The 40 Best Christmas Rom Coms You Can Stream Right Now

While Christmas movies have been part of Hollywood almost since the very inception of cinema, the specific subgenre of holiday rom-coms iis currently more popular than ever. Although each one of these holiday movies has its own special way of bringing its characters together, as a whole they also reinforce the general idea of Christmas magic, using whimsy and yuletide cheer to freshen up a tried-and-true formula. Holiday rom-coms feel like they take place in their own special universe, often set in towns where snow is always on the ground, where the holidays are valued more than anything else, and where the spirit of Christmas can make anything happen. 

With so many difficulties unfolding in the real world, it's no wonder that people turn to escapist fantasies at Christmas. However, as Christmas rom-coms become increasingly popular, it's getting harder and harder to sift through the numerous options. As such, if you're looking for something festive, funny, and to watch while you're decorating the tree or filling stockings, we've compiled a list of the best holiday rom-coms you can stream right now. Happy holidays!

A Castle for Christmas

Where to stream: Netflix

One of the most important parts of a romantic comedy is casting two actors who have great chemistry — extra points if they're already beloved by the audience. This works to wonderful effect in "A Castle for Christmas," a newer Netflix offering starring Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields. Shields stars as famous romance novelist Sophie, whose latest book upsets her fans after she kills off the romantic hero following own real-life breakup. In an effort to escape the bad press, Sophie flees to Scotland, where her father grew up, to reconnect with her heritage. Once there, she visits the castle where her father worked as a child and meets Elwes' Myles, who she initially believes to be the castle's caretaker. 

When she learns he's actually the duke who owns the castle, the two butt heads. Sophie takes an interest in buying the flailing property, but the stubborn Myles initially resists her help. When he does ultimately give in to Sophie's offer, his goal is to make her stay so unpleasant that she gives up and leaves. 

Of course, living in close quarters, their chemistry prevails, and Sophie's prevailing charm and genuine love for her new home begin to chip away at Myles' gruff exterior. "A Castle for Christmas" features beautiful scenery, a charming romance between two fantastic actors, and a winning cast of Scottish characters, making for a fun and whimsical Christmas romance.

Holiday in the Wild

Where to stream: Netflix

Unlike many of the other films on this list, "Holiday in the Wild" takes place in a unique setting, eschewing the trappings of a typical studio backlot. Instead, "Holiday in the Wild" follows Kate (Kristin Davis) to Africa, after she makes plans for a romantic getaway with her husband only to be left alone entirely. When her husband announces that he's leaving her following their son's departure for college, Kate decides to go on the trip anyway, embarking on a solo African safari in an attempt to rediscover what it means to be on her own. While there, she discovers a new purpose at a wild elephant sanctuary, where she puts her long-dormant veterinary skills to use. 

Of course, she also hits it off with the curmudgeonly but charming local pilot, Derek (Rob Lowe), leading her to extend her stay. As Kate and Derek grow closer, Kate has to choose whether to put down new roots far away from her home, or stay close to her son and old life. "Holiday in the Wild" is more of a traditional rom-com than a holiday story, but its distinct setting and beautiful scenery make it stand out from the pack.

The Knight Before Christmas

Where to stream: Netflix

If you're looking for something light, fluffy, and a little bit silly, you might enjoy "The Knight Before Christmas." The film is about Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse), a 14th-century knight on a quest who is magically transported to the modern day. There, he meets Brooke (Vanessa Hudgens), a heartbroken teacher who accidentally hits him with her car in the middle of a snowy night. Of course, Brooke doesn't believe Sir Cole's story, and assumes instead that he's lost his memory as a result of the accident. 

However, Cole's prevailing charm and their shared chemistry override the mysterious circumstances that bring them together. As the clock ticks down to Christmas, which happens to be the deadline by which Cole must complete his quest, he and Brooke grow closer, teaching each other about their Christmas traditions and their ways of life. Ultimately, each member of the couple must make their own decision: Brooke must let Cole into her heart, while Cole needs to decide which time period he truly wants to call home.

Single All the Way

Where to stream: Netflix

While most Christmas rom-coms involve two opposites who inevitably attract, there arecountless ways for people to come together. "Single All the Way" follows the perennially single-at-Christmas Peter (Michael Urie), who finally has a boyfriend to take home for the holidays, only to be dumped right before Christmas. Desperate to make his family happy, Peter asks his best friend and roommate, Nick (Philemon Chambers), to come home with him and pose as his boyfriend.

When they arrive in New Hampshire, Peter and Nick are greeted by Peter's overbearing mother Carole (Kathy Najimy), who has set him up on a blind date with a local ski instructor, James (Luke Macfarlane). While Peter and his mom are distracted by James, the rest of the family schemes to set him up with Nick, seeing that the two have always had a connection. "Single All the Way" is an incredibly charming and funny friends-to-lovers story filled with a stacked comedic ensemble that includes Barry Bostwick and Jennifer Coolidge. It's the perfect movie for those looking for a funny family film that's full of romance.

Happiest Season

Where to stream: Hulu

One of the first holiday rom-coms to center on an LGBTQ+ couple, "Happiest Season" stars Kristen Stewart as Abby, a quiet woman who doesn't really like the holidays now that both of her parents have died. When her girlfriend, Harper (Mackenzie Davis), invites her home for Christmas, Abby decides that it's the perfect opportunity to propose, until Harper confesses that she hasn't come out to her family yet, afraid the news will hurt her father's campaign for mayor. Instead, they plan for Harper to pose as Abby's roommate. 

Once they arrive, Abby is quickly cast aside as Harper falls back into her conservative family's regressive patterns, sending Abby out on her own. She meets Riley (Aubrey Plaza), who happens to be one of Harper's old friends, at a local gay bar. As Abby and Riley become closer, Abby begins to reexamine her relationship with Harper. With Christmas approaching, Abby must decide what she wants for herself, while Harper has to choose between her family's approval and living her truth. While "Happiest Season" is on the more dramatic side of the rom-com spectrum, it still tackles a lot of important and heartfelt themes that will stir up all of the feelings this holiday season.

While You Were Sleeping

Where to stream: Disney+

A classic Christmas rom-com, "While You Were Sleeping" stars Sandra Bullock as Lucy, a Chicago Transit Authority employee and lonely romantic who dreams of a bigger world after losing both of her parents. She also daydreams about Peter (Peter Gallagher), a handsome customer who regularly stops by her booth. One day, when Peter falls onto the platform, Lucy saves him and takes him to the hospital, where she ends up posing as his fiancée in a moment of chaos and miscommunication. Things only get worse from there, as Peter's loved ones show up at his bedside while he's comatose and quickly welcome Lucy into the family. 

While Lucy falls in love with Peter's family, the lie also gets deeper, and she risks losing them if she tells them the truth. Complicating matters further is Peter's brother, Jack (Bill Pullman). He and Lucy forge a strong connection, but Jack believes that she is engaged to his brother. "While You Were Sleeping" has a silly premise, but it's ultimately a heartfelt romantic comedy set full of seasonal spirit.

The Holiday

Where to stream: Disney+

Nancy Myers, one of the reigning queens of romantic comedies, puts her own spin on Christmas in the beloved classic "The Holiday." The film follows two lovelorn women who meet through a house exchange website, as both want to escape their problems for the holidays. Iris (Kate Winslet) is a London-based journalist who is in love with her colleague and finds out he's engaged to someone else. In Hollywood, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) edits movie trailers and is recovering from a breakup with her cheating boyfriend. By virtue of staying in each other's homes, they each befriend each other's family and acquaintances. 

That's how Amanda meets Iris' handsome brother, Graham (Jude Law), and his adorable children. It's also how Iris meets Amanda's charming colleague Miles (Jack Black) and her neighbor, a legendary screenwriter named Arthur (Eli Wallach). While Amanda and Iris both leave their homes in an effort to recover from their romantic mishaps and spend some time alone, they end up finding what they least expect: the possibility of new love. "The Holiday" is a classic for a reason — it's the perfect blend of a romantic comedy and a holiday film.

Elf

Where to stream: HBO Max

More comedy than rom-com, "Elf" has nonetheless become a timeless holiday classic. In the film, Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, an orphaned human who is raised by Santa (Ed Asner) and his elves at the North Pole. As a result, he naturally believes that he is an elf, too. When Buddy learns the truth about his heritage, he sets off on a quest to find his biological father, Walter (James Caan), in New York City. While Buddy is hoping for a heartwarming family reunion, he instead finds a grumpy and reticent man who doesn't understand why Buddy is the way he is or what has brought him to his door, leaving Buddy to fend for himself in an unknown and hostile environment.

On his journey, Buddy meets a department store elf named Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), and he falls in love at first sight. As Buddy begins to find his way in New York, he's also stricken by how many people don't believe in Santa or the spirit of Christmas, which causes problems when there's not enough Christmas spirit to power Santa's sleigh on the big night. "Elf" is a love story with multiple parts. It's not just about the bond between Buddy and Jovie, but also the ones between Buddy and Walter and Buddy and his family at the North Pole, making it a heartfelt family story for the holiday season.

It's a Wonderful Life

Where to stream: Prime Video

Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," regarded by many as the greatest Christmas movie of all time, follows George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), who wants a life beyond his small town of Bedford Falls but feels an overwhelming responsibility to his family, community, and the business he inherited. When he learns that his company is on the brink of financial ruin and will soon be overtaken by the town's reigning, corrupt overlord, Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), George decides that his family and Bedford Falls would be better off without him. As he considers suicide, an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) shows him what the world would be like if he had never existed. 

The film moves through George Bailey's life, depicting how George and his wife, Mary (Donna Reed), fell in love in what's still one of cinema's most romantic moments. "It's a Wonderful Life" has become a holiday mainstay due to its innovative narrative and wholesome and necessary message. George Bailey's journey towards realizing his own life's meaning is a romance of its own, one wholly unique to the spirit of Christmas.

Holiday Rush

Where to stream: Netflix

The holidays are a time for whimsy and magic, but also reflection and growth. "Holiday Rush" follows single dad and radio DJ Rush Williams (Romany Malco), who has a successful career on the radio alongside his friend and producer Roxy (Sonequa Martin-Green) until the sudden buyout of his station turns his life upside down. As Rush tightens his belt and tries to come up with a new game plan, his family moves in with his Aunt Jo (Darlene Love), where his spoiled children have to adjust to a new lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Roxy and Rush buy another station, where they can control their own show. As they go into business together, their friendship reveals itself to be something deeper, even as they battle their former station for ratings. Ultimately, Rush has to work with his family to rediscover the meaning of Christmas while finding a new path forward that makes everyone happy.

Love Hard

Where to stream: Netflix

Those looking for a more grown-up holiday rom-com may enjoy "Love Hard," another one of Netflix's newest holiday movies. The film follows Natalie (Nina Dobrev), a dating columnist who finally meets her perfect match on a dating app. The only catch? He lives on the opposite coast. When he tells her he wishes they could spend Christmas together, Natalie decides to surprise him in person, only to discover that Josh (Jimmy O. Yang) isn't everything that he seems — he's been catfishing her, using the photos of a friend named Tag (Darren Barnet). Natalie heads to the local bar and finds Tag, deciding that fate has brought them together. 

A desperate Josh follows and asks Natalie to pretend to be her girlfriend for the holidays, offering to help her win over Tag in exchange. Natalie agrees. While Natalie hits it off with Tag and is initially (and justifiably) reluctant to trust Josh, their scheming brings them closer together, and she begins to understand why Josh catfished her in the first place. "Love Hard" uses its Christmas elements to fun effect, making for a wildly affecting movie.

The Holiday Calendar

Where to stream: Netflix

Some Christmas movies lean into the magic of the season a bit more than others, giving the audience room to explore the season's possibilities. "The Holiday Calendar" is about Abby (Kat Graham), a small-town photographer who dreams of spreading her wings as an artist, but who's stuck working taking pictures of kids at Santa's shop. 

When Abby's grandfather (Ron Cephas Jones) gives her an antique advent calendar, promising it will send miracles her way, she scoffs. However, the calendar begins to predict the future in subtle ways, especially after Abby crosses paths with Ty (Ethan Peck), a local doctor, leading her to question if the calendar really is magic after all — although her dormant feelings for her best friend, Josh (Quincy Brown), make real answers hard to come by.

"The Holiday Calendar" perfectly blends its central romance with Christmas iconography, resulting in a sweet and whimsical story that reinforces the magical notion that the best love stories might be found right under your nose.

Let It Snow

Where to stream: Netflix

Based on the novel by popular young adult authors John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson, "Let It Snow" is a holiday romance told from the point of view of multiple teenagers in rural Illinois. There's Julie (Isabela Merced), who hits it off with pop star Stuart (Shameik Moore), but feels like she needs to stay home and take care of her sick mother. Best friends Angie (Kiernan Shipka) and Tobin (Mitchell Hope) struggle to navigate the chemistry brewing between them, while, across town, Dorrie (Liv Hewson) develops feelings for a cheerleader who ignores her in public. 

In addition to its central stories, the film's supporting cast is full of eccentric and funny characters who make "Let It Snow" feel like it takes place in its own special universe. All of the stories converge on Christmas Eve, making for an incongruous but sweet rom-com centered on the teen experience, a perspective not often explored in these types of movies.

The Princess Switch

Where to stream: Netflix

A Netflix dynasty in its own right, "The Princess Switch" takes all of "The Parent Trap" tropes and blends them into a delightful holiday rom-com in which Vanessa Hudgens plays both starring roles. Stacy is a professional baker and a perfectionist who reluctantly agrees to travel to Belgravia to compete in a prestigious competition alongside her best friend and sous chef, Kevin (Nick Sagar). Once there, she bumps into the Belgravian prince's fiancé, Margaret, who looks just like her, and who suggests that they switch places so that she can escape some of her royal duties. 

Stacy agrees, and soon finds herself charmed by Prince Edward (Sam Palladio), even as Margaret is swept away by Kevin. While the two struggle to maintain their secret, they also begin to question whether they can each have what they really want. "The Princess Switch" is a delightfully silly movie that's just as funny as it is romantic. The original film has also spawned two sequels, meaning that you can have your own Belgravian movie marathon this Christmas Eve.

White Christmas

Where to stream: Netflix

While many of the movies on this list have musical numbers, "White Christmas" is an actual musical. This holiday classic stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as Bob and Phil, two war veterans who have since become a huge Broadway act. While traveling for a show, they meet the Haynes sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen), rising stars who the men soon become enamored with. However, while Phil is a romantic, Bob prefers to avoid women and stick to business. Still, they decide to follow the sisters to a struggling Vermont inn where they're performing for the holidays. 

When they arrive, Bob and Phil learn the inn is owned by their former general, and commit to doing whatever they can to help him save his business, including bringing their successful show from New York to Vermont. As Phil and Judy fall in love, they scheme to set up Bob and Betty, inadvertently threatening their future happiness altogether. "White Christmas" is a timeless holiday classic from the golden age of Hollywood that will sweep you off your feet and into the holiday season.

12 Dates of Christmas

Where to stream: Hulu

Kate (Amy Smart) is still getting over a breakup while she's on a blind date with Miles (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). Kate becomes focused on winning back her ex. However, she's so determined to tank the date that she doesn't give Miles a chance. Thankfully, the magic of the Christmas season steps in to nudge her fate in the right direction: She wakes up the next morning to find she's reliving the same day again.

Over the next twelve days, Kate eventually lets go of her original idea of what she wanted and gets to know Miles. "12 Dates of Christmas" (2011) is a charming holiday rom-com in the vein of "Groundhog Day" (1993). We see Kate let go of her rigid ideas of what it means to be happy, all thanks to the wonder of Christmas. Additionally, Smart and Gosselaar have solid comedic and romantic chemistry, creating a believable and charming couple amid a fantastical world.

A Christmas Movie Christmas

Where to stream: Hulu

Eve (Lana McKissack) is obsessed with having a Christmas as perfect as the cheesy holiday movies she loves watching. Her sister, Lacey (Kimberly Daugherty), isn't as into the merriment as she's more focused on figuring out how to be happy. When they each make a wish to Santa, they have no idea they'll end up inside the world of a Christmas movie, away from the city and in the magical, quaint Holiday Falls.

While Eve is thrilled, Lacey is bored and unwilling to play the third wheel in Eve's main character story. That's when she meets Paul (Brant Daugherty), the happy-go-lucky baker who unexpectedly chips away at her defenses. Like all great holiday romantic comedies, "A Christmas Movie Christmas" is silly, but it has a sweet story and romance at its core. Fans of the classic Christmas rom-com setup will appreciate its charming, winking satire as it delivers a sincere and loving homage to the genre.

A Christmas Prince

Where to stream: Netflix

One of Netflix's original tentpole Christmas franchises, "A Christmas Prince," follows Amber (Rose McIver), a reporter seeking to get close to Richard (Ben Lamb), the Prince of Aldovia. As Christmas Eve approaches, Richard must decide whether or not to accept the crown. As the pressure intensifies, he can't handle the watchful eye of the public and the press. When Amber sneaks into the palace, they assume she's the new tutor for the young princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey). As an intrepid reporter, Amber seizes the opportunity to go undercover and get an inside scoop on the royal intrigue. Of course, the longer Amber is inside, the closer she becomes to Richard.

Though the press paints him as a bachelor playboy, Amber soon learns there's more to the man behind the crown. As they develop romantic feelings for each other, Amber must decide between telling him the truth and losing her story and likely Richard or putting everything on the line for her career. If you like "A Christmas Prince," you're in luck! There are two more installments in the trilogy to inspire all the royal romance holiday feelings this season.

Bridget Jones's Diary

Where to stream: Showtime

Based on Helen Fielding's modern adult romance retelling of "Pride and Prejudice," "Bridget Jones's Diary" follows the eponymous title character on a heartfelt and hilarious journey of self-improvement and romance. Bridget (Renee Zellwegger) is chronically single and in love with her charming (but very toxic) boss, Daniel (Hugh Grant). After another devastating Christmas alone with her parents, Bridget starts the new year determined to change her life and find love, leading her to a torrid and rocky affair with Daniel. 

As she reluctantly grows closer to her family friend and Daniel's rival, Mark (Colin Firth), Bridget must reckon with the truth about what she wants versus what she accepts in life. "Bridget Jones's Diary" is one of the all-time great romcoms that also takes place at Christmas. With a sizzling love triangle and snowy holiday views, the film is an excellent romance that will get you in the mood for the holidays. If you haven't seen it countless times, now is the perfect time to enjoy the timeless warmth of Bridget!

Christmas in Connecticut

Where to stream: HBO Max

Liz (Barbara Stanwyck) is a famous food writer who poses as the country's premier housewife. But in reality, she knows nothing about domestic matters. When her boss, Mr. Yardley (Sydney Greenstreet), invites himself to her home for Christmas and brings along war hero Jefferson (Dennis Morgan), Liz has to figure out how to keep up the act. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, John (Reginald Gardiner), hopes to pose as her fake husband and turn the shame into a real marriage.

As Liz and Jefferson grow fond of each other and she learns to fight for what she wants, things coalesce and fall apart in delightful ways. With plenty of hijinks, including fake babies, high-stakes pancake flipping, and romantic carriage rides in the snow, 1945's "Christmas in Connecticut" is a classic screwball comedy in the vein of 1934's "It Happened One Night." Like many modern Christmas rom-coms, the plot is less important than the characters' interactions — making for a fun and silly holiday throwback.

Christmas Inheritance

Where to stream: Netflix

If there's one recurring theme in the Christmas rom-com genre, it's the idea of taking a break from the big city and heading back home to a quaint small town to find yourself. "Christmas Inheritance" seizes on this notion as ambitious heiress Ellen (Eliza Taylor) travels to the picturesque Christmas village, Snow Falls, on a mission for her father. For her to inherit her father's company, Eliza has to deliver a letter to her dad's former colleague — all without the convenient assistance of money or her family name.

When a blizzard traps Ellen in Snow Falls for the holidays, she has to learn how to work for her room and board. Soon she gets to know the people of Snow Falls, including down-to-earth Jake (Jake Lacy). As Jake and Eliza grow closer, she learns from him and the people of Snow Falls. She discovers there's more to life than the inheritance she's seeking. While "Christmas Inheritance" is a bit repetitive, Lacy anchors the film as a solid and charming romantic lead, a hero that rom-com fans will swoon over.

Christmas With You

Where to stream: Netflix

In "Christmas With You," Angelina (Aimee Garcia) is a world-famous pop star, struggling to stay relevant while she works on a new album. When she sees a video of Cristina (Deja Monique Cruz) signing one of her songs in memory of her late mother, she decides to surprise the teen with a visit. Angelina finds herself swept away in Cristina's planning for her upcoming quinceanera on Christmas, a holiday Angelina's departed mother always loved.

As she spends more time with Cristina's family, Angelina grows closer to her dad, Miguel (Freddie Prinze Jr.), a music teacher and songwriter. When Miguel and Cristina begin collaborating on a new song, it may save not just Cristina's career but her outlook on love and life. In a refreshing change for the genre, "Christmas With You" is a charming and sweet rom-com that places a Latinx family at the center of its story. Additionally, this movie marks Prinze Jr.'s first film role in years: He sports effortless charm, charisma, and chemistry here, making it a must-watch for his fans.

Falling for Christmas

Where to stream: Netflix

Speaking of stars from the '00s, "Falling for Christmas" sees the triumphant return of Lindsay Lohan to our screens in a winning performance. Lohan stars as Sierra, a spoiled heiress, trying to prove to her father, and everyone else, that she should be taken seriously on her merit, not just because of her last name. When her boyfriend proposes, and she falls off the side of a mountain, a widower named Jake (Chord Overstreet) rescues Sierra. Plot twist time! She then no longer knows or remembers her identity. He brings Sierra to stay at his ski lodge, which challenges him to decide whether it's time to give love a chance again.

"Falling for Christmas" is like a holiday-inspired "Overboard" (1987). Sierra ironically discovers herself when she doesn't remember who she is. Overall, it's deeply sweet and romantic with plenty of laughs and beautiful holiday scenery. The Netflix original film is a must-watch for Lohan fans who will love her solid performance and the quiet easter eggs and nods to her iconic roles.

Four Christmases

Where to stream: HBO Max

Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) have everything figured out. As children of divorced parents, they don't want to repeat the mistakes traditional couples make. In fear that marriage will worsen their bond, they avoid discussing it or having conversations about having kids. Instead, they live in a suspended state of selfish adolescence, avoiding their families at Christmas to take a vacation under the guise of volunteering abroad. But when their flight becomes canceled, they're forced to face their fears and spend Christmas with their families. 

While their families are far from perfect, the unexpected time allows them to reexamine the good and bad parts of their families and their relationships. "Four Christmases" is on the adult end of the Christmas rom-com spectrum, a bit raunchier and meaner than some of the cozier classics. If you're looking for something to watch with friends over a glass or two of nog, "Four Christmases" will provide plenty of delight.

Holidate

Where to watch: Netflix

Sloane's (Emma Roberts) family won't stop harassing her about her love life, while Jackson (Luke Bracey) has been exhausted by endless bad dates. The two meet at a customer service return counter and realize they're both single and bitter about the holidays. Sloane and Jackson soon decide to pair up to try to survive the holidays together as platonic dates. For a year, the pair meet up and tag along to each others' familial and friend obligations on the holidays, full of snark and eye-rolls at the cliches each tradition carries.

Along the way, the two develop earnest feelings–for each other. While not strictly a Christmas rom-com — Sloane and Jackson celebrate holidays ranging from St. Patrick's Day to Thanksgiving –"Holidate" has its roots in the genre. Sloane and Jackson are snarkier and more sarcastic than the typical rom-com couple, making "Holidate" a fresh spin on a classic holiday romance premise.

Holiday High School Reunion

Where to stream: Peacock

The aptly named "Holiday High School Reunion" is a classic, cheesy holiday rom-com set at a small-town high school reunion. Throughout its runtime, it contains several comedic seasonal moments. The film follows Georgia (Rachel Boston), who seizes the opportunity to return home for her high school reunion, which so happens to be over the holidays. Georgia hopes the reunion will finally let her make things right with her former high school boyfriend.

But things don't go according to plan. Everyone sees Georgia as a pretentious city girl — except for her best friend from high school, Ben (Jonathan Bennett). Georgia remains determined to prove why she was voted Most Likely to Succeed and win back her old boyfriend, even as Ben is increasingly the only person who understands her. "Holiday High School Reunion" is a bit ridiculous. Still, it's a cute rom-com that has plenty of Christmas cheer.

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Where to stream: Disney+

Jake (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) is a pompous and manipulative college student who plans to go to Mexico with his girlfriend, Allie (Jessica Biel), instead of going home for the holidays. In a shocking turn of events, his dad, desperate for him to come home, offers him a car if he makes it home by Christmas Eve. Despite his feelings for Allie, Jake's selfishness leads him to ditch Mexico at the last second — only to end up stranded and forced to hitchhike his way back home.

If you're looking for a Christmas rom-com to watch with younger viewers this season, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is a fun and endearing throwback. While it has a bit more teenage snark than most of the films on this list, it has a lot of silly and heartfelt romantic moments that are in line with the best of the Christmas rom-com genre. Overall, it's an emotional family-focused story.

Just Friends

Where to stream: Peacock Premium

Chris (Ryan Reynolds) was the lovable funny guy in high school — though he was more often the punching bag than the one making jokes. Making matters worse, he was also hopelessly in love with his best friend, Jamie (Amy Smart), who only saw him as her friend. After moving away, Chris shed his old self, becoming a muscular and cynical ladies' man in return. However, a trip back home for the holidays brings back all of Chris's old anxieties and insecurities, including his unrequited love for Jamie. 

While he hopes he finally has a chance with her, he soon finds himself competing for her attention with Dusty (Chris Klein), another nerd who has improved himself since high school. What Chris doesn't expect is that Jamie never cared about his looks, leaving him to risk losing her for good. "Just Friends" is a bit dated in its premise (especially its fatphobia) and jokes, but the core emotional truth of the story is timeless.

Last Christmas

Where to stream: fuboTV

Co-written by Emma Thompson and inspired by the eponymous classic holiday pop breakup song, "Last Christmas," is one of the more dramatic films on the list. Still, it inspires the warm and fuzzy feelings of the season. Kate (Emilia Clarke) is a survivor of a heart transplant, struggling to cope with the traumatic aftermath of nearly dying. As a result, her relationships are a mess across the board: She pushes her friends, family, and coworkers to the edge. 

When she meets the handsome and kind Tom (Henry Golding), Kate reconnects with the world outside herself again. When Tom mysteriously disappears, Kate learns why they had such a deep connection and how to use it to stand on her own two feet. Though "Last Christmas" isn't a traditional holiday rom-com, it inspires many of the feelings fans of the genre love. But be warned! This film is a bit of a tear-jerker.

Last Holiday

Where to stream: Prime Video

Since "It's a Wonderful Life," Christmas movies have expressed the theme of living life to the fullest and having no regrets. "Last Holiday" applies this same lesson in a modern context, creating a funny and heartfelt Christmas story. Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) is a shy woman who works at a department store and keeps to herself. When she receives a terminal diagnosis, she throws her normal, stable day-to-day life out the window to pursue her dreams and learn how to cook gourmet food in Europe. 

With nothing to lose, Georgia begins to be herself and speak her mind–even if it's with a foreign dignitary at her fancy hotel. What she doesn't anticipate is someone was seeing her the whole time! Her unrequited crush, Sean (LL Cool J), follows her to Europe to confess his feelings after hearing the news of her illness. "Last Holiday" is a sweet and silly Christmas rom-com anchored by a grounded and charming performance from Queen Latifah.

Love Actually

Where to stream: Peacock Premium

A classic rom-com that reinvented the genre, "Love Actually" tells the interconnected stories of several British people falling in and out of love in heartbreaking and humorous ways during the magical Christmas season. Daniel (Liam Neeson) is a grieving widower left to raise his stepson, Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster). While Daniel mourns the love of his life, Sam has just found his, and Daniel's lessons in romance bring the two closer together. Meanwhile, Daniel's friend, Karen (Emma Thompson), is struggling to keep her husband, Harry (Alan Rickman), interested in their marriage. He then starts an affair with his younger secretary.

Karen's brother, the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant), has to adjust to his first term in office while falling in love with his assistant. These are just a few of the interweaving stories in "Love Actually" that show the myriad ways people come together and fall apart. Many of the romances here stand on their own. But the film wraps them up in the whimsy and romance of the season, making it a charming watch for the holidays.

Serendipity

Where to stream: Starz

If the magic of holidays is your favorite thing about the Christmas romcom genre, "Serendipity" may be your new favorite film — if it isn't already. Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) meet Christmas shopping one night in a New York City department store. They hit it off, spending a magical, perfect evening together. When the night ends, Jonathan wants to keep things going. But Sara decides to let fate take control, exchanging their information on a dollar bill. If it comes back to them, it's meant to be. Years later, Jonathan is about to get married and Sara is in a relationship. When they both begin to feel doubts, the universe steps in to guide them back together. 

Serendipity is a unique romantic comedy because Jonathan and Sara spend most of the film apart. Instead, the romance is in the possibility of what could be. The hope of one day finding each other again are emotions that speak to the joy of the holiday season.

Snowglobe

Where to stream: Hulu

Some Christmas rom-coms make Christmas' magic literal, ensuring a wacky but fun story to follow. "Snowglobe" (2007) is 100% that. Angela (Christina Milian) is a young woman who doesn't fit in with her boisterous family and their Christmas celebrations. While her domineering family takes over her apartment and sets her up with tenants in the building, Angela strives for independence and autonomy — something she may finally get after a mysterious package arrives.

Of course, the package contains a magical snowglobe. When Angela sleeps, she winds up inside the globe's perfect self-contained Christmas world. As she becomes more consumed with the world and people of the snowglobe, she loses sight of what is possible in the real world — including her opinions on her latest date setup, Eddie (Josh Cooke). "Snowglobe" is a silly movie, but it's one that true fans of the Christmas rom-com genre will enjoy for its romantic notions of what Christmas is.

The Best Man Holiday

Where to stream: HBO Max

A Christmas-themed sequel to the classic comedy "The Best Man," "The Best Man Holiday" sees the gang back together after Mia (Monica Calhoun) invites everyone over for Christmas. As the friends reunite for the first time in almost 15 years, tensions rise as old inside jokes do. Harper (Taye Diggs) is struggling with writer's block and has secretly accepted a new contract to write a biography about Lance (Morris Chestnut), as he's eager to make money to help with his family's fertility treatments and upcoming birth.

A lurking secret threatens to make this the last Christmas the friends spend together, even as they've reconnected. While the film has plenty of funny moments and romance, "The Best Man Holiday" is more of a dramedy than some of the other films on this list. Still, the issues these friends face as they move through life anchor the genre piece with refreshing emotional truth.

The Christmas Calendar

Where to stream: Hulu

Emily (Laura Bell Bundy) is a former attorney who moves back to her provincial hometown after her grandmother has died to settle her affairs and take over the struggling family bakery. Much to her chagrin, Gerard (Brendon Zub), a pompous and handsome French baker she knew a long time ago in the city, sets up shop across the street. As the two heat up their competition in the kitchen, they develop a simmering chemistry with unexpected promise.

Adding dollops of whimsy to the mix, Emily receives a mysterious Christmas advent calendar — making the small-town busybodies assume she has a secret admirer. While the calendar brings new and needed attention to the bakery as she reads a new message each day, who sent the calendar remains a mystery. "The Christmas Calendar" is a delicious concoction for the holiday season that fans of cheesy, heartfelt holiday rom-coms will gobble up.

The Christmas House

Where to Stream: Prime Video

Mike Mitchell (Robert Buckley) is a successful lead actor in a procedural drama — except his show is facing cancellation. As he and his brother Brandon (Jonathan Bennett) head home for the holidays, they're surprised to see their parents have revived an over-the-top decorating tradition from their childhood, the eponymous Christmas House. While the rest of the family seems happy to dive into the holidays, Mike is suspicious of why his parents are trying to make everything perfect. He learns his childhood crush, Andi (Ana Ayora), is listing his parents' house for sale, and there are more family secrets to uncover.

Thanks to the spirit of the Christmas house, the family discovers what is worth taking a second chance on and how to move forward while staying in touch with their past. "The Christmas House" is a charming holiday rom-com with multiple romantic threads. Of course, the Christmas House inspires warm and fuzzy feelings of the season with beautiful and festive scenery.

The Family Stone

Where to stream: Starz

A sprawling family ensemble dramedy, "The Family Stone" centers on Everett (Dermot Mulroney) bringing his girlfriend, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), home for the holidays to meet his family. Meredith is well-meaning but uptight, eager to impress the tight-knit family. She finds it hard to fit in, getting along better with Everett's brother, Ben (Luke Wilson). 

In an overwhelmed moment, Meredith calls her sister, Julie (Claire Danes), to come to the rescue. Of course, Julie ends up romantically connecting with Everett, all while the matriarch, Sybil (Diane Keaton), hides a secret about why this particular Christmas is a meaningful one to celebrate. "The Family Stone" is the kind of family dramedy where everyone is a bit unlikeable and chaos reigns in unbelievable ways. However, the film's emotional core, the powerhouse cast, and strong performances make it an endearing and charming film, considered a modern classic by many.

The Perfect Holiday

Where to stream: Freevee

In "The Perfect Holiday," Nancy (Gabrielle Union) is a single mother who does her best to provide for her three children in their superstar rapper father, J-Jizzy's (Charlie Murphy), absence. Benjamin (Morris Chestnut) is an aspiring songwriter working as a mall Santa to make extra cash. When Nancy's daughter, Emily (Khail), asks Benjamin (as Santa) to help her mom find a new husband and be happy again, Benjamin and Nancy begin a romance that neither of them planned to happen.

Of course, things get more complicated when Benjamin crosses paths with J-Jizzy and finally gets his big break to write a song for the star. When the truth comes to light, Nancy has to decide whether to let go of her past or future. "The Perfect Holiday" leans on classic genre tropes, including mistaken identities. However, it has an overwhelmingly sentimental feeling and an adorable cast of children. Additionally, Union and Chestnut have a believable romantic chemistry that makes the film a strong entry in the holiday rom-com canon.

When Harry Met Sally...

Where to stream: HBO Max

Arguably, Nora Ephron's greatest screenplay and perhaps the best romantic comedy of all time, "When Harry Met Sally..." is a timeless film that debated one central question: Can men and women be friends? Harry (Billy Crystal) is neurotic while Sally (Meg Ryan) is a control freak. When the two first meet carpooling to college, they rub each other the wrong way. They're happy to never see each other again. But years later, after a chance re-meeting, Harry and Sally strike up an earnest friendship. They guide each other through dating as they navigate their adulthood. 

When they seem to have proven that men and women can be friends, they move their friendship into romantic territory. Though not a Christmas movie entirely, "When Harry Met Sally..." is a blueprint romantic comedy, using the seasons and New York City to tell their story. The film's final and cathartic sequence takes place on New Year's Eve, striking up all the warm feelings of the holidays.

You've Got Mail

Where to stream: HBO Max

Though not entirely centered around Christmas, "You've Got Mail" is one of the best and coziest romantic comedies. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) struggles to keep her deceased mother's independent children's bookstore, The Shop Around the Corner, afloat. Joe Fox is the heir of a big box chain of bookstores determined to take over indies in New York with his sights set on Kathleen's store next. There's only one hitch: The two have no idea they're online penpals, thanks to the magic of a chat room. As their online personas develop a deeper relationship, their business rivalry heats up. Joe and Kathleen grow closer online as their real-life war intensifies.

In a visual palette that she perfected over her career, Ephron uses the backdrop of New York to illustrate the dynamic relationship between Joe and Kathleen, moving them through the seasons as they come closer together. While the Christmas sequence is brief, it is grounded and emotional, speaking to Kathleen's need to continue her mother's legacy. The film evokes the sometimes darker emotions that the season brings amidst the joy — making us value the good times even more.