The Ultimate Christmas Movie and TV Show Guide

If you’re like us, then you’re already part way through your Christmas movie and TV show list. There’s nothing we love more this time of year than watching one of our favorite Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate. There’s something about a cozy night in when the weather gets chilly. We’re sharing with all of you our essential Christmas movies and TV show specials that we try to watch every year. Tell us your favorites in the comments!

Christmas Movies

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The original animated version of course! We’re not fans of the Jim Carry version because it doesn’t capture the story. The original movie, narrated by Boris Karloff, is a holiday classic. It’s a very faithful adaptation and brings back memories of watching it as a kid.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas is another classic that we grew up with. It’s a good story that sends a message about materialism and Christmas. The ending of the movie is so special, watching all the characters come together to make sure Charlie Brown has a great Christmas.

3. The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause released in 1994 and quickly turned into a must-watch Christmas movies. Scott Calvin never expected to become Santa, but once he does, it changes his perspective on life and family.

4. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

This movie has three short stories in it, one with Donald Duck, one with Goofy and lastly, one with Mickey and Minnie. This family-friendly movie is heartwarming and discusses the meaning of Christmas and how important it is to care for others.

5. Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas

Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas has more short stories with our favorite characters. This movie includes ice skating, taking your girlfriend home to meet your dad for the first time (Goofy) and trying to get on Santa’s nice list.

6. Home Alone

Home Alone feels like It’s a Wonderful Life mixed with National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. The reason: because it has crazy antics, but also talks about important subjects such as family. Even if the parents are pretty stupid.

7. 12 Dates of Christmas

If you want a Christmas romcom, the 12 Dates of Christmas is our recommendation. Kate relives Christmas Eve 12 times, unsure about how to stop the time loop. It takes her until the final night to figure out what she truly wants and who she wants to spend her time with.

8. The Mistle-Tones

Who doesn’t love some Christmas carols? This Christmas movie is about Holly, who wants to be a Snow Belle like her mom and perform at the mall on Christmas Eve. Too bad the Belles are horrible people. Holly finds a way to create her own group and make her own holiday cheer. The Mistle-Tones will keep you laughing and singing all night long.

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Is it a Halloween movie, a Christmas movie or both? You decide! Jack Skellington is already the Pumpkin King. Who says he can’t also take on Christmas?

10. Just Friends

Just Friends is completely off the wall. There’s no other way to describe it. Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart have great chemistry. It’s been ten years since the former best friends have spoken, but once they do, all the old feelings come rushing back.

11. Love Actually

Love Actually follows a large ensemble cast as they try to find love around Christmastime in London. It’s become a popular holiday movie since its release 20 years ago.

12. A Christmas Prince

Netflix started getting into Christmas movies a few years ago. The first one we remembered watching is A Christmas Prince, which follows a journalist on a trip to Aldovia to get the scoop on the prince, who is about to be king.

13. The Princess Switch

Another Netflix holiday movie, where Vanessa Hudgens plays both a baker from Chicago and a European princess. Let the winter magic, romance and baked treats get you excited for Christmas.

14. Elf

Elf is a super fun movie and is probably Will Ferrell’s best work. It’s one we watched when it initially released and we may even like it more now than we did as kids.

15. Let it Snow

Based on a young adult book from David Levithan, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, Let It Snow released on Netflix a few years ago. It’s about a group of teens during a snowstorm, which leads them all to the Waffle House for a party.

16. Love Hard

Love Hard was our favorite new Christmas movie of 2021. It’s a crazy story about catfishing around Christmas and finding love in an unexpected place. The upstate New York setting will certainly get you ready for Christmas.

17. The Knight Before Christmas

Time travel and Christmas go hand in hand in this unique Christmas movie. Imagine traveling hundreds of years in the future to Christmastime in the United States from Medieval England. But who doesn’t want to find their knight in shining armor?

18. Holiday in Handcuffs 

Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez shine in this Christmas movie about kidnapping. Trudy feels like she has no choice but to make a rash decision when her boyfriend breaks up with her right before he’s supposed to meet her family.

19. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer 

You know Dasher and Dancer, right? But do you know Rudolph, who had a very shiny nose. One of our favorite movies as children never gets old. It’s up to Rudolph to save Christmas!

20. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

This cute short movie is a sequel to Frozen, where Olaf wants to provide Anna and Elsa with the best Christmas ever. To do this, he searches Arendale for holiday traditions.

21. Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer 

The song turned into a movie is perfect for the whole family. Especially if you have a lawyer in the family because Santa has been arrested. Can a kid named Jake save Santa and find his grandma?

22. Merry Kissmas 

You can’t have Christmas without a cheesy holiday romance about kissing a stranger under mistletoe. Despite being predictable, this movie is adorable and sweet.

23. It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life is another Christmas classic that reminds us to be thankful for the people we have in our lives.

24. A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story is a funny movie with many memorable scenes! There’s even a sequel that released in 2022.

25. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation might be the funniest movie on this list. It has a lot of crazy shenanigans, but also has a nice message about family coming together to celebrate the holiday season together…even if it involves a kidnapping.

26. Krampus

For those who don’t care for children’s movies or romance, bring some horror into the holiday season with Krampus, which is based off a German legend told to children.

27. Mistletoe Mixup

Mistletoe Mixup released in 2021 on Prime. It’s about two brothers fighting over the same woman over Christmas. Joey Lawrence and Matthew Lawrence are hilarious in this Holiday romcom set at a ski resort.

Christmas TV Specials

1. Merry Happy Whatever

Merry Happy Whatever is an eight-episode series on Netflix about the Quinn family. These four siblings are used to following what their dad says, but this year is going to be different for the family. Now that the youngest is back home with her new boyfriend, let the chaos begin.

2. Dash and Lily

Dash and Lily is another Netflix series, based on the books by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Dash and Lily meet through a scavenger hunt at the Strand bookstore, which ends up taking them all over NYC. The setting is beautiful and will have you designing your own scavenger hunt ASAP.

3. The Middle

The Middle has a Christmas episode in all of its nine seasons. It’s fun to watch the Heck siblings grow up. All you need to know is every year has a new fun and crazy story with this family.

4. Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl’s season one Christmas episode is powerful and about family. Blair struggles with her dad coming back for the first time after the divorce, Lily is stuck between Bart and Rufus, and Dan and Jenny finally realize their parents won’t be getting back together. But there’s a lot of amazing moments too, like Dan and Serena’s romantic Christmas Eve.

5. Friends

While Friends focused more on Thanksgiving, there are a few great Christmas episodes. Our favorite is the one about the holiday armadillo. Ross wants to teach his son Ben about Hanukkah.

6. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Zack and Cody is a show we always go back to, even after all these years. The Christmas special occurs in season one. A blizzard hits Boston, leaving the Martin family snowed in together at the Tipton hotel.

7. Baby Daddy

Ben just wants his daughter Emma to have a great Christmas, but he thinks that means getting her the latest toy. Turns out all she needs is her crazy family.

8. Holiday Baking Championship

Season nine of the popular baking holiday competition show is here! Who has what it takes to win it all?

9. Gilmore Girls 

The best Christmas episode is in season one, where Luke and Lorelai have some iconic moments. But we also enjoy the winter episodes in season two and season three, which are the Bracebridge dinner and winter carnival episodes. We love any episode starring Jess Mariano, the best of Rory’s boyfriends.

10. Spongebob

Spongebob wants to bring Christmas to Bikini Bottom! This episode has an iconic song and is perfect for children waiting for Santa’s arrival.

11. Fairly Odd Parents

A lot of kids would wish for Christmas to be every day. When Timmy does, it has some unexpected consequences. A trip to the North Pole might be in his future.

12. Rugrats

We always applauded Rugrats for its diversity in the 1990s. Rugrats has episodes for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. All are spectacular!

13. The Great Christmas Light Fight

The Great Christmas Light Fight will leave you speechless. Some of these families are incredible for what they can do. Watch holiday magic come to life with these spectacular displays from around the United States.

14. Single Parents

In both season one and two, the whole group celebrates Christmas. Our favorite one is season two, where Angie will do anything for her son Graham to see snow for the first time. Both episodes are funny and heartwarming.

15. The Santa Clauses

The long-anticipated sequel to The Santa Clause is finally here. Scott Calvin’s ready to retire as Santa, which causes a lot of trouble in the North Pole!

17 thoughts on “The Ultimate Christmas Movie and TV Show Guide”

  1. Fabulous list. I have seen most of these but will definitely check out the others if I’m looking for some Christmas viewing ideas. So happy to see Christmas Vacation on your list. That is my all-time favourite. We’ll be having our family viewing when my daughter comes home for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great list, and it reminded me of some movies and TV Shows I haven’t seen for a while. My favorite Christmas movie is Love Actually, and my husband’s favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life. Adn we both enjoy Christmas vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing your suggestions. I love friends but don’t tend to watch it much anymore as I watched it so much when I was younger I pretty much know it off by heart ha ha! I love the holiday and jingle all the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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