Each year a dizzying array of new Christmas movies is streamed, but nothing captures the heat of the holiday season like the classics. Fortunately, you can stream the following classic Christmas movies right now!
Babes in Toyland
The rhyme that inspired the storyline of Babes in Toyland is fundamentally absurd, and it has little to do with Christmas.
Yet the Laurel and Hardy (1934) and Annette Funicello (1961) versions of the toy story feature a family comedy that made them holiday favorites. Adults marvel at the bizarre storytelling and surreal imagery, while children enjoy the silly characters.
You can watch the 1961 version at Disney +.
Alone at home
The desire to be left alone on Christmas is pretty universal, and that’s all 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) wants when his suburban home is overrun by his noisy and obnoxious extended family.
Of course, after being accidentally left behind when his whole family goes on vacation, his relief quickly turns to terror. Not only does he have to take care of himself, but Kevin also has to deal with two burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) who try to break into his home.
Home Alone features a parade of slapstick violence that is said to kill real burglars on multiple occasions. But it’s also sweet and wacky, and features one of the greatest cinematic performances of all time by a child actor.
You can stream Home Alone on Disney +.
How the Grinch stole Christmas
It took Jim Carrey’s manic energy to successfully capture the grumpy green Dr. Seuss for Christmas in live action. This version eventually made it past the 1966 animated special with Boris Karloff.
Carrey is really throwing himself into the role. As he conspires to sabotage Christmas in the healthy village of Whoville, old Grinch’s heart ends up growing three sizes, thanks to the holiday spirit. This version of the Grinch, however, remains weird and off-putting, even after embracing Christmas. It is this offbeat energy that has been appreciated over time.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is streaming at Netflix.
It’s a wonderful life
Perhaps the first film to establish itself as a Christmas viewing tradition, Frank Capra’s 1946 fable stars James Stewart as the discouraged banker George Bailey, who gets a glimpse of what the world would be like without him as he plans to throw himself off a bridge.
It sounds pretty depressing, but, true to its title, It’s a Wonderful Life is a celebration of generosity and selflessness, and a reminder that even when life is hard, it is still wonderful.
It’s a Wonderful Life is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Miracle on 34th Street
Is Santa Claus real? A court rules on the issue in this family vacation classic, starring Oscar-winning performance Edmund Gwenn at New York City Macy’s Santa Claus department store.
This Santa in particular claims he’s the real article and ultimately a judge has to weigh in when management tries to get poor Kris Kringle to commit. Thanks to caring adults (and a little Christmas magic), a little girl’s faith in Santa Claus is strengthened, along with the spirit of the season.
Miracle on 34th Street is streaming on Disney +.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Of the many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ beloved novel A Christmas Carol, the version starring the Muppets is, surprisingly, one of the closest to the source material. While it features a mostly anthropomorphic animal puppet cast (and whatever Gonzo is), it’s a classic for a reason.
Michael Caine plays Christmas hater Ebenezer Scrooge and brings a touch of gravity to the role alongside Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the other Muppets in the supporting characters. It might not be the best of the Muppet movies, but it’s a great way to introduce the characters to the little ones. The familiar vacation story is the perfect entry into their strange little world.
The Muppet Christmas Carol is streaming on Disney +.
The nightmare before Christmas
A movie with the word “nightmare” in the title doesn’t seem like a Christmas favorite. However, this stop-motion animated film, produced and conceptualized by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, has become a Christmas and Halloween staple.
The plot follows a Christmas-loving ghoul named Jack Skellington. Despite its sometimes macabre images, The Nightmare Before Christmas is warm and upbeat. Danny Elfman’s memorable songs and Burton’s creative creations unite mopey goths and cheerful extroverts.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is streaming on Disney +.
This dark comedy starring Denis Leary as a fugitive in hiding with a bickering upper-class couple (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) was a box office failure. Since its release, however, it has become a holiday favorite, thanks to its perfect balance of cynicism and sentiment.
It’s rude and sarcastic, but, in the end, he embraces the joy of the holiday season. With a bit of adultery, drunkenness and blackmail on top of that.
The Ref broadcasts for free on Hoopla through many local libraries.
Tim Allen kicked off a franchise with this comedy about a cranky suburban dad who accidentally caused Santa’s death. He is then magically enlisted to become the new Santa Claus. Despite its somewhat gruesome setup, The Santa Clause is a sweet sitcom-style story.
The divorced, career-focused dad is forced to change his priorities and reconnect with his young son, while proving to the world that Santa is still on the cards. Plus, Tim Allen is getting fat and growing a huge white beard.
Santa Claus is streaming on Disney +.
A showcase for Irving Berlin’s iconic song, this classic musical stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as two army buddies who throw off a hit musical act after World War II. They also fall for a pair of singer sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen).
The four of them spend the holidays performing at a Vermont inn owned by the former men’s commander. Showcasing values that still resonate today (with that ever-present desire for snow at Christmas), this film celebrates the true spirit of the season.
White Christmas is streaming on Netflix.
Traveling far from your home country this season and still want to broadcast your Christmas favorites? If you are having geographic constraints on region-specific content, consider using a VPN. It’s actually quite simple. We recommend using ExpressVPN. Just download and install it, connect to a server in your home country, and you should have access to your normal streaming content.