The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
The ultimate way to get into the holiday mood is to curl up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and watch a binge of the best Christmas movies ever created, and it’s never too soon to start. One of the best parts of the holiday season is watching a wonderful holiday film while the snow falls outside.
Our comprehensive list of the best Xmas movies of all time includes classic and contemporary films, ensuring that there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. So get some Christmas drinks and home-theater munchies (a.k.a. gingerbread cookies), settle in, and start your Christmas movie marathon right now!
Jingle All the Way (1996)
This film, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad as fathers racing to purchase their boys the year’s most popular Christmas item, is as stupid — and entertaining — as it sounds.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
The narrative of this black-and-white Christmas picture from 1940 is nearly identical to that of You’ve Got Mail — just change out the emails for letters and Tom Hanks for Jimmy Stewart, and you’ve got yourself a movie.
A Christmas Tale (2008)
Even if you’ve never heard of this French film starring Catherine Deneuve and set around the Christmas season, it’s worth adding to your must-see list.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Is this a Christmas film? Is this a Halloween film? Tim Burton combines the two holidays in a way that is both terrifying and warm simultaneously. The cheerful melodies of this ’90s holiday favorite will make you want to (Oogie) boogie.
Almost Christmas (2016)
Danny Glover is a retired widower with one Christmas wish: his grown children and families get along for the holidays. This amazing ensemble cast’s performances will make you thankful for your family this December.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
In this romantic comedy, Barbara Stanwyck plays a magazine writer who writes about her beautiful (and fake) country life in her articles. When her employer and a returning war hero invite themselves over for Christmas dinner, she must figure out how to hide her tracks.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
On Christmas Eve, Santa makes the mistake of forgetting to deliver a gift to a child, forcing his youngest son, Arthur, to make the trip before dawn. The Wallace & Gromit team’s caustic British wit and Pixar-level animation make this a delightful film for the whole family.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
The Grinch receives a live-action makeover in this feature-length film starring Jim Carrey. This charming holiday animation is a visual feast and will make your heart swell three sizes.
The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
This cheerful Netflix original film, starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, follows two kids who see Santa in their own home — and find themselves on a fantastic trip to help him rescue Christmas. Add The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two to your watchlist if you’re a fan.
This Tv show about a postal worker who meets a reclusive toymaker is a wonderful family Christmas film, especially with the stunning animation that will make you feel the season’s spirit.
Christmas With the Kranks (2004)
Do you want to see a lighthearted holiday comedy? This amusing film depicts a couple, played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, who annoy their neighbors by deciding to forego Christmas in favor of a Caribbean cruise.
The Best Man Holiday (2013)
Director Malcolm D. Lee reunites the original cast, including Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, and Nia Long, for a holiday-themed film that will make you laugh and cry as a sequel to 1999’s The Best Man.
Four Christmases (2008)
Also, when you least expect it, Christmas always brings people together. Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn star as a couple whose tropical vacation plans are delayed, forcing them to reluctantly visit their families instead.
Die Hard (1988)
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? That is the age-old question. Yes, we agree. This action film about a terrorist takeover of a workplace Christmas party is guaranteed to bring some excitement to your holiday celebrations. Yippee-ki-yay!
In this contemporary rendition of A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray plays a grouchy New York City TV executive who learns the real spirit of Christmas.
The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)
Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame) stars in this behind-the-scenes look at how Charles Dickens created the famous A Christmas Carol, which is a treat for all ages. Believe us, and when we say that, even the most cynical Scrooge will smile after seeing this film.
Bad Santa (2003)
This dark comedy is best saved for when the kids have gone to bed and you need a good laugh.
A Boy Called Christmas (2021)
To rescue his father and restore hope to his village, a young boy sets off to visit a magical town inhabited by elves.
The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
If you enjoyed the first Santa Clause film, you’ll want to see this touching sequel about Santa’s hunt for the ideal Mrs. Claus.
Home Alone (1990)
We’ll never get tired of watching 8-year-old Kevin McCallister foil the Wet Bandits’ home burglary schemes, even though it’s been over thirty years since the iconic Christmas movie Home Alone grossed $285 million at the box office.
The Santa Clause (1994)
When a divorced businessman (Tim Allen) murders Santa by accident, he must take his place (not to mention his giant red suit).
The Holiday (2006)
This romantic comedy about a couple of house-swappers who fall in love while living in a gorgeous English home can make you want to spend next Xmas in a beautiful English cottage (and make out with Jude Law, of course).
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
With Benedict Cumberbatch’s unforgettable portrayal of everyone’s favorite green holiday grump, no list of Xmas movies is completely perfect without an entrance from the Grinch, and this new-ish animated rendition deserves a place in the holiday movie canon.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
In this enchanting holiday classic, Kris Kringle goes on trial to establish his identity, but he’ll have you (especially your kids) believing in Santa Claus’ magic.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Kevin McCallister’s family abandons him once more in Home Alone 2… and this time, he finds himself in New York City, where he once again outwits the Wet Bandits (sorry, the Sticky Bandits).
Although this film about a human man nurtured by Santa’s elves in the North Pole was released a few years ago, it has already become a holiday classic. In short, you’re a cotton-headed ninny muggins if you don’t think Elf is one of the finest Xmas movies ever made.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
With the support of friends, his inquisitive dog, and one tiny (but sturdy) Christmas tree, Charlie Brown figures out the true spirit of Christmas in this timeless animation.
A Christmas Story (1983)
This film is deserving of a major honor! There’s a reason TBS broadcasts A Christmas Story nonstop every Christmas. The classic introduced us to the notorious leg lamp and Red Ryder BB pistols, as well as the importance of never licking a freezing pole (even under the intense pressure of a “triple dog dare”).
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Do you dread your in-laws coming to visit around the holidays? By comparison, anything your family does during Christmas will appear completely normal after watching this Chevy Chase film.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
The iconic film by Frank Capra is not only one of the best Holiday movies of all time but also one of the best movies of all time. It’s a Wonderful Life is ranked #11 on the American Cinema Institute’s list of the 100 Best American Movies of All Time, with six Academy Awards.