December is the time for holidays and fun seasonal activities. One of our favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit is watching Christmas movies. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites here, from spooky new titles to classic animated movies the whole family can enjoy.
Each movie on our list is available to watch but on different streaming services. They may be available through a service you have already subscribed to or through a different service as a rental or purchase. Because everyone has a unique combination of streaming services available to them, we’ve provided a general link for each movie to a site called Just watch. This site lists all the platforms that a movie can be streamed or rented on, making it easy for you to find the viewing solution that’s right for you.
After standing out as the Postal Academy’s worst student, Jesper is sent to Smeerensburg, a small island above the Arctic Circle, to set up a post office. Here he comes face to face with the hostile townspeople, who don’t speak to anyone and don’t even write letters. Just as he’s about to give up his mission, Jesper stumbles upon a local teacher and a mysterious carpenter, and the three team up to bring friendship and laughter back to the city.
This horror-comedy film is inspired by the ancient legend of Krampus, a pagan creature who punishes Christmas unbelievers. A young boy disappointed in Christmas accidentally summons the mischievous demon to his dysfunctional house, where all festive hell breaks loose.
3. Home alone
After being accidentally left behind on a family vacation before Christmas, eight-year-old Kevin McCallister is trying to make the most of the situation. However, he soon learns that he will have to defend his home against attacks from semi-incompetent burglars. This light-hearted film and its Rube Goldberg-ian antics made it a popular and family classic.
Aww, that’s so cute – don’t feed him after midnight! This exciting creature centers around Billy Peltzer, who receives a strange, albeit adorable, animal named Gizmo on Christmas. But after accidentally breaking one of the three important rules that come with taking care of a Mogwai, Billy finds himself facing the horde of gremlins that invade his town.
5. National Lampoon Christmas Vacation
The Griswolds prepare for a Christmas family reunion, but things quickly start to take a turn for the worse for Clark, his wife Ellen, and their children. Clark tries to shrug, focusing on the cute Christmas bonus he’s about to receive, but his bad luck only increases with the addition of annoying family members and other incidents.
6. Jingle all the way
Nothing is more American than fighting complete strangers over a toy during the Christmas shopping season. Sometimes the fight can get so intense that even the Terminator… that is, Howard Langston, cannot beat the crowds. Still busy at work, Howard misses his son’s karate competition. He tries to make up for it by giving his son the figurine he wants as a Christmas present, but it is sold out everywhere. What lengths will he go to put his mittens on the popular figure?
7. Die hard
NYPD cop John McClane tries to reconcile with his ex-wife at his Christmas work party, but his attention is quickly refocused after the entire building was locked down by a group of terrorists. McClane then realizes that it’s up to him to save the day. Yippee ki yay!
Buddy – a full-sized human – drops into Santa’s gift bag as a child on Christmas Eve and is teleported to the North Pole. Here he grows up and works as one of Santa’s toy-making helpers. He’s happy as a clam until he starts to feel like he’s not fitting in. One day, he decides to venture to Manhattan to find his biological father, a work-addicted editor, and create a new life there. And even though his dad is put off by Buddy’s sweet optimism, we love it!
9. A Christmas story
Check out this one – I challenge you triple dog! Christmas is just around the corner and the only thing nine-year-old Ralphie wants is a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot air rifle. But much to Ralphie’s dismay, his Christmas dream is rejected by his mother, his teacher and even Santa, who all warn him, “You’re going to shoot your eyes.” Will her Christmas wish come true anyway?
10. The year without Santa Claus
This Rankin-Bass stop-motion wonder is a Christmas classic that almost everyone has seen, but it’s worth reviewing. Feeling forgotten by the children of the world, Santa Claus decides to spend Christmas for a year in favor of holidays. Mrs. Claus and two elves try to figure out where the joy of the season has gone and what needs to be done to wake it up.
The recently published Fat man follows a rowdy and, shall we say unorthodox, Santa Claus fighting to save his declining business. Meanwhile, a precocious and (probably) evil 12-year-old named Billy hired a hitman to uh… hang out… Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking stuffer.
12. The nightmare before Christmas
Is this a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Nobody knows. All we know is that it’s great and some people like to watch it around Christmas. The Tim Burton classic follows Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, who stumbles upon Christmas Town and decides to kidnap Santa. He then tries to bring Christmas to Halloween Town to shake things up, but it just doesn’t work out as expected.
13. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Last but not least is this beloved Christmas classic that has entertained families for decades. The light cartoon film follows Charlie Brown, who complains about the materialism he sees during the Christmas season. Lucy suggests that he become the principal of the school’s next Christmas pageant, an effort that becomes fraught with struggles, especially when the Christmas tree falls. In turn, Charlie Brown must turn to Linus for help.
JustWatch does not currently have a listing for this movie, but the Peanuts the properties were recently acquired by AppleTV +, so you can watch it there if you sign up for the service. However, you will be able to watch it for free on the service from December 11 to 13.