HONOLULU Staff Favorites: Movies and TV Specials to Stream Online This Christmas

Holiday movies and shows to binge-watch this Christmas.

Miracle on 34th Street



“Our favorite is Miracle on 34th Street, the 1947 version. With timeless messages and vintage setting, this movie proves irresistible: A working mom (Maureen OʻHara) struggles to balance holiday magic with real-world lessons with her smart and sweet daughter (Natalie Wood as a child); the Macyʻs Thanksgiving Day Parade; a mysterious warm-hearted Santa Claus and a wacky courtroom triumph of belief over bureaucracy. Grab a mug of coffee or cocoa and curl up.”

Robbie Dingeman, editor at large



(Amazon UK Prime Video) 


“Perfect after weeks of Christmas Muzak and endless loops of antic Hollywood and Hallmark production, the ultimate British cult film starts and ends in in the foul Camden Town flat of two long-unemployed British actors—Withnail and the unnamed “I”—in the last weeks of 1969. The ’60s are dying as the two go on a fabulously dark and over-the-top bender that takes them to a squalid country cottage, poacher’s pub and into an oh-so-polite tea shop, where they wreak hilarious havoc. The only film Jimi Hendrix ever granted use of one of his songs to during his lifetime, perfect to spring on guests after too much holiday cheer: The ones who stay to watch are your soulmates.”

Don Wallace, senior editor





“My daughter and I just watched The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix last night. It’s a Netflix movie with Kurt Russell as Santa. He’s got a lot more swagger than most movie Santas. Good casting on that front.”

—Alyson Helwagen, publisher


The Shining



“Why do people think The Shining isn’t a holiday movie? It’s always on TV during the holidays, there’s lots of snow and red is a major color theme. Plus, the entire plot centers around spending quality time with the family. If Die Hard can be a Christmas movie, why not this winter classic, too?”

Marisa Heung, special projects editor





“I know, it’s corny, but my husband and I watch Love Actually every Christmas. It didn’t started out as a tradition, but it somehow always happens. (We also watch The Hobbit trilogy, but that’s hardly a holiday movie, with the exception of the chilly weather and bearded men.)”

Catherine Toth Fox, food & dining editor



(Amazon Prime)


“The Santa Clause (the one with Tim Allen) always tops my Christmas movies list. It was released when I was 4, and I remember dreaming of visiting the North Pole and Santa’s workshop as a kid. For some reason, I still enjoy watching it after all of these years.”

Jayna Omaye, staff writer





“My sister, mom and I just watched this family favorite at a special showing at Regal Dole Cannery. More than 60 years later, the musical still holds up (except for the minstrel show number, which thankfully only sticks to a few bad jokes and a wonderful dance number) thanks to Irving Berlin’s singable score, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye’s effortless banter—the dressing room scene where repartee is flying as fast as bow ties and pants is special favorite of mine—and Vera-Ellen’s vibrant dance numbers.”

—Christi Young, editorial director


The Holiday

(Amazon Prime)


“Because all I want for the holidays is to stay in a cozy English cottage and drink hot cocoa (etc.) with Jude Law.”

Enjy El-Kadi, digital marketing specialist


Jingle All the Way

(Amazon Prime)


“An oldie but goodie! Growing up my cousins and I would always watching this on Christmas Day right after we would open presents.”

—Dayni Watanabe, account coordinator


Elf on the Shelf



“Each year, my kids and I watch the Elf on the Shelf about 120 times before Christmas Day. It has become a tradition. I can almost recite the whole show by memory.”

—Christy Davis, marketing director



(Amazon Prime)


“If smiling is your favorite, you can’t go wrong with what is probably the most quotable holiday movie of all-time. Will Ferrell’s Buddy is so pure and delightful as he tries to find his real father in New York City, making friends everywhere he goes. It always makes me miss the snow and crave spaghetti (but without maple syrup).”

Katrina Valcourt, managing editor





“The live action movie—NOT to be confused with that new animated remake that’s coming out—is my all time favorite Christmas movie right behind The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Grinch STILL makes me laugh until I cry today. Honestly, that VHS tape was in the VCR year-round! Also, ‘Where Are You Christmas’ by Miss Cindy Lou was a BOP!”

—Louis Scheer, art director





“To continue my trend from HONOLULU’s holiday music playlist, I will not give one holiday selection but rather four! First of all, I always look forward to the U.K.’s annual The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, which airs the day following Christmas (it is usually available online a few days later). The host quizzes six comedians and television personalities on current events and pop culture from the year in a traditional (and hilarious) pub quiz format. Michelle Wolf is said to be one of the contestants this year! Also on my list is the Christmas special of First DatesHome Alone (both 1 and 2) and Netflix’s 2015 special, A Very Murray Christmas, because how delightful is that little celeb lovefest?”

Katie Kenny, digital editorial specialist