Festive flicks: The best Christmas movies to watch now

From timeless classics to new releases, these Xmas films will add joy and cheer to your holiday season

There’s nothing better than whipping up a bucket of buttery popcorn and diving into the world of top Christmas movies.

Watching Xmas movies with the family is a tradition as integral to the holiday season as stringing up lights or decorating the tree. But with an endless array of choices, you’re probably wondering what the best Christmas movies to watch are.

The debate over the most popular Christmas movie is ongoing, and some argue it’s the timeless classic It’s a Wonderful Life, which has captivated audiences since 1946. Others say it’s the highest-grossing Christmas movie in history, The Grinch, while some think it’s Home Alone, the most-viewed Christmas film in the United States.

Thankfully, whether you’re a fan of nostalgic Christmas romcoms like Love Actually or more unconventional films like Die Hard and Gremlins, streaming platforms like Apple TV+, Prime Video and Disney+ have made it easier than ever to access a variety of good Christmas movies. They also boast exciting new releases for 2023, like Candy Cane Lane (starring Eddie Murphy) and EXmas (starring Leighton Meester).

For a definitive list of Christmas films you have to watch, check out our Xmas movie guide to discover your family’s new favourite holiday film of all time.

Stream the best Christmas movies now on Apple TV+ and Prime Video with a 7 day FREE trial, and on Disney+ with a mth-to-mth no lock-in contract.

The best Christmas movies of 2023

Home Alone

If any kids’ movie has stood the test of time, it’s Home Alone. Since its 1990 release, the comedy starring Joe Pesci and Macaulay Culkin has become synonymous with Christmas and has grown a cult following.

The plot follows a young Kevin McCallister, who, while home alone, is left to defend his home with the kind of genius booby traps we all dreamed of devising at that age.

Watch Home Alone now on Disney+ or Apple TV

The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause is a holiday classic that families across the globe find themselves watching every December.

When Tim Allen’s character Scott inadvertently makes Santa Claus fall off his roof on Christmas Eve, Scott is magically recruited to take Santa’s place.

He then has to navigate life as the most well-known man on earth, facing obstacles in all aspects of his life.

A hilarious festive flick, you’ll be pleased to hear you can watch the spin-off television series The Santa Clauses on Disney+ and Apple TV.

Watch The Santa Clause now on Disney+ or Apple TV

Miracle on 34th Street

Based on a 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street stars Mara Wilson as Susan Walker. Pulling at our heartstrings, six-year-old Susan meets a department store Santa and becomes convinced he’s the real thing.

Watch Miracle on 34th Street now on Disney+ or Apple TV

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

In this 2000 live-action remake of The Grinch (2018), Jim Carrey stars as the green creature who plots to ruin Christmas for the residents of Whoville.

But, the Grinch’s grand plan goes awry as he learns to love the holidays again when he meets Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), an adorable little girl with a heart of gold.

Featuring many classic Dr. Seuss rhymes, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is an uplifting and eccentric addition to any holiday movie marathon.

Watch Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas now on Prime Video or Apple TV

Love Actually

Possibly the best romantic comedy you’ll ever watch (one reason being Hugh Grant dancing in his underwear, for one), Love Actually explores love in all its pain and glory through multiple intertwined stories.

With a star-studded cast (Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley) and Christmas cheer to match, Love Actually is truly iconic.

However, this emotional rollercoaster is also a bit raunchy, so it’s not suitable for younger kids.

Watch Love Actually now on Apple TV


Will Ferrell stars as Buddy the Elf in this festive comedy about a human boy raised in the North Pole as one of Santa’s helpers.

The embodiment of everything wonderful about Christmas, upon learning of his true heritage, Buddy travels to New York City to meet his real dad, navigating the real world with hilarious results.

Watch Elf now on Apple TV


As the story goes, Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) is gifted a strange but adorable creature named Gizmo on Christmas Eve. He comes with a set of rules: no water and light, and no food after midnight. Billy breaks all these rules, leading Gizmo to spawn a gang of mischievous Gremlins that wreak havoc upon the town, creating severe consequences.

Watch Gremlins now on Apple TV

The Polar Express

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this magical film tells a unique Christmas story about love, courage and friendship, all on a journey aboard a train to the North Pole.

Starring Tom Hanks as six different characters, The Polar Express is a magical adventure the whole family will adore.

Watch The Polar Express now on Apple TV

The Holiday

The Love Actually-esque rom-com features multiple storylines, a festive theme, and a star-studded cast including Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and Jack Black. It tells the story of two women from two countries who enter a home exchange to help them forget their broken hearts.

Ultimately, The Holiday is a classic Christmas movie you’ll want to watch on repeat, particularly if you’re a hopeless romantic.

Watch The Holiday now on Prime Video or Apple TV

Candy Cane Lane

New to our screens for 2023 is Amazon Original Candy Cane Lane. Starring actor and comedian Eddie Murphy as Chris, the story follows a man on a serious mission to win his neighbourhood Christmas home decoration contest.

Chris makes a deal with the devious elf Pepper to win the competition. Everything goes wrong, leading Chris, his wife Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross), and their three children to battle the chaos and save Christmas.

Watch Candy Cane Lane on Prime Video


Starring Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) as Ali, EXmas is the new must-watch Christmas movie for 2023.

The story follows Graham (Robbie Amell), who heads home for Christmas and is shocked to discover his family celebrating with an unexpected guest of honour, his ex-fiancee Ali.

Watch EXmas on Prime Video

A Christmas Carol

The animated adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Christmas Carol features the voice of Jim Carrey. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a Victorian-era miser who despises Christmas until he’s visited by spirits who show Scrooge scenes from his past, present, and a grim future if he doesn’t change his ways.

Watch A Christmas Carol on Disney+ or Apple TV

The Christmas Chronicles

One of our favourite Christmas comedies on Netflix, The Christmas Chronicles follows the story of two children, Kate and Teddy, who sneak into Santa’s sleigh, causing it to crash. As Christmas Day nears, it’s up to Kate, Teddy and Santa to save the day.

Watch The Christmas Chronicles now on Netflix

The Princess Switch

The romantic comedy stars Vanessa Hudgens as Stacy, a baker from Chicago who takes a spontaneous trip to the enchanting land of Belgravia. There, she encounters Duchess Margaret, who looks exactly like her. The two women decide to switch places for a couple of days, leading to unexpected romantic complications.

Watch The Princess Switch now on Netflix

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

The captivating musical film revolves around the life of an eccentric toymaker who embarks on an adventurous journey with his grandaughter with a magical intervention that has the power to change lives. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a beautiful tale of hope, family and the magic of the holiday season.

Watch Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey now on Netflix

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