It’s the most wonderful time of the year for holiday movie streaming. If you’re a subscriber to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ (free for a year to Verizon Wireless customers) there are some holiday favorites and new entries to be viewed.
If you’re yearning for some of the older classics you can pay a rental fee via Amazon, Vudu or iTunes for titles including Elf, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, and Die Hard — but you won’t find any of them included for free on your favorite streaming service.
If you have cable, note that you can watch:
- A Christmas Story on TBS Dec. 20 at 7 and 9 p.m. and of course, the all-day Christmas Eve marathon starting at 8 p.m. on Dec. 24.
- It’s a Wonderful Life on E! on Dec. 25, several showings
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation all weekend starting until Christmas starting Dec. 20 on AMC
Below are some holiday favorites — and new releases in the mix — available through streaming services, and where you can find them.
Disney+ (free right now for one-year to Verizon Wireless customers)
Home Alone (1990)
Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) gets left behind for the holiday and what happens next is fun family fare.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Muppets are cast as characters you know and love – Kermit plays Bob Cratchit, Gonzo voices Dickens himself, and Michael Caine is wonderful as one of the best variations on Ebenezer Scrooge the big or small screen has ever seen.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Scrooge McDuck , Mickey as Bob Cratchit, Goofy as Jacob Marley’s ghost, and Jiminy Cricket as the Ghost of Christmas Past is a winner for Disney fans.
Bill Hader and Anna Kendrick play the children of Santa Claus who passes his powers and duties down to his first-born son (Hader), although it appears that his daughter (Kendrick) may be better suited to the job. Girl power!
The Santa Clause (1994)
The first in this movie series is easily the best, starring Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, who bumbles his way into becoming Santa Claus after the OG Santa falls off his roof. Comedy ensues.
A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion classic is the only holiday movie that works for both Halloween and Christmas. The story of Jack Skellington has earned a place on the holiday classics list based on it’s dark but uplifting themes.
In this animated new release, Jason Schwartzman voices a young man forced to establish a post office in one of the northernmost towns in the world for a new twist on the legend of Santa.
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch in this more modern version creating a redeemable villian for a new generation.
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (2000)
Ron Howard’s live-action version gives Jim Carrey plenty of leg-room and license to make us laugh.
White Christmas (1954)
Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney, and here’s some trivia for your holiday party: The song “White Christmas” isn’t original to this movie — it actually originates from a different Crosby film, 1942’s Holiday Inn (which you’ll also find further down this guide).
Christmas With the Kranks (2004)
Goofy humor on tap with Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Dan Aykroyd based on a John Grisham novel.
Home for the Holidays (1995)
Jodie Foster directs an ensemble cast including Hollyt Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott, Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Guttenberg, and a young Claire Danes.
Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work (2019)
Those who aren’t horror fans may not know that Blumhouse and Hulu have produced a series of original films based on the holiday of the month in which they’re released. This horror-comedy from Charles Hood is kind of like Christmas Vacation meets The Game.
Saturday Night Live Christmas Special (2016)
Some of the funniest sketches in the history of Saturday Night Live have come around the holiday season. Once you’ve wrapped all the Christmas presents and are ready for the big day, why not pop this on and sing along to “Dick in a Box” or “Hanukkah Song”?
Bad Santa (2003)
Billy Bob Thornton is Bad Santa, with supporting roles by the dearly-departed Bernie Mac and John Ritter.
Holiday Inn (1942)
Starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Classic stuff.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Frank Capra’s all-time classic about the man who wished he was never born. Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, who is saved from suicide by his guardian angel, Clarence.
The Miracle on 34th Street (1955)
The original 1947 classic revolves around a little girl who believes in Santa Claus.
What’s your favorite holiday movie? Leave your list in the comments section below.