These are the best Christmas movies on Netflix and Co.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Apple TV+ are also shining with a Christmas glow, treating us to movies that will get us in the festive spirit before Christmas Eve. Here are NextPit's picks for the best Christmas movies and series on the major streaming platforms.
You've just trudged home through the snow with your Christmas tree under your arm, stirred the extra-large amount of mulled wine, and are about to ceremoniously decorate the tree. What do you do then to take the pre-Christmas spirit to the extreme? That's right, you watch a nice Christmas movie with your loved ones.
Sure, thanks to Netflix and the like, there's an overabundance of Christmas-themed flicks to do just that. But that's exactly why it takes someone to curate the best movies and series for you and give you an all-around happy package. That's why I've watched heaps of trailers, pored over best lists, and memorized Rotten Tomatoes' Top 65—only to throw all the recommendations to the wind and present to you here now a very, very subjective list of our favorite Christmas movies.
Where can you watch the movies?
You'll find movies that you can usually stream on either Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, or Disney+. After all, it does us all no good if I suggest the most wonderful Christmas movie, and we can't stream it anywhere, right? So don't be surprised if, for example, a classic like It's A Wonderful Life isn't mentioned - you just can't stream it at the moment, unfortunately, only rent or buy it*.
Some movies are available only on one of the mentioned platforms, but not always in every country. In these cases, I'll give you alternatives on how else you can watch the movie. Alternatively, you can also use a VPN service*, such as CyberGhost VPN, which even has a streaming mode.
PS: If you haven't signed up for any of the streaming services, you can frequently take a trial month first. Click here for the subscriptions:
Do you only want to take advantage of the trial period and not continue using these services after Christmas? Perhaps it would be helpful to insert a reminder or keep track of the number of days since you began the trial period.
But enough blabbering: here are what we think are the best Christmas movies you can stream this year. We've also dug up ten Christmas series for your viewing pleasure. Shimmy through the whole article, or jump straight to the movie you want to see to find out which platform you can watch it on:
- The best Christmas movies
- The best Christmas series
The best Christmas movies
|Netflix||Amazon Prime||Disney+||Apple TV+||Rent or Buy|
|The Nightmare Before Christmas||-||-||Watch movie||-||Amazon*
|National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation||-||Watch movie||-||-||Amazon*
|Home Alone||-||-||Watch movie||-||Amazon*
|Die Hard||-||-||Watch movie||-||Amazon*
|Miracle on 34th Street||-||-||Watch movie||-||Amazon*
|The Muppet Christmas Carol||-||-||Watch film||-||Amazon*
|Love Actually||-||Watch film||-||-||Amazon*
|The Christmas Chronicles||Watch movie||-||-||-||-|
The Nightmare Before Christmas - Disney+
Let's kick things off with a classic that I've really grown to love. Tim Burton has mastered like no other the art of giving his films their very own look (even if he only produces and does not direct this one). This is also true of 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which features stop-motion animated puppets.
The film definitely has tragic moments, but also heartfelt and joyous ones, and you should be able to handle both the morbid charm and the songs in this "horror musical." I think it's quite an enchanting flick and would like to recommend it to you. You can currently stream the film, which has an age rating of six years and is therefore also suitable for children, at Disney+.
|The Nightmare Before Christmas||Amazon||Apple|
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.99*||from $3.99*|
Don't be alarmed by the Japanese language in the trailer above. "Tokyo Godfathers" (2003) is a Japanese animated film but can be seen on Netflix in other languages such as English, French, and German in addition to the original language. This anime is about a baby who is found by three homeless people. They set out in the episode to find the child's parents.
I don't like to give away more about the story, but trust me: it's a really fabulous Christmas movie that tells its story without getting too clichéd. If you feel like you're always rewatching the same Christmas movies anyway, then you should give this beautiful film a chance. Watch it on Netflix, it runs 88 minutes and is suitable for ages 12 and up.
Unlike last year, it can't be found on any of the major platforms. This makes it an exception in this list, as I just don't want to part with this great movie. Hence, your only current options are to buy or rent it.
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.99*||from $3.99*|
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Amazon Prime Video
Does anything really need to be said about this John Hughes classic from 1989? The Griswolds have been part of my Christmas celebrations for many years, and by the time the title song comes on, I'm finally in the Christmas spirit. By the way, it took me years to realize that Chevy Chase's movie son - Russell - would later debut as Dr. Leonard Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory.
This movie, of course, is filled to the brim with slapstick, cheap gags, and all sorts of bizarre situations. Nonetheless, it's a nice Christmas movie where everyone gets back to the really important things about the holiday of love by the end. It's suitable for ages six and up and runs 93 minutes.
If you want to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation in the US, you won't find it on Amazon Prime. Instead, the film is available to be streamed from HBO Max. Alternatively, you can also buy it on relevant platforms like Amazon.
|National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation||Amazon||Apple|
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.99*||from $3.99*|
Home Alone - Disney+.
Does anything really need to be said about this John Hughes classic from.... Wait a minute, that's how I started with the last movie too. Home Alone was not only an absolute hit in 1990 but also spawned a franchise that received its sixth movie in 2021, while ensuring that "Kevin" became an extremely popular first name outside of the US.
- Also loosely based on "Home Alone: Antoine's Christmas story of the nerd who wanted to steal Christmas
So long before leading man Macaulay Culkin (did anyone ever get that name right without copy/pasting?) took refuge in drugs and alcohol, here he is finding that his family has forgotten him at home (alone). Okay, you probably know the story anyway, right? Anyway, it's one of those movies you can watch again and again, especially at Christmas. Currently, you can do that if you drop by Disney+. The fun goes 103 minutes and is rated for kids older than 12 years.
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.99*||from $3.99|
Die Hard - Disney+.
This 131-minute 1988 opus is one that divides opinion: Is it a Christmas movie or not? For me, it's not, but for countless fans worldwide, it's not truly Christmas until the events at Nakatomi Plaza roll across the screen.
- We explore the mother of all questions in our A Christmas story: Die Hard is a Christmas movie
Here, things don't get very Christmassy or fairytale-y as Bruce Willis takes on terrorist Hans Gruber. But hey: the movie takes place on Christmas, there are even Christmas carols - and that John McLane survives this action spectacle is at least a little Christmas miracle too, isn't it? You can currently watch the film at the free Peacock streaming service. With a runtime of 131 minutes, the film is perfect for relaxing on the couch after the festive roast.
If you want to watch Die Hard in the USA, you won't find it on Disney+. Instead, the film is streamed over Peacock. While it is free, there are ads to contend with. Alternatively, you can of course rent or buy this movie on all kinds of platforms.
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.99||from $3.99*|
Miracle on 34th Street - Disney+.
This movie was released twice and both times it does its thing well as a heartfelt Christmas classic - Both the 1947 version and the 1994 remake, which you can view in the trailer above. Incidentally, John Hughes once again has a hand in the remake. He's the man who almost single-handedly got me through childhood with his films!
Both the original and the remake are heart-warming, although I personally think the 1940s version is the better one. In either case, you'll believe in Santa Claus after watching the film, I'm almost certain. Both versions are available on Disney+ without any age restrictions.
|Miracle on 34th Street||Amazon||Apple|
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.99||from $3.99*|
Klaus - Netflix
This animated film is probably the only Spanish representative on this list. With a 2019 release year, it's also the most recent film in our top ten, has a runtime of 96 minutes, and is suitable for ages six and up. The film is about Jesper, who does his job as a postman rather badly than well.
His father is, unfortunately, the stupid boss of all postmen and transferred him to a small town north of the Arctic Circle as a punishment. There, he meets Klaus. Find out what happens in the rest of the movie for yourself on Netflix.
The Muppet Christmas Carol - Disney+
Oh, how I love the old Muppets movies! This one dates back to 1992, so it's now 30 years old. The original is even older, as the story is based on "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens from 1843. The old miserly Scrooge is played by a human actor, but most of the other roles are played by the Henson puppets Kermit, Miss Piggy, and many others.
- Also inspired by Dickens' Christmas story: Antoine's Ghosts Visits Him
Scrooge is also chastened by the three ghosts in this version, which has no age restrictions and is therefore completely family-friendly. So the Muppet version of this classic is definitely based on the original, although the whole Muppet gang makes for a delightful amount of chaos, as you can imagine. You can also find this beautiful but 82 minutes-long movie to be rather short on Disney+.
|The Muppet Christmas Carol||Amazon||Apple|
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.99||from $3.99|
Love Actually - Amazon Prime Video
Hugh Grant is probably one of those actors that makes some people jump up and down in excitement, while others brush him off in horror. That's because we usually see him in easy-to-digest romantic comedies, and even the Christmas spectacle "Love Actually" (2003), which we can place in this category.
However, an equal number of different love stories are told in this film. Maybe that's a bit too much of a happy ending for those who are sitting all alone under the Christmas tree. But if you like heartbreaking romantic comedies, you'll be well taken care of in this 135-minute clunker. Where can you find the film? On Amazon Prime Video!
Also "Love Actually" is unfortunately not available for free streaming everywhere in the world. As an alternative, you can rent or buy the film on several platforms.
|Buy or rent the movie:||from $3.98||from $3.99*|
The Christmas Chronicles - Netflix
The Christmas Chronicles is from 2018, so it's still pretty fresh. It premiered on Netflix at the time and - surprise, surprise - can therefore still be found on the streaming platform today. Reviews have been somewhat divided on this film. There are those who can not do anything with it at all, while others were enthusiastic.
Since Netflix cannot avoid its share of really crappy Christmas productions, this is certainly still one of the more recommendable movies. Basically, the movie is worth it just to see Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, who is clearly cooler than most movie Santas before him. If you like the 94-minute flick, you can even find a second installment on Netflix, directed by the legendary Chris Columbus.
|Netflix||Amazon Prime||Disney+||Apple TV+|
|The Santa Clauses||-||-||Watch series||-|
|Dash & Lily||Watch series||-||-||-|
|Christmas Flow||Watch series||-||-||-|
|Over Christmas||Watch series||-||-||-|
|Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales||-||-||-||Watch series|
|Home for Christmas||Watch series||-||-||-|
|A Storm for Christmas||Watch series||-||-||-|
|I Hate Christmas||Watch series||-||-||-|
|DreamWorks Christmas Classic||Watch series||-||-||-|
I've been dying to recommend some Christmas series to you, our dear reader. While there is a wide range of fantastic films to choose from, the Christmas season and TV series can be a very different kettle of fish. There aren't particularly that many series that revolve around Christmas, but I still managed to scrape together ten selections just for you.
The Santa Clauses - Disney+
When does a Santa Claus actually retire? Tim Allen slips into the red costume once again and has to deal with this question. After three films, the very successful franchise that has now turned into a series, and it relies on the tried-and-tested Allen brand of humor. If you felt that you were entertained by the movies, you'll be happy with this series as well.
The first season is now available on Disney+. It includes six episodes, which you can watch without any age restriction.
Dash & Lily - Netflix
In Christmas movies and series, there are usually two archetypes in the main roles: The person who loves Christmas that borders on the idolatrous and the person who hates Christmas to the very core. In this series that is currently running on Netflix, there are both characters. Clearly, it's about whether or not these two people find each other. While the way of getting to know each other takes an original route, I don't want to share more so that I do not spoil it for you.
Of course, it's a series with a Christmas setting, but if you like romantic comedies, you'll be happy with this series even if you're not a particular fan of Christmas. The eight episodes are around 25 minutes long each. This makes the series, which is rated for ages six and up, perfect for chilling out and binge-watching on Christmas day itself.
Christmas Flow - Netflix
This series from France spans three episodes that are between 47 and 54 minutes long apiece. This lets you easily watch a rapper and a journalist get closer to each other in one sitting. As you can imagine, two completely different lives collide with sparks. This makes it yet another Christmas miniseries that doubles up as a romantic comedy.
The series is a Netflix Original, and the episodes are rated 12 and up.
Over Christmas - Netflix
Is it actually okay to recommend another series that stars Luke Mockridge, or has he already been canceled? I'm not exactly a fan of his when he's performing as a comedian, but in this series, he played his role really well. This Christmas, he plays an unsuccessful musician who returns to his hometown and family.
The dramedy miniseries airs on Netflix, consists of three approximately 45-minute episodes and is recommended for ages 12 and up.
Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales - Apple TV+.
"Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales" is one of the frontline acts among the recommended Christmas series here. In fact, it's not really a series, but consists of summarized short stories that only makes up 17 minutes in total. As you may know by now, Apple has secured worldwide rights to all Peanuts films for its Apple TV+ streaming platform. That's why you can enjoy one of my favorite Christmas classics there: "A Charlie Brown Christmas" - and "I want a dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown" are also streaming there, hence Peanuts fans should be happy with their Apple TV+ subscription.
According to Apple's press release, the Peanuts Christmas movie will also run for free for non-subscribers on Christmas Day (December 22-25)! I probably don't need to tell you that you can watch all Peanuts movies without age restriction, do I?
Home for Christmas - Netflix
A very magical series that hails from Norway that depicts the even more magical Johanne. She's tired of the single life and doesn't want to be alone, especially during Christmas. Lovely romcom/dramedy series with two very entertaining seasons on Netflix. Each season consists of six roughly half-hour episodes, and the fun series is rated for ages 12 and up.
A Storm for Christmas - Netflix
"A Storm for Christmas" is a new, Norwegian Netflix series with one season that consists of six episodes. A storm caused many people to be stuck together at the airport for Christmas. So we see many different fates: some just want to pick someone else at Oslo airport, others want to get home to their family, and the others just want to escape the Christmas madness. That is more than enough material for plenty of drama, right? The series, which launched on Netflix just a few days ago, is rated 12 and up.
Hawkeye - Disney+
Marvel and Christmas - does they go together? Yes, if you look at Hawkeye from 2021.
The former Avenger Clint Barton wants to return to his family by Christmas. As you can imagine with a Marvel series, it's not just the Christmas spirit that's in jeopardy here. The series is set within Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The Disney+ series offers six episodes in a single season, with each episode ranging from 40 to 60 minutes in length. The season is suitable for ages 12 and up.
I Hate Christmas - Netflix
It's usually not a good idea to lie to your loved ones, especially not on Christmas. Gianna had to find that out the hard way in this Italian and brand new Netflix series. As is so often the case with Christmas, it's all about relationships and the search for the perfect partner.
The eight episodes, rated for ages 12 and up, range in length from 28 to 39 minutes.
DreamWorks Christmas Classics - Netflix
DreamWorks put some of its animation stars like Shrek or the Penguins from Madagascar in Christmas specials. There are four episodes in all, with a total running time of 66 minutes. Just the perfect length to keep the kids riveted after all the Christmas gluttony, as it runs for slightly more than an hour on TV. This special is also available on Netflix, and is suitable for viewers of all ages.
That concludes our very subjective top ten of the best Christmas movies and series that you can currently find on the major streaming platforms. Would you like to share which are your top movies for Christmas in the comments section? I'd love to hear!
PS: I had the thought for a moment that you actually have a completely different taste than I do and are into completely different series and movies. In that case, take a look around on the major streaming platforms, because you'll find lots of other Christmas content there, where they are often grouped together in a category of their own.
In my opinion, Disney+ does it best: They have the category known as Happy Holidays, where you will find movies and series that are completely dedicated to the Christmas season. In addition, Disney also selected individual Christmas episodes from its large selection of series. So if you want to spend the holidays with the Christmas episodes of The Simpsons, Family Guy, New Girl, The X-Files, Scrubs and many more, you're in the right place!
*It's not always legal to consume streaming services abroad using a VPN tunnel. Therefore, the NextPit editorial team distances itself from incitement to crime and assumes that its readers act on their own responsibility.
This article has been updated in December 2022, and previous comments have been kept.
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