The Ultimate Holiday Movie Guide

The Holidays are for spending time with friends and family; a holiday movie marathon is the perfect way to spend a cozy night with friends, your significant other, or your family. Whether you’re a fan of campy holiday horror movies or the classics, our guide will help you plan an exquisite movie list. 

The Classics 

Miracle on 34th Street 

This 1947 classic is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. It follows Kris Kringle, a man who lands a job as a Macy’s store Santa Claus for the holiday season, who claims to be the real Santa himself: the movie stars Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and Edmund Gwenn. The movie is on Hulu, Disney +, and Amazon Prime Video.


The film was released in 2004, and it follows Buddy the elf, played by Will Ferrell, who was raised in the North Pole but looks different from all of the other elves in Santa’s workshop. He wants to know his true identity, so he travels to New York to find his real father. You can watch this iconic holiday comedy on Amazon Prime Video. 

The Polar Express 

“The Polar Express” is an animated movie that follows a child who goes on an adventure to the North Pole via train. He meets some interesting characters along the way, like the train conductor voiced by Tom Hanks, while embarking on a journey to believe truly. You can watch this 2004 classic on Max or Amazon Prime Video. 

The Romantic Holiday Movies

Love Actually

“Love Actually” has a star-studded cast from Emma Thompson and Kiera Knightley to Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and Colin Firth. It tells the story of multiple lives in London during the bustling month of December, all dealing with the familiar concept of love. You can watch this intertwined romance on Netflix. 

The Holiday

Released in 2006, this film tells the story of two love-depressed women, Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), as they switch houses for the holiday season. Both find themselves in a new environment with their own romantic interest waiting to be revealed. This parallel storyline film can be found on Hulu, AMC+, and Philo. 

Something From Tiffany’s 

“Something From Tiffany’s” stars Zoey Deutch and Kendrick Sampson. Based on a novel by the same name, this holiday mix-up movie tells the story of Deutch’s character, who receives an engagement ring meant for someone else. This jewelry error leads her to discover the person she’s meant to be with. The movie can be found on Amazon Prime Video. 

The Scary Holiday Movies 

Violent Night 

Released this past holiday season in 2022, “Violent Night” takes a slasher spin on the holiday movie. After a team of mercenaries takes a family hostage, they’re faced with the seasonal opponent of Santa Claus, who will stop at nothing to save them from bad guys. The film stars David Harbour and is found on Amazon Prime Video. 


“Krampus” brings European folklore to life in this holiday horror film. Krampus is a horned creature who punishes naughty children during Christmastime. In the movie, we follow a family who has fallen victim to Krampus’s torment, and now they must band together to escape a disastrous fate. The film stars Toni Collete, Emjay Anthony, Adam Scott, and Stefania LaVie Owen. You can find this 2015 horror comedy on Peacock. 

Better Watch Out

Starring Oliva DeJonge, Levi Miller, and Ed Oxenbould, “Better Watch Out” is a thrilling home invasion movie during the holiday season. DeJonge’s character is asked to babysit a couple’s 12-year-old, but the evening turns sinister when she must protect the boy and herself from intruders. This shocking film can be found on Peacock, AMC+, and Philo or for free on Tubi or Pluto TV. 

Animated Christmas Movies 

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

This animated anthology was released in 1999 and tells three heartfelt stories about the season of Christmas. The film stars iconic Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, where they discover the true meaning of the holiday season. There is also “Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas,” an equally heartwarming sequel to this animated classic with all new stories. You can find both movies on Disney+.   

Nightmare Before Christmas

This spooky-ish musical tale tells the story of Jack Skellington, who longs for purpose after growing tired of Halloween. After discovering Christmas Town, Jack sets out to take over Christmas, but his plan does not go how he wants. This Tim Burton classic can be found on Disney+. 

The Grinch

This 2018 remake of the iconic holiday story, “The Grinch,” tells the notorious tale of the Grinch and his plan to steal Christmas. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch and narrated by Pharrell Williams, this film became the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time, grossing over $526 million worldwide. You can watch this movie for free on Peacock or with a FuboTV subscription.

Children’s Classics 

Home Alone

This 1990s classic tells the story of Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, who is left alone after his parents leave for Paris without him. His accidental dream scenario is ruined when two con men show up with plans to rob the residence. McCallister must protect his family home all by himself. This iconic franchise has now made six sequels, the most recent being in 2021 with “Home Sweet Home Alone.” You can watch all six on Disney+.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

This live-action retelling of the Grinch tale stars Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, and Anthony Hopkins. It was the first adaptation of a Dr. Suess tale to be made into a feature film and one of the two only live-action adaptations. This 2000 film isn’t available on streaming as of December 2023 but is available to rent at $3.79 on YouTube or Amazon Prime Video. 

The Santa Clause 

“The Santa Clause” tells the story of divorced dad Scott, played by Tim Allen, as he navigates having custody of his son for Christmas. After a freak accident, Scott discovers that he has killed Santa and now has to take over the position to save Christmas. The original film was released in 1994 and has now turned into a franchise with a trilogy, which can be found on Disney+, and a recent television series released in 2022 with a second season in November 2023. 

No matter the lineup you have for your movie night, the holidays are about spending precious moments with the people you care about. So, grab your favorite seasonal popcorn, pair it with some hot cocoa, and cozy up to these holiday movies. 


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Written by Alexa Fuentes

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