10 Free Christmas Movies You Can Stream This Weekend

You’ve been looking forward all December to spending time with the family. Or you’ve been waiting for days for this opportunity to escape all other humans and curl up with your favorite screen. Either way, chances are you are so ready for that particular brand of mind-numbing entertainment that comes with watching a Christmas movie. And after spending so much cash on presents, you probably would also like to stream those Christmas movies for free.

What with the constant ebb and flow of movie studios’ contracts with streaming services and premium networks, the Christmas movies you so comfortably streamed for free last year may have moved, or are now only available for rent. Don’t curse the scrooges that made that happen. Just make like one of these flicks’ heroes and embrace the spirit of the season with an open heart — or something like that — and watch another old classic or a brand-new original. There most certainly isn’t a shortage of bright musical sequences and quirky small business owners who think they’re too busy for love.

Browse through this list of our favorite Christmas movies that are currently streaming on subscription services* (and premium channels), just in time to rescue you from the reality of the holiday season.

*Yes, we said these are free movies in the headline and yet all of these require a subscription to some kind of streaming service. With just 11 days until Christmas, you can hop from free trial to free trial and cancel all services you don’t want to keep before you get stuck with a new monthly bill.

A Christmas Prince, 2017

Let’s go back to simpler times, in 2017, when there weren’t 10,000 original Netflix Christmas movies, allowing this one to shine brighter in all its cheesy glory. Now that a real American girl has married a real European prince, it’s almost like a documentary. Read all the many things we’ve had to say about this wonderfully terrible instant Christmas classic, if you’ve yet to enjoy A Christmas Prince.

Streaming on Netflix.

Four Christmases, 2008

Sure, you could be getting warm and fuzzy watching Love, Actually or The Holiday, but instead we will give you two very good reasons to watch this movie about a pretty awful couple wrangling multiple family commitments that they’d rather skip altogether: 1) It will make you feel better about your own dysfunctional family. 2) After reading this recap of how Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn reportedly hated each other when they made this movie, every scene has delicious layers of antagonism to interpret.

Streaming on HBO.

Bad Santa, 2003

This is a great one to watch when you’re feeling really over Christmas — priming you to identify with Billy Bob Thornton’s crotchety thief who dresses as Santa to rob malls. Just a warning that there is still a sappy happy ending, however.

Streaming on Netflix.

White Christmas, 1954

As long as holiday shopping hasn’t yet ruined Bing Crosby for you, this sweet classic, also starring Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, is filled with dance numbers and loosely following that favorite holiday movie plot: Can the spirit of Christmas and budding romance save a struggling inn?

Streaming on Netflix.

The Holiday Calendar, 2018

Like so much else in pop culture, Christmas movies as a genre are ridiculously whitewashed. What a relief it is to see Netflix make a little effort to cast one of its movies with some actors of color — and no matter how corny this plot is, we can’t help but love Kat Graham and Quincy Brown as BFFs who obviously belong together.

Streaming on Netflix.

It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946

Nothing cheers people up like watching a man consider suicide over financial difficulties experienced at the hands of a corrupt real estate developer. It’s a good reminder that even nostalgia can’t hide that we’re doomed to repeat the past!

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Scrooged, 1988

This version of A Christmas Carol stars Bill Murray as the Scrooge character, now a ruthless TV exec, and trades Victorian England for late-’80s New York City. Funny how our most commercial holiday is full of these anti-capitalist stories. Is someone trying to tell us something?

Streaming on Starz.

The Man Who Invented Christmas, 2017

Anyone who’s been forced to watch or read one too many versions of A Christmas Carol, and who also still misses the Daniel Stevens era of Downton Abbey, can find something to enjoy in this fictionalized account of how Charles Dickens came up with his trippy ghost story.

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Home Alone, 1990

It’s heartwarming to imagine how a couple of wealthy suburban parents can be so harried that they accidentally abandon their youngest son. Or, well, was heartwarming the word we were looking for? Harrowing?

Streaming on Starz.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, 1993

While you’re missing Macauley Culkin’s prime, don’t forget that he also once starred in this movie version of the classic Christmas ballet. Streaming this is much cheaper than scoring tickets to the live version, and there will be fewer squirming kids in the audience.

Stream on Netflix.

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