Christmas comes but once a year, or so the old saying goes. In reality, people think about the holiday season all year long. That includes people who love Christmas movies, even if its 105 degrees and sunny outside. In the past few years, cable networks and the major streaming services, including Netflix, have been flooding us with new and classic Christmas films to watch, and it can be a chore to find the ones that are worthy of watching. To save you the hassle, we did some research and made a list of the top 10 best Christmas movies you can currently stream on Netflix.
Best Christmas movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as new Christmas movies are added and older ones leave Netflix.
1. The Christmas Chronicles
One of Netflix’s biggest original movies of 2018 was this Christmas film, which stars Kurt Russel as Santa Claus himself. However, due to the antics of a couple of kids, Santa finds himself stranded in Chicago on Christmas Eve, and there’s a race against time to get him back together with his sleigh and reindeer. If he doesn’t complete his yearly gift giving before Christmas Eve ends, the world will lose that great holiday spirit. Russel’s depiction of Santa as a hip grandpa is perfect for him, and the movie itself is fun to watch with your family and friends.
2. Christmas with the Kranks
This 2004 movie wasn’t a big hit at the box office when it was first released, but has since become a Christmas movie staple for many people. Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis play a couple in Chicago (what is it with Chicago and Christmas movies, by the way?) who decide to “cancel Christmas” for themselves after their daughter leaves for college. They won’t decorate their house or participate in other holiday activities, and for Christmas itself, they book a cruise ship trip to the tropics. Naturally, the neighborhood they live in doesn’t care for Allen and Curtis’s attitude. The final result is a funny Christmas tale, whether you like the holidays or not.
3. A Very Murray Christmas
Ok, we are stretching things just a tad by putting this on our best Netflix Christmas movie list (it’s just 56 minutes long), but its Bill freaking Murray in his own Christmas event. The special has Murray close to launching his live Christmas TV event in New York, but a snowstorm may cause his guests not to make it. Murray tries to go ahead with the special, with mixed results. He’s joined in song with guests like Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, George Clooney, and many others. If you are looking for a somewhat oddball holiday event, this one on Netflix might suit the bill.
4. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
The Nutcracker musical is one of the staples of the Christmas season. In 2018, Disney decided to make a new movie based on The Nutcracker, and the result was this film that’s now streaming on Netflix. A young girl tries to find a key during her family’s Christmas Eve party that is supposed to open a gift from her late mother. However, this key is actually in a parallel world that she has to not only visit, but also save from an inner threat. The movie has all of the aspects of the musical; gingerbread soldiers, intelligent mice and the like. The movie is visually striking as well, as we see this world that mixes Christmas snow with toys, candy and more.
5. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The classic Christmas book from Dr. Suess was adapted to a live-action film in 2000. Jim Carrey may be almost completely unrecognizable physically through the excellent makeup that turned him into the Grinch, but his humor and attitude still come through the prosthetics. The Grinch hates Christmas and wants to take it away from nearby Whoville and its super-cute residents. However, this might be more difficult than he thinks.
6. The Grinch
In 2018, Illumination released a CGI version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, titled simple The Grinch. The advantage of having a CGI movie of this classic tale is that you can create scenes that would be beyond the budget of live-action films. That’s certainly the case here, as Whoville gets a huge upgrade visually compared to the 2000 live-action film. Benedict Cumberbatch may not be quite as out there as Jim Carrey with his voice performance of The Grinch. However, his understated characterization of the Christmas hater still works, and he has a lot of great lines. This version of Dr. Suess’ tale is still highly entertaining and certainly one of the best Christmas Netflix movies you can watch.
6. White Christmas
What can you say about White Christmas that others haven’t said already? Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play two former WWII soldiers who become successful musical producers. They tag along with two singers played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen to a holiday inn in Vermont, only to discover it’s owned by Crosby and Kaye’s former military commander. The inn is in danger of shutting down due to a lack of snow and guests. The foursome try their best to stage a musical at the inn to save it. The storyline doesn’t matter much; what matters are the Irving Berlin songs that are featured in White Christmas and sung by the cast, including the title tune (which actually debuted in an earlier movie, Holiday Inn).
8. Red Christmas
If you are looking for a Netflix Christmas movie that’s not so jolly, this movie may be for you. This 2016 movie deals with a family that makes one last journey to their mother’s home to celebrate the holiday season. However, a stranger then appears on their doorstep, and he is definitely not welcome. This movie is not for everyone, but if you hate the traditional Christmas movie, Red Christmas might be the horror film to check out while everyone else is watching White Christmas.
9. The Princess Switch
This 2018 original Netflix Christmas movie stars Vanessa Hudgens as Stacy, a baker from Chicago (there’s Chicago again) who travels to the European country of Belgravia to participate in a Christmas baking competition. However, she runs into her lookalike, Duchess Margaret Delacourt (also played by Hudgens), who wants to find out what it is like to live like a normal person before she marries the prince of Belgravia. Yes, it’s The Prince and the Pauper story retold again, as the two ladies switch identities to find out how the other half lives. It’s the kind of Christmas movie that always has a happy ending, and that’s just what some folks want.
10. A Christmas Prince
Our last entry in our best Netflix Christmas movie list is yet another original movie. Launched on the service in 2017, a Christmas Prince stars IZombie’s Rose McIver. She plays an American journalist who gets assigned to cover a press conference for the prince of Aldovia. She is then mistaken for the new tutor of a young princess of the country, and McIver uses this opportunity to get even closer to the royal family to get a big scoop. However, she soon starts having romantic feelings for the prince. This movie became a big hit for Netflix, and it spawned a sequel, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, in 2018. A third movie in the series, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, is now available to stream as well.
New Netflix Christmas movies for 2019
2019 brings a ton of new original Netflix Christmas movies. Here’s a look at what you can stream for the holidays:
- Let it Snow – A teenage rom-com that tells the tale of several couples who are stranded in a snowstorm in a small Illinois town on Christmas Eve.
- The Knight Before Christmas – Vanessa Hudgens starts as a modern-day woman who finds a 14-century knight who has somehow time-traveled to the 21st century.
- Holiday in the Wild – Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis star in this Netflix Christmas movie that’s set in the African wilderness.
- Klaus – This CGI original movie is a version of Santa Claus’s origins, with a toymaker named Klaus teaming up with a postman to deliver presents.
- Holiday Rush – A single father of four has to deal with losing his job just before Christmas.
These are our picks for the best Netflix Christmas movies that are currently available on the service. We’ll add more options to the list once they make it to Netflix. And if you’re looking for more to watch, head here for a list of even more Christmas favorites on all of the streaming platforms.