The best Christmas movies on HBO Max right now

The holiday season is fully upon us! When you’re done sipping hot chocolate and admiring the lights in your neighborhood, there’s nothing better than cozying up with a Christmas movie. If you’re an HBO Max subscriber, you have access to an awesome collection of holiday hits. But, like any streaming collection, even HBO has a few duds in the mix. To help you find where to devote your holiday attention, we’ve pulled together the best Christmas movies on HBO Max right now.

Looking for more holiday picks? We’ve also assembled guides to the best Christmas movies on Netflix and the best Christmas movies on Amazon Prime.

8-Bit Christmas (2021)

8-Bit Christmas
Genre Family, Comedy
Stars Neil Patrick Harris, Winslow Fegley, Sophia Reid-Gantzert
Directed by Michael Dowse
pg 98m
This HBO Max Original takes place in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s. It’s something of a refresh of A Christmas Story as 10-year-old Jake Doyle (Winslow Fegley) makes it his life’s (or at least his Christmas) mission to get the latest 8-bit gaming system for Christmas.

Elf (2003)

Genre Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart
Directed by Jon Favreau
pg 97m
A modern Christmas classic, Will Ferrell stars as Buddy the Elf, a human who was accidentally brought to the North Pole as a child. Raised as a toymaking elf, Buddy is extremely enthusiastic, but as a full-grown man, he’s about four times the size of the other elves. Somehow, he feels like he just doesn’t belong, so when the opportunity arises to meet his real father, Buddy jumps at the chance to travel to Manhattan. Dad, however, isn’t quite ready to accept that his long-lost son is literally one of Santa’s elves.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Genre Comedy
Stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis
Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik
pg-13 97m
Another Christmas classic, this one catches up with National Lampoon’s Vacation‘s Griswold family as they prepare to host fmaily for the holidays. Of course, things are never easy for Clark (Chevy Chase), Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), and their kids. When Clark’s obnoxious cousin Eddie arrives unexpectedly with his family in tow, the bad luck spirals out of control. But Clark is not one to be deterred from having a happy Christmas holiday.

A Christmas Story (1983)

A Christmas Story
Genre Comedy, Family
Stars Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley
Directed by Bob Clark
pg 93m
One of the most beloved Christmas movies ever, A Christmas Story is practically appointment viewing for many families. Little Ralphie is growing up in the 1940s, getting into mischief, but trying to stay good so he can convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that he’s deserving of a Red Ryder B.B. gun for Christmas. Easier said than done.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street
Genre Comedy, Drama, Family
Stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn
Directed by George Seaton
A Christmas movie for the ages, Miracle on 34th Street introduces us to Kris Kringle, a jolly man who bears a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. Naturally, he’s asked to perform the role at Macy’s after his performance in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle is committed to the role, however, making some wonder if he’s truly Santa Claus, and making others push for the man’s institutionalization.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Miracle on 34th Street
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Family
Stars Richard Attenborough, Dylan McDermott, Mara Wilson
Directed by Les Mayfield
pg 114m
It doesn’t compare to the original, but this 1994 reboot is still a heartwarmer. Six-year-old Susan Walker doubts the existence of Santa Claus since the adults in her life have pretty much all given up trying to keep up the charade. But when she meets a department store Santa who’s convinced he’s the real thing, Susan begins to find her belief again.

Four Christmases (2008)

Four Christmases
Genre Comedy, Romance, Drama
Stars Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall
Directed by Seth Gordon
pg-13 88m
For those looking for a more PG-13 Christmas movie, Four Christmases delivers some laughs around cute performances from Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. Each year, Brad and Kate have successfully avoided their families. This year, however, all departing flights are canceled and their ruse to elope from their families gets exposed on TV. Now, Brad and Kate must attend four different Christmases in the same day, all while eating a big old slice of humble pie.

The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express
Genre Animation, Family, Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy
Stars Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
g 100m
The computer animation doesn’t really stand up to today’s standards, but don’t let that take you out of the magic of The Polar Express. One night, a boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus looks out his window to discover an unusual train. He boards it and finds he’s heading to the North Pole. But it’s more than just a journey to see Santa, it’s a journey to the heart of himself to discover that life’s wonders never cease as long as you believe.

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