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The 15 Best Holiday and Christmas Movies To Snuggle Up To This Season

  • 6 min read

Photo by Samira Rahi onUnsplash

The halls are decked, the tree is trimmed, and there’s a crackling yule log in your fireplace. In other words, you’re ready for the holidays! 

And if there’s one way to make the season even more cozy and sentimental, it’s to queue up a good holiday movie. 

There are a ton of holiday movies that are currently streaming on HBO Max, Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+. Here are some of the best Christmas movies that you can stream right now, from feel-good classics to brand-new festive offerings. 

All Of The Best Holiday And Christmas Movies Streaming Right Now

8-Bit Christmas

When you’re in the mood for:a nostalgic take on the classic Christmas story 

Where to watch:HBO Max

The new HBO original movie 8-Bit Christmas has been garnering a ton of buzz this year and is definitely on its way to becoming one of the greats. It’s a classic tale of childhood longing for the latest and greatest toy of the year. And the toy in question? A Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)! From the studio that made another Christmas classic, Elf, this nostalgic take on the holiday fervor is sure to be one of your new favorites.

Miracle on 34th Street

When you’re in the mood for: a lighthearted, magical holiday classic that never gets old 

Where to watch:HBO Max

No list of great holiday movies would be complete without Miracle on 34th Street! This Christmas classic follows Kris Kringle, an old man who fills in as Santa Clause for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and, most astonishingly, claims to be the real jolly old Saint Nick himself. It’s a light, sweet Christmas movie that’s been a staple in holiday movie nights for generations and is a surefire way to get into the spirit of the season.

Home Alone

When you’re in the mood for:a knee-slapping and mischievous tale of kid genius and good triumphing over evil 

Where to watch: Disney+

Ever since it was first released in 1990, Home Alone has become an iconic and much-loved Christmas tale that never fails to deliver tons of laughs for the whole family. It follows the hilarious plight of Kevin McCallister, an eight-year old boy who accidentally gets left behind when his family goes on a holiday vacation and finds himself having to defend his home against burglars intent on ruining Christmas.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story 

When you’re in the mood for:A magical musical with a diverse and inclusive cast 

Where to watch:Netflix 

Jingle Jangle is a joyous watch of redemption and hope -- in short, everything you would hope to find in a great Christmas movie! It’s the story of an eccentric toymaker and his granddaughter as they set out on a quest to invent a new toy and save Jeronicus’ shop from financial ruin. With stars like Forest Whitaker, Keegan Michael Keye, and Phylicia Rashad, plus music by John Legend, this musical is a true audio and visual delight that your whole family will love.

A Christmas Story 

When you’re in the mood for:a classic comedy that highlights the trials and tribulations of being a kid with a holiday dream

Where to watch:HBO Max

“A Christmas Story” is practically required watching for an all-American holiday season, so much so that the cable channels TBS and TNT air it back-to-back for a full 24 hours every year! But if you don’t happen to catch it live, you can also stream it this year on HBO Max. For the uninitiated, A Christmas Story follows the story of Ralphie Parker, a nine-year-old boy who dreams of receiving a Red Ryder air rifle under the tree on Christmas morning.

A Charlie Brown Christmas 

When you’re in the mood for:a comforting cartoon that brings you back to simpler times 

Where to watch:Apple TV+

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang are perhaps most well-known for their holiday specials, and A Charlie Brown Christmas is no exception. Join Charlie as he navigates through the season to try to find the true meaning of Christmas. You can find this sentimental viewing (and all the other Charlie Brown specials!) on Apple TV+.

A Castle For Christmas

When you’re in the mood for:a silly, feel-good holiday rom-com that’ll have you dreaming of castles and royalty 

Where to watch:Netflix

Netflix has become a bit of a hub in recent years for fun, sometimes-sappy holiday romantic comedies with princes, princesses, and royalty as major themes. They’ve continued to add on to their collection in 2021, with one notable addition this year being A Castle For Christmas. It stars Brooke Shields as a struggling author who travels to Scotland, falls in love with a castle, and meets the grumpy duke (played by Cary Elwes of A Princess Bride) who owns it.

Love Actually 

When you’re in the mood for:a charming rom-com favoritewith an ensemble cast and a festive spirit 

Where to watch: Rent on Prime Video or Apple TV

Love Actually is a holiday cult favorite that follows the stories of nine characters navigating the Christmas season and dealing with the highs and lows of romance and love during Christmastime. It’s a witty, whimsical watch that’s a whole lot of fun from start to finish! It’s also chock-full of British greats with stars like Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant. Love Actually is not available on any streaming services in December 2021, unfortunately, but you can rent this charming Christmas classic on either Prime Video or Apple TV.

The Nightmare Before Christmas 

When you’re in the mood for: a Christmas movie, but still haven’t let go of your Halloween decorations just yet 

Where to watch:Disney+

It’s a long-standing debate: is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Either way, this Tim Burton animated classic is an ultra-fun romp that follows the “Pumpkin King” of Halloweentown Jack Skellington as he discovers the joy of Christmas. Find it on Disney+ and get the best of both worlds this holiday season.

The Polar Express 

When you’re in the mood for:the ultimate cozy Christmas movie experience 

Where to watch:HBO Max 

Based on the 1985 children’s book of the same name, The Polar Express is a magical movie that follows the journey of a locomotive as it journeys to the North Pole to see Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. It’s a classic watch that’s beloved by many children because of how well it captures all the wonder, mystery, and joy that comes with the season, and it’s a great watch for the entire family. All that’s missing is your own steaming mug of hot cocoa!

Klaus

When you’re in the mood for:a lively and animated twist on an old Christmas tale 

Where to watch:Netflix 

If you’re looking for a new animated Christmas classic to add to your repertoire of holiday films, consider the Netflix original Klaus! It’s the heartwarming origin story of Santa Claus himself and the postmaker who makes his toy deliveries a reality.

Jingle All The Way 

When you’re in the mood for: a light, silly watch with familiar faces 

Where to watch:Amazon Prime

Any parent who’s ever had to fight tooth and nail to secure the “it” toy of the season in time for Christmas will relate all too well to this Christmas Eve comedy. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad as they each try desperately to nab the Turbo-Man action figure for their kids and, yes, ridiculous hilarity ensues.

Elf

When you’re in the mood for:a ridiculously silly fan favorite 

Where to watch:HBO Max

Elf takes all the familiar tropes of Christmas movies and turns them on their head, making it one of the funniest Christmas movies of our time. Follow Buddy The Elf (played by comedy great Will Ferrell) as he discovers he’s not really one of Santa’s elves and sets out on a quest from the North Pole to another famed and magical locale: New York City. It’s equal parts hilarious and sweet, and it’s the perfect watch for when you want to put on something that’s sure to please.

White Christmas

When you’re in the mood for:a romantic, sentimental classic musical that’ll get you singing 

Where to watch:Netflix 

If classic Christmas carols are more your speed for musicals, you can’t do much better than White Christmas. Watch Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen as they throw a Christmas musical extravaganza and croon their way to saving a quintessential inn in rural Vermont!

It’s A Wonderful Life 

When you’re in the mood for:recentering and remembering what’s really important this season 

Where to watch:Amazon Prime 

Finally, make sure to round out your holiday movie nights with It’s A Wonderful Life on Amazon Prime! The Golden Globe winner follows dispirited businessman George Bailey as he learns just how big of an impact he has made on the people around him. It’s a true heartwarming classic that’ll leave you feeling nice and warm inside even if you’ve seen it a hundred times.

Good movies are some of the best parts of the holiday season. Grab your loved ones, a cozy blanket, and a hot drink. These movies are sure to get you in a festive mood!