Holiday Entertainment

20 Christmas Movies To Watch On Netflix This Holiday Season

From festive favorites to new adventures, these films are all merry and bright.

Nothing puts me in a jolly mood faster than watching a Christmas movie. It’s like an instant pick-me-up, no matter what’s going on in my life. That being said, a TV screen filled with rows and rows of Christmas movies on Netflix to choose from is basically a giant cornucopia of holiday joy that I can dip into any time I want to feel the spirit of the season.

Part of what I personally love about the selection of Christmas movies on Netflix is that there is truly something for everyone. Whether I’m looking for a classic film like White Christmas to watch while I cozy up with a glass of wine or something more akin to a Hallmark Christmas movie like Christmas Inheritance that I can zone out with while I fold laundry, Netflix has my back. Then, when I want to flip on a holiday flick for my kids, there’s plenty of animated and family-friendly options to choose form like Klaus, Angela’s Christmas, and Jingle Jangle.

When you’re ready to Netflix and cheer this holiday season, these Christmas movies are perfect to enjoy with a steaming mug of hot cocoa and a stack of gingerbread cookies. ‘Tis the season, right?

1

The Holiday

I spent many afternoons in my early twenties watching a DVD of The Holiday over and over again, dreaming about the day when I would swap places with a woman who lives in a quaint English cottage and fall in love with her handsome brother. (Spoiler alert: That never happened.) Now, I just watch it on Netflix during the Christmas season to drink in the nostalgia that seeing Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black all fall in love with their respective counterparts brings to my TV screen.

Stream The Holiday, rated PG-13, on Netflix.

2

A Christmas Prince

What happens when an eager journalist named Amber goes on assignment abroad to dig up dirt on a playboy of a prince named Richard who is set to become the king of his country? Well, when it’s Christmastime, magical things happen, and the dirt Amber thought she’d find on Richard turns out to be nothing but rumors as she discovers that he’s really a stand-up guy and falls for him. If you enjoy the charming tale of A Christmas Prince, be sure to catch the sequel, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding and the franchise’s third installment, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby.

Stream A Christmas Prince, rated PG, on Netflix.

3

White Christmas

Does a Christmas movie get more classic than the 1954 film White Christmas? Watch Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen sing and dance through each iconic scene in all of their stunning Christmas glory. Despite being made over half a century ago, the movie’s cinematography and choreography remain unmatched, as do the iconic songs including the title track, “White Christmas,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” Equal parts heartwarming and hilarious, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a viewing of this movie, and Netflix clearly knows it.

Stream White Christmas, rated G, on Netflix.

4

Klaus

When you’re in the mood for an animated, kid-friendly Christmas movie, Netflix’s Klaus is a top choice for the holiday season. Jesper, a postman who was the worst student in his town’s now-closed school, is sent on a journey to a cold, desolate area where he discovers Klaus, a recluse of a man with a home full of toys made by hand. The two develop an unlikely friendship and Jesper returns home to spread the word that Klaus will deliver toys to all of the good boys and girls in town. This inspires good deeds and acts of kindness among all of the townspeople which leads to the reopening of a closed school. This English-language Spanish film features a star-stuffed cast including Joan Cusack, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Norm Macdonald, and J.K. Simmons.

Stream Klaus, rated PG, on Netflix.

5

The Christmas Chronicles

If the promise of seeing Kurt Russel as Santa Claus isn’t enough to make you watch The Christmas Chronicles on it’s own (although I don’t blame you if it’s the sole reason you turn this one on), you should also know that this film is at it’s core just a really charming movie. The plot centers around a family trying to get though their first holiday season after the loss of their dad, with a hardworking, but grieving mom and kids just trying to cope. They wind up having a Christmas adventure with Santa himself and learn plenty of lessons along the way. The movie’s sequel, The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2 is equally as enjoyable.

Stream The Christmas Chronicles, rated PG, on Netflix.

6

Let It Snow

When a snowstorm plows through a small town in the Midwest on Christmas Eve, an unlikely group of high schoolers find themselves in a web of complicated situations that impacts their friendships and love lives in typical romantic comedy fashion. Think The Breakfast Club meets Love Actually meets The Polar Express. (The whole situation all starts on a train, by the way.) Complete with confessions of unrequited love, teenage angst, a keg party, and a restaurant called Waffle Town, this is an all-around solid choice for anyone who wants to relive their youth through the lens of Christmastime.

Stream Let It Snow, rated PG-13, on Netflix.

7

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

The winner of multiple NAACAP Image Awards in 2021, Forest Whitaker stars as an eccentric toymaker who has lost much of his hope and Christmas spirit because of an apprentice who betrayed him. Thankfully, his young granddaughter arrives at his doorstep full of curiosity and joy to become the bright spot that his life was so clearly lacking. The delightful holiday tale is a musical filled with whimsy and an absolutely star-studded cast including Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Keegan-Michael Key, and Ricky Martin.

Stream Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, rated PG, on Netflix.

8

The Knight Before Christmas

During an annual Christmas hawk hunting competition, a knight from medieval England named Cole is mysteriously transported to present-day Ohio under the guise of fulfilling a quest before midnight on Christmas Eve. Upon arrival in modern times, he crosses paths with a beautiful high school science teacher named Brooke (played by Vanessa Hudgens) when he’s hit by her car. After the accident, Brooke believes that Cole is experiencing amnesia when he explains that he’s actually a knight, so she takes him in while he “recovers” in hopes that he’ll get his memory back. All the while, Cole is still concerned with fulfilling his Christmas quest.

Stream The Knight Before Christmas, rated TV-14, on Netflix.

9

Holidate

When you need a good laugh after you spend the whole day arguing with your family on Christmas, Holidate is a hilariously raunchy holiday rom-com that hits all the right notes. Played by the delightfully funny Emma Roberts and the charming Luke Bracey, Sloane and Jackson face a conundrum as old as time when, both single during the holidays, they team up and agree to be one another’s Christmastime plus-ones. With plenty of adult humor and some strong language, this Christmas movie on Netflix is one that’s definitely best enjoyed after the kids go to bed or while they’re at grandma’s house for the night.

Stream Holidate, rated TV-MA, on Netflix.

10

Christmas Inheritance

It’s the age old tale of a rich socialite who must return to her hometown to learn the lesson of what hard work is all about before she can inherit her father’s business. On her way to deliver a special Christmas card to her father’s former partner, she gets stranded in a snowstorm and has to seek refuge at the town inn for Christmas. If you’re looking for something on Netflix that will make you feel just like you do when you’re watching your favorite Hallmark Christmas movie, Christmas Inheritance is a top choice.

Stream Christmas Inheritance, rated G, on Netflix.

11

Angela’s Christmas

Angela’s Christmas is a heartwarming children’s movie on Netflix that is just perfect to enjoy throughout the holiday season. When Angela attends church with her family on Christmas Eve, she’s struck by a deep desire to ensure that everyone around her has the best Christmas ever. The movie, set in Limerick, Ireland, in the early 1900’s, is based on a story from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt. The setting and story will remind you that the best parts of Christmas are the togetherness and unity that the holiday brings. The movie’s sequel, Angela’s Christmas Wish, is also available to stream on Netflix.

Stream Angela’s Christmas, rated TV-Y, on Netflix.

12

Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer

Upon Blitzen’s retirement, Santa Claus announces that he will hold auditions to find the perfect reindeer fill the beloved stead’s spot. A miniature horse named Elliot has just three days to prepare for the audition of a lifetime at the North Pole where he’ll compete to join Santa’s team. This adorable animated flick harnesses the voiceover talents of stars Martin Short, Samantha Bee, and John Cleese. It’s a charming kids movie, but worth the watch for adults just to hear all of Short’s hilarious accents and inflections alone.

Stream Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer, rated PG, on Netflix.

13

Father Christmas Is Back

If you’ve ever had an unexpected guest crash your family’s Christmas celebration, you know how awkward things can get, but when that unexpected guest is your long-lost father, there’s no telling how the night will go. When four feuding sisters reunite at their family’s mansion after years apart, they’re surprised when their estranged father, played by Kelsey Grammer, shows up and shakes up their already strained gathering. Starring alongside the Fraiser alum are Elizabeth Hurley, John Cleese, Nathalie Cox, Caroline Quentin, and Talulah Riley. It’s a British comedy, so you can expect lots of staunch humor and theatrics in this one.

Stream Father Christmas Is Back, rated PG-13, on Netflix.

14

A California Christmas

Sometimes the best Christmas rom-coms are the ones where the main character pretends to be someone that they’re not to try and get what they want, and they persist until they learn a valuable lesson in a quaint Christmas setting. A California Christmas, staring husband and wife duo Josh and Lauren Swickard (who also wrote the film), is one such film that checks every single box of the genre. Joseph, a wealthy son of a San Francisco real estate mogul poses as a ranch hand in order to try to persuade the hardworking Cassie to sell her family’s dairy farm to sell the land to him, only to develop feelings for her that are eventually revealed along with his true identity.

Stream A California Christmas, rated PG-13, on Netflix.

15

Love Hard

Nina Dobrev stars as Natalie, a 30-something writer in Los Angels who meets her perfect match on a dating app. The only problem is that he lives across the country, so Natalie flies to upstate New York only to discover that the charming man she thought she was chatting with online is actually a completely different guy named Josh (played by Jimmy O. Yang) living at home with his parents, simply pretending to be a certified hunk. Once he’s found out, Josh offers to set Natalie up with the man he was pretending to be, but things don’t go quite as planned. Yes, we all know that catfishing is absolutely wrong IRL, but for the purposes of a whimsical Christmas movie on Netflix, the situation makes for comedic gold.

Stream Love Hard, rated TV-MA, on Netflix.

16

Operation Christmas Drop

If you’re looking for a sweet, wholesome Christmas movie to watch on Netflix, Operation Christmas Drop is a great choice. Kat Graham stars as Erica, a congressional aide who skips Christmas with her family to travel for work at the request of her boss. While on assignment at beachside Air Force base, she’s tasked with finding reasons to defund the facility, but traditional Christmas rom-com antics ensue when she clashes with the handsome pilot in charge. The movie’s title is actually based on a real humanitarian operation in partnership with the Department of Defense where supplies are airlifted to islands across the Pacific.

Stream Operation Christmas Drop, rated TV-G, on Netflix.

17

Holiday Rush

When a popular radio DJ is fired right before Christmas, he and his four kids move in with his aunt to try to cut down on expenses. A widower, Rush never expected to be the parent tasked with making Christmas magical for his kids, and now he has to do it with even less than before. Throughout the film, Rush and his four kids must also navigate the ups and downs of his new romantic relationship, eventually learning a valuable lesson that when everything around them is falling apart, your family is the only thing that truly matters.

Stream Holiday Rush, rated PG, on Netflix.

18

A Castle For Christmas

Who wouldn’t love to spend the holiday season tucked away in the corner of a massive mansion in Scotland? That’s exactly what bestselling author Sophie Brown, played by the incomparable Brooke Shields, plans to do in this new Christmas rom-com from Netflix. Sophie also has hopes of purchasing the castle, until she has to face the less-than-cheerful owner, a duke who is reluctant to sell his place to an outsider, much less someone from another country. The pair struggles to find common ground at first, but a Christmas miracle might just be in store for them both by the end. New for 2021, A Castle For Christmas debuts on Netflix on Nov. 26.

Stream A Castle For Christmas, rated TV-G, on Netflix.

19

Single All The Way

When Peter doesn’t want to return home for the holidays single for yet another year, he convinces his best friend Nick to accompany him for a Christmas visit. But, like in all good holiday rom-coms, their well-meaning friendship could very well transform into something more thanks to cajoling my Peter’s family. Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers star as Peter and Nick, but the film’s all-star cast also includes comedy legends Jennifer Coolidge and Kathy Najimy, so you know you’re in for a real treat. One of the most anticipated new holiday releases on Netflix this season, debuts on Dec. 2.

Stream Single All The Way, rated TV-PG, on Netflix

20

Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square

Nobody does the holidays quite like the one and only Dolly Parton, and her Netflix film, Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square is proof of that. The plot centers around a wealthy, joyless woman who returns to her hometown with plans to sell the land there, despite the consequences it will bring to the charming town’s unsuspecting residents. Luckily, a true Christmas angel steps in just in the nick of time. (Because don’t they always?) A show-stopping entertainer in her own right, Debbie Allen choreographed and directed the 2020 movie-musical. With Parton and Allen’s combined talents, the singing and dancing in the film is truly a sight to behold.

Stream Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square, rated TV-PG, on Netflix.