12 Holiday Movies to Stream This Season
Curl up with some hot cocoa and these great holiday-themed flicks.
The holidays are a time for family and friends, and what better way to liven up the season than with your favorite festive movie? Whether it’s classics, comedies, love stories or kid-friendly, we have you covered with this list of 12 movies you should check out for the holidays.
1. A Christmas Story
Set in December 1940, this charming movie is told from the perspective of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, who desperately wants a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas. He gets his wish, courtesy of his father (the “Old Man,” played brilliantly by Darren McGavin) despite his mother’s objections … and true to his mother’s prediction, he accidentally shoots himself in the face on Christmas morning and breaks his glasses. There are several unforgettable moments here, including the scene where Ralphie’s friend Flick freezes his tongue to a flagpole — not to mention the battle of wills between Ralphie’s mother and father over a “major award” the Old Man won in a contest: a table lamp in the shape of a woman’s leg. Find out where to stream it here.
2. Home Alone
How can it truly be the holidays without Home Alone? Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara and John Heard, this timeless flick follows the adventures of Kevin McCallister (Culkin) after his family accidentally leaves him at home and goes on an international trip. Antics ensue, with Kevin ultimately saving his house from being robbed by a pair of hapless burglars. Find out where to stream it here.
3. Miracle on 34th Street
Miracle on 34th Street is one of those perfectly wholesome family flicks. The original 1947 version stars Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, who substitutes for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade Santa when the original Saint Nick is too drunk. Soon, Kringle becomes so popular that he begins appearing at the Macy’s store in midtown Manhattan, where he tells everyone (including a very young Natalie Wood) that he’s the real Santa Claus. Those claims lead him to a lawsuit, where the court is trying to decide whether he is mentally fit. Find out where to stream it here.
4. The Polar Express
This animated adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg adored children’s book is a fantastical adventure story for all ages. It tells the tale of an extraordinary train ride a young boy takes to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, and how, in the course of the journey, he discovers much about himself and the curiosity of life. Find out where to stream it here.
5. The Santa Clause
In this 1994 comedy, divorced dad Scott (Tim Allen) finds his life turned upside down when he accidentally kills a man wearing a Santa suit. He suddenly finds himself in the North Pole where he becomes the interim Saint Nicholas until the next one arrives. Scott doesn’t think much of the role, but he does end up gaining weight and growing a white beard. Find out where to stream it here.
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This live action remake of the beloved Dr. Seuss story was directed by Ron Howard and stars Jim Carrey as the nasty Grinch, who is determined to wreck Christmas for the good-natured people of Whoville by pilfering all the festive items from the town. Still, one Whoville citizen named Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) manages to win the Grinch over. Find out where to stream it here.
If you need a good laugh this holiday season, look no further than Will Ferrell’s Elf. This 2003 comedy follows Buddy (Ferrell) who was brought up in the North Pole from childhood. Feeling like he doesn’t belong with the elves, he visits New York where he attempts to find his real father, played by James Caan. After taking a DNA test, the pair attempt to form a bond. Find out where to stream it here.
8. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
This feel-good film tells the tale of Jeronicus (Forest Whitaker), a once-famous toy maker whose joy is snuffed out by an apprentice who steals his most treasured invention. His happiness is restored when his granddaughter, Journey (Madalen Mills) returns for a visit and he discovers they share the same passion for toy making. The cast is rounded out by Phylicia Rashad as Grandmother Journey and Keegan-Michael Key as Gustafson, Jeronicus’ apprentice. Find out where to stream it here.
9. Christmas With the Kranks
Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) are looking forward to finally spending one holiday alone. Rather than indulge in typical Christmas festivities, the couple decide to take a Caribbean cruise. However, their plans don’t align with that of their neighbors, who are hell bent on winning the yearly “best decorated street” competition — and the Kranks soon feel like castaways since they aren’t awash in Christmas cheer. Find out where to stream it here.
10. Love Actually
This 2003 RomCom presents nine intertwining stories that explore love in the weeks leading up to and after Christmas, with the storylines unfurling as the days go on. The movie boasts an A-list cast, with appearances from Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson and Keira Knightley. Find out where to stream it here.
11. Almost Christmas
Proving that family can overcome almost anything, this flick stars Danny Glover as a mechanic whose wife recently died. Facing the first holiday season without the love of his life, he tries to get his four bickering children to come to his house to celebrate, in hopes that they will move past the trivialities and commemorate the day instead. Find out where to stream it here.
12. The Christmas Chronicles
This is a newer offering from Netflix, but it certainly has the potential to become a classic. The film follows Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis), two kids who, upon discovering Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) in their home, decide to hop in his sleigh for a ride. However, their intrusion causes the sleigh to crash and all the presents in it to go missing. With Christmas right around the corner, the kids and Santa have to come up with a plan to get things back on track and ultimately save the holiday. Find out where to stream it here.