family in bed watching and streaming holiday movies

7 Movies to Stream With the Family This Holiday

Grab a blanket and cozy up with the family for a holiday movie marathon. With some more than a half-century old, these family holiday films never go out of style. 

1. “Elf” (2003)

In what became an instant holiday stalwart, Will Farrell dishes out equal parts hilarity and sentimentality in “Elf.” For anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t fit in or has experienced an identity crisis, the film’s premise cuts to the heart of what it means to belong. 

Where to stream: Hulu and Prime Video

2. “Love Actually” (2003)

For an older crowd, this flick unapologetically addresses the complexity of romance. Even with a star-studded cast, critics responded with mixed reviews, but the film’s focus on relatable stories of love (not to mention the fact that it feels like the goodness of a dozen romantic comedies stuffed into one movie) have made it a holiday fan favorite.

Where to stream: Apple TV and Prime Video

3. “The Family Stone” (2005)

It’s a setup we’ve seen before: Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) brings his girlfriend, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), home for the holidays to meet his progressive, Bohemian family. Tensions rise when Meredith’s conservative and traditional style clash with the Stone family, leaving her to feel alienated and misunderstood. Meredith’s knee-jerk reaction to the circumstances give Everett pause as he weighs whether or not to propose with a family heirloom ring.

Where to stream: Apple TV and Prime Video

4. “The Santa Clause” (1994)

This classic is on most families’ annual must-watch Christmas movie list. Scott (Tim Allen) plans to spend Christmas eve with his son, as he shares custody with his mother. Despite not believing in Santa, Scott does his best to make the holiday special for his son until he finds himself in the middle of unfortunate circumstances that will lead him to the North Pole and around the world. In the end, Scott has no choice but to believe.   

Where to stream: Apple TV and Disney +

5. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)

You can probably hear the theme song now — “we’re so glad it’s Christmas vacation.” In the heyday of 80s comedy, “National Lampoon” was a cultural centerpiece with raucous films like “Animal House.” This 1989 film in the “National Lampoon” series stars Chevy Chase as the prototypical dad to end all prototypical dads in a hilarious sequence of holiday mishaps and goofs. 

Where to stream: Netflix and Prime Video

6. “Polar Express” (2004)

Based on the 1985 children’s story of the same name, this animated film from “Forrest Gump” and “Cast Away” director and actor team Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks is one for the history books. With a production budget of $165 million, it was the most expensive animated film in history, and the first to exclusively use digital motion capture technology for character animation. While the animation has aged quickly in a time of rapid technological advancement, this heartfelt (yet at-times dark) story is one for the whole family.

Where to stream: Apple TV and HBO Max

7. “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

It’s not Christmas without “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Whether you opt for the black and white classic or the updated, colorized re-master, this story will fill your soul with warmth. If you can convince your kids to get on board with a black and white movie, this timeless American story might just become tradition for an entirely new generation.

Where to stream: Apple TV and Prime Video

Program availability may have changed and is subject to change. Streaming services may require a subscription and sometimes an additional fee.

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