walking Dead is in it as an adorable little gent.

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Rated PG

V is for Vacation (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)

The Griswolds are at it again; complete with burnt turkeys, overflowing septic tanks, electrical malfunctions, and weird family members. Includes possibly the most truthful line ever uttered in a holiday film: "I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery."

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Rated PG-13

W is for White Christmas

Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney star in this classic movie musical that is good clean fun for the whole family.*

*well apart from the whole minstrel show thing... at least they didn't go full racist like in Holiday Inn?

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Rated G

X is for eXpress (The Polar Express)

Tom Hanks plays pretty much every character in this rendering of the beloved classic children's book. Definitely gets the award for best score -- the music is absolutely beautiful.

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Rated G

Y is for the Year Without a Santa Claus

Another stop-motion holiday extravaganza, that is really only famous for producing the song "Mr. Heatmiser" (video below).

Side note: Mr. Heatmiser and Bill Belichick are the same person. You heard it here first, folks.

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Rated G

Z is for craZy (Eight Crazy Nights)

Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song come to life!

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Rated PG-13

There you have it, the ABC's of holiday films.

Have a fantastic holiday season!

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