The best movies to watch on Christmas Day

The concept of the 12 days of Christmas comes from the Bible and marks the span of time between the birth of Christ and the coming of the three wise men who, famously, brought presents. It is also loosely celebrated with the Advent calendar, a genius idea where every day you receive a little gift, just to keep those Christmas vibes humming before the big day. In the same spirit, we have brought you the 12 movies of Christmas – a list of movies to keep the Christmas times rolling, all throughout the day once you’ve had your second helping of ham (and dessert). Find out what to watch – and which streaming service has them – in this Canstar Blue guide.

The Top 12 Movies to Watch on Christmas Day

While tough to narrow down, here are (in our opinion anyway) the best movies to watch on Christmas Day across all streaming services:

  • The Night Before
  • Jack Frost
  • Jingle All the Way
  • Four Christmases
  • Bad Santa
  • Carol
  • The Family Stone
  • Happiest Season
  • Deck the Halls
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • A Sunburnt Christmas
  • Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

The Night Before – Netflix

Christmas is a time to celebrate with the family you have and the family you make, especially in The Night Before. Three best friends Ethan, Isaac and Chris have a long and much loved tradition of spending the festive season together. Despite their aesthetic, ethical and even religious differences, they put in the hard yards and make Christmas Eve a holiday not to be missed. This Christmas however, is going to be their last. The boys are growing up, but they’re not saying sayonara to this revered ritual without a blowout worthy of their friendship. It’s going to be giant, it’s going to be wild and it’s going to be anything but holy.

Jack Frost – Tubi

Some people might laugh in your face when you slap down a well-worn copy of Jack Frost and demand it be played for Christmas, but let me tell you, those people don’t have an ounce of true Christmas spirit. Real Christmas spirit is when you put all your belief in a magic harmonica and you believe so hard that your previously-absent-now-deceased father has a second chance of redemption in the form of a fun-loving snowman. Simple!

Jingle All the Way – Disney+

As the seconds of Jingle All the Way tick by, every parent may start to relate a little too much. The mad rush for the elusive golden egg present that will make your child (supposedly) happy forever, is synonymous with the Christmas season. In Howard’s case (played by big Arnie Schwarzenegger) the toy is Turboman – the coolest stretch arm hero in stores that if you don’t have, you’re a total loser. To get it, all Howard has to do is fight every other parent in town and make it home in time for the Holiday Wintertainment Parade – who would wanna miss that?

Sign up to Disney+ Australia

Keen for something that’ll keep everyone entertained? Why not check out Disney+? There are two plan options to choose from – a monthly subscription at $11.99 per month, or prepay for a year at $119.99 and save on the monthly cost. Both plans include the same features, with unlimited downloads and the ability to stream on up to four screens at the same time. This table includes links to a referral partner.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month or year
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Monthly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices

min. cost $11.99 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $11.99
Advertised Cost/month
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Yearly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices
  • Prepay for a yearly subscription and save on the monthly cost

min. cost $119.99 over one year

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $119.99
Advertised Cost/year
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *

Four Christmases – BINGE

Does it ever feel like you need an excel spreadsheet to get through Christmas in one piece? Anyone with multiple stops lined up on December 25 will understand. Brad and Kate, deep in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, free from the drama of family, are getting ready to jet off to a glorious Christmas in Fiji. The universe however, has very different plans for them and after news that all flights are grounded, the couple must face the reality of Christmas with their family instead – all four of them! What’s more romantic than divorced parents on the holidays?

Bad Santa – Netflix

Every year Bad Santa gets trundled out as the quintessential heartburn pill for saccharine Christmas schmultz – and for good reason. The film isn’t just a story about a filthy, shopping centre Santa who boozes, bangs and brawls – its about how this filthy, terrible, bad Santa, with a little help from a little friend, was able to become a slightly better man. It’s no Christmas miracle or reckoning of Scrooge, but the guy makes somewhat better choices. WE SAID SLIGHTLY.

Carol – Stan

Usually when a Christmas film is set against a backdrop of snow adorned pine trees, winter gloves and quaint 50s decorations, it’s warming us up nicely to tell us that everything is possible and that, if you just believe, love will come crashing down on your head. Well, in Carol, it sort of does but instead of a peppermint romance, two women are caught in a passion so potent it threatens to destroy their lives. Therese is a young photographer who falls in love with Carol, an older married woman who she meets while working at the department store. What starts as a casual interaction soon spirals into a deep lust which must be quelled if Carol is to keep what is most precious to her. Steer clear if heartbreak wasn’t on your Christmas list.

The Family Stone – Disney+

The Family Stone isn’t a perfect Christmas movie, and that’s what makes it ideal. Basically, an uptight Sarah Jessica Parker goes with her boyfriend to visit his free-wheelin’ family for Christmas, and everyone clashes in a million tiny ways. The Family Stone might not have the finesse of Miracle on 34th or the irresistible charm of Love Actually or the comedic chops of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but it’s got something that every Christmas needs – a bunch of clunky good intentions wrapped up in a whole lotta Christmas cheer. And if that doesn’t perfectly describe a family Christmas, what does?

Happiest Season – Foxtel Now

The well-known terror of meeting your partner’s parents amps up to 100 in Happiest Season. Harper is taking her girlfriend (and potential fiancée) Abby, home for the holidays. The only problem is, Harper hasn’t filled her family in on the fact she’s gay. So, they come up with a plan – instead of spending the Christmas period getting to know her in-laws – Abby spends the entire Christmas pretending to be Harper’s orphaned roommate, a plan that eventually makes everyone feel terrible. It’s the ultimate tightrope walk of owning yourself around your family while trying not to stuff up Christmas.

Sign up to BINGE

After something for after Christmas? Why not try BINGE? Prices start at $10 per month for a basic package and go up to $18 per month. Check out the plan inclusions in the below table. This table includes links to a referral partner.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month
Binge logo

BINGE Basic Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 1 screens at the same time
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $10 over one month

1No. of Screens /same time viewing $10
Advertised Cost/month
Go To Site
Binge logo

BINGE Standard Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 2 screens at the same time
  • HD available
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $14 over one month

2No. of Screens /same time viewing $14
Advertised Cost/month
Go To Site
Binge logo

BINGE Premium Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • HD available
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $18 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $18
Advertised Cost/month
Go To Site

Deck the Halls – Netflix

Nothing makes us feel more warm and fuzzy than an over-enthusiastic dad rivalry – especially one that promises to blow Christmas sky high. In Deck the Halls, Steve has always been the undisputed king of Christmas, but when newcomer Buddy moves in next door, his crown is under threat from space lights, forest fires and scarring family mix ups. Steve is definitely going to have to up his game if he wants to win this Christmas.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Netflix, Stan & Amazon Prime Video

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a festive classic that comes in many forms, but the one with Jim Carrey in the hilarious green, fluffy suit is an undisputed winner. Carrey brings all of his insane talent to the role, gifting us a film that just keeps getting funnier the older you get. The Grinch lives with just his dog Max in the snowy mountains outside of Whoville. Unlike the Whovilllians, who live for the holidays, he HATES Christmas and will do whatever he can to shut down the whole shebang. The only person who can stop him is Cindy Lou, the cutest six-year-old hero, who is determined to teach the Grinch the true spirit of Christmas.

A Sunburnt Christmas – Stan

If you’re sick of all the Christmas movies set in the snowy backdrops of America and the UK — then you’ll be pleased to see the arrival of the full-blown Aussie holiday comedy A Sunburnt Christmas land on Stan. The unconventional Christmas flick follows a single mother and her kids doing it tough in the Aussie outback, until a runaway criminal Daryl (played by Daniel Henshall, Snowtown) dressed up as Santa Clause crashes their farm and changes their lives. Secretly on the mission for a stash of money buried on the farm, Daryl ends up getting more than he bargained for in this hilarious and heart-warming Aussie Christmas film.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past – Stan

The Christmas part of this Christmas film is not set at Christmas, and it’s shameless take on A Christmas Carol, and that’s alright with us. It’s the tale of Connor, an unabashed womaniser who sees nothing wrong in making his way through the phone book in a night. He is determined to deter his brother from getting married, telling him it’s a trap and a waste of a good time. It turns out though, that poor wee Connor had his heart shattered, and he will need a visit from three ghosts of girlfriends past if he’s going to get his life back on track and see the light of love once again. With Jennifer Garner playing her usual angelic self and Matthew McConaughey subbing in for God, it’s a movie that will give you all the festive feels, even if it technically isn’t Christmas.

Regardless of which movie you start and end the day with, there’s no shortage of options to keep you entertained on the big day (or keep the kids busy while you have a well-deserved nap). And if you’re still looking for more Christmas movies to keep the festive spirit going, check out our guides below:

Photo Credit: DGLimages/shutterstock.com

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