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One elf towers over the other elves in Santa’s Workshop in this image from New Line Cinema.
“Elf” is silly and fun — perfect for family movie night! (Image: New Line Cinema)

Holiday cheer manifests in many forms, from decorating the house to singing along to Christmas music in the car to family movie nights (my personal favorite). With plenty of new and old movies about (mostly) everyone’s favorite holiday, it can be hard to decide what to watch. Here’s my roundup of family-friendly Christmas films to pop on from various streaming services – just pair them with some peppermint bark and hot cocoa!

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‘Klaus’ (2019)

A disgruntled postman is distressed by a town’s appearance in this image from Netflix Animation.
Animated Christmas films like “Klaus” are visually engaging with their storytelling. (Image: Netflix Animation)

Take a ride with Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), the postal academy’s worst student, to Smeerensburg, a frozen island above the Arctic Circle. The townsfolk are less than friendly, and Jesper is close to giving up when he meets Alva (Rashida Jones) and Klaus (J. K. Simmons). The three band together to bring the neighborly love back to the townsfolk.

Pop on “Klaus” for the kids, available on Netflix.

‘Noelle’ (2019)

Noelle looks out her window at a snowy village.
The new generation of Santa Claus is here. (Image: Walt Disney Pictures)

If you’ve ever wondered what happens when Santa Claus retires, then this movie needs to be on your list. Noelle Kringle’s (Anna Kendrick) brother Nick (Bill Hader) is supposed to be next in line for the family business, but when Santa does step down, Nick is nowhere to be found. Noelle sets off on an adventure to track him down, venturing away from her home, the North Pole.

Settle in for the evening with this newer Christmas movie, “Noelle,” streaming on Disney Plus.

‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ (2018)

A pink fairy holds hands with a young girl in a party dress in this image from Walt Disney Pictures.
The magical tale of the Nutcracker returns with a new adventure. (Image: Walt Disney Pictures)

“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is a fresh take on the holiday classic. Clara (Mackenzie Foy) goes on an adventure in a parallel world. With the aid of soldier Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), she must brave an ominous realm ruled by Mother Ginger (Dame Helen Mirren) with the hopes of uniting all four realms. With incredible costumes, this wonder-filled film is a pleasure to watch.

Enjoy the fantastical tale of “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” streaming on Hulu and Disney Plus.

‘A Christmas Carol’ (2009)

Scrooge grouches and points his quill pen at a man.
The classic Dickens tale is reimagined as an animated kid-friendly movie. (Image: Walt Disney Pictures)

The Charles Dickens tale “A Christmas Carol” has been a Christmas staple for generations. This 2009 animated adaptation is more kid-friendly. A grouchy businessman in the Victorian era, Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) is taken on a journey by spirits that show him the cruelness of his ways – past, present, and what could be his future.

This animated version of “A Christmas Carol” is on Disney Plus, but if you prefer the original 1938 film, it’s streaming on Sling TV.

‘Elf’ (2003)

Buddy meets Jovie for the first time.
This movie is all about the power of belief, with many laughs along the way. (Image: New Line Cinema)

Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) is one of the most beloved holiday characters – and the most quoted. After discovering that he’s not actually an elf, Buddy journeys to Manhattan, New York, in search of his father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan). He learns that the Christmas spirit is low in the city, but thankfully, he has plenty to share with everyone he meets.

Laugh with the whole family with holiday favorite “Elf,” available on Max.

‘Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (2000)

Cindy-Lou refuses to be scared by the Grinch.
A little Christmas cheer and inclusivity can go a long way. (Image: Universal Pictures)

This humor-filled movie is a wonderful remake of the animated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” movie based on the book by Dr. Seuss. The fuzzy and green Grinch (Jim Carrey) plots revenge for long-past grievances. His plans include destroying Christmas for the entire town of Whoville, but his plans go awry when Cindy-Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) decides to invite the Grinch to the Christmas celebration.

Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Hulu with a Premium subscription while decking out the tree with tinsel and lights.

‘Home Alone’ (1990)

Kevin sadly walks down the street.
Although his family may have forgotten him, this kid will have a Christmas he won’t forget! (Image: Twentieth Century Fox)

It may be a stretch to call this a holiday movie, but it’s set during Christmas time! Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), an eight-year-old, is accidentally left at home alone while his family goes on Christmas vacation. At first, it was great fun having the house to himself. Then two burglars try to break in and rob his house. Kevin booby-traps the place in an effort to protect the house.

For silly fun that will keep the kids entertained, stream “Home Alone” on Disney Plus.

‘A Christmas Story’ (1983)

Flick gets his tongue stuck to a frozen pole.
A boy's journey through the holiday season with one thing on his mind. (Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

A Christmas Story” is a classic movie that many of us remember from our childhood. All Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB Gun. However, his mother, teacher, and every other adult seem to think the gun isn’t a suitable gift for the nine-year-old.

With iconic scenes like Flick (Scott Schwartz) getting his tongue stuck to a frozen pole and Ralphie trying on the pink bunny onesie, this is one movie you can’t skip. “A Christmas Story” is available to stream on Sling TV or Max.

‘White Christmas’ (1954)

Phil and Bob don blue feathers for a performance.
This jolly film is filled with the Christmas spirit and putting others first. (Image: Paramount Pictures)

After leaving the army and World War II behind them, Phil (Danny Kaye) and Bob (Bing Crosby) team up to become a very successful song-and-dance act. The two become involved with sisters Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen), who also have an act. The four travel to Vermont for the holiday season, where they discover General Waverly (Dean Jagger) runs his own lodge. They band together to help save the lodge and bring a little Christmas cheer to the General.

Filled with amazing costumes, dancing, and singing, “White Christmas” is the classic Christmas movie that has to make your watch list — it’s on mine every year! It’s available to stream on Netflix.

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