Where to Watch Holiday Specials & Christmas Movies: For the 2021 Season

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There’s nothing like snuggling up with a cozy blanket, clutching a mug of hot chocolate, and grabbing the remote to flip through this season's newest holiday specials. 

Whether it’s the infamously chaotic 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, something new and now, or more traditional fare from Freeform’s annual 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon, it won't feel like the holiday season without the warm glow of one-screen tinsel to curl up to. 

With plenty of programs to choose from this year, you’ll have a holly-jolly good time watching each special. Here’s a list of best bets to keep you entertained this holiday season. 

 

Upcoming new Holiday TV specials

NBC Holiday Specials

5 More Sleeps 'Til Christmas

(Premiering November 26)

Jimmy Fallon’s New York Times best-selling book, 5 More Sleeps ‘til Christmas, is coming to life this holiday season. Gather the whole family to watch the 30-minute animated special and it’s narrated by Fallon himself. The story focuses on a young boy who has a meticulous plan for the days leading up to Christmas and how his plans start to turn upside down the closer he gets to Christmas.

Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around

(Premiering December 1)

Kelly Clarkson has released her ninth studio album, When Christmas Comes Around…, just in time for her new Christmas special on NBC. Inspired by the different ways people celebrate the holidays, Kelly Clarkson will perform holiday classics and original songs from her album. She’ll be accompanied by special guests like Ariana Grande, Jay Leno, Leslie Odom Jr., and more.

ABC Holiday Specials

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration

(Premiering November 28)

Experience the magic of the holidays with the whole family during Disney’s annual Magical Holiday Celebration. Sing along to iconic Disney and holiday songs.

CMA Country Christmas

(Premiering November 29)

The annual CMA Country Christmas special is back on ABC for it’s 12th year. Join hosts Gabby Barrett and Carly Pearce for a night filled with classic and one-of-a-kind musical performances featuring country artists like Carrie Underwood, Brett Elderedge, and more.

CW Holiday Specials

Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown

(Premiering December 12)

Just like the SuperBowl, Christmas has some amazing commercials The CW has pulled together some of the best Christmas commercials of all time for your viewing pleasure!

The Jingle Ball Concert

(Premiering December 15)

TThe Jingle Ball Concert usually travels around the country during December, but this time the I Heart Radio special takes place in your home! The epic lineup (with performances from Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, Jonas Brothers, and more) will have you dancing in your living room and singing at the top of your lungs.

Where to stream classic Christmas movies

The holidays are a time of tradition, and that means searching the navigation screen for your favorite holiday classics. But where can you stream? Before shouting voice commands into your remote, check out the following: 

Miracle on 34th Street

(HBO Max)

In this 1947 Christmas classic, a man named Kris Kringle takes over for an intoxicated mall Santa Claus and wows the families that come through his line. In a truly New York City twist, he’s taken to court to determine if he is the real Santa Claus. 

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol

(HBO Max)

Who needs therapy when you have ghosts to help you sort out your problems? In A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is a penny-pinching miser who begrudgingly comes to see the error of his ways. His recently deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, visits him from beyond the grave to warn that the ghosts of the past, present, and yet to come are on their way to steer him toward the true spirit of Christmas.

A Christmas Story

(HBO Max)

Do you remember the present that you hoped and begged for as a child? Ralphie Parker does! Based on the hilarious writings of Jean Shepard, A Christmas Story follows a young Ralphie, who has high hopes for this Christmas. Narrated by the adult Ralphie, you watch as he wishes (endlessly) for a Red Ryder BB Gun, dodges his local bully, and deals with his cranky father and doting mother. It is for sure to be a Christmas to remember for Ralphie.

White Christmas

(Netflix)

Hollywood legends Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star in this musical Christmas movie as army buddies Bob Wallace and Phil Davis. The duo head to Vermont with sisters Betty and Judy Haynes, and stay at a bed and breakfast which happens to be owned by their former commanding officer. To help the financially troubled inn, the four of them spring into action to put on a Christmas musical extravaganza. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

(Apple TV+)

We’re not sure if it’s actually the holiday season without the famous Peanuts crew. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie tries to figure out the true meaning of Christmas outside of all the glitz, glam and commercialization, with help from his friends and a cute little overburdened tree. What really puts this animated morality tale over the top into mandatory season viewing is the mournfully jazzy soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio - a classic in its own right.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

(Amazon Prime) 

Jim Carrey’s live-action portrayal of the Grinch in Ron Howard’s 2000 film is something people talk about all year round. In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch’s life of solitude starts to change when he meets a Who-ville resident, Cindy Lou Who, who wants to bring him back into society. 

Die Hard

(Amazon Prime) 

There is a never ending debate on whether Die Hard counts as a Christmas movie and it definitely counts! New York police officer, John McClane, decides to visit his estranged wife on Christmas Eve. While her company is having their annual holiday party, John waits in her office. Unfortunately, the holiday festivities are cut short when a group of terrorists take over the building and everyone in it. John soon realizes he might be the only one to save the hostages and the woman he loves.

 

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