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A Boy Called Christmas
Photograph: Netflix

The best Christmas movies on Netflix

Netflix is your streaming home for the holidays, complete with classics and new gems.

Written by
Andy Kryza
Written by
Danielle Valente
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Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the glow of the television is so delightful. When the air gets crisp and the jingle bells become inescapable white noise, that means it’s Christmas movie season. And thankfully, there is a lot of content out there. Over the last few years, Netflix, in particular, has given the Hallmark Channel a run for its money, churning out a veritable blizzard of yuletide content every season. 

Sifting through the avalanche can be daunting. You might think all Christmas movies are more or less the same, but the quality can vary wildly, from boring and cliche to cliche and ridiculously entertaining – and sometimes, you might even get something with a genuinely unique perspective on the holiday. To keep your likely already frostbitten fingers from endless scrolling, we’ve sorted the proverbial shiny new bikes from the lumps of coal. Here are the best Christmas movies to stream on Netflix this year.  

Recommended:

🎅 The 50 best Christmas movies of all-time
🎄 The best kids Christmas movies to watch this year
🤶 The best Disney Christmas movies to stream for the holidays
😱 The 18 best scary Christmas horror movies

Christmas movies on Netflix

Playwright David E Talbert enters the Christmas canon with this Netflix original starring Forest Whitaker as an aloof toymaker tasked with caring for his estranged granddaughter on Christmas. An old-school musical fantasy brought to life through new-school VFX and cutting-edge choreography, the film is extremely busy and a little unfocused – not that most viewers would notice. They’ll be too busy being dazzled by the explosive visuals and genuine heart at the core of the film. Rated PG.

A Boy Called Christmas (2021)
Photograph: Netflix

2. A Boy Called Christmas (2021)

Or perhaps it should be called ‘A Portrait of Santa Claus as a Young Man’. In this British film, Jolly Old St Nick is just Nickolas, a boy with a talking mouse for a friend setting out on an adventure across a wintry landscape in search of his father, who ends up becoming a legend. Wide-eyed and imaginative, it’ll leave the young ones in the family with their mouths agape.

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Single All the Way (2021)
Photograph: Netflix

3. Single All the Way (2021)

Hulu beat Netflix in the race to release a queer-themed holiday romcom with the Kristen Stewart-Aubrey Plaza vehicle Happiest Season, but its reluctance to fully embrace the clichés of its genre relegated the movie to ‘passing seasonal buzz’ status. Single All the Way has no such problem, and as a result endures as the better option for an evergreen holiday watch. Peter (Michael Urie) and Nick (Philemon Chambers) are best friends who pretend to be a couple to appease the former’s family.. but would you believe they eventually start to develop real romantic feelings for each other? Get out of town!

Falling For Christmas (2022)
Image: Scott Everett White/Netflix

4. Falling For Christmas (2022)

It seems that every year the streaming gods gift us with a delicious cheese-log of a holiday romance starring an actor whose name alone makes you think, ‘Well, I gotta watch that.’ This season, it’s a Lindsay Lohan comeback vehicle about an amnesiac hotel heiress falling for a handsome outdoorsman, played by Glee star Chord Overstreet, aka ‘Great Value Chris Hemsworth’. Just the kind of inessential fluff Christmas is made for.

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Klaus (2019)
Courtesy: Netflix

5. Klaus (2019)

This oddball origin story of Santa Klaus is the first animated feature from Netflix, and features Klaus (Oscar-winner J. K. Simmons), a large, bearded man with a knack for toymaking but who doesn't have much interest in children, Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), the worst postal carrier ever and Alva (Rashida Jones), a cynical teacher. They live in Smeerensburg, the unhappiest place on Earth. If it sounds like a grump-fest, well yes, that's the setup. But don't worry: Icy hearts melt, and even Smeerensburg can find joy. Rated PG. 
 

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
Courtesy: Netflix + Michael Gibson

6. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

What’s better than getting Kurt Russell to play Santa in a tale about two modern-age kids obsessed with capturing the Jolly Ol’ Fat Man on film? Getting Goldie Hawn to play Mrs Claus in the 2020 sequel, of course. These films are the heirs apparent to The Santa Clause, stripped of those films’ cynical trappings and offering a jolt of comfort and joy. Rated PG.

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White Christmas (1954)
  • Film

When Clark Griswold famously promised the ‘hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny (expletive deleted) Kaye,’ he was talking about this gloriously old-fashioned musical about two World War II vets who become famous stage performers. Expect snow, old-fashioned romance and a whole lot of cheer in one of the season’s most enduring confections packed with holiday classics by Irving Berlin. Not rated

The Princess Switch (2018)
Photograph: Gabriel Hennessey, courtesy of Netflix

8. The Princess Switch (2018)

Part Prince and the Pauper, part The Parent Trap, this rom-com features Vanessa Hudgens as a humble baker who swaps places with the princess of a vaguely European country just in time for the holidays. A threequel debuts November 18, making this an enduring holiday series that will likely continue for as long as royalty remains unable to detect American accents and traces of flour and baking powder on gowns. Rated PG.

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Angela's Christmas (2017)
Image: Netflix

9. Angela's Christmas (2017)

Irish author Frank McCourt’s bleak Angela’s Ashes doesn’t exactly scream holiday cheer, but this adaptation of the author’s unlikely children’s book Angela and the Baby Jesus proves that the holidays can brighten even the saddest of real-life tales. Told via animation that exudes a hearth-like radiance, it’s a tale of familial love’s ability to warm even the coldest of winters. The unlikely charmer was cheery enough to garner a sequel, Angela’s Christmas Wish, which is also available and worth a watch. Rated G.

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