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    MGM via Everett Collection

    Favorite holiday movies

    From "It's a Wonderful Life" to "Rudolph," "Elf" and more, these films bring out the spirit of the season.

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    The craziest Christmas party ever

    "The Night Before" tells the tale of lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) who have gathered every year on Christmas Eve to celebrate the holidays together. As Isaac prepares to become a first-time father, the friends realize that their annual tradition is coming to an end. To make it as memorable as possible, they plan a night of debauchery by searching for the Nutcracka Ball, the Holy Grail of Christmas parties in New York.

    Columbia Pictures
  • Family time

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    Family time

    Anna Kendrick stars as a twentysomething who moves in with her brother's family in 2014's "Happy Christmas."

    Magnolia Pictures
  • Holiday reunion

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    Holiday reunion

    Old friends played by Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau and Terrence Howard get together for Christmas in 2013's "The Best Man Holiday." The film is the sequel to the 1999 movie "The Best Man."

    Universal Pictures
  • Madea's back

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    Madea's back

    Tyler Perry reprises his role as Madea in 2011's "A Madea Christmas."

    Lionsgate
  • Santa's son helps out

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    Santa's son helps out

    In 2011's "Arthur Christmas," Santa's klutzy second son takes charge when a little girl's gift is left behind.

    Sony Pictures
  • Auld lang syne

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    Auld lang syne

    Christmas gets way more movies than New Year's, but 2011's "New Year's Eve" packed a star-studded cast into one film about the adventures of a group of people awaiting the turn of the year. Jon Bon Jovi and Lea Michele are shown.

    Warner Bros.
  • Christmas is smokin'

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    Christmas is smokin'

    Pals Harold and Kumar reunite with each other -- and celeb pal Neil Patrick Harris -- when Kumar mistakenly burns down Harold's father-in-law's beloved tree. "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas" features some pretty funny 3-D gags and was well-reviewed for its good-natured, if naughty, humor.

    Warner Bros.
  • A 3-D holiday

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    A 3-D holiday

    In "Disney's A Christmas Carol," Jim Carrey plays Ebenezer Scrooge in this animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about an old miser who goes on an eye-opening journey with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. Other renditions of this story include "A Christmas Carol" in 1938 and 1951, "Scrooged" (1988), "The Jetsons Christmas Carol" (1985) and "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992).

    Walt Disney Studios
  • Four-legged Santas

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    Four-legged Santas

    "Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws" (2009) is the fourth installment of the "Air Buddies "film series.

    Walt Disney Pictures
  • Too much family time

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    Too much family time

    In "Four Christmases" (2008), Reese Witherspoon, center, and Vince Vaughn play a San Francisco couple who have to go to all four of their divorced parents' homes on Christmas.

    New Line Cinema
  • Singing along

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    Singing along

    Jason Lee stars as David Seville in "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (2007), the CG/live-action hybrid film, based on the 1950s cartoon series about chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore, who lay waste to Seville's surroundings and sing in three-part harmony.

    20th Century Fox
  • Holiday teamwork

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    Holiday teamwork

    A daughter asks a department store Santa (played by Morris Chestnut) to help find a husband for her divorced mom in "The Perfect Holiday" (2007).

    Yari Film Group
  • Playing around

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    Playing around

    In "Fred Claus" (2007), Santa's bitter older brother, played by Vince Vaughn, is forced to move to the North Pole.

    Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Getting competitive

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    Getting competitive

    In "Deck the Halls" (2006), Matthew Broderick, left, and Danny DeVito, right, play neighbors in a small New England town who clash when one decides to decorate his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.

    20th Century Fox
  • All aboard

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    All aboard

    Tom Hanks stars in the screen adaptation of "The Polar Express" (2004), which tells the story of a boy who believes in Santa Claus despite getting teased by his friends. One Christmas Eve, a steam train appears in front of his house and brings him and his disbelieving friends to the North Pole.

    Warner Bros.
  • Holiday reluctance

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    Holiday reluctance

    In 2004's "Christmas with the Kranks," Tim Allen, second from right, plays Luther Krank, a man who decides to skip Christmas and go on a vacation with his wife Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis, right) instead. But he is forced to do Christmas anyway when his daughter decides at the last minute to come home for the holiday.

    Columbia Pictures
  • Saving Christmas

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    Saving Christmas

    Life in the big city is not all sugarplums and candy canes as Buddy (Will Ferrell, left,) finds out in "Elf" (2003). In New York to find his real family, Buddy realizes everyone has forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, and it's up to him and his simple elf ways to save Christmas for New York and the world.

    New Line Cinema
  • A Christmas con

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    A Christmas con

    Can a con man change his ways? In the 2003 film "Bad Santa," Billy Bob Thornton disguises himself as a mall Santa Claus while plotting to rob the mall. But an 8-year old boy comes into the picture and complicates the matter by teaching thim and his elf sidekick (Tony Cox) the meaning of Christmas.

    Dimension Films
  • Spelling it out

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    Spelling it out

    In the weeks before Christmas, "Love Actually" (2003) tells one story that weaves together a number of love stories. The cast includes Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth and Bill Nighy.

    Universal Pictures
  • Stop, you holiday thief!

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    Stop, you holiday thief!

    Jim Carrey stars in another holiday move, this time playing the Grinch in "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000).

    Universal Pictures
  • Holiday silliness

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    Holiday silliness

    Oliver Hardy, center, and Stan Laurel, right, star in 1934's "Babes in Toyland" as Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum, who try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage.

    Everett Collection
  • Finding the perfect gift

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    Finding the perfect gift

    Many parents go all out for their children on the holidays. And Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is no different in "Jingle All the Way" (1996) when he stops at nothing to get the hottest action figure of the holiday season for his son just before Christmas Day.

    20th Century Fox
  • A real holiday transformation

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    A real holiday transformation

    Tim Allen plays a divorced yuppie dad who sees his strained relationship with his son change when a bizarre twist of fate turns him into the new Santa in the 1994 film "The Santa Clause."

    Walt Disney Studios
  • From another world

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    From another world

    In the 1993 stop-motion fantasy "The Nightmare Before Christmas," Jack Skellington, right, is a being from "Halloween Town" who opens a portal to "Christmas Town."

    Touchstone
  • Holiday mischief

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    Holiday mischief

    In the 1990 blockbuster holiday hit "Home Alone," Macaulay Culkin plays a young boy who fends for himself after his family accidentally leaves him at home while they go to France for Christmas.

    20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
  • No real vacation

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    No real vacation

    The Griswold family, led by parents Clark and Ellen (Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo,) plans a big family Christmas at their house that turns into a big disaster in "Christmas Vacation" (1989).

    Everett Collection
  • Action-packed holiday

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    Action-packed holiday

    There's no lack of action in 1988's "Die Hard" when Bruce Willis plays a New York cop trapped in a Los Angeles high-rise occupied by terrorists on Christmas Eve.

    20th Century Fox
  • Rule breaker

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    Rule breaker

    A wholesome town is turned upside-down when a boy named Billy (Zach Galligans) breaks three important rules about his new pet and gremlins are accidentally unleashed and wreck havoc in 1984's "Gremlins."

    Warner Bros.
  • Stuck on Christmas

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    Stuck on Christmas

    Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift. But along the way, he runs into opposition from his parents, his teacher, and even Santa Claus in the 1983 classic "A Christmas Story."

    MGM via Everett Collection
  • 'Christmas Time Is Here'

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    'Christmas Time Is Here'

    Charlie Brown nurtures the thinnest, scraggliest Christmas tree ever in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965). At first the gang makes fun of Charlie for choosing such an ugly tree for the holiday but a timely assist from Linus makes the true message of the season come shining through.

    CBS
  • Lighting the way

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    Lighting the way

    "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964) recounts the tale of a shy, young reindeer whose Christmas spirit is dampened because his shiny red nose makes him the laughing stock of all Christmastown. But when bad weather threatens to cancel Christmas, Rudolph's headlight -- his illuminated nose -- saves the day by serving as a beacon to guide Santa's sleigh.

    Classic Media
  • What are you dreaming of?

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    What are you dreaming of?

    In the 1954 holiday classic "White Christmas," Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby star as two song-and-dance men who team up after World War II with a sister act (Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney) and trek to Vermont for Christmas.

    Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
  • The real deal

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    The real deal

    Kris Kringle -- unbeknownst to cynical, market-minded adults, the real Santa Claus -- is hired to play himself at Macy's Department Store in New York. His gentle, joyous spirit and magical powers soon transform those around him, including a little girl (Natalie Wood) and her world-weary mother in 1947's "Miracle on 34th Street"

    20th Century Fox
  • Touched by an angel

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    Touched by an angel

    George Bailey (James Stewart) is a small-town man whose life seems so desperate he contemplates suicide until a guardian angel intercedes, showing him what life would have become for the people in Bedford Falls if he had never lived in "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946).

    Liberty Films