10 Best Christmas Movies All Time

We naturally feel like curling up in front of the TV during the Christmas season, with the fireplace crackling and the snow softly falling outside. Naturally, it can be difficult to choose just one Christmas movie, as there are hundreds of films related to the holiday that are released each year.

We’ve compiled a list of our top Christmas movie selections, complete with streaming availability, that includes a mix of heartfelt classics, mature humor, and beloved animated films.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Certain holiday films just have a positive vibe when they play. They envelop you in a pleasant, warm remembrance. For me, and I imagine many of you as well, this is that film. I could spend endless hours watching those Peanuts kids perform their herky-jerky dance without ever becoming bored. Furthermore, this is the movie that, if ever a film, would inspire you to bring home the saddest, leafless tree from the nursery.

Where to get Apple TV+ to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Christmas Story (1983)

Alright, I understand that many of you who have read this far will be disappointed that this isn’t the first pick. I adore it as well, particularly when Peter Billingsley’s character Ralphie challenges his friend to touch a frozen metal flagpole with his tongue. Thus, please refrain from shooting me in the eye with an official Red Ryder air rifle with a 200-shot burst and carbine action!

Where to rent or stream A Christmas Story: Amazon Prime Video

Bad Santa (2003)

In this bruise-black comedy, Billy Bob Thornton spikes the eggnog as a filthy, inebriated department store Santa/con guy who goes on a Christmas Eve robbery with his elf sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox). This one is for parents who want something to watch once the kids go to bed.

Pluto TV is the place to watch Bad Santa.

Elf (2003)

The century’s finest Christmas film. Well, the century isn’t that old, but anyway. As the enormous elf who travels far from the North Pole in quest of his father, Will Ferrell is invaluable. One December, my niece forced me to watch this movie three times straight since she was so enthralled with it. I was not at all bothered.

Where to Stream Elf on Hulu?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

The Dr. Seuss classic is best viewed (and rewatched) in Chuck Jones’ animated made-for-TV adaptation, not the overly dramatic Jim Carrey version. The entire Christmas season was detested by The Grinch. Now don’t ask why, please; nobody is fully sure. It might be because his shoes were too small. Alternatively, it might be that his head was not properly fastened on. However, I believe that his heart being two sizes too tiny was the most likely cause of everything.”

Where to view Peacock in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s somewhat surprising that this is ranked first, I know. There are instances when a film is deemed a masterpiece, and this is one of those instances. Watch it again if you believe that Frank Capra’s beloved holiday film is feel-good nonsense. Thanks to Jimmy Stewart’s role as George Bailey, it’s humorous, touching, profound, and a yearly reminder that the holidays are about more than just presents. Come in from the cold if by the end credits you don’t have a sugarplum in your throat.

Love Actually (2003)

A festive confection of lump-in-your-throat London love from the confectioners of Notting Hill (1999) and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). All of the amazing scenes in the movie could stuff a stocking. However, nothing compares to the moment when a bunch of children sings “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey and rocks the house.

Netflix is the place to watch Love Actually.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Burl Ives plays Sam the Snowman in this Rankin and Bass classic, which was created specifically for television. It tells the enduringly charming tale of an elf who aspires to be a dentist and an outcast with a very sparkly nose. A yearly must-see.

Amazon Prime Video is the place to view Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (to buy)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

In this fur-and-felt rendition of A Christmas Carol, The Muppets and Jim Henson’s workshop take on Dickens. Kermit plays Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy plays Mrs. Cratchit, and Michael Caine plays Ebenezer Scrooge. Who should we petition to have this show on TV more frequently?

Disney+ is the place to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol.

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

Known more popularly as “the movie starring Heat Miser.” Due to a cold, Mickey Rooney’s character Santa decides to forgo his Christmas obligations for a year. Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells, two elves, must come to the rescue. The greatest Christmas villains since the Grinch, Heat Miser and Snow Miser, must first be defeated.

The Year Without a Santa Claus is available for rent on Amazon Prime Video.






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