The 10 best movies to stream to get you in the mood for Christmas

There’s something for everyone looking to feel festive on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
There’s something for everyone looking to feel festive on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

If you’re old enough to remember watching Christmas movies before streaming, then you’re probably already having flashbacks to scribbling on your Radio Times Christmas issue with a highlighter pen, while hoping that the family VHS copy of It’s A Wonderful Life hadn’t quite worn out yet.

These days, it’s a bit easier. Here’s our selection of the very best Christmas movies you can stream between presents, without having to worry about things like scheduling.

Jingle All The Way (1996) – Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Santa (James Belushi)
Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Santa (James Belushi)

It might not be in the official canon as a classic, but there aren’t many Christmas movies as perfectly entertaining as Jingle All The Way. Arnie’s comic timing is at full force as he struggles to secure his son’s number-one gift, a Turbo Man action figure. Only problem is, it’s the most popular toy in town.

Jingle All The Way is so much fun we’re shocked there hasn’t been a sequel, so while we travel to Hollywood to pitch ‘Welcome To The Jingle’ you should totally stream this hilarious comedy.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – Amazon Prime

Some families struggle to get on at Christmas. If that’s you, then stick on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and let the Griswald family’s holiday curse cheer you up. Because, however miserable you feel, you’re probably having a better time than Clark Griswald. Hilarious, raucous, and actually kind of sweet – just like most Christmas mornings, then.

Scrooged (1988) – Netflix

Arguably the greatest ever Scrooge movie (Muppets Christmas Carol fans, we’d be happy to have this conversation with you), mainly because Bill Murray’s take on the character is made up of such a weird mixture of extreme meanness and twinkly-eyed charm, he’s mesmerising whenever he’s onscreen.

Updating the Scrooge story to the modern world (well, the ‘80s), Scrooged sees a surly TV executive visited by three (hilarious) spirits who attempt to change his worldview.

Do they succeed? Watch it and find out! (but, seriously, what do you think?)

The Night Before (2015) – Netflix

The true spirit of Christmas (presents).
The true spirit of Christmas (presents).

Basically, imagine a Judd Apatow comedy as a Christmas flick and you’re on the way to imagining The Night Before, which has belly-laughs aplenty buried beneath its festive sweater. It tells the story of three old friends who resolved to spend every Christmas Eve together when they were kids, but are finding that life is starting to get in the way as adults.

Maybe don’t stick the kids in front of this one, unless you want them to develop an addiction to marijuana (it contains a LOT of weed jokes), but for everyone else, it’ll get you through your Boxing Day hangover.

Arthur Christmas (2011) – Netflix

When Santa’s awkward son discovers that a little girl’s present hasn’t been delivered by his dad’s high-tech sleigh, he sets out to save her Christmas.

Animated by Aardman, and featuring the vocal talents of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, and Imelda Staunton, Arthur Christmas is a delight for pretty much every single member of the family.

Office Christmas Party (2016) – Amazon Prime

Definitely on the naughty list.
Definitely on the naughty list.

One of the most glorious annual traditions, the office Christmas party is an excuse to get drunk and embarrass yourself in front of your colleagues. Office Christmas Party is similar – it’s best experienced while a bit boozy, you probably won’t be proud of yourself afterwards, but it is loads of fun.

With a cast that includes some of the coolest people in comedy right now (including TJ Miller, Kate McKinnon and Olivia Munn) as well as some experienced stars (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston), there’s plenty of pedigree attending this party.

Die Hard (1988) – Netflix

We know, we know – there’s loads of people who still don’t believe the true fact that Die Hard is a Christmas movie, but it’s set at Christmas, features a key character in a Santa hat, and Bruce Willis brings plenty of goodwill to pretty much all of the terrorists who’ve taken his wife hostage in a high-rise building.

Oh wait, it’s bullets he brings, isn’t it? Not goodwill. But the rest of our point still stands.

Look, Die Hard is amazing, whenever you watch it. Christmas just provides an extra excuse. Also, The Nice Guys is currently streaming on Netflix, which is even less of a Christmas movie, but we’ll take any opportunity to recommend that perfect film.

Home Alone (1990) – Netflix

We’ve recommended a bunch of movies that are basically exactly like Home Alone, but sometimes, only the original will do.

You know the drill, Kevin McAllister is left behind when his family go on holiday for Christmas, he has to fend off burglars / eat junk food. It’s awesome.

If there’s anyone out there who still hasn’t seen this stone-cold classic, then give yourself the gift of sitting down to stream it this Christmas, ya filthy animal (this insult will make more sense after you’ve watched it).

Bad Santa 2 (2016) – Amazon Prime

You don’t need to have seen the original to get a kick out of Bad Santa 2, especially as it essentially undoes a lot of what happened in that movie. If you have seen it, you know what to expect – Billy Bob Thornton as a drunken, foul-mouthed Santa, who makes Scrooge look like Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer.

Definitely one to stream after the kids have gone to bed, mainly because it’ll shatter every single one of their Christmas dreams. Also, it holds the record for the most swear-words in a festive film, so there’s that too.

Love Actually (2003) – Netflix

The ultimate Christmas rom-com, Love Actually celebrates love in all of its different forms, intertwining ten separate stories that all countdown to Christmas.

The Christmas element was actually added late on in the scripting process, it wasn’t originally conceived as a celebration of the holiday – not that you’d be able to tell from the film itself. Because what’s more lovely (actually) than Christmas?

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