25 Classic Christmas Movies to Watch This December

I think we all can agree that Christmas movies are the best. The over-the-top cheesy ones, the animated ones, the romantic ones, even the action-packed ones. There’s something so comforting about chilling out on the couch zoning out to a Christmas movie.

Recently the team at Preply have used search data to reveal Australia’s Most Popular Christmas Movies in different regions.  The study of the most popular Christmas films uncovered a mix of Yuletide tastes among Australians, with revered festive classics alongside some less traditional festive-themed movies and hidden gems.

We were more than surprised to hear which films are the most popular! Take a look below.

The Most Popular Christmas Movies in Australia

most popular Christmas movies 2023
Source: Preply

The study revealed the 2019 DC superhero adventure Shazam! to be the nation’s favourite festive film which, truthfully, we haven’t even heard of! The universally popular Elf came in second, with other traditionally festive fare like Deck the Halls and Nativity also breaking the top 10.

However, some “gold-standard” Christmas movies, such as Home Alone, Love Actually, and It’s a Wonderful Life, didn’t even make the top 10.

While this list is a good start to your Christmas movies marathon, we have a few others to add. Let’s take a look at some of our favourite Christmas movies to watch this December for little ones and little ones at heart.

For the Littles

1. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

You’ll feel nostalgic as you watch this animated classic with your little ones. At only 26 minutes in length, the story of the grumpy hermit who plots to steal Christmas from the adorable Whos is short enough to capture your tot’s attention.

Watch them rejoice as the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes at the end!


2. The Grinch (2018)

Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch as the ever-grumpy Grinch with music by the one and only Danny Elfman, this updated animated twist is based on the original, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Your little one will love watching spunky, little Cindy Lou Who, as she plans to trap Santa with the help of her adorable little friends and learning a little more about the Grinch along the way. This film will soon become a perennial classic in your home!

3. A Charlie Brown Christmas

What Christmas is complete without Charlie Brown, his sad little tree, and the whole gang?

Discover the meaning of Christmas with your little one as you reminisce about your childhood with this 1965 animated special. The soundtrack alone is enough to put anyone in a festive mood!


4. Arthur Christmas 

This animated gem has a cast of quirky characters and a really cool way to show kids how Santa manages to deliver all of those presents in just one day.

5. Frosty the Snowman

Your tots will adore this 1969 animated classic featuring their favourite Christmas song.

They’ll sing and dance as they follow Frosty and young Karen’s trek to the North Pole before he melts while being followed by Professor Hinkle, who wants his magical hat back.

For Teens

6. Gremlins

Although not exactly a Christmas movie, this film 1984 film has become a classic during the holidays. Mischief ensues across town as a young man inadvertently releases a horde of violent little monsters.

This dark, spooky comedy will be just what your teen needs when looking for a break from all the holiday cheer.

7. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Jim Carrey is up to no good as the grumpy, Christmas-hating Grinch. Your teens will love Carrey’s hilarious hijinks as the titular character who plots to ruin Christmas for everyone in Whoville.

Of course, there are also enough tender scenes to keep them in the warm, festive spirit.

8. Scrooged

Bill Murray is a modern-day Scrooge as Frank Cross, a greedy, selfish, and mean TV executive who’s lost sight of what Christmas and humanity are all about.

True in classic A Christmas Carol form, but with a comedic twist, three ghosts and a lost love remind him what the Christmas spirit is really about.


9. Black Christmas

This 1974 slasher film takes place during Christmas break as a group of young sorority members are harassed by an unhinged individual calling himself Billy who starts killing them off one by one.

This genuinely unnerving film is not for the faint of heart and will truly give your teens a break from all the Christmas merriment.

10. Love Hard

For those looking for a lighthearted romantic comedy, this 2021 film featuring Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang, tells the story of a dating app match gone wrong.

This modern-day love story of opposites attract during the ‘dreaded’ holiday season will be a nice distraction from the classic films ubiquitous during Christmas.

For the Whole Family

11. Shazam!

Australia’s number one Christmas film may not be about Christmas, but it is set around it, especially with its final battle taking place at a Christmas carnival.

The story of a fostered boy discovering unexpected superpowers is also about finding your family, hope, and joy.

12. Elf

This Christmas comedy, featuring Will Ferrell as the lovable elf, Buddy, will have your entire family laughing as he travels to New York to find his biological father.

Buddy’s innocence and zest for life will make this silly, moving story a classic everyone in your family will enjoy for years to come.


13. Home Alone

Known as one of the quintessential Christmas movies, Home Alone will undoubtedly delight the entire family.

Although not exactly a Christmas movie, this fun film does take place during Christmas as Kevin, who is accidentally left home alone, fends off a couple of bumbling thieves and discovers the true meaning of family and Christmas.

14. Jingle All the Way

This 90s comedy film may not be Oscar-worthy, but it’s fun and silly Christmas entertainment. Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rita Wilson, Arnie plays a dad determined to get a coveted toy, Turbo-Man, for his son for Christmas.

With a jab at the rampant commercialism of modern-day Christmas, Charlie Brown would be proud!

15. The Princess Switch (all three of them) 

This is a three-in-one we know but this series is a Christmas feast for all the senses which follows Vanessa Hudgens as she takes on three different characters. It’s regal, royal and riddled with OTT Christmas decorations and it’s absolutely impossible not to love them all!

16. A Christmas Story

Hands down one of my favourite Christmas movies of all time! This classic story is a must during the holidays. Centering around a young boy’s quest to get a BB gun from Santa, there are just too many sweet and comical moments.

How they capture a child’s thought process is spot on and the messages of hope and family are what Christmas is all about.

Even better? Make it a double-feature with 2022’s A Christmas Story Christmas featuring the original kiddos all grown up!

17. The Santa Clause

Tim Allen plays an excellent reluctant Santa after accidentally causing Santa Claus’ death! Despite the dark opening, this heartfelt story of a divorced loving dad is just what you need to get you into the Christmas spirit.

And with two sequel films and a series now streaming, you can make it a week-long Christmas film-watching event!


18. The Christmas Chronicles

This 2018 film has quickly become one of my new favourites! With Kurt Russell as cool, witty Santa himself, Russell’s personality brings the magic of Christmas to life in this comedy adventure film.

With themes dealing with family, overcoming adversity, and coping with the loss of a loved one, this film has something for everyone this holiday season.

For the Romantics at Heart

19. Serendipity

While not exactly a Christmas film, it does start on Christmas Eve as Jonathan and Sara meet while shopping for their respective partners. And the magic they found while Christmas shopping follows them as they go their separate ways.

This lighthearted, charming film is perfect for holiday-watching for all the romantics at heart.

20. Love Actually

This sweet romantic comedy follows eight different intertwined couples living in London during the Christmas season.

With so many famous actors in this film, it is difficult to pick a favourite. Although Bill Nighy is definitely a front-runner.

Hilarious and a true tear-jerker at times, this is a wonderful feel-good holiday film to watch with a loved one.

Christmas Movies - Love Actually Meme

21. While You Were Sleeping

This quirky romantic comedy takes place during Christmas and New Year’s, when a lonely Chicago transit worker, Sandra Bullock, gets mistaken for a coma patient’s fiancée.

This light-hearted film about the importance of family, no matter how kooky, will remind you of the true meaning of family.

For a Grown-Up Festive Vibe

22. Krampus

If you’re looking for a different type of holiday film, say, one tinged with horror, then look no further!

Featuring none other than the half-goat, half-demon, Krampus is nothing like Santa Claus. In true folkloric tradition, Krampus eats naughty children as punishment! Be sure to send the kiddies to bed before watching this one if you want to avoid nightmares for days.

23. Bad Santa

This is not your ordinary Christmas film. Billy Bob Thorton plays a crass, irreverent mall Santa who has nothing to truly live for until he meets a troubled little boy in need of love and a role model.

A hilarious film not for the easily offended, Bad Santa is the perfect grown-up film for those looking for some comic relief while still focusing on themes of family and love.

24. Violent Night

This action-packed comedy is not your typical Christmas story.

With a tough Santa, David Harbour of Stranger Things, who takes on a bunch of bad guys, this entertaining film will have you looking at jolly old Saint Nick in a different light and will inspire you to stay on his ‘nice’ list.

25. And, finally, Die Hard

The topic of a never-ending debate. Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

All Bruce Willis’ John McClane wants is to be with his family on Christmas when a group of terrorists get in his way. Yup, I’d say it’s a Christmas film.

This holiday classic is one of the best Christmas action films. After all, it evokes hope, focuses on family, there’s a Christmas tree, and lots of explosions!


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Avatar of Gloria Ramirez

Gloria Ruby Ramirez is a writer, mother, and lover of coffee, twinkle lights, and rain who believes in the magical power of words. She is passionate about parenting, mental health, and the environment. She is a former agricultural microbiologist/plant pathologist with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Arizona State University. Born in the desert of northern Mexico, she is mum to her beautifully energetic son and Shih Tzu, Gerty. When not writing, Gloria can be found spending time with her son and family, reading, or embroidering.

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