‘Tis The Season For Streaming

Your Guide to the best Christmas Entertainment Streaming this Holiday Season

By Brian Bowe

It’s the season of giving! But amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to remember to give yourself the greatest gift of all: a bit of peace and quiet. Once you’ve doled out the Christmas cards and consumed your bodyweight in selection boxes, it’s time to sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the magic of classic Christmas movies. Don’t worry about endlessly scrolling through streaming platforms or flipping through channels; we’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of the very best of festive entertainment streaming right now. So, put that candy cane down and pick up the remote. 


Jim Carrey –
The Grinch who Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey at the peak of his powers) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Whos.

Ron Howard and Dr Suess are two names that couldn’t be more different. The director has made his name off lightweight prestige films, and Dr Suess, well, he’s more interested in Sneetches and wockets in pockets. The film was seen as an oddity on its release, but through the years it’s become a staple of happy childhoods everywhere. The oddness has aged well: the make-up (by legendary artist Rick Baker) is so faithful to Suess’ illustrations it’s wonderfully grotesque. Carrey described the make-up process as “being buried alive every day” saying it took eight and a half hours in total! Thankfully, the film clocks in under two.

The Holiday (2006)
Star of modern xmas classic The Holiday, Cameron Diaz

Dumped and depressed, English rose Iris (Kate Winslet) agrees to swap homes with similarly unlucky in love Californian Amanda (Cameron Diaz) for a much-needed break. Iris finds herself in a palatial Hollywood mansion while Amanda navigates the lanes of a picture-perfect English village. Soon enough, both lovelorn ladies bump into local lads (hello there, Jack Black and Jude Law) perfect for a romantic pick-me-up.

Along with Elf and Love Actually, The Holiday, by rom-com master Nancy Meyers, has become a modern Christmas classic in recent years which, like a contemporary Christmas tune being any good, is an increasingly rare accomplishment! It’s a gooey favourite among many, bound to make you blubber at the best of times. The tale may be a bit far-fetched, but once you suspend disbelief and embrace the outlandish storyline, it becomes charming with solid performances throughout. 

Prime Video 

Steve Martin – Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

If you’re unfamiliar with this classic: It’s the story of uptight family man Neal Page (Steve Martin), who gets lumbered with big-mouthed, big-hearted shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy), as Neal journeys home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. 

Ok, we’re cheating with this one. But hey, any excuse to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a good excuse. It takes place during Thanksgiving, but what the hell. We’re claiming that. If we can’t have the day off, at least let us appropriate a movie or two. As buddy comedies go, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is miles ahead (pun intended), but also it’s arguably the most affecting of any John Hughes film. It’s got heart, it’s got laughs, it’s got John Candy. 

A haunted Bill Murray – Get Scrooged
Scrooged (1988)

In this modern take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a cynically selfish TV executive (Bill Murray) is haunted by three spirits from the past, present and future. With the help of the ghosts, he realises that he must reform himself.

No one is more effective at playing a curmudgeon than Bill Murray. And so, it’s perfect casting! The three Christmas ghosts featured in the film are incredibly fun to watch. Among all the ghostly encounters, my personal favourite is the encounter with Carol Kane’s ghost of Christmas present, she’s an absolute treasure. I love how creative the visuals are, which, when matched with Danny Elfman’s phenomenal score, starts to exude serious Tim Burton vibes, which can rarely be a bad thing.

Disney +

Doctor Who (2023)
“The Doctor will see you now”. David Tennant returns as the Doctor
Catherine Tate returns to Doctor Who

The three TV specials aired on BBC 1, The Star Beast (Nov. 25), Wild Blue Yonder (Dec. 2) and The Giggle (Dec. 9) will reunite the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Temple-Noble (Catherine Tate) as they come face-to-face with their most terrifying villain yet.

Tate reprises her role as Donna Noble, while Tennant portrays a slightly altered version of the Doctor, deviating from his iconic Tenth incarnation from 2005 to 2010. Additionally, these specials feature Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Gone Girl) as the antagonist, The Toymaker, marking his return to Doctor Who after his last appearance in 1966.

Cool Runnings (1993)

Four Jamaican bobsledders dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, despite never having seen snow. With the help of a disgraced former champion (John Candy) desperate to redeem himself, the Jamaicans set out to become worthy of Olympic selection, and go all out for glory.

This one is a childhood classic of mine. So, with that in mind, I don’t know if I can dispassionately judge the film; I pretty much wore out my VHS copy. I’m not sure if it truly qualifies as a Christmas film – what is it with John Candy and non-Christmas Christmassy films (Uncle Buck, too, despite its snowy background, has no mention of Christmas), but it’s set during the Winter Olympics and that’s close enough. It’s so heartwarming and sweet you’ll hardly notice the absence of tinsel and mistletoe. The only carol worth singing is the film’s mantra: “Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time.”