Last Updated: December 21st
Christmas movies are a staple of the holidays. Whether it’s enjoying the same films you watched when you were little or just finding something to bring your relatives together for 83 minutes, everyone has a different reason to love those movies. The bad news is that Netflix is really lacking in holiday spirit nowadays, at least the spirit we grew up with. Where once we had Christmas classics like Elf to warm our hearts during those long winter nights, today’s selection is bare, bleak, and packed with direct-to-video sequels you’ve never heard of. Sure, Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups might work for the littlest ones in your family, but everyone else might be better off putting on the endless fireplace stream.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some worthwhile titles hidden out there, though. But who has time to sift through it all? That’s why we put together a list of the eight best Christmas movies on Netflix right now, ranked, obviously after the new classic, Pottersville.
Related: The 50 Best Shows On Netflix, Ranked
8./7. The Santa Clause 2 (2002) and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
These two get lumped together because if you’re going to go beyond the first Santa Clause, you might as well go all the way into ridiculousness. The 2002 sequel sees the return of Tim Allen’s character, now a full-fledged Santa Claus, who’s forced to find a Mrs. Claus to keep Christmas from losing its magic. It’s mildly amusing with a few touching moments, but it’s by no means memorable. The 2006 follow-up, however, is memorable for all the wrong reasons. Santa Claus has to juggle bringing his non-magic parents-in-law to the North Pole and keeping the conniving Jack Frost (Martin Short) from hijacking Christmas. By the third film, the Christmas-y jokes have lost their luster, and the story doesn’t know what direction it wants to go in for most of the film. But for fans of the 1994 original, they’re both worth a not-completely-focused watch.
6. White Christmas (1954)
White Christmas is one of those holiday movies that most casual Netflix watchers have probably never gotten around to watching. It was 1954’s most successful film, however, and it’s packed with some of the biggest stars of the time. It’s that one with Bing Crosby tap-dancing with Danny Kaye you may have heard about. When their army buddy characters join a sister act of performers, they’re forced to sing and dance their way to saving an unsuccessful inn run by their old military general. It’s a lovely light vehicle for Crosby and Kaye along with Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen to just do what they were known for, and the undeniable charisma of each lead carries White Christmas during the brief times between tunes.