The holiday movie and special TV schedulers always seem to mess with me—putting my favorites on busy nights or so early in the holiday season that we hadn't even started reviewing the holiday TV schedules.
Fortunately, this year, it seems like even more of the classic holiday movies and specials are available on streaming services—so you can catch your must-see Christmas TV whenever you feel like it.
You still have to time your Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman viewing to the whims of the schedulers (they're a double feature on CBS on Saturday, December 11th, starting at 8, BTW), but here's a guide to what each streaming service has on offer this season.
It's hardly shocking that you'll find a ton of kid-friendly holiday specials and movies on Disney+.
The Santa Clause: The one where Tim Allen becomes the next Santa (and its sundry sequels).
Home Alone: Macaulay Culkin gets left home alone and protects his house from the most incompetent burglars on the planet.
Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween + Christmas = spooky good fun.
Prep & Landing: This decade-old special offers a clever take on how Santa gets gifts to all the kids around the world.
Sound of Music: Not exactly a Christmas movie, but this one was broadcast on Christmas so many times, it feels like it is.
Mickey's Christmas Carol: Start your kids on the classic Dickens tale early with this Disney-fied retelling.
Muppet Christmas Carol: Michael Caine is Scrooge in this far more irreverent version of the classic tale.
HBO has the motherlode of modern funny holiday movies, plus a few old-timey classics to round it out.
Elf: It isn't Christmas if you don't get to see Will Ferrell scream "Santa!"
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: If you have to get together with weird family members every year, this movie definitely makes you feel seen.
A Christmas Story: Sure, it shows for 24 hours on TBS and TNT every Christmas Eve, but if you want to watch it earlier, here you go.
Miracle on 34th Street: The classic "Is Santa real?" movie to show your skeptic child.
Polar Express: The more modern "Is Santa real?" movie to show your skeptic child.
A Christmas Carol: If you want the really classic Carol, it's right here.
Hulu is loaded with a bunch of Hallmark-esque movies, but a few classic options are sprinkled in there.
A Christmas Carol: Hulu has several different Scrooges available, including versions with George C. Scott and with Patrick Stewart as the ultimate curmudgeon.
The Holiday: The house-swapping fairy tale that probably inspired Airbnb.
Jingle All the Way: This may be the holiday movie of this supply-chain-challenged holiday season, with Arnold Schwarzenegger traveling around town trying to find a hard-to-get toy.
A Very Brady Christmas: The schmaltzy family holiday special from the 1980s is here in all its saccharine glory.
Netflix has focused on producing their own new shows and movies with a holiday theme—but you'll still find a few classic holiday options on their service:
White Christmas: The source of everyone's "white Christmas" dreams
Fireplace for Your Home: Three different options of a crackling fire to enjoy and play.
Peacock is producing its own shows (including a baking reality show with Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg and a panel of elderly grandma judges). But they have a few specials for your streaming pleasure.
Die Hard: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? If your answer is yes, watch it here.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The original version with Boris Karloff as the Grinch (AKA the best version).
Advent Calendar: This isn't quite a "classic," but instead a daily fun snippet of classic Christmas comedy from their vaults—including moments from SNL and The Office.
Other Streaming Services
A few classic Christmas specials are sprinkled among other streaming services.
Charlie Brown Christmas: Apple TV got a bit of flack for taking over the Peanuts vault and streaming the story of Charlie Brown and his sad little tree—so Apple now loans it out to PBS in addition to offering it on demand.
Love Actually: Vudu is the place to go to catch some of Britain's best actors falling in and out of love.
It's a Wonderful Life: Amazon Prime and Tubi both have the ultimate holiday movie about a man who gets a little angelic help remembering how important he is to the people in his life.
Die Hard: If you don't have Peacock, you'll find it on Prime, too.