12 Must-Watch Christmas Movies For Literally Anyone Ever

A Diverse List of Iconic Classics and Lesser-Known Gems to Keep You Merry This Holiday Season

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Graphic by Kacey Miller

Follow along with Kacey’s Christmas Countdown on the CPHS News Instagram, @cphsnews, to be the first to know when the Christmas movie of the day is announced!

Kacey Miller, Reporter

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. “While You Were Sleeping”

Sandra Bullock stars as Lucy, a single young lady who lives with her cat in this hilarious romantic comedy and my favorite Christmas movie ever. Lucy is presented with the chance to trick her forever crush and his family (who she’s never spoken to, might I add) into thinking they’re getting married. However, things get complicated when her new-to-be brother-in-law begins to fall in love with Lucy as she begins to fall in love with his family. I watch this movie several times each holiday season, and am still heart-warmed every time.

Where to watch: Disney+ | Amazon Prime Video* | YouTube*

Rating: PG

 

2. “Elf”

Buddy the elf (Will Ferrell) is sent on an unexpecting adventure to find his biological dad after spending all his life at the North Pole under the care of Santa and his elves. Buddy’s dad somehow landed on the naughty list years ago and was never nice enough to get his name off of it. Buddy decides he wants to help his dad find his Christmas spirit, and so he travels to New York to meet him. Buddy has never been anywhere in the world except his innocent home at the North Pole, and struggles to adapt to the modern, ruthless culture of New York City. This is a sweet story about family and figuring out what matters most to you in life. Also, I dare everyone to eat Buddy’s special spaghetti. Here’s the recipe.

Where to watch: HBO Max | Amazon Prime Video* | YouTube*

Rating: PG

 

3. “Frosty the Snowman”

Frosty, a snowman built by children that comes to life, gets to experience Christmastime with his young friends. When the weather begins to warm up, Frosty realizes he needs to get to the North Pole if he doesn’t want to melt, and a few kids join him on his journey. This classic 1969 film will bring back memories of fuzzy socks, warm fires and songs that you can never really get out of your head during the season of giving. It will leave you with a happy heart and a childish wish to someday meet ole Frosty the happy jolly soul.

Where to watch: YouTube* (there are plenty of videos on YouTube that show it for free) | Amazon Prime Video*

Rating: G

 

4. “Home Alone”

This pure comedy directed by Chris Columbus is full of action and clever scenes that will have you chuckling on end. Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister is accidentally left at home when his family goes on a Christmas vacation to Paris, not knowing that a couple of crooks are planning to rob their empty (or so they think) house. One of the worst fears of children is shone in a new light, sparkling with jokes and tricks. I remember almost wanting to be left alone at home when my family went on vacation just so I could prove myself defending the house.

Where to watch: Disney+ | Amazon Prime Video* | YouTube*

 

5. “The 9 Lives of Christmas”

Firefighter Zachary Stone (Brandon Routh), a committed bachelor for life, and Marilee White (Kimberly Sustad), a veterinary student who doesn’t seem to have time for love, find their voluntary singleness challenged when their two cats keep bringing them together. If you’re a cat person, this Christmas movie is made for you. The sequel, The 9 Kittens of Christmas, carries on the storyline with the same Christmas cheer.

Where to watch: Hallmark Channel | Amazon Prime Video*

Rating: TVG

 

6. “Klaus”

A heartwarming, beautifully animated Christmas story, Klaus reaches deep into finding yourself and staying true to who that is. A postman-in-training is sent to an isle far North because of his poor attendance, efforts and talent as a man of the mail. The differences between his home and this new isle hit him hard, but he learns to adapt and even help the town with a dispute that’s been going on for years. Definitely in my top five favorite Christmas movies.

Where to watch: Netflix

Rating: PG

 

7. “Just Friends”

Ryan Reynolds stars in this charming Christmas movie as a bullied, overweight, nerdy high school senior aging into a respected, successful and incredibly handsome adult. The only thing left to make his adulthood a comeback story is to get the girl that he loved throughout all of high school, but was friend zoned each time he made a move. This rom-com will leave you shaking your head but smiling from plenty of second-hand embarrassment and Ryan Reynolds’ comedic acting.

Where to watch: Peacock | Amazon Prime Video* | YouTube*

Rating: PG-13

 

8. “Rise of the Guardians”

A bit of a throwback, Rise of the Guardians is an action-packed tale about the world’s favorite guardians: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost and the Tooth Fairy, just to name a few. They come together to protect children across the globe when the plotting plans of the Boogeyman, to create darkness and disbelief in every child’s life, begin to threaten their cause. Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, and Jude Law star.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video** | YouTube*

Rating: PG

 

9. “The Princess Switch”

Vanessa Hudgens stars as both a small-town baker in the United States and as her unlikely doppelgänger who is a duchess in Europe. They meet each other and end up catching feelings for the guy best friend in each other’s life. When it’s time to say goodbye, they pull a switcheroo to stay close to their new love interests. There are two sequels to this movie, with Hudgens starring as more and more characters, and continuously pulling off the switch without a hitch.

Where to watch: Netflix

Rating: PG

 

10. “Hallmark Channel”

All you need is cable or another viewing platform to have full access to Hallmark Channel’s surprisingly addictive romance Christmas movies. Full of warm fires, hot chocolate, snow and a we-definitely-saw-that-coming twist, these cliché and cheesy (with sometimes a sprinkle of bad acting) movies are special to everyone’s holiday season. And on Christmas Day, Hallmark suspends commercials so you can watch without interruption. It’s their version of wishing you Merry Christmas!

 

11. “The Polar Express”

A special recommendation by reporter Heidi Williams, this holiday classic is a must-watch every year. Inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s book, The Polar Express animates a boy’s adventurous journey to the North Pole with other children on a mysterious, magic train. With six original songs, iconic characters, actors Tom Hanks, Josh Hutcherson and more. This movie will leave you with a strong Christmas spirit and a craving for some hot chocolate.

Where to watch: HBO Max | Amazon Prime Video* | YouTube*

Rating: G

 

12. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

In this seasonal classic, a young reindeer named Rudolph is bullied at flying-reindeer school because of his red nose. Feeling like a “misfit,” Rudolph and an elf, who’s been cast out of his toy-making job because of his dreams to become a dentist, set out on a journey to find somewhere that will accept them, not knowing they were right where they belonged.

Where to watch: YouTube** (plenty of videos of the full film) | Amazon Prime Video*

Rating: G

 

Christmas Countdown
Merry Christmas!!