watching a Christmas movie
(Photo: @zelmabrezinska via Twenty20)

14 Best Family Christmas Movies You Can Stream

A mug of hot chocolate topped with tiny marshmallows, a cozy blanket, and a heartwarming family Christmas movie is the perfect combination to get your family in the Christmas spirit. Gather the gang together and find your favorite Christmas movie on Amazon Prime, Netflix, or your preferred streaming app, then settle in for a cozy Christmas classic (or classic-in-the-making) this holiday season. Here are the best family Christmas movies to stream this year.

A Christmas Story

This classic family Christmas movie is a Christmas Day staple, and you can usually find it on repeat across select cable channels. But watching A Christmas Story never gets old during the holiday season.  Young Ralphie is growing up in the 1940s and dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun, but not everyone agrees with his Christmas wish. The story unfolds in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas as Ralphie tries to convince is parents, family, and even Santa that the Red Rider BB gun would be the perfect Christmas gift. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

This timeless, animated Christmas favorite is always heartwarming to watch. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown is given the task of finding the Christmas tree for the Peanuts gang, but it isn’t the merriest of trees. With lots of love and lessons learned, Charlie Brown’s Christmas can be saved in the end.

The Snowy Day

This short and sweet The Snowy Day is based on the beloved Caldecott-award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats, which follows a young boy named Peter’s snowy, enchanting Christmas walk to his Nana’s house. Featuring the music of Boys II Men, this newer classic is sure to keep both young kids and their adults entertained.

Home Alone

Perfect for tweens and teens, Home Alone is a great Christmas movie that you might not automatically consider a Christmas movie. The large, extended McCallister family is jetting off to Paris for the holidays and accidentally leaves 8-year-old Kevin behind at home. At first Kevin enjoys having the entire house to himself, but soon he finds himself defending his home from two bumbling burglars, Harry and Marv. This movie is rated PG.

Miracle on 34th Street

The original 1947 black-and-white version of Miracle on 34th Street is a classic that will still captures children’s attention today. When the Macy’s department store Santa claims his name is Kris Kringle and that he is THE Kris Kringle, many people think maybe he had too much milk and cookies, and they declare him insane. Kris is put on trial and the entire city’s faith is tested, including Kris’ boss Doris Walker, who is raising her daughter Susan not to believe in Santa. Susan, Doris, and everyone young and old must decide if they believe in Santa Claus.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Netflix’s newly debuted Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story is a sure classic, complete with magic, wonder, and the Christmas spirit. This feel-good steam-punk inspired tale is full of singing, dancing, and just enough dramatic tension to keep kids engaged.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

It’s Christmas with the Griswold’s in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! The comedic misadventures for Clark Griswold, who is just trying to give his family the perfect Christmas, will have you laughing every time. Best for tweens and teens, this movie is rated PG-13.

Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch

Dr. Seuss’s animated movie The Grinch tells the story of a grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas from everyone in Whoville. But a young girl’s holiday spirit might just make the Grinch’s cynical heart grow three sizes bigger when he learns the true meaning of Christmas.

Elf

It’s CHRISTMAS!!! And Buddy the Elf will not let you forget it in the movie Elf. Buddy climbed into Santa’s toy bag as a baby and was raised as an elf in the North Pole. Now grown, Buddy is bit bigger than the rest of the elves, and realizes he may indeed be a human. Buddy the Elf arrives in New York City in search of his true place in the world, and spreads plenty of Christmas spirit along the way.

The Polar Express

An ideal Christmas movie for young children, The Polar Express offers an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. A young boy who may not have enough Christmas spirit boards the train, and quickly learns that magic is always revealed to those who believe.  This computer-animated Christmas movie is rated G.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Perfect for toddlers and young children, The Muppet Christmas Carol brings Charles Dickens’ classic story to muppet-life. This muppet movie, which is not animated, is heartwarming and funny, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit and Gonzo narrating the story, as Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

The Santa Clause

Actor Tim Allen stars in The Santa Clause. When his character Scott Calvin accidentally kills Santa and suddenly finds himself with Mr. Claus’ job, Scott is a bit reluctant to take on the jolly big job and tries to fight against it with plenty of laughs. But ultimately he becomes a true believer and a satisfied Santa.

Prancer

The 1980s Christmas movie Prancer is about an eight-year-old farm girl who discovers a wounded reindeer, and is convinced it is THE Prancer of Santa’s reindeer. She nurses him back to health, hides him in her family’s barn, and attempts to get Prancer back to Santa in time for Christmas Eve. But things go awry when the small town and her father find out about the reindeer.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Actor Jim Carrey transforms his voice in Disney’s computer-animated version of the classic A Christmas Carol. Carrey stars as Ebenezer Scrooge as he meets the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future in this adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel. Will Scrooge discover the true meaning of Christmas before it’s too late?

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Courtney Elko
Courtney Elko has been a writer, traveler, former editor at Tripadvisor’s FamilyVacationCritic website, and a journalist in both print and digital media for more than 15 years. She's had a passion for travel since she roadtripped the California coast with her family at a young age. Courtney has hiked the Faroe Islands, climbed Machu Picchu, skied in Switzerland, gone dogsledding in Alaska, and spent many summers jumping waves with her young nephews on the Jersey Shore. Her travel expertise has been featured in USA Today, SmarterTravel, and What To Pack. Courtney lives outside of Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and puggle, Shelby. Email Courtney with story ideas at courtney.elko [at] gmail [dot] com, and follow her on Instagram @goliveyourstory for travel inspiration and advice.