Holiday Movies that Satisfy All Year Long

The Holdovers
The Holdovers

My favorite holiday movies are Home Alone, Elf, and Charlie Brown Christmas, and if you are anything like me, you have probably seen these movies many times. While there is nothing wrong with rewatching classics (I definitely did so this holiday break), I wanted to explore some more underrated or unknown holiday movies. Here is a list of movies that are perfect to watch all winter long – while baking cookies or drinking hot cocoa:


Honorable Mention: Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977): Childish yet sweet, this wholesome animated movie may seem slow for some, but has a cute storyline and is great to watch with little kids. 


  1. White Christmas (1954): In this post-World War II musical, two former soldiers meet two sisters who perform together. Later the women convince the men to spend Christmas with them at an inn in Vermont, where the sisters are acting. The movie is both comical and romantic.  

Where to watch: Netflix, Apple TV, Prime Video

Who to watch with: A Grandparent


  1. One Magic Christmas (1985): A sweet and sensitive tale about a guardian angel trying to protect a small family, while showing the mom the true importance of Christmas. The movie has both humor and sensitivity and is similar to It’s a Wonderful Life

Where to watch: Disney+, Apple TV, Prime Video

Who to watch with: The whole family


  1. Jingle All the Way (1996): Comical, yet touching, Jingle All the Way is a story about a young boy and his father during Christmas rush shopping. A dad, who forgets to buy a gift, has to embark on a long adventure on which he encounters a villain competing for the same present. Although the dad hopes to make up for the lost time with the boy, he finds that memories last the longest.


Where to watch: Disney+

Who to watch with: Younger sibling or cousins


7.The Man who Invented Christmas (2017): Charming and imaginative, The Man who Invented Christmas captures both the feeling of Christmas in Victorian London and the mind of Charles Dickens as he was writing what would later become the most famous Christmas story. 


Where to watch: Prime Video, Apple TV

Who to watch with: Your favorite novelist


  1. Joyeux Noel (2005): Incredible but factual, Joyeaux Noel is a retelling of a story from World War I about four gentlemen from the British, Scottish, and German armies who bonded and formed an unofficial truce on Christmas. The movie is both interesting and emotional and is great if you want to practice French or German, as parts of the movie are in a different language with English subtitles.


Where to watch: Netflix, Apple Tv, Prime Video

Who to watch with: Someone who loves history


  1. Die Hard (1988): Controversial as to whether it is actually considered a Christmas movie, Die Hard is great if you want an action-packed movie with a Christmas backdrop. Die Hard follows a police officer who has to defend an LA skyscraper from a group of terrorists, when they breach the building during his wife’s office Christmas party.


Where to watch: Hulu, Prime Video, Apple TV

Who to watch with: Older siblings


  1. Scrooged (1988): In this modern remaking of Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol, a miserly TV executive is visited by three ghosts in hopes that he becomes a better person. Bill Murray is perfect for his role as the Ebenezer Scrooge character, but the movie does have a few seemingly unnecessary, somewhat scary scenes. 


Where to watch: Prime Video, Apple TV

Who to watch with: Older siblings and parents



3.Trading Places (1983): A comedy with a bonus: it’s based in Philadelphia! An upper-class gentleman  and a homeless man are tricked into switching roles when two millionaires place a bet on society and their lives. A surprising  movie that is entertaining and funny.


Where to watch: Prime Video, Apple Tv

Who to watch with: Parents


  1. Love Actually (2003) : This movie follows the lives of eight couples, during Christmas time, who are in very different stages of life. From young love to complicated dynamics, this movie captures the ups and downs of relationships with humor and wit.


Where to watch: Netflix, Apple Tv, Prime Video 

Who to watch with: Friends and family.


  1. The Holdovers (2023): Humorous and heartfelt, possibly the best Christmas movie that has been released since Elf, The Holdovers follows a group of highschool students who have to stay at boarding school over Christmas break, since they have nowhere else to go. To make matters worse, the teacher supervising them is a grouchy old history teacher that no one really likes. Starring Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa, the movie’s plot and acting makes it a classic! 


Where to watch: In theaters, Prime Video

Who to watch with: Has some more mature scenes, but in general the whole family


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