When sleigh bells ring, the snow glistens and the new bird sings, you know it’s time to pull out the Christmas goodies. While most of us wait until at least after December 1 to deck the halls and put up the tree, it’s never a bad idea to start getting in the holiday spirit a bit early.
Whether you’re somewhere that goes fully festive or not, it’s time to begin taking advantage of the Christmas wonderland outside your window, whatever that might look like. One of the best things about the holiday season is being able to spend quality time with your family and friends that you wait all year to get. What better way to do that than to curl up on the couch, grab some snacks and stream a Christmas movie marathon?
If you’re looking for comedy, romance or even horror, there’s a Christmas movie for you, no matter what streaming services you’ve got (we’ve got lists specific to Netflix and Hulu
1. A Christmas Story (1983)
if you’re interested) or what you’re in the mood for. Now, bake some cookies, hang your stockings and put that elf on the shelf. Here are 25 of the best Christmas movies to watch while you dream by the fire.
Nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) has but one thing on his wishlist: an official Red Ryder carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. But with his mother, teacher and even Santa convinced that he’ll shoot his eye out, it’s going to take a Christmas miracle for Ralphie’s wish to come true.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
In this Tim Burton classic, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon/Danny Elfman), attempts to stray from their typical, everyday horrors and instead partake in Christmas. Find out what happens when skeletons, witches and mummies celebrate the holiday, spooky style.
3. The Polar Express (2004)
When a young boy begins questioning the magic of Christmas, he is taken aboard a train that’s on its way to the home of Santa Claus himself: the North Pole. On his journey, he discovers that some of the most real things in this world are the ones we can’t see.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Getting together for holidays with the family isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and the Griswold family shows us just that. Whether it’s a squirrel in the Christmas tree, a crappy bonus or a kidnapped boss, there’s never a dull moment in Christmas Vacation.
5. Home Alone (1990)
Kids usually beg for their parents to leave them home by themselves, and in this classic Christmas movie, eight-year-old Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) gets just that. It’s all pizza, ice cream and unlimited television—until a pair of burglars put a stop to his one-boy party.
6. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
In this Charles Dickens/Muppets mashup, the Muppets tell the tale of a callous Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine), who is visited by three ghosts: Christmas past, present and future. With a new outlook on life, Scrooge hopes to redeem himself before it’s too late.
7. Elf (2003)
After being raised as an elf in the North Pole, Buddy (Will Ferrell) is given earth-shattering news that he is actually a human. As he travels to the Big Apple, Buddy discovers that his biological father is on the naughty list. He has a mission: save Christmas and find out who he truly is in the process.
8. The Santa Clause (1994)
Ever wondered what happens if things go south with the big man from the North? When Santa takes a tumble off his roof on Christmas Eve, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has no choice but to take his place. After putting on the trademark red suit, Scott must take over the many responsibilities of being Santa Clause.
9. Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
After years of leading the community with their Christmas spirit, Luther and Nora Krank (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) decide to substitute Christmas with a cruise to the Caribbean. But when their daughter decides to come home to celebrate at the last minute, they are tasked with putting together their annual party in less than 24 hours. Can they do it?
10. Battle of the Bulbs (2010)
Much like Deck the Halls, this Christmas comedy follows two neighbours as they fight to see who can put up the best decoration display.
11. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Sometimes, the best gift of all is just something to believe in. Susan Walker (Mara Wilson) and the lawyer from the apartment down the hall must prove that Santa is real.
12. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
In this adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book, a grouchy green grump, also known as The Grinch (Boris Karloff), ruins Christmas for the town of Whoville. To his surprise and disgust, he starts to learn what the season is all about.
13. Frosty The Snowman (1969)
At Christmastime, anything is possible, including a silk top hat bringing a snowman to life. When Frosty and his new friend search for ways to save him from the warm, spring weather, they find themselves on a train to the North Pole with a greedy magician on their tail.
14. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
With a snowman as the narrator, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is about as classic as it gets. After Rudolph discovers his unique talent, he is deemed a misfit. That is, until Santa finds the perfect job for him.
15. Die Hard (1988)
Who says Bruce Willis can’t be a Christmas icon? Though not the most traditional Christmas movie, Die Hard is one that’s played every year in December. After his wife and several others are taken hostage during a Christmas party, NYPD officer John McClane steps in.
16. Deck The Halls (2006)
When Steve Finch’s (Matthew Broderick) traditional Christmas is disrupted by his new neighbor’s (Danny DeVito) crazy obsession with Christmas lights, the two go to war. Is it possible to see a light display from outer space?
17. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Charlie Brown, beyond his years and overwhelmed by the commercialism of Christmas, tries to find the true meaning of the holiday season.
18. Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)
Stepfather Brad (Will Ferrell) and biological father Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) have put their differences aside to be around for their kids. As the holidays approach, the two decide to spend them together in a secluded cabin with no escape. Can they learn to coexist?
19. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)
Mickey Rooney voices a discouraged Santa Claus and considers skipping Christmas this year. Do the kids even care anymore? Is his job obsolete? Two elves set out to prove that the Christmas spirit is still alive and well.
20. Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town (1970)
The origin of Santa Claus is revealed in this Mickey Rooney classic. Bring all your questions, and the Mailman (Fred Astaire) will answer them.
21. Gremlins (1984)
Billy Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) receives an early Christmas gift that comes with three important rules: no water, no bright lights and no food after midnight. With all the rules broken, Billy’s gremlins wreak havoc on the town in this strange Christmas movie.
22. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Christmas Eve is a night to be with your family and prepare for the excitement of the next day. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey’s Christmas Eve is quite the opposite. After a business endeavour goes wrong, George considers taking his life. Will Clarence the angel be able to convince him to stick around?
23. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
During her Christmas shift in the ticket booth for Chicago’s “L” train, Lucy (Sandra Bullock) saves her secret crush after he falls off the platform and onto the tracks. Once at the hospital, Lucy is mistaken for his fiancée and jumps on the opportunity. And once her crush comes out of his coma…well, she’ll deal with that later.
24. Love Actually (2003)
Presented in vignettes, Love Actually follows several couples in the month leading up to Christmas. Pulling together the magic of the holiday season and a classic romcom, this feel-good movie will put you in the spirit.
25. Krampus (2015)
Family dysfunction causes young Max (Emjay Anthony) to give up on the holiday season, consequently releasing the evil Krampus. With the demonic force set on getting his revenge on non-believers, the family must come together to stop it.
26. Scrooged (1988)
Bill Murray stars in this retelling of a classic Christmas tale. A selfish television executive is visited by three ghosts who seek to show him his wrongdoing.
27. The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington star in this comedy-drama about a pastor and his family, who struggle to find happiness as Christmas approaches. When the pastor begs for help, an angel named Dudley appears.
28. Trading Places (1983)
Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd star in this comedy about two men who are part of an elaborate bet to see how they’ll fair when they switch lives.
29. The Family Stone (2005)
Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this rom-com about a girlfriend who goes to meet her boyfriend’s family for the holidays, only to find out they really don’t like her.
30. Eloise at Christmastime (2003)
Based on Kay Thompson’s famous children’s books, Eloise at Christmastime follows a young girl who lives in a hotel and the various sorts of mischief she gets into during the holidays.
31. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
This Christmas anthology film features three stories starring Disney’s most well-known characters as they each experience various mishaps surrounding Christmas.
32. Jack Frost (1998)
Michael Keaton stars as a magical snowman in this dark fantasy about a man who dies and comes back to life as a snowman, and then tries to reconnect with his family in his new form.
33. The Perfect Holiday (2007)
Gabrielle Union stars as a divorced mother looking for love in this Christmas romance. She ends up finding it too… in the mall Santa who’s secretly an aspiring songwriter.
34. Meet the Parents (2000)
Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro star opposite each other in this comedy classic about a man who visits his girlfriend’s parents but fails spectacularly to impress his girlfriend’s father.