The holiday season is here, and there is so much to enjoy about it. And even if this time of year has you anxious, there’s nothing like taking a deep breath and snuggling up to watch a holiday movie to get you in the spirit. Many streaming sites have a plethora of holiday movies, whether they’re classics or new original films. If you have Netflix and you’re looking for some holiday movies to watch, these are the best holiday movies on Netflix in 2020.
You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, or our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.
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Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, the magic lives inside of you.” If you love the magic, music, and miracles of the holiday season, then Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey has it all. This family-friendly holiday movie is about a toymaker (Forest Whitaker) who was betrayed by his apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key) and loses hope until his granddaughter comes into his life and helps him make Christmas wishes come true.
The Christmas Chronicles
Featuring Kurt Russell in a surprising role as Santa Claus, The Christmas Chronicles shows us what happens when Santa’s sleigh is broken by two siblings who try to catch Santa, causing the sleigh to crash and lose all the presents with it. It’s up to the siblings and Santa to save Christmas in this joyful and heartwarming holiday movie filled with a little adventure. If you’re craving more, a sequel, The Christmas Chronicles 2, was released in 2020.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The 2000 live-action film Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a new Christmas classic based on the popular story of the holiday’s most notorious sourpuss, The Grinch. Whether you’ve seen it a million times already or you’ll be watching it for the first time, there’s nothing like it. The Grinch, played by Jim Carrey, hates Christmas, and wants to steal it from the Whos of Whoville. But when a little girl gives him a change of heart to see the magic of Christmas, all is good in the world again… or, at least in Whoville!
An Academy Award Nominee, Klaus is a beautifully animated film that tells the story of Santa and the North Pole with a unique twist. The movie follows a postman’s spoiled son named Jesper who gets sent to work in Smeerensberg, a desolate town in the North Pole with rival families and children who never get toys or even go to school, as an ultimatum to be part of the family fortune. If he can’t deliver 6,000 letter in a year, he’s out, so he stumbles on a way to reach his goal by having kids write letters to a reclusive woodsman named Klaus to ask for toys. You can see where this is going.
A young woman (Kat Graham) living in the same town she’s lived in for her whole life and working the same dead-end job gets FOMO while seeing that her childhood best friend has been out exploring the world and meeting interesting people. But when she receives an antique advent calendar from her grandfather, she soon learns that the calendar may have some magical powers… the type of powers to make real wishes come true and maybe even predict her future. This romantic, feel-good Christmas movie is exactly what you need right now.
If you have ever been the only single one at your family’s home during the holidays, you might have certain relatives putting the pressure on for you to find a partner. Sloane (Emma Roberts) always finds herself in this situation, as does her friend Jackson (Luke Bracey), so they decide to become each other’s holidate, a platonic plus-one arrangement to avoid the endless questions of why they’re single, and, under no circumstances, can they break the rules of being each other’s holidate. But you know how these things go.
“It’s not what you got. It’s what you got around you,” sums up this movie nicely. Based in New York — the ideal location for any Christmas movie — Holiday Rush follows a single father who has been able to provide a lavish lifestyle for his children due to his successful radio show. But when the studio decides to go in a different direction, he’s got to make some changes, not just for himself, but for his family. With a little love, lots of family, and a lesson that will pull at your heartstrings, Holiday Rush reminds us that Christmas is about far more than material things.
Bad Moms Christmas
If you’ve seen Bad Moms, then you’ll love Bad Moms Christmas! Three mothers — played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn — deal with holiday stress by letting go of being perfect. But when their own moms come by to add to the difficulties of enjoying the holiday, things get even worse. If you need a good laugh and a change from the typical Christmas movies, this comedy will do the trick.
Let It Snow
Based on the best-selling novel, teenagers from a small, idyllic Christmas town find their friendships and love lives overlapping, all while a snowstorm hits on Christmas Eve. It has all the love, drama, romance, and feel-good moments of a holiday film, but with a more modern take. And, it’s LGBTQ-friendly!
Dash & Lily
Ah, to be young and beautiful in a fetishistically idealized New York City at Christmastime and carrying on an extended courtship with someone you’ve never seen in real life via notes exchanged in a secret notebook at the Strand bookstore. A thing like that could go very wrong. But by the end, Dash (Austin Abrams) and Lily (Midori Francis) have already worked it out. This romantic comedy is based on a young adult book series called Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. It’s going to make 14-year-olds who watch this decide they want to go to college at NYU. –Liam Mathews
Another Christmas classic, This Christmas shines a light on a family whose matriarch gathers everyone together for the first time in four years, but there’s a lot that the family has been keeping from each other. And, as the secrets unravel, we see an honest portrayal of what can really happen around the holidays when families come together, and if the love is enough to hold it all together regardless. If you’re looking for something different — a holiday movie that’s truly human and showcases real struggles families may face — then take some time to watch This Christmas.
The Holiday Movies That Made Us
OK, so The Holiday Movies That Made Us isn’t a holiday movie, but is a show about holiday movies. The docuseries explores the holiday movies that have really stuck with us through generations, what makes them classics, and why we appreciate them. Right now, the show only has two episodes, one about Elf and another about The Nightmare Before Christmas, but they are fascinating for people who like learning about movies as much as (or more than) actually watching them.
These are just some of the Christmas and holiday movies on Netflix you’ll find if you browse around. If you’re looking for even more streaming holiday and Christmas movies, check out our suggestions for Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.
Stop searching, start watching! TV Guide’s Watch This Now! page has even more TV recommendations.