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Best Christmas Movies of All Time

Christmas is a magical time of year, full of festive activities, heartwarming food, fun with family and friends, and, of course, our favorite holiday films! With new Christmas movies coming out every holiday season, there are more than enough to watch them all year round. So, choosing just a handful, or a couple dozen, Christmas films to watch during the holidays can be hard to narrow down.

We all have our personal favorites we like to watch year after year, and you’ll find plenty of those on this list. Also, expect to find some newer favorites and unexpected additions that will be perfect to change up your Christmas watchlist with some fresh content. Here are our top 25 Christmas movies, and where to find them on major streaming services.

‘Christmas With the Kranks’ (2004)

A woman and a man hugging in the snow in this image from Revolution Studios.
Skipping Christmas celebrations is not an option in the suburbs. (Image: Revolution Studios)

Rated: PG | Genre: Family Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes | Director: Joe Roth

IMDb Rating: 5.4/10 | Metacritic Rating: 22

Cast: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd

Watch the trailer for “Christmas With the Kranks”

When the Kranks’ daughter leaves for the Peace Corps, Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) decide to skip Christmas festivities and go on a cruise. The decision doesn’t sit well with their decorating-obsessed neighbors, leading to hilarious disputes. Then, their quiet plans are disrupted when their daughter decides to make a last-minute visit home. The Kranks' journey from cynical Christmas skippers to embracing the holiday in all its chaotic glory reminds us that family and community are what it’s really all about. This funny and wholesome tale of how holiday traditions can feel burdensome but ultimately bring people together makes it the perfect watch for those who find themselves resisting the festive season.

Watch “Christmas With the Kranks” on Amazon Prime Video

‘Scrooged’ (1988)

 A man in a holly-covered tophat in this image from Mirage Productions.
“Scrooged” retells Dickens’ classic tale with a dash of dark humor. (Image: Mirage Productions)

Rated: PG-13 | Genre: Romantic Comedy Fantasy | Run Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes | Director: Richard Donner

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10 | Metacritic Rating: 38

Cast: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe

Watch the trailer for “Scrooged”

A cynical and selfish TV executive gets the Dickens treatment in “Scrooged,” a modern retelling of “A Christmas Carol.” The film follows Frank Cross (Bill Murray), as he is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, leading him to reevaluate his life’s choices and attitude and rediscover the true meaning of the holiday. “Scrooged” uses dark humor and satire to challenge the media and commercialization of Christmas, driving home a message of redemption and compassion that proves these values are far more important than gifts or wealth. With clever comedy, ghostly fantasy, and a heartwarming happy ending, “Scrooged” is a fun way to incorporate the classic tale into your holiday watchlist.

Watch “Scrooged” on Amazon Prime Video

‘Last Holiday’ (2006)

A woman being rubbed with a leafy bouquet on a massage table in this image from ImageMovers.
“Last Holiday” celebrates embracing life's luxuries during the holiday season. (Image: ImageMovers)

Rated: PG-13 | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes | Director: Wayne Wang

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10 | Metacritic Rating: 52

Cast: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton

Watch the trailer for “Last Holiday”

Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) is a shy saleswoman who’s always taken a backseat in life. After being diagnosed with a terminal illness and with nothing left to lose, she decides to spend her remaining time living lavishly in Europe. Checking into a posh hotel in a spa resort city in the Czech Republic, her days of base jumping, snowboarding, and getting massages soon become something much more transformational. Set during the holiday season, the festive atmosphere, combined with Georgia rediscovering her passions and affecting the lives of those she meets, aligns perfectly with the Christmas spirit of joy and generosity. “Last Holiday” leaves us with a poignant reminder to cherish every moment, particularly during the festive season.

Watch “Last Holiday” on Paramount Plus

‘Rise of the Guardians’ (2012)

Animated magical guardians stand ready for action in this image from DreamWorks Animation.
Holiday legends work together to protect the innocence of children in “Rise of the Guardians.” (Image: DreamWorks Animation)

Rated: PG | Genre: Fantasy Action Adventure | Run Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes | Director: Peter Ramsey​​​​​​

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10 | Metacritic Rating: 58

Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law

Watch the trailer for “Rise of the Guardians”

See a unique take on Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) as superheroes in “Rise of the Guardians.” When a dark spirit, Pitch Black (Jude Law) hatches an evil plan to infect children with terrible nightmares and erode their belief in childhood magic, the Guardians band together in an attempt to protect the innocence of children everywhere. A sword-wielding Santa and boomerang-slinging Easter Bunny give a funny and fresh perspective on holiday tales, elevated by striking animation and an emotional storyline exploring themes of belief, bravery, and the power of childhood. A heartwarming story of hope and faith, “Rise of the Guardians” is an unconventional but thoroughly enjoyable addition to your holiday watchlist.

Watch “Rise of the Guardians” on Paramount Plus

‘Elf’ (2003)

A human-sized elf eating spaghetti and M&Ms with his hands in this image from New Line Cinema.
New York City is a confusing place for a runaway North Pole resident in “Elf.” (Image: New Line Cinema)

Rated: PG | Genre: Adventure Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes | Director: Jon Favreau

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10 | Metacritic Rating: 66

Cast: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart

Watch the trailer for “Elf”

A modern Christmas classic, “Elf” tells the story of Buddy (portrayed with infectious energy by Will Ferrell), a human raised by elves at the North Pole, who travels to New York City to find his biological father. The city is an alien place as Buddy comes to terms with Christmas misconceptions, leading to hilarious incidents like unmasking an imposter Santa and insulting someone with dwarfism. This over-the-top comedy combines humor, heart, and whimsy to capture the essence of holiday joy and the search for identity. Underneath its silliness, the film has a message about the importance of family, belonging, and the power of childlike wonder as well as a beautiful New York holiday backdrop that makes it an annual favorite at Christmastime.

Watch “Elf” on Hulu 

‘Jack Frost’ (1998)

A young boy stands next to a living snowman in this image from Azoff Entertainment.
A father who returns to life as a snowman has one more chance with his son in “Jack Frost.” (Image: Azoff Entertainment)

Rated: PG | Genre: Family Fantasy | Run Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes | Director: Troy Miller

IMDb Rating: 5.4/10 | Metacritic Rating: 40

Cast: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Joseph Cross

Watch the trailer for “Jack Frost”

Jack Frost (Michael Keaton) is a self-absorbed rock band member whose obsession with making it big in music causes him to neglect his 11-year-old son. When Jack dies in a car accident on the way to a missed obligation with his family, his grieving son, Charlie (Joseph Cross), is shocked when he returns a year later as a living snowman. Now, with a second chance to mend his relationship with Charlie, Jack is determined to get it right, giving him the engagement and encouragement he didn’t manage in life. “Jack Frost” is an emotional story about the healing power of love, snowball fights, and sledding that reminds us to hold the ones we love close during the holiday season.

Watch “Jack Frost” on Hulu

‘Jingle All the Way’ (1996)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and a topless Santa in a store in this image from 1492 Pictures.
The quest for the perfect gift becomes a wild adventure in “Jingle All the Way.” (Image: 1492 Pictures)

Rated: PG | Genre: Adventure Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes | Director: Brian Levant

IMDb Rating: 5.7/10 | Metacritic Rating: 34

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman

Watch the trailer for “Jingle All the Way”

Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is determined to give his son the perfect Christmas present of his dreams. The trouble is, the Turbo-Man action figure is sold out at every single shop on Christmas Eve. Frantic to secure this ultimate gift, Howard dives headfirst into the commercial frenzy of the holiday season, leading to side-splitting encounters and over-the-top scenarios that highlight the absurdity and misplaced priorities of holiday materialism. This wild shopping trip eventually teaches Howard an important lesson about fatherhood — that the best gift one can give is time and attention. With physical comedy, wholesome moments, Arnie’s charming wooden acting style, and a clever critique of Christmas consumerism, “Jingle All the Way” is one that shouldn’t be missed this year.

Watch “Jingle All the Way” on Disney+

‘Klaus’ (2019)

 An animated hooded Santa waiting at a gate in this image from The SPA Studios.
“Klaus” is a Santa origin story that became an instant Christmas classic. (Image: The SPA Studios)

Rated: PG | Genre: Animated Adventure Fantasy | Run Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes | Director: Sergio Pablos, Carlos Martínez López

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10 | Metacritic Rating: 65

Cast: Jason Schwartzman, J. K. Simmons, Rashida Jones

Watch the trailer for “Klaus”

In this animated reimagining of Santa Claus's origins, a lazy young postman, Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), is stationed in a remote town in 19th-century Norway populated with two feuding familial clans. Reluctantly befriending a reclusive toymaker, Klaus (J. K. Simmons), the two perform a single act of kindness that results in toy requests from kids all over the town. Secretly producing and delivering toys to the children has an unexpected effect on the divided community, building bridges that begin to erode the town’s divides. Breathtaking animation and a beautiful take on the classic Santa Claus tale teach us that joy and generosity is the solution to our differences. “Klaus” is one of the best additions to the holiday hall of fame from recent years, earning widespread critical acclaim and becoming an instant Christmas favorite.

Watch “Klaus” on Netflix

‘Gremlins’ (1984)

An animatronic gremlin in a Santa hat at a keyboard in this image from Warner Bros.
Mischievous monsters are determined to wreck a small town’s Christmas in “Gremlins.” (Image: Warner Bros.)

Rated: PG | Genre: Horror Fantasy Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 46 minutes | Director: Joe Dante

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10 | Metacritic Rating: 70

Cast: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton

Watch the trailer for “Gremlins”

“Gremlins” is an offbeat addition for a touch of horror and comedy to your holiday roster. Billy (Zach Galligan) receives a mysterious creature, Gizmo, as a Christmas gift that turns out to be a little more than he wanted. When exposed to sunlight and water, Gizmo spawns devilish little creatures determined to destroy Christmas and wreak havoc on the town. Dark humor creates an unsettling and entertaining contrast with the holiday backdrop, setting “Gremlins” apart from a typical Christmas film. While most holiday films are uplifting stories of becoming better, “Gremlins” flips classic themes like consumerism, responsibility, and community on their heads, watching the peaceful holiday town’s descent into a chaotic battleground of holiday madness. “Gremlins” is a cult classic Christmas movie perfect for the grumpy merrymaker.

Watch “Gremlins” on Max

‘National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation’ (1989)

A man in a Santa suit next to a Christmas tree in this image from Hughes Entertainment.
Is anyone surprised that the Griswold family’s Christmas plans turned into a fiasco? (Image: Hughes Entertainment)

Rated: PG-13 | Genre: Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes | Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10 | Metacritic Rating: 49

Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis

Watch the trailer for “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation”

What could go wrong when well-intentioned, bumbling Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), prepares a series of festive activities for a classic family Christmas? Just about everything. Antics escalate from an uprooted Christmas tree to a house full of armed policemen as the film hilariously depicts every conceivable holiday disaster. Clark's relentless pursuit of creating the perfect Christmas is expanded by everything from dysfunctional family dynamics to disastrous home decorations, bitingly showing us the unrealistic expectations of the holiday season. Like other Lampoon films, the idiosyncrasies of family life, slapstick comedy, memorable one-liners, and a sentimental conclusion come together for a less-than-perfect, but nevertheless joyous and loving Christmas celebration.

Watch “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation” on Hulu

‘Carol’ (2015)

A woman walking down a street in a red cape and hat in this image from Number 9 Films.
This emotional love story is a classy and beautiful holiday watch. (Image: Number 9 Films)

Rated: R | Genre: Romantic Drama | Run Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes | Director: Todd Haynes

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10 | Metacritic Rating: 94

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson

Watch the trailer for “Carol”

In 1950s New York, a forbidden love affair unfolds in the beautifully crafted “Carol.” While working in a department store, a young photographer, Therese (Rooney Mara), meets a glamorous older woman, Carol (Cate Blanchett), who’s going through a divorce. As their relationship grows, their personal lives begin to fall apart, and Carol lives under the threat of her sexuality being exposed and losing custody of her children. The Christmas setting adds to the emotional weight of the story, the festive vintage atmosphere creating juxtaposition with the characters’ internal struggles. Exquisite cinematography captures the essence of the ‘50s holiday season, and moving performances by Blanchett and Mara create a heartbreaking romance in the face of societal constraints. Compelling, poignant, sophisticated, and thought-provoking, “Carol” is a little-known Christmas film that may become a new favorite.

Watch “Carol” on Netflix

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ (1964)

Two animatronic reindeer and Santa in this image from Videocraft International.
This heartwarming tale of an unusual reindeer is beloved by generations. (Image: Videocraft International)

Rated: TV-G | Genre: Family Adventure | Run Time: 47 minutes | Director: Larry Roemer

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10 | Metacritic Rating: N/A

Cast: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry Mann

Watch the trailer for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

This classic stop-motion animation tells the beloved story of Rudolph (Billie Mae Richards), a young reindeer with a glowing red nose, initially ridiculed by others. Like in the memorable song, Rudolph learns to accept himself and overcome adversity, ultimately becoming a hero. Along with other inspiringly imperfect characters like Hermey (Paul Soles), the elf who dreams of being a dentist, and the Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph embraces uniqueness, discovering belonging and self-belief along the way. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has remained a holiday tradition loved by many generations.

Buy “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on Amazon Prime Video

‘The Santa Clause’ (1994)

A man as Santa talks to another man in this image from Walt Disney Pictures.
A divorced Dad accidentally transforms into Santa Claus in “The Santa Clause.” (Image: Walt Disney Pictures)

Rated: PG | Genre: Family Fantasy | Run Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes | Director: John Pasquin

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10 | Metacritic Rating: 57

Cast: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson

Watch the trailer for “The Santa Clause”

Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a divorced dad living an ordinary life until his world is turned upside down when Santa falls off his roof to his death on Christmas Eve. Putting on the empty Santa suit for warmth, Scott and his son are wicked away to the North Pole, where they discover Scott has signed a contract to become the next Santa by putting on the suit. Being Santa doesn’t fit with everyday life, and Scott finds himself suddenly torn between two worlds. A nostalgic watch about the importance of belief, family, and the spirit of giving, “The Santa Clause” will infuse your Christmas movie marathon with whimsical charm and plenty of holiday magic.

Watch “The Santa Clause” on Disney+

‘The Grinch’ (2018)

An animated Grinch in a red and green bedroom in this image from Universal Pictures.
Whooville’s Christmas is in trouble in this animated retelling of the classic tale. (Image: Universal Pictures)

Rated: PG | Genre: Animated Fantasy Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes | Director: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier

IMDb Rating: 6.4/10 | Metacritic Rating: 51

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones

Watch the trailer for “The Grinch”

Refreshing and visually vibrant, “The Grinch”  dives back into Dr. Seuss's beloved Christmas tale in this animated feature. The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), a grumpy, green creature who lives in seclusion on Mount Crumpit, harbors a deep-seated aversion to Christmas and the incessant cheer of the Whos in Whoville. A slightly softer, more relatable version of the character offers a nuanced look at his cantankerous demeanor, delving into his backstory and offering insights into why he despises the holiday season. As he devises a devious plan to steal Christmas, the kindness of little Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely) forces him to rethink his attitude. This modern adaptation of “The Grinch” strikes an excellent balance of nostalgia and fresh perspective that retains the classic story’s themes of holiday joy and the transformative power of kindness.

Watch “The Grinch” on Peacock

‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ (1992)

Robin the Frog, Kermit the Frog, and Miss Piggy in Victorian dress in this image from Jim Henson Productions.
The iconic Muppets take on the classic Christmas story. (Image: Jim Henson Productions)

Rated: G | Genre: Musical Fantasy | Run Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes | Director: Brian Henson

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10 | Metacritic Rating: 64

Cast: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire

Watch the trailer for “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

The iconic Muppets bring Charles Dickens’s Christmas tale to life in this comedy musical adaptation. Tight-fisted and bitter moneylender Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine) welcomes the holiday by exploiting his staff and rejecting his family. Visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, he’s shown the error of his ways through the story of three different Christmases. In true Muppet fashion, the film combines humor, charm, and memorable musical numbers with the absurdity of having puppet pigs and frogs telling the tale. Playful and silly, “A Muppet Christmas Carol” is an entertaining way to introduce kids to “A Christmas Carol” and a nostalgic favorite for the grownups.

Watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol” on Disney+

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)

Jack Skellington in a Santa suit in this image from Touchstone Pictures.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” sees two holiday worlds collide. (Image: Touchstone Pictures)

Rated: PG | Genre: Animated Musical Fantasy | Run Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes | Director: Henry Selick

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10 | Metacritic Rating: 82

Cast: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Watch the trailer for “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Tim Burton’s goth classic stop-motion animation tells the story of Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who becomes enamored with the concept of Christmas. Misguided in his attempt to be part of the joyous holiday, he kidnaps Santa and attempts to take his place, leaving the children of Christmastown with Halloween-inspired surprises. Stunning visual design and imaginative storytelling have made this an annual favorite film for both Halloween and Christmas. Through dark fantasy and catchy musical numbers, “A Nightmare Before Christmas” explores identity, curiosity, and the desire for new experiences. A creative and unforgettable double holiday tale, this is the dark Christmas film your playlist is missing.

Watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Disney+

‘The Polar Express’ (2004)

An animated man in a conductor’s uniform in this image from Castle Rock Entertainment.
“The Polar Express” reminds us to never stop believing in the magic of Christmas. (Image: Castle Rock Entertainment)

Rated: G | Genre: Animated Fantasy Adventure | Run Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes | Director: Robert Zemeckis

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10 | Metacritic Rating: 61

Cast: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter

Watch the trailer for “The Polar Express”

Based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg, “The Polar Express” is the story of a young boy beginning to lose his belief in Santa. On Christmas Eve, a magical train arrives outside his house, whisking him away on a fantastical journey to the North Pole. Along the way, he meets other kids with their own holiday struggles, adults who teach unusual lessons, and adventures that revive his belief in magic. The film’s pioneering use of motion capture technology creates a visually stunning and fully unique experience. Like the magic bell in the story, the power of faith rings clear in its poignant themes, inspiring a little Christmas magic in all of us.

Watch “The Polar Express” on Hulu

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (2000)

A young girl talking to the Grinch in this image from Imagine Entertainment.
Jim Carrey’s hilarious performance as The Grinch will never be forgotten. (Image: Imagine Entertainment)

Rated: PG | Genre: Fantasy Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes | Director: Ron Howard

IMDb Rating: 6.3/10 | Metacritic Rating: 46

Cast: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Christine Baranski

Watch the trailer for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Jim Carrey delivers an unforgettably funny performance as The Grinch in this live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss's timeless Christmas tale. A dastardly creature who lives above the happy holiday town of Whoville can’t stand one more ounce of cheer. Determined to wipe the smiles off the obnoxiously cheerful Whos’ faces, he dresses up as Santa to steal all the toys and decorations from the village. Carrey brings brilliant physical comedy, emotional range, and depth to the character. Standout set and costume design accentuating the absurdity of Dr. Suess, memorable performances, and the enduring message about the importance of community make this, for many, the definitive telling of The Grinch’s story.

Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on fuboTV

‘Love Actually’ (2003)

A father and stepson lie forlorn on a sofa in this image from StudioCanal.
This holiday classic makes us see that love is actually all around. (Image: StudioCanal)

Rated: R | Genre: Romantic Comedy Drama | Run Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes | Director: Richard Curtis

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10 | Metacritic Rating: 55

Cast: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley

Watch the trailer for “Love Actually”

London is alight with romance during the Christmas season, except for those who find themselves unlucky in love. The very British star-studded ensemble cast, including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Colin Firth, weaves together stories exploring different aspects of love. Each character navigates their own romantic journey, from the heartache of puppy love to the temptation of forbidden love. Deceptively complex, “Love Actually” looks at all the faces of relationships with humor, warmth, and sincerity, creating a heartfelt and uplifting message. A holiday staple with a charming frosty London backdrop, this is the film to watch to celebrate love in its many forms this Christmas.

Watch “Love Actually” on Netflix

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ (1965)

Animated characters Lucy and Linus looking at a small tree in this image from Lee Mendelson Film Productions.
The Peanuts make us think about what Christmas is really all about in “ A Charlie Brown Christmas.” (Image: Lee Mendelson Film Productions)

Rated: TV-G | Genre: Animated Family Comedy | Run Time: 25 minutes | Director:Bill Melendez

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10 | Metacritic Rating: N/A

Cast: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer

Watch the trailer for “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

This timeless animated classic looks at Christmas through the eyes of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Charlie Brown looks for the true meaning of Christmas, lamenting the commercialization of the holiday season. He struggles with the superficial expectations of his peers, holiday malaise, and his own insecurities as he attempts to direct a Christmas play. His peers can’t understand his choice of the saddest Christmas tree on the lot for the production but eventually come together to turn it into a beautiful symbol of the true meaning of Christmas. Simple and emotionally impactful, with charming animation and a memorable jazz soundtrack,  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a cherished classic loved by generations of fans.

Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Apple TV+

‘Home Alone’ (1990)

A young boy setting up a boobie trap in this image from Twentieth Century Fox.
Kevin’s (Macaulay Culkin) up to some holiday mischief alone in the house in “Home Alone.” (Image: Twentieth Century Fox)

Rated: PG | Genre: Family Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes | Director: Chris Columbus

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10 | Metacritic Rating: 63

Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

Watch the trailer for “Home Alone”

When eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind by his family as they rush off on a Christmas vacation, his initial joy at having the house to himself turns into a comical battle of wits as he defends his home against two bumbling burglars. Capturing every kid’s dream of getting to do exactly what they want for Christmas, “Home Alone” instantly became a holiday favorite and an iconic piece of comedy. Young Macaulay Culkin's clever and hilarious performance skyrocketed him to stardom, with great supporting acts from Joe Pesci and Catherine O’Hara. “Home Alone” is a wacky adventure, but themes of family, love, and the importance of being together during the holidays ensure that it lands with a touching emotional impact.

Watch “Home Alone” on Disney+

‘White Christmas’ (1954)

A woman and a man singing in Christmas outfits in this image from Paramount Pictures.
This heartwarming story based on the beloved song is a Christmas must-watch. (Image: Paramount Pictures)

Rated: N/A | Genre: Musical Romance | Run Time: 2 hours | Director: Michael Curtiz

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10 | Metacritic Rating: 56

Cast: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen

Watch the trailer for “White Christmas”

No holiday film list is complete without the inclusion of this treasured musical. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as two soldiers, who, after a life-saving moment on the battlefields of World War II, team up as a musical duet post-service. Heading to Vermont for snow with a pair of beautiful singing sisters, they arrive to find warm weather and a struggling inn run by their beloved former general. The pair hatch a plan for a performance that will save the inn, and now they just have to pray for snow! Friendship, loyalty, the spirit of giving, stunning choreography, and memorable Irving Berlin songs, including the iconic title track “White Christmas,” make this a quintessential Christmas movie.

Watch “White Christmas” on Netflix

‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947)

A vintage mother and daughter hugging in this image from Twentieth Century Fox
A man claiming to be the real Santa must prove it in court in “Miracle on 34th Street” (Image: Twentieth Century Fox)

Rated: N/A | Genre: Comedy Drama | Run Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes | Director: George Seaton

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10 | Metacritic Rating: 88

Cast: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne

Watch the trailer for “Miracle on 34th Street”

An all-time classic, “Miracle on 34th Street” centers around a young girl named Susan (Natalie Wood) and her mother, Doris (Maureen O'Hara), who are skeptical about the existence of Santa Claus. They meet a Macy’s Santa, Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), who Susan becomes convinced is the real thing. When her mother asks Kris to set the story straight, he insists that he is, in fact, the real Santa. His claims cause such a stir that he is made to prove his sanity in court. The story addresses the cynicism of the modern world, giving us a lesson in faith, belief, and the magic of Christmas, with charming performances that have made it a timeless holiday treasure.

Watch “Miracle on 34th Street” on Disney+

‘A Christmas Story’ (1983)

Two gormless young boys on a holiday set in this image from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
No one agrees that Raplhie should get a BB gun for Christmas. (Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Rated: PG | Genre: Family Comedy | Run Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes | Director: Bob Clark

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10 | Metacritic Rating: 77

Cast: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

Watch the trailer for “A Christmas Story”

In the 1940s, the only thing young Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun. Exasperatingly for Ralphie, he can’t convince any of the adults this is a good idea, warned by everyone, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Told through humorous and relatable vignettes of Ralphie’s imaginative daydreams, his encounters with bullies, and the family’s quirky Christmas traditions, “A Christmas Story” encapsulates the innocence, excitement, and occasional disappointments of childhood. The story resonates with generations of audiences for its authentic and universal portrayal of the holiday season as seen through the eyes of a child.

Watch “A Christmas Story” on Max

‘It's a Wonderful Life’ (1946)

A husband and wife kissing surrounded by children in this image from Liberty Films.
This all-time Christmas classic is a beautiful reminder to be grateful for what we have. (Image: Liberty Films)

Rated: PG | Genre: Romantic Fantasy Drama | Run Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes | Director:Frank Capra

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10 | Metacritic Rating: 89

Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

Watch the trailer for “It's a Wonderful Life”

George Bailey (James Stewart) has spent his whole life giving up his dreams to help others in his community. Through his kindness, he has great friends and family but is dissatisfied with his small-town life. When money goes missing from his business on Christmas Eve, threatening him with arrest, tensions mount and George nearly ends his life. He’s interrupted by an angel who shows him what the world would have been like if he had never been born. A cinematic masterpiece, this beautiful story of despair and redemption shows us the impact one life can have on many. Deeply moving and inspiring, “It's a Wonderful Life” is a profound reflection on the human spirit and the togetherness that lights up the holiday season, putting it at the top of our favorite Christmas films year after year.

Watch “It's a Wonderful Life” on Amazon Prime Video

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