Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel have long been the frontrunners in Christmas entertainment. But in the past few years, Netflix has proven that they aren't skimping on festive holiday flicks that run the gamut from animated children's adventures to Yuletide romances.
Sure, one of the best parts about the holidays is enjoying quality time with your family and friends. While there are certainly plenty of things you can do without the distraction of a screen, holiday movies are a great way to bring everyone together to rediscover the magic of the season, as told through some feel-good stories. Add in a cozy fireplace and the experience really can't be beaten.
Netflix has annually released popular holiday films like A Christmas Prince and The Knight Before Christmas that let fans of Hallmark's bubbly offerings know that there's another go-to resource over the holiday season to get that Christmas fix. The result? A veritable treasure trove of Christmas goodies you can watch to help make the season bright. Similar to Hallmark, these Netflix movies have really stood the test of time and have become popular favorites to revisit each holiday season — not to mention the streaming service also has a few classics to offer without the pain of waiting for them to air on cable.
Here are 40 of the best Christmas movies on Netflix that you can watch with your family and friends leading up to the 2023 Christmas holiday.
Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey star in this delightful holiday film as two people just trying to get through the season. Sloan (Roberts) gets an ingenious idea from her quirky aunt (Kristin Chenoweth) and gets herself a "holidate" as her plus-one for all holiday activities so she doesn't have to deal with the pressures of a real relationship. Jackson (Bracey) is incredibly charming as her date/love interest, making this a must-watch for everyone this season. If I'm being honest, I've already watched it multiple times...
A Christmas Prince Trilogy (2017-2019)
Ah, the trilogy that reignited the royal Christmas movie craze. American magazine journalist Amber (Rose McIver) is sent to the foreign nation of Aldovia to cover a press conference given by Prince Richard (Ben Lamb), who is set to take the throne following his father's recent death. When Amber is mistaken for a tutor to the royal children, she plays along to get the inside scoop on the so-called playboy prince. The beloved original spawned two equally delectable films, with McIver and Lamb reprising their roles.
Love Actually (2003)
We don't care what the detractors say! Love Actually is an all-time-great Christmas movie — and an even better ensemble film. In the lead-up to Christmas in London, we follow eight vastly different couples navigating their love lives in intersecting tales of romance, rejection (we're still sorry for poor Andrew Lincoln and his signs) and holiday togetherness. Plus, look at all the legendary Jane Austen interpreters in the cast: Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley? An embarrassment of riches.
Dash & Lily (2020)
Okay, we all love Christmas movies, but what about a Christmas rom-com show? Dash & Lily, based on the book Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, feels like 8 episodes of a Hallmark Christmas movie but following the beginnings of a sweet teenage love story. Dash hates Christmas, and Lily loves it, but this year everything is falling apart. Watch this unlikely pair come together and experience the magic of the Christmas season in the perfect setting of New York City.
The Princess Switch Trilogy (2018-2021)
This trilogy can't get much more perfect in terms of Christmas spirit. In 2018, Vanessa Hudgens starred as Stacy, a talented young baker who goes to compete in a baking competition in the faraway land of Belgravia, accompanied by her friend Kevin and his daughter Olivia. While there, she realizes she looks exactly like the shy and reserved Duchess Margaret, and they switch places. The series has since spawned two other movies, with your favorite characters returning, including Stacy, now Princess of Belgravia, and handsome Prince Edward (Nashville star Sam Palladio). This is a saga you'll definitely want to get into.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
It wouldn't be Christmastime without a magical musical to bring us into the happiest season of the year! Forest Whitaker stars as Jeronicus Jangle, a gifted toymaker. His apprentice, Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key), steals his unique designs, and years later, his shop is in ruins. It's up to him and his granddaughter, Journey, to get his designs back and save Christmas! There's an incredible lineup of talented musicians performing the original music in this film, including John Legend, Anika Noni Rose and Usher.
Falling for Christmas (2022)
This 2022 Lindsay Lohan joint hits all the right spots: Memory loss transforms a diva into a damsel-in-distress, with a snowy mountain backdrop to set the mood. A newly engaged hotel heiress (Lindsay Lohan) gets into a skiing accident, suffers from total amnesia and finds herself in the care of a handsome, blue-collar lodge owner (Chord Overstreet) and his precocious daughter in the days leading up to Christmas.
Operation Christmas Drop (2020)
In 2018, Kat Graham starred in The Holiday Calendar about a magical advent calendar that transforms her Christmas. In 2020, the actress returned in a film inspired by the real-life U.S. Air Force Operation Christmas Drop. Erica (Graham) flies to an air force base in Guam, intending to return to Washington, D.C. and recommend its closure. The handsome Andrew (Alexander Ludwig, The Covenant) is tasked with showing her around the base and educating her about the Christmas tradition of dropping gifts to people around Guam. Will Erica discover the true meaning of Christmas and keep the base open?
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020)
Christine Baranski stars as the wealthy Regina Fuller (basically Scrooge), who returns to her hometown after her father's death to evict all of the townsfolk and sell the small town to a developer planning to build a mall. It wouldn't be a Dolly Parton holiday movie without the legendary country star also performing some fun musical numbers.
7 Women and a Murder (2022)
This Italian-language Netflix original is so worth a cute 1 hour and 22 minutes of your time. It's a delightfully girly, campy murder mystery in the style of Clue and Knives Out. When their family patriarch is stabbed, seven women are trapped in a mansion together to crack the case — and each has her own ulterior motives.
The Christmas Chronicles Series (2018-2020)
The Christmas Chronicles kicked off a new franchise for Netflix that centers around the life and times of Santa Claus. The original movie is a must-see with Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, but the sequel features his real-life love Goldie Hawn co-starring as Mrs. Claus. The follow-up brings back all your favorite characters from the first film, including Claire Pierce (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and her children, Kate and Teddy. You'll get to visit the North Pole and see the gang come back together to save the season from "Belsnickel."
A postman named Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) happens to be the worst at the academy he attends. He's sent off to an icy town in the North to work there in an effort to better himself, but discovers a toymaker named Klaus (J.K. Simmons). The pair strike up an unlikely partnership to bring toys to the children of the world. Don't skip over this one. It's actually incredibly sweet, and will be the new addition to your annual holiday watch list you didn't know you needed.
Just Another Christmas (2020)
Jorge (Leandro Hassum) is a man who was born on Christmas, but he happens to hate the holiday. Understandable, since his birthday most likely gets overlooked every year. Imagine how frustrated he becomes when he realizes he wakes up one day, stuck in a time loop where every day is Christmas Eve. Life is good, but he ends up having to learn some important lessons about the choices he's made along the way — and much of that means learning what Christmas is all about. Hint: It's a lot more than he initially thought.
Holiday in the Wild (2019)
When Kate (Kristin Davis) finds herself without a husband at the drop of a hat, she leaves for Africa for a solo second honeymoon. While there, she finds holiday romance while nursing a baby elephant back to health alongside pilot Derek (Rob Lowe). It's a dose of holiday magic that'll bring happy tears to your eyes. Not to mention its nice to see one of our favorite Sex and the City leading ladies star in her very own holiday film.
Christmas Inheritance (2017)
Ellen Langford (Eliza Taylor) has one prerequisite before she can take over her father's business: Deliver a Christmas card to his former partner. While stranded at an inn in the middle of a snowstorm, she learns what Christmas is really about, and how important the season is in comparison to her inheritance. She may have a handsome fiancé waiting for her back in the big city, but a new love interest might just change everything for Ellen. Not to mention she gets to learn more about herself, her parents and her future while completing her father's oldest holiday tradition.
A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish (2019)
The story of Cinderella is retold once more in this sprightly film as a young aspiring singer named Kat (Laura Marano) is working as an elf at a Christmas tree lot. She wants to follow in her father's footsteps, but her snobby stepmother and stepsisters stand in her way. It'll take a Christmas miracle and help from Dominic "Nick" Wintergarden (Gregg Sulkin) to get her on the right track to becoming famous — and finding Christmas romance.
A Boy Called Christmas (2021)
A young boy named Nikolas (Henry Lawfull), who also goes by 'Christmas', is looking for his father in the snow-covered northern area of Elfheim. He travels to the village of the elves along with his reindeer Blitzen and his pet mouse Miika (Stephen Merchant) in a bid to figure out his purpose in life as well as the item that might bring hope to the kingdom he lives in. It's a really interesting origin story to the beloved holiday season, full of characters you'll want to come back to year after year.
Christmas With a View (2018)
Reality TV star and chef Shane Roarke (Scott Cavalheiro) takes over as the head chef of a ski resort's restaurant. But Clara (Kaitlyn Leeb), the restaurant manager, isn't too happy about this. The two continue to cross paths, however, and with the holidays in full bloom, romance has to blossom as well in this cozy Christmas romance. It's the classic story of opposites coming together despite being at odds, and that snowy resort backdrop really helps create a festive holiday ambiance.
Let It Snow (2019)
When a close-knit midwestern town finds itself in the middle of a snowstorm, the inhabitants come together for a memorable Christmas Eve. As a result, friends become lovers, new relationships are created and some first kisses are had. See Shameik Moore as a pop star in a small town, Kiernan Shipka as a character called "The Duke" and even Joan Cusack as a kooky old woman. It's a hilarious holiday romance that you won't want to miss.
Christmas Wedding Planner (2017)
Holiday nuptials have never been so fraught. Kelsey (Jocelyn Hudon) is kickstarting her career as a wedding planner by arranging her best friend Emily's big day. But Emily's ex-boyfriend Connor (Hallmark veteran Stephen Huszar), a private investigator, is digging up dirt on Emily's fiancé. Kelsey is caught in the middle and being pulled in two very different directions.
Love Hard (2021)
This holiday rom-com is all kinds of chaotic. L.A. writer Natalie (Nina Dobrev), perennially unlucky in love, falls for Josh on a dating app and decides to travel to his home in Lake Placid and surprise him for Christmas. Once there, she discovers that her online dreamboat doesn't actually exist. Josh's childhood friend, Tag, used his photos to catfish Natalie. But she may just find her Yuletide romance, after all.
Single All the Way (2021)
Peter (Michael Urie) is tired of dealing with his family's constant inquiries about his remaining single. So he enlists his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to pose as his boyfriend, so he has someone to bring home for the holidays. But what if a real romance blossoms between the two during the charade? Guess you'll have to watch and see what happens!
The Knight Before Christmas (2019)
Vanessa Hudgens is a high school science teacher named Brooke Winters who's all but finished with love. That is, until she meets squire Cole Christopher Fredrick Lyons (Josh Whitehouse), who finds himself transported to 2019 from 1334 Norwich, England. He meets Brooke during the Christmas season, and it's love. While Cole has to recover from a car accident, the teacher nurses him back to health at her guest home, and you can probably guess what happens from there. Time-traveling romances are still definitely a thing.
Holiday Rush (2019)
Hip-hop radio DJ Rush Williams (Romany Malco) finds himself jobless after his station is taken over and converted to a pop format. He and his four kids have to move into his Aunt Jo's (Darlene Love) house once more, as they did before Rush came into money. The result? He and his producer Roxy (Sonequa Martin-Green) fall in love while working to bring Rush's station back to fruition over the holidays. There's nothing like seeing the family come together during the holidays during times of stress and chaos and a deserving dad getting a second chance at love.
The Claus Family Series (2020-2021)
Jules (Mo Bakker) has a family secret: His grandfather Noel (Jan Decleir) is Santa Claus! There's just one problem. Jules hates Christmas. He'll have to learn to love the season and help his grandpa deliver gifts all around the world, even if he hates it. It's a good thing he has plenty of time to get used to the idea as there are tons of gifts to be safely sent to all the people of the world. This was actually the first Dutch/Belgian Netflix original film, so you can choose between enjoying the story with English dubbed over or simply reading the subtitles. Either way, you'll be immersed in this sweet family tale.
David and the Elves (2021)
David (Cyprian Grabowski) is a young boy who lives with his parents in the mountains. Christmas is a big deal for the family, up until they move to Warsaw. That means David loses a bit of his Christmas power. An elf (Jakub Zaj?...c) from the North Pole runs away to find David and imbue him with more power. The pair go on a journey to find David's grandparents and enjoy the holidays once more, all while David's parents and Santa tries to find them. It's an unexpected Christmas adventure you didn't know you needed and will easily be popular for the whole family.
A Castle for Christmas (2021)
Author Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) heads to Scotland in an effort to escape some of the bad will caused by her previous book. She visits a nearby castle called Dun Dunbar, helmed by a prickly duke named Myles (Cary Elwes). When push comes to shove, Brown ends up falling for the duke and warming up his chilly heart. As a former Hallmark actress, Shields fits in perfectly to the feel-good Christmas story and brings her classic charm to Scotland as Sophie slowly falls in love with the country itself and rediscovers who she really is.
A California Christmas Series (2020-2021)
A California Christmas is part of a series with two films for now, but that could change anytime. It follows Joseph Van Aston (Josh Swickard), the son of a wealthy real estate agent who's sent to buy a dairy farm from the hardworking Callie Bernet (Lauren Swickard). When he's met with opposition, he tries something else: Pretending to be the new ranch hand Manny and getting on Callie's good side. And you know what? Just in time for the holidays, the pair end up falling for each other. Then the story continues in the next installment!
A Family Reunion Christmas (2019)
This Christmas version of the series Family Reunion follows matriarch M'Dear (Loretta Devine) and her sisters as they try and assemble for a Christmas pageant, showing off their singing pipes. It's all about learning the true meaning of the season, even when things don't always go perfectly. Not to mention this charming cast has some seriously amazing chemistry that makes the entire movie feel really special, especially during the holidays.
The Boss Baby: Christmas Bonus (2022)
If the Boss Baby still gets your goat, then this little 45-minute comedy is the perfect interlude for your Christmas binge. The titular infant businessman accidentally trades places with one of Santa's elves and gets stranded at the North Pole. Does he have what it takes to be one of the fat man's cheerful little helpers?
The Holiday Calendar (2018)
When amateur photographer Abby Sutton (Kat Graham) receives an advent calendar from her grandpa, it doesn't seem like much at first. But as she opens each door, Abby starts getting into the calendar and the reason for the season — especially when she meets a man named Ty Walker (Ethan Peck), and things in her life start falling into place a little too easily. Love is in the air! It has pretty much everything you could want: Romance, Christmas, family, and a little bit of holiday magic. Abby is an easy character to root for as you watch her make it through the season with and without the calendar's help.
White Christmas (1954)
This Christmas throwback is a classic starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, with classic songs from the legendary Irving Berlin, including "White Christmas." It follows a team of singers and dancers working with another act to save a failing inn — all with a charming Christmas backdrop! There are some amazing musical performances, classic dance numbers, a couple of addicting love stories, and more. White Christmas has been a holiday staple for decades, so it's particularly exciting that you can enjoy it on Netflix with the family whenever you want instead of waiting around to see when it will air on TV.
Father Christmas Is Back (2021)
Four sisters return to their Yorkshire mansion to unite once more for Christmas. They share an important secret among them that ended up tearing a rift through their closeness as a family years ago. But when their long-lost father (Kelsey Grammer) shows up, things end up taking a turn for the cheerful as they work through their trauma and welcome their father back into their life. This has all of the unique humor you'd typically find in a British film but with some sweet holiday moments thrown in the mix.
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (2022)
Come to Scrooge: A Christmas Carol for an enchanting take on the Charles Dickens classic, and stay to hear Oscar winner Olivia Colman voice the Ghost of Christmas Past. Seriously, this vibrant time-travel flick features a stacked cast of British greats, including Luke Evans (Midway), Jessie Buckley (Women Talking) and Jonathan Pryce (The Crown).
The Noel Diary (2022)
When best-selling author Jake Turner (Justin Hartley) returns home at Christmas to settle his estranged mother's estate, he discovers a diary that may hold secrets to his own past and that of Rachel (Barrett Doss) — an intriguing young woman on a mission of her own. Together, they embark on a journey to confront their pasts and discover a future that's totally unexpected.
I Believe in Santa (2022)
Don't be fooled by the glossy Netflix original exterior. I Believe in Santa is a wacky fever dream. Pragmatic Lisa is a Christmas hater who managed to fall for Tom, the biggest holiday lover, like, ever. When he tells her, dead serious, that he still believes in Santa Claus, Lisa is gobsmacked — and rethinking this whole soul mates thing.
The Royal Treatment (2022)
Hard times have befallen Isabella, a Manhattan hairdresser. When her salon catches fire, she forks over the cash she had saved up for her dream of traveling the world. But opportunity comes knocking in the form of a royal appointment. When Prince Thomas walks into the salon for a wedding-day haircut, Izzy finds more than just a well-paying client.
Trolls Holiday (2017)
Do not sleep on this 2017 Trolls holiday special. It's a critically-acclaimed, 30-minute musical adventure with that signature fuzzy-looking animation and all the same troll voices we've come to know: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Zooey Deschanel. When the Queen of the Trolls, Poppy, finds out that the Bergens do not have holidays, she enlists help from her friends, Branch and the Snack Pack, to help her bring some festive flavor to the Bergens.
1000 Miles from Christmas (2021)
1000 Miles from Christmas is a Spanish-language Netflix original with lots of hijinx and even more stunning scenery. An auditor who hates Christmas with a burning passion is reluctantly sent to a festive small town over the holidays. There, he meets a woman determined to show him what the Christmas spirit is all about.
Todd Haynes' heady 2015 romance Carol earned six Oscar nominations, including acting nods for stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, the film charts the relationship of an aspiring photographer and an older woman during the holidays in 1950s New York City.
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