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12 YouTube Christmas Movies to Buy or Rent for the Holidays

Christmas movies can be pretty unpredictable. The good ones don't show up very often, and the old ones tend to spread over and over again.

But if there's one time of year to give in to unabashed nostalgia, it's Christmas. In addition to YouTube's catalog of free public domain movies, there are plenty of vacation favorites available to buy or rent.

Here are the best Christmas movies to watch on YouTube this holiday season.

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

Have you ever wanted a perfect Christmas? So has Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase). When the entire family announces that he's coming for Christmas, Clark's plans for the perfect vacation are thrown into disarray. Repeatedly.

From buying a Christmas tree to accidentally wiring 25,000 light bulbs to the light switch in the garage, almost everything that could go wrong at Christmas does. This is the third film in Lampoon's long-running national vacation series, and it's probably the best of them all.

2. Home Alone (1990)

Is Home Alone the best Christmas movie of all time? If you were born sometime between 1985 and 1995, it probably is. Follow the antics of Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) as his family accidentally boards a flight to Paris without him.

In his absence, the McAllister residence is targeted by bumbling burglars Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). It's up to Kevin to fend off the bandits, overcome his fears, and spread some Christmas cheer to the fearsome old man living down the street...

3. Home Alone 2:Lost in New York (1992)

Another Christmas for the McAllister family, and another trip out of Chicago. This time, the family heads to the warmer weather of Florida, except for Kevin who mistakenly boards a plane to New York.

While much of the format (and the brutal Rube Goldberg-esque trappings) remain the same, Home Alone 2 isn't quite as magical as the first. Still worth watching is Tim Curry's stellar performance as a bumbling janitor, and a cameo that won't miss out on anything other than Donald Trump.

4. Die Hard (1988)

Don't let anyone tell you Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. It's a movie, it takes place at Christmas and features festive mainstays like Christmas parties, German terrorists, and a huge rise in the heart of Los Angeles.

So while it probably doesn't sound festive on paper, it's still the best Christmas action movie ever made. While Bruce Willis' performance as John McClane propelled him to fame as a man of action, it's Hans Gruber (played by the late Alan Rickman) who really steals the show.

5. Krampus (2015)

From the best Christmas action movie to the best Christmas horror movie. In terms of mixing genres, horror and parties go together like blood-soaked holly and poison ivy.

This refreshing take on the mythical European half-goat, half-demon who punishes children at Christmas manages to be both unsettling and heartwarming at the same time.

6. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Charles Dickens probably didn't foresee his Victorian Christmas ghost story becoming a children's musical with singing stuffed animals, but he would probably be delighted with the outcome. Michael Caine is perfectly cast as Mr Scrooge, while Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and all your other favorite Muppets round out the rest.

This retelling of a holiday classic strikes just the right balance of festive frivolity and somber self-development for the whole family to enjoy. If you like Christmas music, you'll love this movie.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Tired of the same old Halloween food, Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman) decides to have some Christmas fun. The problem is that the inhabitants of Halloween Town don't quite understand the spirit of Christmas, with dire consequences.

There is a lot of debate about whether Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas movie or one of the best Halloween movies Top 10 Horror Movies to Watch on Netflix Top 10 Horror Movies to Watch on Netflix There are some movies from horror on Netflix, so Here are the best horror movies to watch when you want to be scared. Read more . The answer is that it is both, and is best enjoyed in that gap between October 31 and December 25.

8. Elf (2003)

Before Anchorman, Will Ferrell was best known for his portrayal of Buddy, a human who was raised as an elf in the North Pole. After inadvertently slipping into Santa's sack of presents one Christmas Eve as a baby, Buddy spends the next thirty years in the company of elves a fraction his size.

Now it's time for him to face the fact that he's not really an Elf and find his true family..

9. Gremlins (1984)

When Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) receives a mysterious Christmas present from his father, he comes up with a few basic rules:don't expose him to light, don't get him wet, and never feed him after midnight.

The gift is a Mogwai, one of the cutest fictional creatures of the 80s. Unfortunately, mogwa don't stay cute and fluffy if exposed to light, wet, or fed after midnight. Looking for more 80's classics? Check out the best 80s movies to watch on Netflix. The 12 best movies of the 80s to watch on Netflix. The 12 best movies of the 80s to watch on Netflix. The best movies of the 80s on Netflix. Read more.

10. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

There's nothing wrong with a Christmas classic, and Miracle on 34th Street certainly fits the bill. The 1947 film tells the story of a charming old man who takes on the role of Santa Claus in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The problem begins when the man refers to himself as Kris Kringle and claims to really be Santa Claus. It's not long before the man finds himself in court, having to prove that he is, in fact, the real deal, forcing the courtroom to re-examine some of his own beliefs.

11. Bad Santa (2003)

Willie and Marcus (Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox) pose as Santa Claus and his helper, with grand plans to rob a department store on Christmas Eve. But Willie is more washed up than ever this year, he's drinking heavily and it threatens to jeopardize the whole plan..

Worse yet, a troubled young man shows up believing Willie is the real Santa Claus. Thus begins the festive (and definitely not for kids) story of a fugitive who finally learns the true meaning of Christmas.

12. The night before (2015)

When three childhood friends decide to end their Christmas Eve tradition of spending the night on the town, they decide to go out with a bang. What follows is a night of rude humor, drunkenness, and self-discovery.

That's right, it's a Seth Rogen movie set at Christmas. It has all the usual Seth Rogen traits, set against the backdrop of Christmas in New York. If you like your laughs to be loud and fast during the holidays, don't forget to check out the best Netflix comedies you might have missed. You know the big-name comedy shows --- The Office, Friends, Arrested Development, etc --- but there are some lesser-known comedies to watch on Netflix that you may have missed by now... Read More .

Did we miss your favorite Christmas movie??

There are so many Christmas movies, and we estimate that only 10 percent are worth your time. This list is far from exhaustive, but it does cover a good selection of holiday movies that you can now watch with a minimum of hassle.

We're sure you have your own favorite Christmas movies. If none of these appeal to you, consider checking out these Christmas movies to watch on Netflix. The 10 best Christmas movies on Netflix to watch this year. The 10 best Christmas movies on Netflix to watch this year. Here are the best Christmas movies on Netflix to watch this holiday season. Read more . Merry Christmas!