It’s the holidays at last! I don’t want there to be any impositions on your time right now other than merriment so I went ahead and figured out where you can stream every single classic Christmas movie you could possibly want (no sequels). All you have to do is scroll down this alphabetical list. I even spent upwards of four months adding hyperlinks (just kidding! But I would do that for you). If you use Google for any reason, I’ll be personally offended.
Note: I debated for a long time whether the Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet film The Holiday constituted a “Christmas classic,” and ultimately decided that the plot isn’t really related to Christmas in any way. But if you want to watch it, I have it on DVD! I like how Kate Winslet says “Happy Christmas” instead of “Merry Christmas” and she says it in a British accent. I liked it better before Kate started saying dumb stuff all the time!
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Available to stream for free: on ABC’s website!
A Christmas Carol
Available to stream with subscription: Amazon Prime Video (2015 version starring one of the Doctor Whos)
A Christmas Story
Netflix search suggests: A Christmas Horror Story. This is an anthology horror film narrated by William Shatner, who is playing a radio DJ named Dangerous Dan. In it, Santa is evil! It sounds like this is is basically the same movie as A Christmas Story, a popular film in which there is a narrator and Santa is evil.
Frosty the Snowman
Available for free: YouTube
Available to rent: Amazon Video
Netflix search suggests: The Legend of Frosty the Snowman. Despite some aesthetic similarities, it’s not the same thing.
Netflix search suggests: A Christmas Prince: “Royalty. Romance. And a really handsome prince. He’s her most important assignment to date.” This Netflix original appears to be about extremely unconventional journalism practices and archery.
Netflix search suggests: Iranian vampire movie A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, which I too recommend.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live-action)
It’s a Wonderful Life
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Netflix search suggests: Three other Christmas movies that star Mickey, which probably are fine.
Miracle on 34th Street
Available to stream with subscription: Netflix (the 1994 remake!), Amazon Prime Video (the 1994 remake or a bizarre 1955 TV adaptation starring Uncle Billy from It’s a Wonderful Life).
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Available to stream with subscription: HBO Go
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Available to stream with subscription: Netflix
The Polar Express
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Available to stream for free: YouTube
Netflix search suggests: The Legend of Rudolph Valentino. This movie seems to be a documentary about the silent film star and early sex symbol who was depicted in the fifth season of American Horror Story by Finn Wittrock. On that show he faked his death in 1926 and actually was a vampire. I doubt that is in the documentary but who knows!
The Santa Clause
Available to stream with subscription: Netflix (Both sequels are also available, so you can really make a day of it.)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Available for free: Dailymotion
Available to stream with subscription: Netflix
The Year Without a Santa Claus
Available to stream for free: Dailymotion
Available to stream with subscription: Amazon Prime Video
Available to purchase: Amazon Video
Frozen (2010... not 2013)
A misleadingly titled film because the primary peril is not the weather, but the wolves.
Netflix search suggests: Frozen Planet (also about wolves), Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice (wolves, I think), The Making of Frozen Planet (yep, wolves), Frozen Planet: An Epic Journey (penguins and whales), and The Frozen Chosen (prehistoric fish).
I’m sorry that it seems to be such slim pickings this year with regards to subscription streaming catalogues. Here are a few non-classic or Christmas-adjacent films you could watch on HBO or Netflix if you don’t want to pay any more money than you already are:
- Almost Christmas
- Catch Me if You Can: Pretty sure it’s Christmas at the end!
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Snow!
- Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who: A totally different version of this used to play after How the Grinch Stole Christmas, if you had How the Grinch Stole Christmas on VHS!
- Fred Claus
- Ice Princess: Ice!
- Jack Frost
- Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas
- Serendipity: Hot chocolate!
- Snow Dogs: Snow! Dogs!
- Why Him?
- Bad Santa and Bad Santa 2
- Black Mirror (White Christmas): A Christmas horror story from Jon Hamm, it’s the fourth episode of season two.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary: Christmas jumper!
- Carol: Elegant incorporation of department-store Christmas aesthetic at the beginning.
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
- Pee Wee’s Big Holiday
- The Search for Santa Paws
- Not to be confused with Santa Claws
- There’s really a whole mess of strange cartoon holiday specials and off-brand not-quite-Hallmark holiday movies on Netflix. I suggest not exploring them, although The Holiday Breakup is a little bit funny, including this part:
As Kate would say, Happy Christmas!