20+ Christmas Movies to Watch Online This Holiday Season
This post was most recently updated on May 6th, 2020
The holidays are here and it’s time to watch Christmas movies! Hurray!
This is a great way to start a Christmas tradition of watching a Christmas movie every weekend leading up to Christmas to get your family together and to feel the spirit of this amazing season. I normally wouldn’t include rated R movies on this list – because we used VidAngel. However, they have been ordered to shut down and unless they come back, this is no longer an option 🙁
I put the options for streaming these movies online – either to rent them (you get them for 24 hours) or buy a digital copy for your iPad or iPhone. We love to put movies on our iPad for travel – either road trips or plane. Or, it’s just a lot easier than storing and moving DVDs or physical copies. Here’s a list of devices that work with Amazon video.
Not all of these movies are available for rent – but I’ve noted which ones can be rented at the end of each listing.
20+ Christmas Movies To Watch Online
Christmas classics? Check. Everything from Elf to The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to The Polar Express or even classics like Miracle on 34th Street are all here.
There’s nothing like a movie on Thanksgiving after the turkey or Christmas Day – after the presents are opened. These are great times the family is together and everyone wants to sit around because they’re too tired to move. The whole group can watch, kids and all. That’s what I love about VidAngel.
What Christmas movies will you watch this year? Here are some ideas!
Note: this post contains affiliate links.
Unrated. Billy Bob Thorton.
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve, but they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot. Rather than spreading good cheer, the duo’s motive is to rob each establishment, a strategy that becomes complicated when they encounter an 8-year-old who teaches them the true meaning of Christmas. This movie probably isn’t the best movie for kids though…
Tim Allen is back in the big red suit for more adventures and laughs in SANTA CLAUSE 3 THE ESCAPE CLAUSE. As Christmas nears, Scott Calvin invites his inlaws AnnMargret, Alan Arkin to join the festivities. But the holidays take a chaotic turn when Scott discovers a way out of his Santa Clause and the mischievous Jack Frost Martin Short puts the big freeze on Christmas’s big cheese Now, unless Scott can get his job back in the St. Nick of time, it’s going to be a very glacial Frostmas all around the world Bundle up for fresh thrills as your favorite reluctant Santa Claus faces his most chilling challenge yet.
Ratings: 4.6/10 from 19,756 users on IMDB
2007 This is a story you’ve never heard before, a hilarious and heartwarming comedy about Fred Claus, Santa’s brother and complete opposite. After growing up in saintly Nick’s shadow, Fred becomes a grouch who’s lost his belief in Christmas. Then, one magical December, Fred flies north first class via reindeer to find brother Nick is in trouble a scheming efficiency expert is out to shut down Christmas forever Expect fun by the sleighful as Fred helps save Christmas and rediscovers the gift of family. Join Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Kevin Spacey and more in a yuletide treat to enjoy for years to come.
Ratings 5.6/10 from 30,060 users on IMDB
Superstar comedian and Golden Globe winner Tim Allen shines bright in Disney’s magical, larger-than-life hit comedy, THE SANTA CLAUSE. On Christmas Eve, a divorced dad and his son discover Santa Claus has fallen off their roof. When the dad takes the reigns, he finds he is now the new Santa, and must convince a world of disbelievers, including himself.
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 59,685 users on IMDB
This is the 1965 classic Christmas movie we love to watch year after year. Watch it whenever you want, share it with the kids. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without this movie! We all grew up watching it.
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 20,296 users on IMDB
This is the version from 1947 with Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, and John Payne. It’s still as relevant today as it always has been. Touching, dramatic and hysterical. It’s a time when women wore dresses, gloves, and hats. Men wore hats and suits. When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 28,283 users on IMDB
If you have Amazon Prime (which is $99 a year and has a ton of benefits including free 2-day shipping), you can add a subscription to HBO and watch Miracle on 34th Street FREE.
There is a FREE 30-Day Trial so it will not cost you a cent. After your trial it’s $14.99 a month.
- Video subscriptions don’t have any setup or cancellation fees.
- There is no minimum duration—as long as you’re an eligible Prime member, you can start and cancel HBO at any time.
- “Premium channel subscriptions you have with your cable or satellite provider, and standalone subscriptions you’ve purchased directly from the subscription provider are separate services, and cannot be used with Amazon Video.”
Here are the links to get Prime and HBO free for 30 days:
A Christmas Carol
Are your kids acting entitled? Do you feel a bit bah humbug? This movie can reset the attitudes of the most self-centered of them all! It is the story from Dicken’s classic book about compassion and redemption. A man who hates Christmas is taught the true meaning and spirit of Christmas by ghosts who show him his own past and present. He is also shown what the future holds for him if he doesn’t change.
There are two versions of this classic. To be honest, I would watch both versions.
The first A Christmas Carol movie is the 1984 version that was a made for TV film. George C. Scott plays Ebenezer Scrooge and he’s the perfect stingy businessman who is haunted by the ghost of his dead business partner, then by three other spirits who each have something to teach him. The film even borders on frightening in several scenes involving the spirits. The important tale of morality shines through in every frame.
Rating: 7.9 on IMDB, rated PG. Rent A Christmas Carol on Amazon.
This version of A Christmas Carol should be a required part of every family’s celebration of Christmas. When the decorations come out of the basement, it’s time to get out the Apple TV or other device and watch it at least once!
The second A Christmas Carol movie stars Jim Carrey and Jim Valentine and was made in 2009 by Disney. Some parents say it’s too scary for young children but remember with VidAngel you can filter it to your family’s level of comfort. This is one of the most beautiful and faithful remakes and follows the book nearly word-for-word. You will feel like you are in London during a cold 19th century winter. Amazing special effects and the timeless story make this a movie you should repeat year after year – the lessons are timeless and always needed.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis who also directed The Polar Express and other films.
Rating: 6.8 on IMDB, PG
Available to rent or buy on Amazon, here.
The Nightmare Before Christmas from Tim Burton and starring Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon and Catherine O’Hara, is about Pumpkin King Jack Skellington. He is bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, and longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere! But it starts with the Burton’s darker scenes first – which makes it all the more enchanting when he finds a joyful Christmastown.
It opens with a village scene but not what you’re used to for a Christmas movie. Jack Skellington is celebrating another “horrible” Halloween. So he leaves and goes into the dark forest outside the town’s borders, and accidentally stumbles onto the wondrous, jolly world of “Christmastown.” He takes it back to his town and they discover the joy of Christmas. This is a beautiful and wonderful film from start to finish.
Ratings: 8/10 on IMBD. Rated PG.
Rent The Nightmare Before Christmas on Amazon or buy – plus on iTunes. We actually just bought this for our daughter – she loves this movie and watches it on her iPad all the time (even when it’s not Christmas).
Deck the Halls stars Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito. If you’ve ever felt like people go a little too far with the yard decorations or have been tempted to try and outdo a neighbor with your lights display, you may just love this film! It’s a hilarious holiday comedy with two competitive neighbors who try to put the “win” in “winter!” Determined to unseat Steve Finch as the town’s holiday season king, Buddy Hall plasters his house with so many decorative lights that it’ll be visible from space! When their wives bond, and their kids follow suit, the rivalry only escalates. It’s anybody’s guess whether the holidays will wind up jolly or jostled in this wild laugh-fest the whole family will love!
Made in 2004, Surviving Christmas stars Ben Affleck and Catherine O’Hara. A young billionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him. Drew Latham has no close relationships and becomes nostalgic for his childhood home as Christmas approaches. When he visits the house and finds another family living there, he offers the residents, Tom Valco and his wife, Christine, a large sum of money to pretend they are his parents. Soon Drew tests the couple’s patience, and, when their daughter, Alicia, arrives, things get increasingly tense.
Ratings: 5.3/10 from 16,427 users on IMDB
Four Christmases is a romantic comedy Christmas movie. From 2008 and starring Reese Witherspoon as part of a couple (withVince Vaughn) who struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas. You might be able to relate to this story where “childhood fears raised, adolescent wounds reopened…and their very future together uncertain.” There is good chemistry and some really good laughs too.
Ratings: 5.6/10 from 45,870 users on IMDB. Rated PG-13
Rent Four Christmases here or buy on iTunes.
This movie is from 2004 with Tom Hanks started out as a children’s book and thankfully, it does it well. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
“What makes the film such a success is not so much even the story itself, but an execution which somehow manages to inject every frame of the film with a feeling of childlike wonder and exuberance.”
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 111,916 users on IMDB
If you love the classic cartoon, check out this version. From the year 200, created by Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. They took a 22 minute cartoon classic and turned it into a full length live action film. Go with them to Whoville to bring the world’s best loved grump to life in this hilarious celebration of the true holiday spirit. Stars Jim Carrey.
This movie is light hearted, tongue in cheek and can make both the kids and the adults laugh.
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 131,377 users on IMDB.
A Royal Christmas
A Royal Christmas is a Hallmark Christmas movie. Prince Leopold, heir to the throne of Cordinia, wants to marry his young love Emily Taylor but his mother, Queen Isadora (played by Jane Seymore) doesn’t support the marriage to a common seamstress. Emily is an American girl who designs clothes and works at her father’s shop. It chronicles her struggle when a commoner like her comes to the royal palace and finds it hard to fit in. However, she finds a solution.
The castle and clothes are beautiful. It’s entertaining although it is similar to The Princess Diary but without the big budget (which it makes up for with it’s big heart) or other famous movies. However, if you like those movies, you’ll be happy that this one is the best of the genre.
G rated film with a little bit of kissing. A pure family film. It got a 6.7 on IMDB.
Not available on Amazon or iTunes.
Made in 2011 and perfect for the kids. Santa and his elite elf team use spy-like stunts to deliver billions of presents to all the world’s children in one incredible night. So what does it mean if only one child gets left without a present? Everything now it is up to Santa’s youngest son Arthur to fix this slip-up and make good on the promise of Christmas. With the help of retired Grand Santa and a rebellious young elf, Arthur’s on a last second ride to give the final gift and bring wonder back to the holiday season. Deck the halls with thrills, excitement and fun in this instant Christmas classic.
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 32,909 users on IMDB
1996. Christmas; It’s the most magical time of the year. High powered businessman Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger), is hard at work taking last-minute orders from customers to whom he just can’t say no; like his son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd), asking for the hottest action figure of the season — Turbo Man! Unfortunately, Howard is facing one BIG problem: It’s Christmas Eve, and Turbo Man has been sold out since Thanksgiving! Howard’s down-to-the-wire trek to find Turbo Man quickly turns into an odyssey wilder than he could have ever imagined. In the course of his seemingly endless Yuletide misadventures, he finds himself in a no-holds-barred fight-to-the-finish with a crazed postman named Myron (Sinbad), who is out to claim the last Turbo Man for his kid. It’s enough to scare away even the bravest of men. But to Howard, this is war — and he’s determined to win…no matter what!
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 64,646 users on IMDB
Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star in this Christmas movie from 2004. When their only daughter Blair leaves the family nest, Luther and Nora Krank decide to book an island cruise to beat the yuletide blues and just skip the holidays. But their decision to boycott tradition has the whole neighborhood in an uproar, and when Blair callson Christmas Eve to announce a surprise visit with her new fiancée, the Kranks have just twelve hours to perform a miracle and pull themselves and their neighbors together to throw the best celebration ever! With fast-paced energy and support from Dan Aykroyd, Cheech Marin, Jake Busey and M. EmmetWalsh, this hilarious adaptation of John Grisham’s best-selling novel, “Skipping Christmas” has become “an instant family classic!”
Ratings: 5.2/10 from 25,412 users on IMDB
Debuted in 2003, starring Will Ferrel, this is a fun show that many families watch every year. When one of Santa’s elves learns that he’s actually a human whom Santa inadvertently brought back from an orphanage when he was a baby, he sets out for NYC to track down his real father.
This is a fun film that does have undeniable charm and its heart is definitely in the right place. It’s sentimental and corny but thats part of the appeal. The script doesn’t try to hard and the energy and flow of the film keeps at a constant pace, it doesn’t try to go over the top which is refreshing. Ferrell is a natural performer and his dopey wide eyed expressions never grow old.
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 136,580 users on IMDB
The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster. It’s a movie that many people have on their list of Christmas movies to watch each year. Created in 1989, this movie is still funny! That says a lot. Starring Chevy Chase, it’s “thoroughly festive, cheery and good-hearted.”
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 98,855 users on IMDB
Our daughter LOVES this song and the movie is just as fun. It was made in 1969 and you can still catch it on TV every year, but if you miss it, you have another chance! An animated movie where a snowman comes alive and he and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman’s magic hat. Perfect for children, even very young children will love it. Just 25 minutes and it will hold their attention the whole time.
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,177 users on IMDB
Rent Frosty the Snowman on Amazon.
From writer/director Nancy Meyers comes a romantic comedy about two women on opposite sides of the globe who swap houses only to discover that a change of address can really change their lives.
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 170,693 users on IMDB
Rent The Holiday on Amazon or buy on iTunes.
The Christmas Ornament is a romantic Christmas movie to restore your faith in humanity. It’s a Hallmark made-for-TV movie so it’s sentimental and pretty predictable. Still this had a plot twist that y0u probably won’t see coming. This film is almost completely a two actor movie. It features a recently widowed woman who isn’t celebrating the Christmas season because she is still grieving for her dead husband. She meets Tim, a successful and handsome businessman who loves Christmas and sells Christmas trees. Yes, you think you know the ending, don’t you? You will probably not guess it all but you will leave feeling the love this season! Conclusion: sweet without being sappy.
Ratings: 6.8/10, Rated G
Note: when this post was first written I linked to VidAngel where you could watch Christmas movies for $1 a night after sellback. Since then, VidAngel has gone offline as they fight a lawsuit. Now there are other options but it all depends on the film. Every movie has different rights.
If you have Amazon Prime – these Christmas movies are included in your membership free.
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