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50+ best Christmas movies of 2021 (and where + when to watch)

‘Tis the season for drinking hot cocoa, decorating cookies, and curling up in front of a great Christmas movie. I hope we can agree that Elf is -and will always be- the best Christmas movie in the whole entire world, but if you want to add in a little something new, I have you covered with the best Christmas movies of 2021. 

I’ve compiled the 2021 Christmas movies from Netflix, Hallmark, Peacock, Disney+, and HBO Max for your festive viewing pleasure. 

John Lewis 2017 Christmas Window with monster in chimney and teddy bear with wine glasses

I’m using a scoring system that SLEIGHs. Maximum possible score: 🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻. When a movie deserves a half-point, I’ll add on a 🎄.

Until I watch the movie (and I’m going to work my way through every 2021 Christmas movie), I’ll include a short sentence about the Christmas film without a rating. 

2021 best Christmas movies

pink Christmas tree background with 45+ Best Christmas Movies of 2021 (and when and where to watch them) text overlaid


When the weather is chilly, turn to Netflix. They’ve released an impressive slate of 2021 Christmas movies on Netflix, and watching them all is going to be SNOW much fun! 

The Claus Family 

November 1, 2021


 In The Claus Family, Jules hates Christmas. From the bottom of his heart. His dad died at Christmastime, and his life has never been the same. When Jules’ mom makes them move from Holland to Belgium to be closer to his ailing grandfather, Jules has to decide whether to stay a Grinch, or get on board with Christmas to save the holiday. I couldn’t help thinking that if Santa and his elves hadn’t waited until the last minute to make their lists, they wouldn’t have been in such a bind in the first place! 


November 5, 2021


We all know that finding love is hard in this swipe-happy era. In Lovehard, LA journalist Natalie flies 3,000 miles to surprise her crush. Catfish isn’t just a delicious deep-fried southern delicacy. It’s Natalie’s current reality. Throw in a fake-girlfriend scheme, a touch of anaphylactic karaoke, some major sibling rivalry, and the world’s funniest grandma, and this is a Christmas winner.  

Father Christmas Is Back

November 7, 2021


I tried to like this one, but I just couldn’t get into it! The characters are all pretty unlikeable, and it just felt cringe-y. After about an hour I gave up on the four feuding sisters and their dad, who showed up for Christmas with a girlfriend young enough to be their sister. 

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

November 18, 2021


What’s better than one Vanessa Hudgens? THREE! In the third installment of The Princess Switch, Queen Margaret, Princess Stacy, and cousin Fiona team up to retrieve a stolen relic. I love this one so much! Fiona gets a bigger storyline in this film, and she is sassy, fashionable, and totally emotionally distant. Will the cutie who says he’ll help her get the relic back thaw out her icy heart?

A Boy Called Christmas

November 24, 2021


In this movie adapted from the book by Matt Haig (author of The Midnight Library), a boy named Nikolas has one very big adventure! When his father leaves with him with his mean aunt (Kristen Wigg is amazing in this role), Nikolas sets off after his father, who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Joined on his journey by Blitzen the reindeer and the cutest talking mouse I’ve ever seen, I’m calling this the best new Christmas movie of 2021, and one I’ll be watching for years to come! 

Robin Robin

November 24, 2021


This stop-motion features Robin, a robin raised by a family of mice. Unfortunately, Robin makes a terrible mouse. She’s no good at being sneaky, but she can’t fly either. Her Christmas wish? To become a real mouse. Instead, she discovers that being exactly herself is the best gift of all. The needle felt characters are beautiful, the writing is clever, and the songs are catchy. 

A Castle for Christmas

November 26, 2021


Calling all wannabe princesses and castle-lovers. This one’s for you. Once-beloved author, Sophie Brown, travels to Scotland after killing off a beloved character sets he fans against her. She decides to buy the castle where her father once worked, but the current owner is no prince charming. Duke Myles decides to make it tough on Sophie, but of course, they discover Christmas spirit and romance. Cute movie, but there were wayyy too many loose ends for me on this one. I think maybe it needed one or two more watch-throughs for consistency and storyline. 

Single All the Way

December 2, 2021

Bringing home a fake beau for Christmas always opens the door for holiday hijinks. The official description for Single All the Way says, “Desperate to avoid his family’s judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter convinces his best friend Nick to join him for the holidays and pretend that they’re now in a relationship. But when Peter’s mother sets him up on a blind date with her handsome trainer James— the plan goes awry.”

David and the Elves

December 6, 2021

The official description for David and the Elves says, “Christmas is drawing near, but it’s not a happy time for David. After moving to a big city, his parents have been bogged down with work and forgotten the meaning of Christmas. David decides to change that. Together with Albert the Elf, who escaped from the land of Santa to figure out what Christmas is all about, David sets off to Tatra Mountains, where his grandparents live, on a journey full of adventures. They are followed by David’s parents and Santa, who completely doesn’t get the modern world.”

A California Christmas: City Lights

December 16, 2021

Remember last year’s A California Christmas? Callie and Joseph are back and they’re still in love! But the big city calls– will Joseph answer? 

Grumpy Christmas

December 22, 2021

The official description for Grumpy Christmas says, “In this sequel to the 2016 comedy hit Un Padre No Tan Padre, Don Servando and his “extended hippie family” travel to the beach to spend Christmas with Alma’s aunt, Doña Alicia, a demanding older woman who becomes Don Servando’s ultimate nemesis. When his position in the family is challenged, Don Servando will stop at nothing to prove that Alicia is a horrible person who only looks out for herself… even if it means ruining Christmas for everyone.”

1000 Miles from Christmas 

December 24, 2021

Christmas isn’t a happy time for Raúl, but when he’s sent to audit a turron factory in a town that loves the holiday, he’ll come face-to-face with his worst nightmare! 

A Najia Christmas

December TBD

It’s a race to the aisle for a woman’s three sons, who have been told to bring home wives for Christmas. Meanwhile, Mom is trying to plan the most epic Christmas celebration ever! 

Disney + 

Home Sweet Home Alone

November 12, 2021


I had high hopes for this one, but as is the case with most sequels, it just wasn’t as good as the original. In this reimagining of Home Alone, Ellie Kempner (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) plays one of the burglars set on stealing back a valuable heirloom. Ten-year-old Max is left alone as his family flies to Tokyo, and just like Kevin McCallister, he’s pulling out all the stops to protect the house from the bad guys. Max is just so dang unlikeable from the beginning that it took me a really long time to get into this one. If you make it until the end, it’s cute, but it just took a while to get there! The movie earns an extra 🎄 for all the nods to the original and tongue-in-cheek commentary about remakes. 


8-Bit Christmas

November 24, 2021

In this star-studded film, set in the 1980s, getting your hands on a Nintendo isn’t just a mission– it’s a quest. 


The Real Housewives of the North Pole

December TBD

Set in North Pole, Vermont, women compete to have the best holiday decorations. The Santa CLAWS are out and the ensuing drama earns them an exposé titled, “Real Housewives of the North Pole.”

Hallmark Channel 

If you want to watch ALL the Hallmark Christmas movies, Frndly is the place to do it! I subscribe to their classic service for $7.99/month and all on Hallmark Movies Now for $5.99/ month. 

In addition, I use the Hallmark Movie Checklist App to monitor premieres, build a watchlist, and track my 2021 Christmas movie progress!

Hallmark Movie checklist screenshot showing 28 movies categorized want to watch and 8 watched, 22% complete

The Best Hallmark Christmas Movie Checklist

Get 7 days for free here

Crashing Through the Snow

July 10, 2021


When Jeff’s girlfriend, Kate, invites his ex-wife, Maggie, to join them for Christmas, it sounded like a recipe for disastrous awkwardness. Not wanting to miss Christmas with her daughters, Maggie accepts.  Then, Kate’s world-traveling, helicopter-piloting, chef-extraordinaire brother unexpectedly shows up. The two Christmas crashers team up professionally and personally (hello- this IS Hallmark) for holiday shenanigans and heart-warming moments. 

You, Me, & the Christmas Trees

October 22, 2021


An Evergreen expert who recently called off her wedding. A cute, single Christmas tree farmer whose trees are mysteriously dying. An evil Christmas tree competitor. And ALL the Christmas puns? This is my first 🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻 score this year. Is it because the leading lady also considers whipped cream to be a “filler” food? Maybe. But I’m also in love with this movie for exchanges like this one:

Handsome Christmas tree farmer: “Oh, you’re hedging your bets?”

Christmas tree whisperer: “I’m all about evergreens, I don’t do hedges” 

Boyfriends of Christmas Past

October 23, 2021


Lauren is a commitment-phobe. Maybe it comes from insecurity stemming from abandonment by her mother at Christmastime. She’s self-sabotaged every relationship, turning to friend-zoned BFF Nate (who very obviously loves her) in the aftermath of each breakup. In the days leading up to Christmas, four exes show up to help Lauren see a pattern in past relationships. Will she take a hint before Nate falls for the new volunteer at his community center?

Maybe I’m a Scrooge, but Lauren needed therapy, not Christmas ghosts, for her abandonment issues! 

Christmas in My Heart

October 23, 2021


A reclusive (and handsome) country music star with a daughter who wants to learn violin. A beautiful single violinist. Will the power of music cause sparks to fly?

I loved this one! The importance of female role models, pursuing passions, and a sweet romance make this one a winner for me! 

The Santa Stakeout

October 24, 2021


I LOVED watching Sister Sister when I was growing up and was so excited to see Tamera Mowry-Housley play rookie detective, Tanya, in this holiday heist film. Predictably, she and her cute partner don’t get along. She’s all about Christmas and he’s a bit of a Grinch. To catch the thief responsible for a string of Christmas party robberies, the pair move in next to beloved Mr. Christmas– the prime suspect. He seems like a friendly old man, but he’s got a dark past. 

The film did a great job on the mystery and comedy fronts, but the romantic plotline felt like an “oh crap, this is Hallmark and they have to fall in love” afterthought. 

Christmas in Harmony

October 29, 2021


Harmony is back home after her music career in New York City veers off track. Soon, she’s roped into co-directing the Holiday Chorus with her ex, Kyle. A decade earlier, Kyle broke Harmony’s heart when he never showed up at the airport to make the move to NYC with her.  Will they continue off-key, or can they find a way to harmonize– in music and love? I love the music, the chemistry, and the storyline! 

Coyote Creek Christmas

October 30, 2021


I’ll admit, the name of this one didn’t really pique my interest, but the storyline sure did! 

Paige returns home to her family’s inn for Christmas, only to discover a very Christmas-less scene. Don’t worry, though. She’s an event planner, and makes it her mission to fill the inn with cheer. 

Handsome Dylan (of course he’s handsome!) shows up with his son, Noah, to evaluate the property, and Paige’s parents make it clear their intention to sell needs to stay secret. 

As Paige plans an international Christmas Eve Eve party for the guests, drawing in traditions from around the world, she gets closer to Dylan and Noah.

I love little Noah’s love of travel and photography, and the Christmas Eve Eve party is giving me ALL the ideas for my own international Christmas party! 

While it was a cute movie, I gave this one 🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻 because Dylan and Paige didn’t have great chemistry, and all the drama could have been avoided if Paige’s parents had actually talked to their daughter. 

The Christmas Promise

October 30, 2021


When Nicole loses her fiancé at Christmastime, grief overwhelms her. A year later, she decides to sell the house they purchased as their fixer-upper home sweet home. Unfortunately, the fixer-upper needs to actually be fixed before she can sell it. Enter: cute carpenter. 

At the same time, Nicole’s texting her fiancé’s old number– and is surprised to get a response from someone who struggled through their own grief. 

Any guesses who got Henry’s old number? 

Christmas Sail

October 31, 2021


Liz Darling and her daughter are called back to her hometown when her estranged father is injured by a falling Christmas tree. The first face she sees? Her childhood best friend, Luke. 

As children, Luke used to join the Darling family for the yearly Christmas Sail competition. They thought those competitive days were behind them. However, when Liz learns that her childhood home is being sold by the bank and there’s a cash prize attached to the competition, the sailboat is dusted off and the lights are ordered. 

Nostalgic vibes and thoughtful grand gestures make this one a winner. Grab the tissues! 

Gingerbread Miracle

November 5, 2021


Magic cookies? Sign. Me. Up. The story says that when a Casillas gingerbread cookie is made just for you, your wish will come true. 

After his wife passed away, bakery-owner Luis thinks the magic is gone and he’s ready to sell and move on. 

Hoping to land a job at a big law firm, Maya moved home and starts spending a lot of time at the panadería where she used to work. Now, she’s helping Luis make the sale.

When Luis’ nephew, Alejandro, shows up for Christmas, the gingerbread magic ramps up– and so do the old, upspoken feelings between him and Maya.

Next Stop, Christmas

November 6, 2021


Angie’s just trying to get home, but she ends up in 2011. Can her visit to the past change the future?

Christopher Lloyd is the magical conductor in this time-traveling Christmas movie that’s one part Back to the Future and another part 13 Going on 30. 

Next Stop, Christmas tackles divorce and infertility while remaining hopeful and light-hearted as Angie tries to solve 2021 problems in one Christmas visit! 

A Christmas Treasure

November 7, 2021


Lou sings, she writes– is there anything she can’t do? She’s a 4th generation Webb, and loves the town her great-grandfather founded, but she feels like she can’t achieve real success in the shadows of her family. When Lou, played by the amazing Jordin Sparks, opens a 100-year-old time capsule, she starts rethinking her plan to move to New York to pursue her writing career. Oh yeah, the cute chef might have something to do with that, too! 

Open by Christmas

November 12, 2021


For most of us, thoughts of high school inspire cringe-worthy memories. (It’s not just me, right?) While helping her parents clean out her childhood home to sell, she stumbles across a love note from her high school secret admirer. The catch? Nicky was her school valedictorian and tested out of the class, so she never got the letter. Haunted by the memories of her musical valedictorian speech, she’s always tried to distance herself from high school. Now, she’s determined to figure out who had feelings for her 22 years ago. Is it too late for love? We’ll find out! 

My Christmas Family Tree

November 13, 2021


I’ll be the first to admit that DNA tests bring out the conspiracy theorist in me. This movie didn’t help much. When Vanessa submits her DNA to be tested, it returns a paternal match. Her father invites her to meet the entire family for Christmas, and she begins falling in love with the family she never knew existed (and the cute family friend, of course). Then BOOM! “Oops. We made a mistake.” Despite the anxiety I felt over whether Vanessa would disclose the mistake and worry over how the family would feel, this was a heart-warming movie that hit the mark– trendy topic, romance, and all the Christmas cheer! 

One December Night

November 13, 2021


The all-star cast (including the actress who played Frenchy in Grease!), fantastic chemistry, and complex storyline make this one of my favorite Christmas movies of 2021. Bedford & Sullivan were the biggest musical duo– until Sullivan’s drinking got out of control. A decade later, Mike Sullivan’s daughter, Quinn, is called in to make sure Mike and Steve make it back on the stage for one more night. As an up-and-coming music manager, this is a make-or-break moment for her career.  Steve’s son, Jason, and Quinn team up to heal old wounds and might even find love along the way. Spoiler alert: it’s a Hallmark movie, so they 100% find love. 

A Holiday in Harlem

November 14, 2021


When Jazmin’s grandmother, Mama Belle, makes it clear that she expects “presence over presents,” Jazmin agrees to a quick visit. But when Mama Belle is injured, Jazmin decides to stay for the holiday and co-chair the Christmas Jamboree. Want to know who else is chairing it? Her old friend Caleb. They lost touch when Jazmin’s jet-setting job took her away from Harlem. Will the pull of family (and the boy who used to keep mistletoe in his pocket, just in case) bring her back home? 

Love the family dynamics, Christmas party, and growth of all the characters in this one! 

Nantucket Noel

November 19, 2021


When Christina learns that a developer plans to tear down the wharf that is home to her toy store, tensions rise. And we all know that tensions between the big, bad city guy and the loveable girl-next-door lead to romance! A+ for cute chemistry between Christina and Andy, but the storyline with Andy’s dad felt a little lacking to me. 

A Christmas Together With You

November 20, 2021


When Maggie agrees to accompany her father-figure on a cross-country road trip to find his long-lost love, she had no way of knowing that she’d find her own true love along the way! In this Hallmark movie, it seems like the writers thought, “if one love story is good, two is better!” Unfortunately, that left both love stories feeling a little lacking to me. Cute premise, but needed a little more build-up to switch from enemy to lover for both couples. 

Five More Minutes

November 20, 2021


Scotty McCreery’s sweet song, Five More Minutes, is the inspiration for the movie of the same name. Clara desperately misses her grandfather and wishes for just five more minutes with him. When a new store clerk finds her grandfather’s old journal, she discovers his big, first love and discovers that her grandfather might just be giving her one last nugget of wisdom. This one gve me all the feels! 

A Kiss Before Christmas

November 21, 2021


Ethan is a family guy who just can’t seem to get ahead. He doesn’t cut corners and he always does what’s right. After he wishes things were different, he gets to see what life would have been like if he had made just one different decision. Will he like the high-flying, Ferrari-driving version of himself better than his current reality? This was a super cute movie that gave me all the feels! 

The Nine Kittens of Christmas

November 25, 2021


What happens after the Hallmark producers call cut? In the case of Zachary and Marilee, the answer is a break up. Yikes. After the 2014 movie, The Nine Lives of Christmas, Marilee moves to Miami after Zachary won’t commit. Will things be different a second time around? 

Marilee comes home for a visit, and ends up bumping into Zachary when nine kittens are found abandoned at the firestation where he works. Two cat lovers. A litter of kittens. Christmas magic. This sounds like a recipe for holiday romance!

Christmas CEO

November 26, 2021


When a small toy company CEO gets the offer of a lifetime to merge with a mega toy store, it seems like a done deal. Unfortunately, the deal can’t go through without her ex’s signature. I feel like this could have been such a cute movie, but there was so much that went wrong. Chris is forced to watch her niece because her parents didn’t arrange childcare and guilted Chris into babysitting. And the whole premise of “you were too focused on making money” just feels ick. The former lovers were business partners, and businesses are supposed to make money. 

An Unexpected Christmas

November 26, 2021

A writer convinces his ex-girlfriend to pose as his girlfriend for Christmas. I’m no fortune-teller, but I have a feeling the unexpected part involves them getting back together! 

Making Spirits Bright

November 27, 2021


Their families are the Montagues and the Capulets of Christmas. Can this Romeo and Juliet find romance, settle a feud, and win a holiday decorating contest? I loved this movie! Festive, cute, and all the feel-good vibes!

Christmas at Castle Hart

November 27, 2021


Brooke goes to Ireland in search of her roots. Instead, she finds the Earl of Glaslough and a gig as an event planner. The catch? She’s pretending to be the woman who fired her just a few weeks ago. This was a cute movie, but I can never get fully behind the “pretend to be someone else, fall in love, and then everything works out beautifully” storylines. 

Christmas in Tahoe

November 28, 2021


Talent-booker Claire must set aside her pride to save her family hotel’s Christmas show. Her ex is now a big-shot rockstar, playing lead guitar for the band that fired Claire as their manager years ago. I love Train, and Pat Monahan did an amazing job as the hotel manager who’s a secret singer! There were a lot of complicated relationships in this movie, but nothing felt rushed or neglected. Love! 

The Christmas Contest

November 28, 2021


All’s fair in love and war, right? Exes Laura and Ben compete in a Christmas contest to win money for charity. Who will come out on top? This is a Fuller House fan’s dream! Candace Cameron Bure and John Brotherton (DJ Tanner and Matt Harmon) play the lead characters. With Easter eggs galore, this movie is the alternate ending we’ve been waiting for since the finale of Fuller House.

Eight Gifts of Hanukkah

December 3, 2021


Sara is an optometrist who receives a gift from an anonymous suitor every night of Hannukkah. Will discovering the gift-giver’s true identity help Sara see clearly? This movie is super cute, and I love a good Hanukkah film! This is a movie that wouldn’t have existed if the dude had just shared his feelings when he started having them instead of waiting until Sara started to find love elsewhere…

A Very Merry Bridesmaid

December 4, 2021

Leah’s turning 30 on Christmas Eve– the same day as her brother’s wedding. Don’t worry, though. Her milestone won’t be overlooked as long as her childhood crush (back in town for the wedding) has anything to say about it. 

Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday

December 5, 2021

Jennifer and Meg Swift are super close sisters– even though they live far apart. Jennifer lives in Salt Lake City and Meg stayed in their hometown. Meg heads to Salt Lake to manage Jennifer’s restaurant while Jennifer heads home for the holidays. While she’s there, she decides to throw one more Christmas at The Madison, her late uncle’s theater. 

A Dickens of a Holiday!

December 10, 2021

In honor of the 100th anniversary of her town’s Victorian festival, Cassie invites a famous movie star (and her former classmate) to play Scrooge.  

A Royal Queens Christmas

December 11, 2021

Can a prince in Queens help a local woman with the children’s Christmas show? 

Sister Swap: Christmas in the City

December 12, 2021

This is the second part of Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday. In Sister Swap: Christmas in the City, we follow Meg as she preps Jennifer’s Salt Lake City restaurant for a Christmas competition. 

Movie #25

December 17, 2021

I love a good mystery, and the Hallmark Movie Checklist App isn’t sharing the deets on this one just yet! 

The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls

December 18, 2021

A reality TV show dedicated to Christmas decorations? I’m sold! But Mike is not as enthused. Nonetheless, he’s roped into the competition. Can he beat his brother for the grand prize?

‘Tis the Season to be Merry

December 19, 2021

Merry writes about relationships and she needs a fresh perspective. Snowy Vermont seems like just the place. And of course, the charming aid-worker is pretty inspiring, too! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup of the best Christmas movies of 2021 as much as I’ve enjoyed the research! Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

I wish you the merriest Christmas and the happiest holidays, filled with family, friends, and as many Christmas cookies as you can eat!

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