For some of us, watching Christmas movies is just as much of a holiday tradition as building gingerbread houses and tucking presents under the tree. While new films are released each year, nothing beats the comfort of re-watching yuletide classics once the season comes along. Below are some of the biggest Christmas and holiday hits from over the years that are currently available on Prime Video, in case the family is arguing over what to watch. Some are very familiar and comforting, like It’s a Wonderful Life, and some might be fairly new, like Spencer. There’s romance, comedy, action, kid-friendly, and even horror-themed options to choose from. Make every night a movie night from now until January 1st.
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A Christmas Carol (1984)
There are many iterations of Charles Dickens’ classic story about a rich old miser frightened into the spirit of Christmas by a number of ghosts. This 1984 version, however, was made-for-TV, so you know it’s bananas. George C. Scott stars as Ebenezer Scrooge, and even though you know how it ends, you’ll enjoy the journey there.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
This Christmas classic has been playing on most of our TV sets for close to 80 years, it seems. And yet, who doesn’t still tear up a little when the townsfolk arrive to save the day? This anti-capitalist masterpiece has earned its place in the holiday pantheon.
Love, Actually (2003)
A story composed of many intertwining stories, this film follows people through a holiday season in London as they fall in love, break up, get some action, confess their feelings, and learn to play drums. The popularity of Love, Actually created a brief genre of movies in a similar format, with all the cross-promotional opportunities so many celebs provide, but none have ever come close to the original.
Miracle On 34th Street (1994)
Do you believe in Santa Claus? Six-year-old Susan Walker isn’t sure she does, especially because her mom Dorey is in charge of hiring the Santa who poses with kids at Macy’s. She hires a guy literally named Kris Kringle, who ends up on trial for his “impersonation.”
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone is a Christmas movie, though much of it is about child abandonment and home invasion. Macaulay Culkin is at his adorable best in this massive holiday hit, and if you can’t get enough of his home made booby-traps delivering pain, there’s a sequel.
The Best Man Holiday (2013)
This movie addresses a very real premise—reuniting with old friends on the holidays. In this movie, eight college friends meet again for Christmas a decade and a half after graduating, and love is in the air. Starring the fantastic Taye Diggs and Regina Hall.
The Polar Express (2004)
The Polar Express is perhaps best known for its disturbing Uncanny Valley CGI effects, as the animated film was made right around when 3D animation was just starting to find its footing. Many forget it’s also a sweet holiday movie about a young boy losing his faith in Christmas who finds it again on a long distance speed rail.
White Christmas (1954)
For the patriots out there, this movie set in a post-war America stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen as two performance duos brought together in Vermont who have to put on the best gosh dang performance of their lives. And they do.
The Holiday (2006)
A high-powered film editor played by Cameron Diaz trades homes with a country English miss played by Kate Winslet for the holidays. Diaz is recovering from a break up and just wants to get away, but romance finds her even across the pond. Meanwhile, Winslet is making inroads on the heart of a Hollywood composer played by Jack Black. This is a great choice for a little rom-com in your Christmas movie.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Frost’s speciality is Halloween, but when Santa Claus goes missing he steps up to make sure Christmas happens. He just puts a spooky spin on things. This classic is full of catchy tunes and iconic stop-motion animation.
Die Hard (1988)
There is no longer any need to argue over whether-or-not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, because it’s on this list. It is now canon, no matter how many men Bruce Willis shoots dead in the first half.
Last Holiday (2006)
Queen Latifah plays a woman who has discovered she only has weeks to live, and instead of freaking out, she decides to live her dream of a European extravaganza. Enjoy this movie about self-love and doing whatever you want on your holiday off.
Buddy the elf is looking for his real dad after realizing he’s way, way taller than anyone else in the North Pole. Comedian Will Ferrell delivers a very convincing portrait of a man who sees everything through the lens of one of Santa’s Little Helpers, and it’s pretty hilarious.
This queer love story stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two women who meet right around the holidays and embark on a relationship that upends both their lives.
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2013)
After showing your kids the OG version, you can wake them up and let them see the updated animated tale of the Grinch, a guy who just really hates Christmas. In the end, no one can resist the singing of Whoville, but the Grinch’s capitulation looks fantastic in this new vision.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
Fourteen-year-old Clara must use a gift her late mother left her to journey to the four different realms, where she encounters a world of magic—and also Kiera Knightley.
Black Christmas (2019)
Hello, horror fans, you were not forgotten by Santa. This slasher flick based on a 1974 film of the same name features all the classics of the genre: sorority sisters and a masked murder. It just happens to be set on a campus during Christmas break.
Little Women (1994)
Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 interpretation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved book stars Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, and Christian Bale, and if you enjoy the story you can pick up Greta Gerwig’s updated version to compare notes.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
If you’re gonna cram in one more version of A Christmas Carol, it has got to be the Muppet version. This delightful and at times very tender version of Scrooge’s story is full of ear worm musical numbers, stunning artistry, and a grimacing Michael Caine.
A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)
This is the movie to turn on after the kids are asleep and mom’s wine glass is full. Watch these ladies rebel against the work, expectations, and exhaustion of Christmas as the unsung heroes who make sure the holiday even happens. The film stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn as the Bad Moms in question.
What if Santa was not coming by to give you presents or even leave a utilitarian lump of coal in your stocking…what if he was coming to kill you? Krampus is a mythological figure who also visits households around yuletide, but this guy does not mess around. This dark comedy will have you closing the flue before bed.
Silent Night (2021)
A couple invites their closest friends to join their family for Christmas dinner at their gorgeous home in the English countryside. But something isn’t quite right—the rest of the world is going through an apocalypse. At times funny, scary, and sad, this film attempts to grapple with all the feelings of loss and hope that often come together, especially around the holidays.
The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
It doesn’t take much to fall in love with Denzel Washington, but in this movie he has the extra advantage of being an angel. But what happens when an angel loses his heart? To a married woman? And she’s married to a preacher?? And she can sing like Whitney Houston??? This is probably the only movie that has delved into those mysteries.
How about a little historical drama for Christmas? This film focuses on Princess Diana during a pivotal holiday weekend in her life. The People’s Princess is played by actress Kristen Stewart at her very best.
Christmas on the Square (2020)
For a little pastoral fantasy and a lot of great music, you can’t go wrong with Dolly Parton. This movie is also a sneaky little version of A Christmas Carol once again, except this time it’s a miserly woman planning to sell her own town to the highest bidder before the spirit of giving intervenes.
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)
There may never be another buddy comedy pair with chemistry like John Cho and Kal Penn. The fellas play two stoners who keep ending up on wild adventures in the pursuit of the simplest plans. If things are going to go wrong, it will definitely happen on Christmas.
Office Christmas Party (2016)
Jason Bateman is trying to throw an office party so epic, it guarantees him his job, but a plan like that can easily go astray. Especially when the film’s antagonist is Jennifer Aniston.
Last Christmas (2019)
Starring charmers Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, this movie is based on the music of George Michael, as you can probably guess from the title. That’s all we’ll say about this Emma Thompson and Paul Feig-produced mystery.
Home For the Holidays (1995)
This movie is a slice-of-life story about two of the most difficult family life slices of the year — Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holly Hunter plays a woman who has recently lost her job and is trying very hard to connect with her family members, no matter how difficult they make it for her.
All I Want For Christmas Is You (2017)
This animated film starring Mariah Carey is clearly entirely based around her hit song of the same name. The self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas is playing on every radio as soon as Halloween ends each year, and here she is living out the story of her song in a child-friendly program.
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