Where to Stream Your Favorite Holiday Shows and Movies

Lots of the classics are available on demand—if you know where to look.

will ferrell in elf the movie
Photo: Hulu

The holiday movie and special TV schedulers always seem to mess with me—putting my favorites on busy nights or so early in the holiday season that we hadn't even started reviewing the holiday TV schedules.

Fortunately, this year, it seems like even more of the classic holiday movies and specials are available on streaming services—so you can catch your must-see Christmas TV whenever you feel like it.

You still have to time your Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman viewing to the whims of the schedulers (they're a double feature on CBS on December 10th, FYI), but here's a guide to what holiday movies and specials each streaming service has on offer this season.

01 of 06


It's hardly shocking that you'll find a ton of kid-friendly holiday specials and movies on Disney+.

  • The Santa Clause: The one where Tim Allen becomes the next Santa (and its sundry sequels—including the newest, The Santa Clauses).
  • Home Alone: Macaulay Culkin gets left home alone and protects his house from the most incompetent burglars on the planet.
  • Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween + Christmas = spooky good fun.
  • Prep & Landing: This decade-old special offers a clever take on how Santa gets gifts to all the kids around the world.
  • Miracle on 34th Street: Is Santa real? Disney+ has both the classic and the updated version so you can figure it out.
  • Sound of Music: Not exactly a Christmas movie, but this one was broadcast on Christmas so many times, it feels like it is.
  • Mickey's Christmas Carol: Start your kids on the classic Dickens tale early with this Disney-fied retelling.
  • Muppet Christmas Carol: Michael Caine is Scrooge in this far more irreverent version of the classic tale.
02 of 06


HBO has the motherlode of modern funny holiday movies—including a new sequel to the classic A Christmas Story—plus a few old-timey classics to round it out.

  • Elf: It isn't Christmas if you don't get to see Will Ferrell scream "Santa!"
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: If you have to get together with weird family members every year, this movie definitely makes you feel seen.
  • A Christmas Story: Sure, it shows for 24 hours on TBS and TNT every Christmas Eve, but if you want to watch it earlier, here you go.
  • The Polar Express: The modern "Is Santa real?" movie to show your skeptic child.
  • A Christmas Carol: If you want the really classic Carol, it's right here.
03 of 06


Hulu is loaded with a bunch of Hallmark-esque movies (and some fun low-key videos of puppies and kittens doing up the holidays), but a few classic options are sprinkled in there.

  • A Christmas Carol: Hulu has the 2019 darker miniseries for your viewing pleasure.
  • George Balanchine's The Nutcracker: The ballet classic from 1993—with Macaulay Culkin, too.
04 of 06


Netflix has focused on producing their own new shows and movies with a holiday theme (like this year's much-touted Falling for Christmas with Lindsay Lohan)—but you'll still find a few classic holiday options on their service:

  • White Christmas: The source of everyone's "white Christmas" dreams.
  • A Bad Mom's Christmas: For when you need a break from the baking, shopping, and merry-making.
  • Fireplace for Your Home: Three different options of a crackling fire to enjoy and play.
05 of 06


Peacock is producing its own shows (including a second season of a baking reality show with Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler). But they have a few specials for your streaming pleasure.

  • Die Hard: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? If your answer is yes, watch it here.
  • Love Actually: Britain's best actors falling in and out of love
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The original version with Boris Karloff as the Grinch (AKA the best version).
06 of 06

Other Streaming Services

A few classic Christmas specials are sprinkled among other streaming services.

  • Charlie Brown Christmas: Apple TV got a bit of flack for taking over the Peanuts vault and streaming the story of Charlie Brown and his sad little tree—so Apple now loans it out to PBS in addition to offering it on demand.
  • It's a Wonderful Life: Amazon Prime has the ultimate holiday movie about a man who gets a little angelic help remembering how important he is to the people in his life.
  • A Christmas Carol: Paramount+ and Tubi both have the much beloved George C. Scott version of the classic tale.
  • Scrooged: Watch the Bill Murray modernization of A Christmas Carol on Paramount+.
  • Die Hard: If you don't have Peacock, you'll find it on Prime, too.
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