Here are 15 essential Christmas movies you should watch this month

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With the holidays comes one of the greatest seasonal art forms known to media: the Christmas movie.

These are movies that make us laugh, cry, and think about what it truly means to embrace the Christmas spirit.

The lessons of the holiday seasons are simple ones, but they always bear repeating year after year: it is better to give than receive, love and joy are contagious, and of course "the best way to spend Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."

In honor of this fact, we put together a list of some of our favorite films that you may want to stream this season, ranging from contemporary comedies to classics to "Die Hard."

"Elf"

Amazon

Will Ferrell plays Buddy the Elf, a human child who accidentally found his way into Santa’s knapsack and was eventually taken back to the North Pole to be raised as an elf. Once Buddy realizes he is not in fact an elf by birth, he sets out on a grand adventure to New York City to find his family. Along the way, he falls in love with a blonde Zooey Deschanel and puts maple syrup on his spaghetti. It's one of the funniest Christmas movies ever made.

Price: $12.99 (to buy)

"Home Alone"

Amazon

"Home Alone" has probably inspired more mischief than any other holiday film. After his family forgets him in their frenzy to catch a flight to Paris, Kevin McCallister is left, well, home alone. In fear of the "Wet Bandits" who have been ransacking houses around town, Kevin prepares a series of booby traps that should inspire any young aspiring engineer this holiday season.

Price: $3.99 (to rent) to $13.99 (to buy)

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"

Amazon

Christmas hijinks at its finest. Clark Griswold just wants to have a good old-fashioned family Christmas, complete with gifts given with love, stockings hung on the hearth, and of course a triumphant Christmas tree. But, as is many times the case when a Griswold puts effort towards doing something for the good of his family, they run into a few bumps along the way. As with any good Christmas film though, it has a happy ending, albeit one that also includes a Santa Claus caught on fire.

Price: $3.99 (to rent) to $9.99 (to buy)

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