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Where to Stream Christmas Movies Like 'Elf' and 'The Santa Clause' This Season

Catch up on annual favorites and check out new releases on streaming services.

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Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
5 min read

Christmas is close, so you may be looking for ways to get into the merry mood. In addition to splurging on festive coffee drinks and shopping for worthy gifts, you can greet the holidays by streaming movies and TV shows.

If you're dashing full speed into the holidays, streaming services have content to go with your enthusiasm. I sifted through the seasonal fare on services like Netflix, Disney Plus and Peacock and saw tons of titles that could please crowds this season. Movies are a major source of Christmas cheer, but you could also find a TV show or special you want to unwrap.

Where to stream holiday content

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Amazon Studios

One of Prime Video's shiniest offerings is a new Eddie Murphy-led Christmas comedy called Candy Cane Lane, which debuted on the first day of December. The streaming service also has an assortment of movies from Christmases past, including It's a Wonderful Life, Scrooged and the R-rated action movie Violent Night.

Prime Video highlights:

  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

  • Violent Night (2022)

  • Your Christmas or Mine? (2022)

  • Scrooged (1988)

  • Arthur Christmas (2011)

  • Shrek the Halls (2007)

  • Something From Tiffany's (2022)

  • Last Christmas (2019)

  • Candy Cane Lane (2023)

  • Your Christmas Or Mine 2 (2023)

  • Merry Little Batman (2023)

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Universal Pictures

Peacock has at least two big things going for it this jolly season: Hallmark movies and The Grinch. If 2023 Hallmark holiday movies are what you're after, you can watch them live as they air on the East Coast with NBCUniversal's streaming service. You can also stream them on demand during a 72-hour period that starts the day after they air.

Then there's that troublemaking green guy, the Grinch. The 1966 cartoon version and the 2018 movie from Illumination are both grumping around on the streamer. 

Peacock highlights:

  • 2023 Hallmark holiday movies

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

  • The Grinch (2018)

  • The Best Man Holiday (2013)

  • Almost Christmas (2016)

  • This Christmas (2007)

  • Callou's Perfect Christmas (2022)

  • Krampus (2015)

  • Genie (2023)

elf
Warner Bros.

Max

Max is a place to park your sleigh if you like classic Christmas movies. Elf resides here, as does National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story. On top of that, it offers the films A Christmas Story Christmas -- a sequel with Peter Billingsley reprising his role as Ralphie -- and 8-Bit Christmas -- an '80s-set comedy narrated by Neil Patrick Harris.

Thanks to Max's inclusion of programming from the Food Network, you can also catch seasons of shows like Holiday Baking Championship and Christmas Cookie Challenge.

Max highlights:

  • Elf (2003)

  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

  • A Christmas Story (1983)

  • A Christmas Story Christmas (2022) 

  • 8-Bit Christmas (2021)

  • The Polar Express (2004)

  • Arthur Christmas (2011)

  • A Christmas Carol (1938)

  • Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

  • Santa Camp (2022)

  • Holiday Baking Championship (2014)

  • Selena + Chef: Home for the Holidays (2023)

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Netflix

Last December, rather than just binging familiar Christmas movies like Elf, Home Alone, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I spent the season with some Netflix films I'd never seen. They included a musical starring Keegan-Michael Key, a family-friendly fantasy with Kristen Wiig and Maggie Smith, and the animated standout Klaus.

Netflix has more worthwhile titles waiting under the tree. The R-rated film Love Actually is streaming, and you shouldn't skip the classic musical White Christmas. You can also type the following into your browser, <http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/INSERTNUMBER> and change the last part to the Netflix code 1394527 or 1474017 to see the corresponding collections of Romantic Christmas Movies and Christmas Kids & Family Movies.

Netflix highlights:

  • Klaus (2019)

  • Love Actually (2003)

  • White Christmas (1954)

  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

  • A Boy Called Christmas (2021)

  • Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery (2022)

  • The Noel Diary (2022)

  • Dash & Lily (2020)

  • The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

  • Nailed it! Holiday! (2018)

  • Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023)

  • Family Switch (2023)

  • The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday (2023)

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Buena Vista Pictures

Disney Plus lands on this streaming "nice" list for hosting Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Santa Clause, among other seasonal favorites. On the new content front, it's gifted users Dashing Through The Snow, a 2023 comedy starring Lil Rel Howery and Ludacris, and The Naughty Nine, a heist flick that first premiered on the Disney Channel and features Danny Glover as Santa Claus.

For any Star Wars or Marvel fans, Guardians of the Galaxy and Lego Star Wars holiday specials may make your season brighter.

Disney Plus highlights:

  • Home Alone (1990)

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

  • The Santa Clause (1994)

  • The Santa Clauses (2022–)

  • The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)

  • Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)

  • Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)

  • Jingle All the Way (1996)

  • Dashing Through the Snow (2023)

  • The Naughty Nine (2023)

  • Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever (2023)

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YouTube/Apple TV Plus

Apple's streaming service offers Spirited, a new-ish musical starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. You may also want to pair your couch lounging time with A Charlie Brown Christmas or the 2023 special The Velveteen Rabbit.

Apple TV Plus highlights:

  • Spirited (2022)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  • Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas (2023)
  • The Velveteen Rabbit (2023)
  • Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special (2020)
  • I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (2003)
  • It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992)
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (2022)
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Disney

Hulu took its festive selection up a notch on Nov. 23, when Elf, The Polar Express and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation debuted on the service. You can also celebrate the season with The Muppet Christmas Carol and Miracle on 34th Street. 

Hulu highlights:

  • Elf (2003)

  • The Polar Express (2004)

  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

  • The Family Stone (2005)

  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

  • Happiest Season (2020)

  • Dashing Through the Snow (2023)

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Sony Pictures

Fine with ads on your Christmas content? Tubi is among the services that offer titles for free with commercial interruptions. You can find options like The Night Before grouped together with other "Holiday Hits" here. (For a twist on Christmas, try horror movies like Better Watch Out).

Tubi highlights:

  • A Christmas Carol (1984)

  • The Night Before (2015)

  • Tom and Jerry: Snowman's Land (2022)

  • Better Watch Out (2017)

  • Black Christmas (1974)