Whether you decide to watch them back to back or opt to space them out as a sort of cinematic advent calendar, here are some of our favourite Christmas movies and where to watch them.
Home Alone 1 & 2
Christmas movies are synonymous with Home Alone (just the first and second ones though, we won’t discuss the third and jury’s still out on Home Sweet Home Alone with Aisling Bea). Catch up with Kevin and the rest of the McCallisters over on Disney+.
Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey has played any number of memorable roles throughout his career, but he’ll always be the Grinch to us. The scene where he prances around in front of the mirror before proclaiming, “That’s it, I’m not going!” is all too familiar a scenario. Stream it on Netflix now.
The Polar Express
Tom Hanks lends his voice to many different characters in this 2004 animated film that sees a young boy climb aboard to visit Santa. Available to watch on Sky Showcase or, alternatively, you can rent/buy it on Amazon Prime Video. A steaming cup of hot chocolate is mandatory while watching, I don’t make the rules.
The Santa Clause 1, 2 & 3
Though not a role he ever envisioned for himself, Scott Calvin (played by Tim Allen) turns out to be a brilliant Santa in this family favourite Christmas movie. Pure 90s nostalgia at its best, as is Neal’s wardrobe of festive jumpers. Available on Disney+.
Don’t be a cottonheaded ninnymuggins and make sure Elf is on your list of movies to get through this festive season… and remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear. Available on Sky Showcase.
Miracle on 34th Street
The late Richard Attenborough plays the department store Santa who must convince Mara Wilson (the same actress who later played Matilda) that he’s the real deal in this beloved remake of the 1947 classic festive tale. Warm, magical, and with bucketloads of Christmas spirit, you can watch the time-honoured classic on Disney+. Alternatively, you can watch the original on TG4 at 12:40pm today.
The (slightly) newer additions
Deck The Halls
Danny DeVito is Buddy Hall, the annoying neighbour who moves in across from Steve Finch, the self-dubbed Mr Christmas. It’s a title Finch will have to fight for though as Buddy endeavours to light his house up with enough Christmas lights to make it visible from space. Stream it on Netflix.
One of the most underrated movies on this list, the first Nativity movie is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. As enjoyable for adults as it is kids too, so throw this one on when there’s a mixed group to entertain. Martin Freeman (of Love Actually fame) stars. Available to watch on Netflix.
Santa inadvertently overlooks one small child on Christmas eve. Upset at the mistake but resigning himself to the fact that it can’t be rectified before the morning, Santa retires for the evening… but his accident-prone son, Arthur (James McAvoy), is intent on putting things right. Naturally, chaos ensues. Catch it on Amazon Prime Video.
No festivities can officially begin until we’ve heard at least one rendition of Billy Mack’s “Christmas Is All Around” and have seen Prime Minister David (played by Hugh Grant) dancing around to the Pointer Sisters. It’s been 19 years since the film first came out but we’re still not over Alan Rickman giving that damned heart locket to anyone other than his brilliant wife. Available on Amazon Prime Video.
Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Jude Law… it shouldn’t work and yet somehow it does? The real star is Arthur (played by Eli Wallach) though, who taught us all the importance of having gumption. Watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
One of the more modern Christmas movie offerings of recent years, this one stars Emma Roberts as Sloane Benson and actually isn’t terrible. I mean it is, but it’s also not if that makes any sense at all? A chance encounter with a fellow singleton at a local shopping centre leads to Benson and Jackson (Luke Bracey) agreeing to be each other’s “holidates” for all major holidays/celebrations and family occasions. Watch it on Netflix.
The not *technically* Christmas ones
Nothing says Christmas like Bruce Willis and Die Hard. Not a Christmas movie and yet *very much* a Christmas movie, it always seems to be on in the background around this time of year… whether anyone is actually even watching it or not. Stream it on Disney+.
One of the few movie series that my whole family would happily sit down together and watch together, Harry Potter is necessary Christmas viewing. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen the movies, they never get old. All films are available on Sky as a boxset now.
No one ever needs an excuse to watch Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Little Women, but it doesn’t hurt that there’s a Christmas scene to make it feel all the more festive. Saoirse Ronan is a very convincing Jo March, and between her, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, and Laura Dern, there are plenty of high-profile names to keep you entertained throughout. Available on Netflix.