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12 Best Advent Movies to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

These heartwarming films focus on the four themes of Advent: hope, love, joy, and peace.

Two people's hands reach for popcorn while they watch advent movies
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As the weather gets colder, curling up on the couch with some hot cocoa and a good movie can be a great way to get in the Christmas spirit. And the Advent season (the weeks leading up to Christmas) is the perfect time to watch them. Because each week of Advent has a different theme—hope, love, joy, and peace—you can choose your holiday movie every week based on the theme! Here are the best Advent movies to watch this holiday season.

READ MORE: Advent Candles and Holders Perfect for the Advent Season

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Advent Movies About Hope

Emilia Clark and Henry Golding in Last Christmas an advent movieLast Christmas (2019)

After surviving a life-threatening illness, Katea once aspiring singerfeels hopeless, working a dead-end job as an elf at a Christmas shop. Then she meets a happy-go-lucky man named Tom, who is determined to show her why life is meant to be lived. Rated PG-13, Last Christmas stars Emilia Clark, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, and Michelle Yeoh. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

White Christmas (1954)

Two soldiers-turned-performers named Bob and Phil are on a mission to bring hope to their old commander, Major General Thomas F. Waverly. With the help of a sister act named Betty and Judy, the four performers set out to put on a Christmas show and save the Major General’s failing Vermont Inn. This romantic musical stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

The Holiday (2006)

Iris from London and Amanda from Los Angeles are two women at the end of their ropes, so they decide to switch homes for the Christmas season. Then things get complicated when they each meet a local man who sweeps them off their feet. Will Iris and Amanda get some newfound hope during their holidays? The Holiday is rated PG-13 and stars Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

READ MORE: 10 Interesting Advent Facts That You May Not Know

Advent Movies About Peace

Scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas as an advent movieA Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

This classic Christmas short never gets old. Charlie Brown finds himself depressed as the holiday season approaches. So, he takes over as director for the Christmas play, hoping the job will bring him some peace and cheer. But are plays, presents and shiny trees really what Christmas is all about? A Charlie Brown Christmas (rated G) stars the cast of the Peanuts and is based on the comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. Available on Apple TV.

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

Learn the true story behind one of the most classic Christmas stories of all time. Charles Dickens is a struggling writer who needs to write his next best-selling book to avoid financial ruin. As ideas come to him through the real world, his fantasy world filled with vibrant characters comes to life as well. Will Charles finish his book, A Christmas Carol, and finally know some peace? The Man Who Invented Christmas (rated PG) stars Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, and Jonathan Pryce. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

The Snowman (1982)

Settle into your couch and take in the gorgeous animation and soothing music of this peaceful Christmas film. A young boy wakes up one morning to freshly fallen snow and spends his day building a snowman. Then that night, his snowman comes to life and takes him on an unforgettable journey through the sky. The Snowman is rated G and a re-released version of the film includes an opening narration by David Bowie. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

READ MORE: A One-Word Christmas Prayer for Inner Peace

Advent Movies About Joy

Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Star in Netflix's The Christmas Chronicles 2 an advent movieThe Christmas Chronicles 1 & 2 (2018 & 2020)

Go on two fun-filled journeys with the first and second Christmas Chronicles movies. The first follows brother and sister Teddy and Kate as they try to capture Santa Claus on film. The second continues with Kate, now a cynical teenager, as she goes on a new adventure with her mother’s boyfriend’s son, Jack. The Christmas Chronicle films (rated PG) star Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, Jahzir Bruno, and Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as Mr. And Mrs. Claus. Available on Netflix.

READ MORE: Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Talk About Believing in Santa

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot. But the Grinch who lived just North of Whoville did not…” See the Dr. Seuss classic like never before with this hilarious film directed by Ron Howard. The Grinch hates Christmas so much, that a small Who girl is determined to help him feel some joy during the holiday. This film is rated PG and stars Jim Carrey as The Grinch himself! Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

Elf (2003)

Nothing says joy like a Christmas elf, and there’s no elf more joyous than Buddy. After learning that he is actually human, Buddy travels from his home in the North Pole to New York City to meet his real father. Will his dad accept Buddy’s quirky ways? Will Buddy be able to get his dad to truly enjoy the Christmas season? Elf is rated PG and stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Zooey Deschanel. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

Advent Movies About Love

Denzel Washington in The Preacher's Wife an advent filmThe Preacher’s Wife (1996)

Henry is a husband, father, and pastor who is trying to help his community in New York City and save his church from financial ruin. But as he tries to help everyone, Henry neglects his son and wife, Julia. After praying to God, Henry meets a charming angel named Dudley. Will Dudley be able to help the family get closer, or will his growing feelings for Julia get in the way? This Penny Marshall classic is rated PG and stars Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

Love Actually (2003)

This Christmas romantic comedy follows people all over the city of London, navigating the many tribulations of love and marriage. As the movie says in its opening, “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” Love Actually is rated R and has an all-star cast, including Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightly, and more! Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

Little Women (2019)

Find the true meaning of sisterly love in this film based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic book. The four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth—each have their own dreams and desires, but it’s always family that they return to when life gets hard. Greta Gerwig’s heartwarming film (rated PG) stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep. Rent or Buy at Amazon.com

What Advent movies will you and your family be watching this holiday season?

READ MORE: What Is the Meaning of Advent?

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