Here's Where To Stream Your Favourite Christmas Films This Festive Season

Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Holiday are all available to stream this year.

When it comes to entertainment around Christmas time, you can’t go without a stroll down memory lane as you delve into all of your favourite classics, preferably with a drink of something festive and tasty snacks to hand.

But with a million and one streaming services to contend with these days, we’ll admit that navigating exactly where to find your old faithfuls is a bit of a task.

To help make things easier, we’ve rounded up 26 of the most cherished films of all time, from It’s A Wonderful Life and The Muppet Christmas Carol to Love Actually and Elf, and highlighted exactly where they’re all available to watch on demand this Christmas.

Happy streaming…

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)


Starting with an oldie but goodie, Christmas films don’t come much more iconic than It’s A Wonderful Life.

James Stewart heads this bona fide classic, which charts a man’s life from childhood, and sees him learning an important lesson when he falls down on his luck and makes the dramatic wish that he’d never been born.

There’s a reason this one has stood the test of time – although we’d recommend preparing yourslef for not just a few sniffles but full on floods of tears at the beautiful final scene.

Stream it on: All 4

Miracle On 34th Street (1947/1994)

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Another great festive offering from Hollywood’s golden age, centring around a department store Santa Clause who claims he’s the real deal.

The original is still much-loved at this time of year, with a remake released almost 50 years later managing that always-rare thing of managing to stand on its own two feet.

And if you can’t decide whether the Edmund Gwenn or Richard Attenborough version is best, it might come as a relief to hear that they’re both streaming this festive season.

Stream it on: Disney+

White Christmas (1954)


Believe it or not, this was actually a film based on the staple Christmas song, rather than the other way around.

Set just after World War II, the musical stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen as two soldiers-turned-Broadway-stars and a pair of aspiring singers who hit it off while putting on a festive show.

Jam-packed with musical numbers, festive scenes and romance, White Christmas is another offering from a bygone era that the whole family can enjoy.

Stream it on: Now

Scrooge (1970)


As we all know, re-tellings of A Christmas Carol are pretty omnipresent at this time of year (with quite a few of them making it onto this list!).

One that definitely stands out above the hundreds of others is Ronald Neame’s from 1970, which came out shortly after the success of another of his musical Dickens adaptations, Oliver!.

Albert Finney won a Golden Globe for his portrayal as the mean-spirited miser who changes his ways after a visit from three spooky guests – but we’re warning you now that this film’s finale takes a much darker turn than other versions of this classic story. Two words: nightmare fuel.

Stream it on: Amazon Prime

The Snowman (1982)


Nothing says “British Christmas” quite like this much-loved TV special – which is actually celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022.

If the pencil-drawn animation doesn’t hammer home the nostalgia enough, Channel 4 is also airing a one-off documentary about all things The Snowman this year. The follow-up The Snowman And The Snowdog is also available to stream – although let’s face it, there’s no beating the original is there?

Get warming up those pipes now if you’re hoping to dazzle everyone in the annual family sing-a-long of Walking In The Air...

Stream it on: All 4

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)


Another of our favourite adaptations, this one might be called Mickey’s Christmas Carol but this Disney offering actually belongs to the criminally-underrated Scrooge McDuck.

In a similar vein to the Muppet’s much-loved take on the story, the heart-warming short recasts Disney favourites as the classic Dickens characters – and it’s always fun to see how many you can spot from films like Pinnochio, Robin Hood and the Aristocats.

Stream it on: Disney+

Scrooged (1988)


Still got an appetite for new takes on A Christmas Carol? Good.

Scrooged moves the story to the modern day (well, the late 80s, at least), with Bill Murray taking centre stage as New York executive Frank Cross, who has been put in charge of a new version of – you guessed it! – A Christmas Carol.

Unlike most of our favourite versions of A Christmas Carol, this one isn’t a musical, but it still wins points for its imaginative spin on the source material, and a fabulous cameo from Carol Kane.

Stream it on: Now

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

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Originally released as the third in the National Lampoon film series, Christmas Vacation has gone on to be celebrated away from the series, and is now considered by many to be a festive must-watch.

Written by 80s movie icon John Hughes, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is truly a family Christmas film like no other, with ridiculous fun and slapstick humour throughout.

Stream it on: Now

Die Hard (1989)


Every festive season, bored families across the world find themselves stuck in the annual debate about whether or not Die Hard should be considered a Christmas film.

At least this year you can settle the argument by streaming it together.

Truly a pinnacle of the action movie genre, Die Hard is, indeed, set over Christmas, with Bruce Willis’ turn as John McClane making him – in the eyes of many – every bit as much of a festive icon as Michael Caine’s Scrooge or Richard Attenborough’s Kris Kringle.

And once you’re done, Die Hard’s various (brilliantly-titled) sequels are also all available to stream.

Stream it on: Disney+

Home Alone (1990)

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Turning a bit of Yuletide negligence into laughs for the whole family is this cherished comedy about Kevin McAllister, a young boy (played by former child star Macaulay Culkin) who finds himself accidentally left behind when his family head off for their annual Christmas vacation.

When the family home is targeted by burglars, Kevin then has to take matters into his own hands, with laugh-out-loud hilarious results. Nowadays, Home Alone also affords you the opportunity to smugly point out to family members, “did you know that’s Moira Rose?” when Catherine O’Hara has her iconic meltdown.

An immediate hit, Home Alone later spawned a string of sequels and spin-offs, which are also available to stream now (although we’d maybe call it a night after watching Home Alone 2).

Stream it on: Disney+

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

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Not just one of the best festive films ever, but also one the best films ever, full stop, The Muppet Christmas Carol is perfect from those opening shots of Victorian London right through to Scrooge’s Christmas dinner with Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Michael Caine’s take on Scrooge is truly an acting masterclass, as he manages to maintain a steely and stern composure despite his equal parts ridiculous and adorable surroundings. And who doesn’t love those songs?

Speaking of – to mark The Muppet Christmas Carol’s 30th anniversary, this year a deleted musical number has now been reinstated into the film, giving us even more reason to watch (not that we needed one).

Stream it on: Disney+

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)


What’s this? What’s this?

Well, according to Wikipedia: “The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy film directed by Henry Selick (in his feature directorial debut) and produced and conceived by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of ‘Halloween Town’, who stumbles upon ‘Christmas Town’ and schemes to take over the holiday.”

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Stream it on: Disney+

The Santa Clause (1994)

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This is definitely one to instil those warm nostalgic feelings in any 90s kids out there.

The Santa Clause stars Tim Allen as a man who gets a bit of a shock when he accidentally kills Father Christmas (!!!) and – to his dismay – begins slowly morphing into the man himself as the next year passes.

Yeah, we know that sounds like a dark premise, but we promise it’s a kids’ film rather than a festive arthouse horror.

Stream it on: Disney+

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)


Like A Christmas Carol before it, Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a festive story that has now been told a hundred different ways, but if you’re looking for the definitive film, this one from the turn of the millennium is probably the best.

Jim Carrey completely steals the show as the titular Grinch in one of our favourite on-screen transformations, and while some of the dialogue and references have been updated to make them a little more contemporary, this is an adaptation that stays true to the heart of the original (however tiny that heart me be).

Stream it on: Netflix

Love Actually (2003)

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While the title of best family Christmas film belongs to The Muppets, when it comes to festive rom-coms, the prize probably goes to Love Actually.

Richard Curtis’ hit film weaves together 10 different stories of love at Christmas, including celebrations of new romance, an observation on the intricacies of a long-held relationship, the difficulties of unrequited feelings or the love between family members.

It also toes the line between comedy and drama, with Hugh Grant’s brilliant moves proving to be just as important to the film as Emma Thompson’s tear-stained realisation that her husband has been buying romantic gifts for someone else...

And there’s no arguing with that soundtrack, is there?

Stream it on: Amazon Prime

Elf (2003)


There was clearly something in the water in 2003, with two festive favourites that are arguably even more popular than they were 20 years ago ago coming out that year.

Elf hit cinemas around the same time as Love Actually, with Will Ferrel’s wholesome character Buddy stealing our hearts and making us smile every time we watch.

Stream it on: Now

Christmas With The Kranks (2004)


Another Christmas comedy starring Tim Allen, this time he’s joined by Jamie Lee Curtis as his on-screen wife.

The pair play a pair of empty nesters whose kids decide not to visit them for Christmas, meaning they’re finally able to take the trip they’ve always wanted.

But when their daughter announces she’s making an impromptu visit, they’re required to think fast and throw their usual elaborate celebrations together in just a few days.

Stream it on: Amazon Prime

The Family Stone (2005)


As the great prophet Carly Rae Jepsen once said, “it’s not Christmas ’till somebody cries”, and no film has managed to sum up the dread that many of us feel about an impending dysfunctional Christmas at home quite like The Family Stone.

Sarah Jessica Parker has us cringing throughout this star-studded comedy-drama, playing an uptight woman who tries her best to fit in with her partner’s tight-knit family as they spend the holidays together, but can’t quite stop putting her foot in it over and over and over again.

Aside from the heavy dose of cringe scattered throughout, The Family Stone also packs in some relatable laughs, questionable romance, hilarious blunders and one hell of a performance from the always-reliable Diane Keaton.

Stream it on: Disney+

The Holiday (2006)


Technically speaking, is The Holiday a “good” film? No, no it is not.

And yet, do we find ourselves tuning in year after year without exception, crying at the emotional bits, coveting Cameron Diaz’s California house and swooning over Mr Napkin Head? Yes, yes we do.

Stream it on: Amazon Prime

Arthur Christmas

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In this sweet family comedy, the titular Arthur (the son of the current Santa Claus, who is facing up to the fact he will one day inherit the title) has to team up with his grandfather on a quest when he notices that one girl’s present has been left behind at the North Pole.

The voice cast include stars like James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy.

Stream it on: Amazon Prime

Carol (2015)

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Another one that’s probably more of a “film set at Christmas” than your regular “Christmas film”, we’ve included Carol on this list quite simply because it’s so good.

Set in New York at Christmas time in the early 50s, Cate Blanchett is genuinely captivating as Carol, who embarks on a secret but passionate affair with a younger woman she meets in a department store while buying a gift for her daughter.

Beautiful to look at, emotionally-charged and boasting that all-too-rare thing of a happy ending in a queer love story, Carol bagged both of its stars – Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett – Oscar nominations, as well as a deserved nod for director Todd Haynes, too.

Stream it on: Amazon Prime

Klaus (2019)


Since companies like Disney and Dreamworks made CGI their priority, there’s been a noticeable absence of traditional hand-drawn animation on the big screen, but the Netflix original Klaus proves there’s very much still a place for it.

The film won praise upon its release in 2019. for its unique appearance and twist on the usual Santa Clause story. And despite being pretty new, it’s already considered among the “best Christmas movies of all time” on review site Rotten Tomatoes (above classics like It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas, no less!). If you’ve still not checked it out, it’s time to find out what all the fuss is about.

Stream it on: Netflix

Last Christmas (2019)


Remember back in 2019, when Last Christmas was first released, and there was all that fuss made about how rubbish it was? And then, when everyone went to see it, it turned out it was pretty standard festive fare that was no worse than half of the films we get excited about tuning in to watch year after year?

Well, we reckon enough time has passed now that we should give this film another chance.

Stream it on: BBC iPlayer

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

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In the last decade, Netflix has garnered a bit of a reputation for its original festive films being a little on the cheap and cheerful side (and given what they’ve put out in the past few years, this doesn’t seem like something they’re in any rush to shake).

Still, every now and then, they give us a Christmas present to be proud of. Klaus is one example, and the all-singing, all-dancing Jingle Jangle is another.

If you’re a fan of a Christmas musical, then this is a must-watch, with John Legend providing songs and Forest Whitaker taking the lead as an inventor and toymaker who believes he’s come up with a creation to change his family’s lives.

Stream it on: Netflix

Single All The Way (2021)

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And then... there are films like Single All The Way.

As predictable and trope-heavy a Christmas rom-com as you’re ever likely to find, this one does win points for subverting the genre, putting the relationship between a pair of gay pals who begin to wonder whether there might be more to their friendship around the festive season.

While the Britney Spears dance number is something we’re still recovering from, there is a lot of camp fun from Kathy Najimy and the incomparable Jennifer Coolidge to provide a bit of relief.

Stream it on: Netflix

Falling For Christmas (2022)

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Yes, it’s only just come out, but we’ve included it on our list of “your favourite Christmas films” because we already know we’ll be coming back to this movie year after year.

Sparking the beginning of the Lohanaissance, former teen queen Lindsay Lohan makes her long-awaited return to the spotlight in this amnesia-tinged romantic comedy, alongside Glee's Chord Overstreet.

In what we can only describe as "Christmas cliché bingo", the Mean Girls star plays a spoilt heiress who goes on a journey of self-discovery when an unfortunate skiing accident leaves her with amnesia, and in the process she grows close to a local hotel owner who, of course, also happens to be a widowed father.

Not only is Lindsay the lead in the film, she also contributed a cover of Jingle Bell Rock to the soundtrack. Truly, what's not to love?

Stream it on: Netflix


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