The Best Holiday Movies and Shows to Stream With the Whole Family

The Best Holiday Movies and Shows to Stream With the Whole Family

One of the best parts of the holiday season is honoring that annual tradition of watching all your favorite holiday movies. Thanks to streaming services, it’s easy to go beyond the standard Christmas movies and add some new soon-to-be-classics and old TV favorites to your yearly list. We have your cheat sheet for the most festive movies, holiday specials, and episodes of your favorite TV shows sure to please the entire family. So light a fire, cozy up with your loved ones, and go ahead and Netflix and holiday.


Timeless Classics

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

Streaming on Amazon

This list would not be complete without including the best holiday movie of all time.

“Miracle on 34th Street”

Available to rent or buy from Amazon, YouTube, Apple etc. 

The ultimate Christmas classic from 1947 sees Santa show up at Macy’s. The 1994 update is streaming on Hulu.

“White Christmas”

Streaming on Netflix

This 1954 Christmas classic follows the tale of two war buddies chasing after a pair of singing sisters – and features the eponymous classic holiday song, crooned by Bing Crosby himself.

“A Christmas Carol”

Streaming on HBO

While there a lot of cinematic versions of Charles Dickens’s timeless tale, the 1984 version with George C. Scott is a firm favorite, though its also worth checking out the 1951 classic version as well, available for purchase on Amazon.

“A Christmas Story”

Available to rent or buy from Amazon, YouTube, Apple etc. 

This nostalgic 1980s flick is a long-time favorite, set at Christmas in Indiana in the 1940s as young Ralphie campaigns to get a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas.

Comedy Movies

“Christmas with the Kranks”

Streaming on Amazon

In this comedy, Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis have to put Christmas together last minute and hilarity ensues.

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

Available for purchase on Amazon

This holiday favorite sees Chevy Chase in top form as the Griswold family attempts to have a normal family Christmas, which quickly descends into series of comical chaos, of course.

“Love, Actually”

Streaming on Netflix

This British ensemble rom-com from the creators of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is a feel-good romantic holiday movie to the max.


Available to rent or buy from Amazon, YouTube, Apple etc.

Will Ferrell is as funny as ever playing a child raised as one of Santa’s elves, who then returns to New York City to try to find his place in the world. Antics ensue.

“Home Alone”

Available to rent or buy from Amazon, YouTube, Apple etc.

It’s Christmas when the McCallisters leave Kevin alone for the holidays, and there’s no more entertaining viewing than watching him outsmart the pair of dopey crooks who attempt to break into his family’s house.

Soon-to-be Classics

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” 

Streaming on Netflix

Based on the classic Dr Seuss story, the film stars Jim Carrey in an endearing and hilarious live action version of this beloved book.

“The Christmas Chronicles”

Streaming on Netflix

We’re betting this new holiday film, starring Kurt Russell as Old St. Nick, will quickly become a classic.

Festive Animations

“A Christmas Carol”

Available to rent or buy from Amazon, YouTube, Apple etc.

The Disney animated version of the timeless classic, starring Jim Carey.

“I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown”

Streaming on Amazon

One the kids will love to watch, and the adults will love to get all nostalgic over.

“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

A 1960s animated favorite based on the Christmas carol, remastered for 2016.

Must-See Holiday TV

“Friends:” “The One with the Holiday Armadillo” (Season 7, Episode 10)

Streaming on Netflix

There are many “Friends” holiday episodes to pick from and this tops the list as our favorite. Who could forget Santa’s Tex-Mex friend, the Holiday Armadillo?

“Seinfeld:” “The Pick” (Season 4, Episode 13)

Streaming on Hulu

In this episode of one of the most influential sitcoms ever, Elaine accidentally reveals too much in her Christmas card.

“A Very Murray Christmas”

Streaming on Netflix

Bill Murray, his celebrity friends, and lots of singing — how could you not love this special? Cameos include George Clooney, Maya Rudolph, and Miley Cyrus.

“The Office:” “Christmas Party” (Season 2, Episode 10)

Streaming on Netflix

In a fan favorite episode of “The Office,” Michael makes the team play “Yankee Swap” with their Secret Santa gifts.

“Parks and Recreation:” “Citizen Knope” (Season 4, Episode 10)

Streaming on Netflix

Ultimate gift-giver Leslie gets the best gift ever in this favorite episode.


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Macaire DouglasMacaire Douglas lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Share Our Spare, a local nonprofit that collects goods for children in need.







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