Holiday Cheer

Where To Stream Christmas Classic Movies: From ‘The Grinch’ To ‘Rudolph’ To Elf’

You need the classics like you need whiskey in your egg nog. Here's where to find them.

by Katy Lemieux
Originally Published: 
"The Muppet Show" Christmas episode, where all the characters are sitting around a table full of foo...

Holiday nostalgia season is upon us and there’s no better way to comfort your inner child, or entertain your actual child, than with these Christmas classic movies. Though some have been snatched up by exclusive streaming services, there are plenty of classic Christmas movies to fill the long winter days. There’s a classic in here for every age in your family, be it your cranky toddler, cranky teen, or cranky spouse, and these warm and fuzzies are sure to brighten your family’s mood like the fragrant evergreen tree in your living room.

No more fighting over the remote, we’ve got your seasonal movie nights covered. From Rudolph to Frosty to The Grinch, and yes, that movie where the kid’s maybe gonna get his eye shot out, here’s where to find the most-demanded Christmas classics streaming right now.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Mickey stars in his best performance as good-natured Bob Cratchitt, but he’s no Kermit the Frog.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol is available to stream on Disney+

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Parents love the 2018 animated version starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Jim Carrey is a must-skip, and to quote my brother-in-law, “Broadway should remain closed indefinitely as punishment for the musical.” Stick with what you know and love.

The classic 1966 Grinch is streaming on Peacock.

Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Your holiday won’t be the same without these nostalgic classics about bullying and absolute terror.

In 2022, Rudolph will air for a limited time on network TV. Otherwise, it’s only available for purchase (not rental) on Amazon.

Frosty the Snowman is available for purchase (not rental) on YouTube.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

As with all Peanuts specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas not longer airs on network TV and is only on Apple TV+. During December 2022, Apple will stream for free, regardless of membership.

Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas on Apple TV+ here.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Is it for Halloween or Christmas? Or is it somewhere in between? We still think its brilliant either way, which is why it's in the top 10 of our list of 100 best kids' movies, ever.

The Nightmare Before Christmas available to stream on Disney+

The Nutcracker: The Motion Picture

Maurice Sendak designed the sets for the timeless ballet, which was then filmed as a feature-length movie in 1986. It is without a doubt the best-filmed version to watch, with all the proper creepiness and mischief of Sendak’s books.

The Nutcracker: The Motion Picture is available to stream on Prime

The Polar Express

One of our writers called the Robert Zemeckis monstrosity “a creepers death-ride through an Arctic hellscape.”

The Polar Express is streaming on HBO Max.

Muppet Christmas Carol

What is the best version of A Christmas Carol and why is it the Muppets? Michael Caine is the best Scrooge ever. Not a lot of people know that.

Muppet Christmas Carol is available to stream on Disney+

The Snowman

No, this is not the creepy Dad-as-snowman Michael Keaton movie Jack Frost; it’s the beloved 1982 film that was nominated for Best Animated Short. The film was so popular before its US release, that David Bowie, a fan of Raymond Briggs’s original story, starred in the movie’s intro when it came to America.

The Snowman is available to stream on Prime

The Santa Clause

My first-grader recently asked what happens when Santa dies and I didn’t have the heart to tell her Tim Allen takes his place. The third installment of the series involves time travel and an alternate dimension.

The Santa Clause is available to stream on Disney+

For those who can’t get enough of Tim Allen, there’s also the new 2022 Disney+ TV series called The Santa Clauses.

It’s a Wonderful Life

Drop-in a few of these woke, timely quotes to annoy the Boomers in your life. Start with this perfectly pissed-off George Bailey:

“What’d you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken down that they… Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about… they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.

It’s a Wonderful Life is available to stream on Prime


Come for the Will Ferrell antics but stay for Amy Sedaris’s line about declawing kittens.

Elf is streaming on HBO Max.

A Christmas Story

This classic has only gotten more complicated with the release of A Christmas Story Christmas. Resident Christmas Story expert Caseen Gaines has argued this movie is actually anti-gun, just in case you’re confused.

A Christmas Story and its sequel are both on HBO Max.

Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Both original Home Alones hold up because they’re freaking hilarious. For novelty, rewatching the second one is really fun right now, but we selected the first Home Alone on our 100-best kid's movie list for a reason.

Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York are available to stream on Disney+

Miracle on 34th Street

Take your pick from the original 1947 or the 1994 adaptation with Richard Attenborough as the real Kris Kringle who fills in for Drunk Santa.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is available to stream on Disney+, as is the 1994 remake.

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