If you love nothing more at Christmas than to curl up under a big blanket to watch a bunch of holiday movies, then you are no doubt looking for films to watch this year. And with so many Christmas movies out there, where do you even start?
Well, how about with this post. Here you will find a rundown of 60 Christmas movies you could be watching during the holiday season.
Take a look through the list and decide which is perfect for your and your family this Christmas. Then settle down and enjoy the season.
Jingle All the Way (1996)
First up, Arnold Schwarzenegger switches action for comedy in a festive treat about a man desperate to buy the No.1 toy for his son’s Christmas present. The problem? The toy is so popular, it is difficult to get hold of in Jingle All the Way – a laugh-filled Christmas movie.
A Madea Christmas (2013)
In this movie, Tyler Perry takes on the persona of Mabel “Madea” Simmons for a Christmas-themed entry in the popular movie series. As usual, Madea dispenses advice and offers up some laughs.
A Christmas Story (1983)
A seasonal favourite in the US, A Christmas Story is presented as a series of festive vignettes revolving around Ralphie Parker. The movie stars Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, and Peter Billingsley, with Bob Clark directing.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
Produced by Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animation, Arthur Christmas is a 3D animated picture featuring the vocal talents of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent. The film tells the tale of Arthur, the son of Father Christmas, and his mission to save the big day!
Babes in Toyland (1961)
Based on Victor Herbert’s 1903 operatta of the same name, Babes in Toyland is a popular Christmas movie from Walt Disney. The film stars Ray Bolger and Tommy Sands, and features characters such as Mother Goose, Bo Peep, Jack & Jill, and Willie Winkie.
Holiday Inn (1942)
This holiday favourite stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, and features the music of Irving Berlin. Holiday Inn introduced the world to the song ‘White Christmas’, becoming one of the most popular Crimbo tunes in the process.
Die Hard (1988)
In Die Hard, Bruce Willis takes on the role of John McClane – a police detective who finds himself at a Christmas party hijacked by criminals. Over the course of 132 minutes of explosive action, McClane has to save the partygoers and stop the bad guys.
Die Hard 2 (1990)
John McClane returns for yet more explosive action at Christmas in Die Hard 2. This time the events of the movie take place at an airport, but that doesn’t stop bullets flying and villains getting their comeuppance.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Jim Carrey takes on the role of the miserable Grinch in this live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic children story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Ron Howard directs.
Since making its debut in 2003, Elf has become one of the best-loved Christmas movies thanks to a fantastic turn from Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf. The movie sees Buddy set out on a quest to find his biological father, in this heart-warming and hilarious tale from director Jon Favreau.
Bad Santa (2003)
Billy Bob Thornton takes on the role of Willie T. Soke, the eponymous ‘bad Santa’ for this festive black comedy. Thornton appears alongside a cast that includes Bernie Mac, Lauren Tom, and John Ritter.
Bad Santa 2 (2016)
Willie is back for another festive film. The cast includes Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, a cameo from Octavia Spencer, and of course, Billy Bob Thornton.
Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
Jamie Lee Curtis, Tim Allen, and Dan Aykroyd star in this family comedy about a couple who decide to forgo the usual festivities in favour of a quiet Christmas… only to find things don’t quite got to plan.
Fred Claus (2007)
Vince Vaughn takes the lead in this comedy about Santa’s brother, Fred. The movie is loosely based on Donald Henkel’s poem, A Legend of Santa and his brother Fred.
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Ernest P. Worrell – the main character in the popular series of Ernest movies – pops up in a movie where Ernest needs to… erm… save Christmas! The late Jim Varney provides both the heart, and the laughs.
Four Christmases (2008)
In Seth Gordon’s comedy drama, Four Christmases, Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon play a couple who plan to visit all of their parents on Christmas Day. The only problem is, both sets of parents are divorced.
Gruesome creatures take over a small town in this hilarious black comedy from director Joe Dante. Set at Christmas, the movie offers up an alternative to some of the more frothy and lighter pictures in this list.
Home Alone (1990)
Macaulay Culkin takes on the role of Kevin McCallister in this hilarious family movie about a young boy left home alone. Arguably one of the best Christmas movies of all-time, the film is filled with slapstick comedy and memorable scenes.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Macaulay Culkin reprises his iconic role for this sequel, which this time sees Kevin lost in the Big Apple. More slapstick, more comedy, and more fun.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
In Frank Capra’s delightful classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, James Stewart plays George Bailey – a down-on-his-luck local man, who is shown what his life would have been like if he was never born. This leads to an interesting journey and one of the best endings in any movie.
The Family Man (2000)
Similar to It’s A Wonderful Life, The Family Man is a movie about a guy who is shown how his life could have played out, had he made different choices. Nicolas Cage stars.
Jack Frost (1988)
A winter fantasy film about a musician who is reincarnated as a snowman. Michael Keaton takes the lead, appearing alongside Kelly Preston and Mark Addy.
Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)
John McPhail directs this British Christmas musical… about zombies. The movie stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton, and Paul Kaye, and includes nods to the horror genre, while also being festive.
Love Actually (2003)
Dubbed ‘the ultimate romantic comedy’, Love Actually is a British rom-com set at Christmas time. The movie features a wealth of top names, including Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, and tells multiple interconnected stories of love and life during the holiday season.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
In this animated movie, Mickey and his friends take part in some holiday-themed adventures for all the family to enjoy. The movie is divided into three different segments, with Mickey taking centre stage, and Donald Duck, and Goofy becoming the focus of the other two stories.
Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas (2004)
Mickey and the gang are back for another round of festive fun. In this movie, there are five different stories, all centring around the holiday season.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover star in the first in a series of ‘buddy cop’ movies – and this one takes place at Christmas! Packed with plenty of action, laughs, and heart, Lethal Weapon is a winner during the holiday season (and all year round).
Batman Returns (1992)
Michael Keaton takes on the Penguin and Catwoman for a festive adventure in Gotham City. Tim Burton directs, and Danny Elfman provides the music.
Arguably one of the most popular adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooge stars Alistair Sim in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, with Mervyn Johns as Bob Crachit.
Dark, twisted, and very, very funny, Krampus is holiday horror about a family who are tormented by a demonic spirit. Not one for the kids or those who get scared easily, but Krampus is a treat for everyone else.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Winner of three Academy Awards, and considered to be a firm favourite, this is a story which has delighted audiences for decades. Starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and Natalie Wood, Miracle on 34th Street tells the story of a department store Santa who claims to be the real deal.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
A remake of the 1947 Miracle (see above), this ‘90s update retains the film’s charm and injects an extra bit of magic via Richard Attenborough, who takes on the role of the department store Santa. Still just as good (if not better), Miracle on 34th Street is a must-watch every Christmas.
The Holiday (2006)
Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz swap locations for the holidays in this romantic comedy from director Nancy Meyers. Jude Law, Jack Black, and Eli Wallach also star.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
The Muppets serve up another reworking of A Christmas Carol, with Kermit as Bob Crachit and Gonzo narrating the story as Charles Dickens. Michael Caine plays Ebenezer Scrooge, while Brian Henson directs.
Santa Buddies (2009)
In this spin-off from the Air Buddies film series, a pup named Paws causes mischief at Santa’s workshop and family-friendly drama ensues. Fun for the little ones in the household.
The Search for Santa Paws (2010)
Another entry in the Santa Buddies/Air Buddies movie series, this time telling events before Santa Buddies. More doggy action for the canine fans.
Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (2014)
Hope, Jingle, Charity and Noble step into the spotlight in another entry in the Christmas-themed dog movie series. Yet more fun for the younger members of the audience.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Chevy Chase takes on the role of Clark Griswold for this family comedy, filled with plenty of laughs. Written by John Hughes, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has become a seasonal favourite, often revisited during the holidays.
Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
Regarded as a cult classic, Santa Claus: The Movie tells the origins of the big man himself, while also focuses on the story of Patch, one of Santa’s Elves. The cast includes Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, and Burgess Meredith.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998)
In this family movie, Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays a college student travelling from his campus to his family home in time for Christmas. Jessica Biel and Gary Cole star, while Arlene Sanford directs.
Black Christmas (1974)
A dark tale for the winter nights – Black Christmas is a horror movie about a group of sorority sisters, stalked by a mysterious killer at Christmas time. The movie has been remade multiple times, but this version (the original) is the one fans return to each year.
Another dark tale, but one that is far more family friendly, is the fantasy comedy Scrooged. The film is yet another retelling of A Christmas Carol, only this time updated to tell the story of a television executive who needs to learn the true value of Christmas.
The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
In The Christmas Chronicles, two children accidentally ruin Christmas, then have to work with Santa to put things right, in this family adventure film from director Clay Kaytis. Kurt Russell plays Santa, with Darby Camp and Judah Lewis as the two children.
The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020)
Chris Columbus takes over directing duties with this follow-up to The Christmas Chronicles. The core cast reprise their roles for more family fantasy fun.
The Grinch (2018)
An animated take on the Dr. Seuss classic, with a voice cast that includes Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury, Pharrell Williams, and Kenan Thompson. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of the Grinch.
The Santa Clause (1994)
Tim Allen dons the famous red suit to become Santa, after he accidentally kills the real Santa. From here, Allen has to cope with the weight gain and the onset of white hair, to become the person the world needs to fulfil ‘The Santa Clause’.
The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
Tim Allen returns to the role of Santa, in a story set eight years on from the original film. This time he must fulfil a new clause – a ‘Mrs. Clause’, which stipulates Santa should get married before Christmas Eve.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
In the final film in The Santa Clause trilogy, Tim Allen returns to tackle yet another clause – one which could see him relieved of his duties. The fantasy fun continues, as does the festive spirit.
A Christmas Carol (1984)
Another adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and another delightful journey through the life of Ebenezer Scrooge. Directed by Clive Donner, the cast includes Edward Woodward, David Warner, Susannah York, and George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
In this stop-motion animated musical, the King of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, discovers the wonderful world of Christmas Town. Henry Selick directs, while the voice cast includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, and Paul Reubens.
The Polar Express (2004)
Based on the children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express tells the story of a young boy who embarks on a train trip to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the movie utilises computer animation to tell the story.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
A cult horror movie, not for the faint of heart, Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a boy who becomes a killer, following a series of events centred around Christmas.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a fantasy movie about a young girl who embarks on a journey through a magical land. A winter movie for the cold nights.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
Jim Carrey plays multiple roles in a 3D animated fantasy film which (once again) revisits Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Robert Zemeckis directs, while the cast includes Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, and Bob Hoskins.
A small-scale story about a primary school teacher’s little white lie, which escalates into a much larger problem. This British comedy stars Martin Freeman, Marc Wootton, and Pam Ferris.
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger (2012)
The teachers and pupils of St. Bernadette’s Primary School return for another festive story, featuring a cast of well-known British faces.
Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey? (2014)
The third entry in the Nativity series and more British faces feature amongst the cast, including Martin Clunes and Catherine Tate.
Nativity Rocks! (2018)
Yet more festive fun from St. Bernadette’s Primary School in the fourth tale set around the Christmas period.
Trading Places (1983)
Directed by John Landis, Trading Places stars Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy as two men who swap lives and fortunes in this popular comedy set at Christmas time. Jamie Lee Curtis co-stars.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
And finally, to round out this list is an animated Christmas musical, which slots nicely into the events of the hit film, Beauty and the Beast (1991). Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas features all of the characters from the first movie, along with a whole new collection of Christmas-themed songs.
Thanks for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about Christmas movies. I hope this list of festive films has given you some suggestions for what you could watch over the holiday season.
To save you some time from scrolling back through this post to make some notes, here is the list in full.
- Jingle All the Way (1996)
- A Madea Christmas (2013)
- A Christmas Story (1983)
- Arthur Christmas (2011)
- Babes in Toyland (1961)
- Holiday Inn (1942)
- Die Hard (1988)
- Die Hard 2 (1990)
- Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
- Elf (2003)
- Bad Santa (2003)
- Bad Santa 2 (2016)
- Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
- Fred Claus (2007)
- Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
- Four Christmases (2008)
- Gremlins (1984)
- Home Alone (1990)
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
- The Family Man (2000)
- Jack Frost (1988)
- Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)
- Love Actually (2003)
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
- Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas (2004)
- Lethal Weapon (1987)
- Batman Returns (1992)
- Scrooge (1951)
- Krampus (2015)
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
- Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
- The Holiday (2006)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
- Santa Buddies (2009)
- The Search for Santa Paws (2010)
- Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (2014)
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
- Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
- I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998)
- Black Christmas (1974)
- Scrooged (1988)
- The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
- The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020)
- The Grinch (2018)
- The Santa Clause (1994)
- The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
- A Christmas Carol (1984)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- The Polar Express (2004)
- Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
- The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
- A Christmas Carol (2009)
- Nativity! (2009)
- Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger (2012)
- Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey? (2014)
- Nativity Rocks! (2018)
- Trading Places (1983)
- Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
In addition to the above list of movies, Hallmark has produced an ever-expanding collection of festive film favourites. If you want to find out what they are, and be warned there is a lot of them, then check out my post A list of Hallmark Christmas movies.
And for more Christmas-themed posts, check out the recommended reads below.