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The Best New Christmas Movies in 2023

Deck everything with these dozens of holiday films

Philiana Ng
The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit

Apple TV+

You've just started prepping the five-course Christmas Day meal and you're in the mood for a feel-good holiday movie, but you're not sure which one to watch. You've already circled the ones on Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, and Great American Family that strike your fancy, but you're looking for something else to keep that holiday cheer going. 

There's plenty of entertaining options that aren't on Hallmark, Lifetime, or Great American Family to watch, like Eddie Murphy as an uber-competitive house decorator, Melissa McCarthy as a wish-granting genie, or Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms swapping bodies with their teenage kids. And for the Doctor Who nerds out there, David Tennant is back as the Time Lord in a series of specials just in time to introduce the newest Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa. There's truly something for everyone in the family. Or, if you want to feel warm and cozy with holiday classics, such as Elf and Home Alone, that's fine too! 

Check out our list of the best new Christmas movies to watch this year.

More Christmas movie schedules:

A Christmas Frequency (Nov. 2, Hulu)

The worst time to feel the blues is right before the holidays. That's unfortunately the case for Denise Richards, who plays a morning radio show host who has secretly split from her husband and whose show is suffering a ratings nosedive. But someone gets the bright idea to save both by setting up a series of blind dates, where she – you guessed it – meets a guy she's very, very interested in.

Reporting for Christmas (Nov. 2, Hulu)

One of the most popular holiday movie tropes lives on in Reporting for Christmas, which follows a serious reporter (Tamara Feldman) who is forced to break from her very serious reporting duties to do a puff piece on a small-town toy company. While on assignment, she discovers that men in small towns are just as handsome and charming as those from the big city, especially when she comes face to face with the toy manufacturer.  

How to Fall in Love By the Holidays (Nov. 3, Roku Channel)

It's a busy Christmas for former desperate housewife Teri Hatcher, who stars in two winter movies (the other being Lifetime's Christmas at the Chalet, which is also on this list). In this one, Hatcher plays a successful writer-turned-CEO, whose company is in dire straits (of course it is!). The only way to salvage it from going under is if she starts writing a column about falling in love during the holidays. But the photographer assigned to the column, who's obviously handsome, makes things a lot more complicated.   

Brandy Norwood, Madison Validum, and Heather Graham, Best. Christmas. Ever!

Brandy Norwood, Madison Validum, and Heather Graham, Best. Christmas. Ever!

Scott Everett White/Netflix

Best. Christmas. Ever! (Nov. 16, Netflix)

Heather Graham and Brandy are duking it out over eggnog! The duo are old college BFFs in Best. Christmas. Ever! (we. love. punctuation!), and they unexpectedly come together for Christmas after Charlotte (Graham), who's always felt inferior, finds herself at the doorstep of the seemingly perfect Jackie (Brandy). As you can imagine, hijinks ensue when Charlotte sets out to prove Jackie's life isn't as idyllic as it seems.   

Sworn Justice: Taken Before Christmas (Nov. 16, BET+)

Like some danger with your wintertime content? Then this holiday thriller should be at the top of your list. Starring Vivica A. Fox, Mishael Morgan, and Leland B. Martin, the movie follows a couple who are kidnapped and separated, but even scarier is that if they want to make it to Christmas alive, they have to follow their tormentor's every terrifying demand.

EXmas (Nov. 17, Freevee)

Robbie Amell and Leighton Meester are a match (not) made in heaven in EXmas! The comedy film finds the duo playing once-engaged exes who essentially duke it out for the title of "Best Ex at Christmas" Survivor style, but we're betting they fall back in love along the way. Think The Family Stone without the Diane Keaton-sized tears.   

Dashing Through the Snow (Nov. 17, Disney+)

Chris "Ludacris" Bridges stars in the original movie that revolves around a social worker for the Atlanta police department who goes on a Christmas Eve adventure with his estranged daughter. The Marvels' Teyonah Parris also stars in the holiday comedy, along with Lil Rel Howery. Just based on the premise, we're 99.9% sure Kleenex will be involved.

A Merry Scottish Christmas (Nov. 18 at 8/7c, Hallmark Channel)

It's a Salinger reunion! A Merry Scottish Christmas is easily one of Hallmark Channel's biggest bets this winter, with Party of Five's Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf reuniting to play siblings once again — but this time, they're estranged. Filmed and set in Scotland (how's that for a work trip?), you have to be a major grinch not to be rooting for Chabert and Wolf, the latter who dons a kilt.   

Melissa McCarthy, Genie

Melissa McCarthy, Genie

Stephanie Mei-Ling/Universal Pictures/Peacock

Genie (Nov. 22, Peacock)

Melissa McCarthy as a wish-granting genie? We're in! The mystical fairy tale comedy centers around a man, Bernard (I May Destroy You's Paapa Essiedu), whose life is falling apart, and through happenstance, becomes friends with McCarthy's genie, Flora, who's been trapped inside a jewelry box for centuries.   

Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas (Nov. 22, Apple TV+)

Having major Ted Lasso withdrawal like we are? Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham is here to cure your Christmastime blues with a holiday special where she shows off her impressive musical chops. And here's a bonus treat: She'll be joined by a few of Ted Lasso's finest, along with other special guests like Leslie Odom Jr. Win-win!

The Velveteen Rabbit (Nov. 22, Apple TV+)

Based on the children's classic, the latest adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit features Phoenix Laroche voicing the main protagonist, William, who unlocks a magical world after receiving the velveteen rabbit for Christmas. Folks like Helena Bonham Carter and Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan also lend their voices.   

The Naughty Nine (Nov. 23, Disney+)

First premiering Nov. 22 on Disney Channel before dropping on Disney+, The Naughty Nine stars Danny Glover, Winslow Fegley, and Camila Rodriguez in a holiday heist film. According to Disney, it's Ocean's Eleven if it was set in the North Pole, with a trouble-making fifth grader (Fegley) at the top of Santa's naughty list.   

So Fly Christmas (Nov. 23, BET+)

Getting dumped on Christmas Eve is not so fly, but that's exactly what happens to Wyvetta (Tichina Arnold). Luckily, her best gal pal, Dione (Tami Roman), has her back, and the two of them declare that love is dead. But just when they do, Dione starts to fall for a record store owner — making for a potentially awkward situation should her friend find out.    

My Christmas Hero (Nov. 24 at 8/7c, Great American Family)

It wouldn't be Christmas without a Candace Cameron Bure movie! My Christmas Hero, the actress' first festive title with Great American Family (and not Hallmark), finds her proudly waving the American flag. Bure plays an army doctor trying to put together the pieces of her family's military history only to find romance along the way.

The Recipe Files (Nov. 24, HSN+ and QVC+)

Even QVC is getting in on the holiday action. The Recipe Files has baking, murder, and Ashlee Simpson leading the merry way. It being on a home shopping network and all, there's bound to be major product placement throughout the movie. Fancy a snowman-themed crockpot, anyone?  

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials (Nov. 25 through Dec. 25, Disney+)

It's surreal to have David Tennant, playing the newly incarnated Fourteenth Doctor for the first time, and his companion, Catherine Tate, back to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who through three Disney+ specials. The anticipated debut of Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor follows in a Christmas Day installment, with Millie Gibson being introduced as his companion.    

Christmas at the Chalet (Nov. 25 at 8/7c, Lifetime)

Teri Hatcher channels her inner influencer for Christmas at the Chalet, where she plays a former TV host/socialite who's stuck at a cabin with her son, ex-husband, and his new girlfriend. To minimize those awkward run-ins, she volunteers at the chalet and documents her every move for her growing followers.    

A Biltmore Christmas

A Biltmore Christmas


A Biltmore Christmas (Nov. 26 at 8/7c, Hallmark Channel)

Old Hollywood! Time travel! A movie within a movie! Singing! Check, check, check, and check. Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha turn on the charm in Hallmark's A Biltmore Christmas, which transports Lenz's Lucy to the 1947 set of the holiday classic, His Merry Wife!, after her proposed script for the remake isn't up to par. There she meets the film's star, Polaha's Jack Huston, and immediately sparks fly. But messing with any space-time continuum can only spell trouble.

Family Switch (Nov. 30, Netflix)

It's Freaky Friday and 17 Again but to extreme limits. Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms body swap with their teenage kids, played by Emma Myers and Brady Noon, after Rita Moreno enacts magical powers that cause them to wake up in each other's bodies. It's a literal nightmare for the family as Christmas is around the corner, but we love awkwardness!    

Selena + Chef: Home for the Holidays (Nov. 30 at 8/7c, Food Network)

We're cheating a little by including this holiday cooking special, but we're massive fans of Selena Gomez's gem of a show. We had to give some love to the Only Murders in the Building star's Christmas celebration on Food Network (it'll also stream on Max), which will feature renowned chefs Eric Adjepong, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon, and Claudette Zepeda for a mouth-watering holiday feast.

The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday (Nov. 30, Netflix)

Need a break from adult fare? Here's an animated special spun off from The Bad Guys film. It follows Mr. Wolf and his crew of animal outlaws as they try to restore the city's Christmas spirit. Michael Godere, Ezekiel Ajeigbe, Raul Ceballos, and Chris Diamontopoulos lend their voices in this nutty holiday heist.    

A Royal Christmas Surprise (Nov. 30, BET+)

Royalty and Christmas go together like candy canes and marshmallows. A follow-up to 2022's A Royal Surprise, Riley's (Jennifer Freeman) family hosts Prince Mandla's (Thapelo Mokoena) parents at their Kentucky home, which is a recipe for comedic shenanigans. As the title suggests, a surprise promises to upend all of Riley's plans.    

Candy Cane Lane (Dec. 1, Prime Video)

If there's a Christmas house decorating competition, Eddie Murphy is there! The Oscar winner headlines Candy Cane Lane, which finds Murphy's Chris signing a bad deal with a shady elf just so he can accomplish his life's dream of winning his neighborhood competition. Too bad he didn't read the fine print because one of the consequences of signing the contract is he will turn into a toy figurine. Yes, we're 100% serious.

Loni Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Linda Gray, Donna Mills, and Nicollette Sheridan, Ladies of the '80s: A Divas Christmas

Loni Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Linda Gray, Donna Mills, and Nicollette Sheridan, Ladies of the '80s: A Divas Christmas


Ladies of the '80s: A Divas Christmas (Dec. 2 at 8/7c, Lifetime)

The '80s called! Loni Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Linda Gray, Donna Mills, and Nicollette Sheridan team up for the ultimate throwback as five former soap opera divas who reunite to film the final Christmas episode of their popular soap. Surprisingly, they're not the only storyline! The sub-plot involves a producer and a director, who happen to be former flames and can't help but reignite old feelings — with the help of the divas playing Cupid.     

Never Alone for Christmas (Dec. 7, BET+)

You break up with your significant other right before the holidays, then you both happen to attend the same New Orleans retreat. If that's not awkward enough, you both have someone new on your arms. Oops? Look up "messy" in the dictionary, and you'll find this movie in big red font.    

Rescuing Christmas (Dec. 7, Hallmark Movies Now)

Bah humbug! Rachael Leigh Cook is anti-Christmas in the newest Hallmark streaming movie, and it takes one wish that accidentally comes true — that the holiday never existed — for her to realize she's made a horrible mistake. Enlisting the help of her blind date, played by Sam Page, to help bring Christmas back to life (and reinstill joy in the world), she realizes maybe it's not so bad having some mistletoe in your life.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever (Dec. 8, Disney+)

Set two weeks before Christmas, disaster-prone middle schooler Greg Heffley (Wesley Kimmel) can't have it any worse — he may not get the video game console he wants because of a snow plow accident. Blasphemy! Adding insult to injury, he's snowed in with his family, which can't be good for anyone's sanity.

Christmas on Cherry Lane (Dec. 9 at 8/7c, Hallmark Channel)

Last year had Three Wise Men and a Baby, starring three of Hallmark's best. This year, Christmas on Cherry Lane could fill that void with network favorites Catherine Bell, Jonathan Bennett, Erin Cahill, and James Denton, all spreading Christmas cheer as three seemingly separate storylines that converge in a surprising way.     

A Cowboy Christmas Romance (Dec. 9 at 8/7c, Lifetime)

Small-town cowboys, real estate battles, and father-daughter tension sum up this Lifetime holiday film, which was written by Grey's Anatomy's Sarah Drew. It stars Jana Kramer as a hotshot real estate "closer" tasked with closing an impossible deal with a difficult but very good-looking rancher, all while navigating an estranged relationship with her dad. Ah yes, we love good ol' family baggage to stir the pot.          

Barry Manilow's A Very Barry Christmas (Dec. 11 at 10/9c, NBC)

The legendary crooner stars in a one-hour NBC special, filmed in Las Vegas, showcasing his timeless classics, like "Copacabana," "Mandy," and "Looks Like We Made It," as well as holiday favorites such as "White Christmas," "Jingle Bells," and "Feliz Navidad." The special will also stream on Peacock the following day.

An Ice Palace Romance (Dec. 14, Hallmark Movies Now)

Channel your inner ice princess (or ice prince) with An Ice Palace Romance. The film follows a journalist (Celeste Desjardins) who returns to her small-town rink to cover a story — and face old fears of returning to the ice. But the handsome rink owner and his young daughter help squash those worries away. A true Christmas miracle!     

Whatever It Takes (Dec. 21, BET+)

The movie takes place during Thanksgiving weekend, as five women bond over their imperfect love lives. Sounds like the perfect respite for a girls' night in and a big bottle of red wine. Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kandi Burruss puts on her acting hat, along with Tami Roman, Brely Evans, and AJ Johnson.     

Call the Midwife Holiday Schedule (Dec. 25 at 8/7c, PBS)

An annual Christmas Day tradition, PBS' Call the Midwife returns for its twelfth(!) holiday special. Not a lot has been revealed about the hour, only that it will be set in 1969 and there's bound to be drama after Trixie and Matthew's wedding.