Here are five new Christmas period dramas, including Little Women and 30 old favorites to revisit over the holiday season.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. All the festive music, spending time with family, and, of course, binging Christmas movies. From Hallmark, Lifetime, to Netflix, there’s plenty of movies to watch. But what about when you need a break from all the contemporary romances? Thankfully, there are several Christmas Period Dramas to choose from, as well. Here are 35 Christmas costume dramas that are sure to give you the Christmas spirit, including new films and specials premiering this holiday season.

UPDATE: This post was updated in 2019 and originally published on December 21, 2018.

The Top 35 Christmas Period Dramas

(In No Particular Order)


#1: The Christmas Candle (2013)


The Christmas Candle promotional image
Photo: Echolight Studios

Official Synopsis:

Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an end.

When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness. While David’s quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks).

Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen.

Why You Should Watch: This sweet Christmas period drama makes you feel good inside. It’s very uplifting with an excellent British cast.

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix, Hoopla, and Dove Channel. You can also rent/buy on DVD and Digital.


#2: An Old-Fashioned Christmas (2010)


The Top 30 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas; An Old-Fashioned Christmas promo image
Photo: Hallmark

Official Synopsis:

The story of An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, based on a short story by American novelist Louisa May Alcott, continues with An Old-Fashioned Christmas. Isabella and Tilly pay a visit to Ireland, hoping Isabella’s long-ago suitor, the Earl of Shannon, can assist Tilly in getting her writing published.

Why You Should Watch: Watch this one if you like Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance.

Where to Watch: DVD


#3: Call the Midwife Christmas Specials (2012-2019)


Call the Midwife 2019 Special - Christmas Period Dramas
Credit: Courtesy of Neal Street Productions 2019

PBS 2019 Holiday Synopsis: 

Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage. Navigating the terrain, they strive to keep up with the needs of the locals.

Why You Should Watch: Whether a Christmas special or a regular episode, Call the Midwife always brings the tears in a good way.

When to Watch: It premieres Wednesday, December 25, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET. Check your local PBS listings.

Where to Watch (Earlier Seasons): Stream on Netflix, Hoopla. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.


#4: A Victoria Christmas: Victoria Christmas Special (2017)


Victoria
Credit: Courtesy of ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE

PBS Synopsis:

It’s Christmastime at the palace and Albert is intent on recreating the holiday joy he remembers from his youth.

Why You Should Watch: The Victoria Christmas special is another fantastic episode that showcases the beautiful love story between Victoria and Albert. Furthermore, the story reveals just how much influence Albert had on transforming Christmas traditions into what we know today.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video and PBS Passport. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.


#5: Little Women (1994)


Little Women
Photo: Columbia Pictures

DVD Synopsis:

Winona Ryder (in an Oscar(r) nominated role) and Academy Award(r) winner Susan Sarandon (1995 Best Actress, Dead Man Walking) star in this “affectionate, superbly acted” (Los Angeles Times) family favorite. With her husband off at war, Marmee (Sarandon) is left alone to raise their four daughters, her Little Women.

There is the spirited Jo (Ryder); conservative Meg (Trini Alvarado, Paulie); fragile Beth (Claire Danes, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet); and romantic Amy (played at different ages by Kristen Dunst, Wag the Dog and Samantha Mathis, Broken Arrow).

As the years pass, the sisters share some of the most cherished and painful memories of self-discovery, as Marmee and Aunt March (Mary Wickes, The Man Who Came to Dinner) guide them through issues of independence, romance, and virtue. Gabriel Byrne (End of Days), Eric Stoltz (TV’s Chicago Hope) and Christian Bale (The Portrait of a Lady) co-star in this “handcrafted valentine” (Newsweek) of a film.

Why You Should Watch: It just doesn’t quite feel like Christmas without the 1994 adaptation of Little Women. The film captures the spirit of the novel, making it one of my favorite Christmas period dramas on the list. Not to mention, the film perfectly executes all the Christmas scenes.

For a different take, you can also check out the 2017 Little Women. However, I don’t feel like the TV mini-series grasps the Christmas opening of the book very well at all.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.


#6: Little Women (2019)


Little Women 2019; Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas
Photo: Sony Pictures

Official Synopsis:

Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life.  

In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms —  is both timeless and timely.  Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.

Why You Should Watch: Aside from the fantastic casting, the new film promises a unique feminist interpretation. I’m curious to see how Gerwig will interpret the story. Hopefully, this time includes that ever so famous Christmas scene.

When to Watch: Christmas Day! Check your local theaters on December 25, 2019. In the UK, the film premieres two days later on the 27th.


#7: The Knight Before Christmas (2019)


Official Synopsis:

A medieval knight is transported to the present day, where he falls for a high school science teacher who’s disillusioned by love.

Why You Should Watch: Because the premise is adorable, starring an actor from Poldark. Oh, and who doesn’t want a chivalrous knight for Christmas?

When to Watch: Premieres on Netflix on November 21, 2019.


#8: A Little Princess (1939, 1986, and 1995)


A Little Princess (Enchanting Period Dramas)
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers (1995 ‘A Little Princess’)

DVD 1995 Synopsis:

In this sumptuous adaptation of the beloved children’s classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a young girl reared in the jungles of India lives an enchanted life filled with wealth, exotic adventures and a father’s love. But when tragedy strikes, she must rely on her will and imagination to relive the joy of her wondrous childhood.

Why You Should Watch: All three films are excellent adaptations with essential scenes that take place during Christmas. I grew up watching Shirley Temple movies, so I loved it despite the changes from the book.

From an artistic perspective, the 1995 film is the best though it seems influenced by the Shirley Temple film. However, the 1986 interpretation of the classic novel is the most accurate. I suggest all three!

Where to Watch: 1939 adaptation – Stream on Prime Video, Hoopla, Tubi, EPIX, Dove Channel, Pure Flix, Flix Fling. Rent/buy on Digital and DVD. 1986 adaptation – Buy on DVD or watch on Youtube. 1995 adaptation – Stream on Roku Channel. Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.


#9: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)


THe Chronicles of Narnia - The Top 30 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas
Photo: Walt Disney Studios

DVD Synopsis:

Prepare to enter another world when Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media present C.S. Lewis’ timeless and beloved adventure. With the stunningly realistic special effects, you’ll experience the exploits of Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter, four siblings who find the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of “hide-and-seek” at the country estate of a mysterious professor.

Once there, the children discover a charming, once peaceful land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs, and giants that has been turned into a world of eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. Aided by the wise and magnificent lion Aslan, the children lead Narnia into a spectacular climactic battle to be free of the Witch’s glacial powers forever!

RELATED | A BRITISH CHRISTMAS 2018 PERIOD DRAMA & ROMANCE WATCHLIST

Why You Should Watch: Father Christmas makes an appearance in this beautiful adaptation of the C.S. Lewis classic. It’s a terrific fantasy period drama to watch with the whole family.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.


#10: Doctor Who Christmas Episodes (2005 – 2017)


The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch - Doctor Who - Rose and the Doctor in 'The Unquiet Dead'
Photo: BBC (“The Unquiet Dead”)

Why You Should Watch: Doctor Who has released several Christmas specials, some that take place in the past (or include characters from the past). While almost all the Christmas (and New Year’s) specials are great, I love it when the Doctor and his companions travel to different times in history. Here’s to hoping there’s a new Christmas special in our future!

These episodes are all enchanting period dramas (with a touch of fantasy) to watch every Christmas:

  • “The Unquiet Dead” (A Charles Dickens Christmas themed episode).
  • “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe” (Set in 1941)
  • “The Snowmen” (Set in Victorian Era England)
  • “Twice Upon A Time” (Includes scenes from WWI)

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video. Buy on Digital and DVD.


#11: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1994)


Poirot poster; The Top 30 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas

DVD Synopsis:

POIROT PLANS A QUIET Christmas in London until learning that it will also be a cold one, owing to his flat’s broken boiler. When a wealthy old man calls for the detective’s help, Poirot opts for a working holiday at the man’s well-heated country estate. No warmth exudes from the home’s occupants, however, and Poirot winds up with a murder to solve, family politics to unravel and shocking revelations from the past to sort out. 

For help, he turns to Chief Inspector Japp, who is grateful to be rescued from Christmas with the in-laws. ANGELIC CHOIR VOICES and English Christmas cheer punctuate this special movie-length version of the popular TV series seen on PBS and A&E. DAVID SUCHET stars as the quintessential Poirot, perfect from his distinctive moustache to his spotless spats. Crime solving was never so tidy or so much fun!

Why You Should Watch: We need mysteries over Christmas as well! Plus, who doesn’t love a good Poirot episode?

Where to Watch: Stream on Acorn TV (season six, episode 1), BritBox. Buy on Digital and DVD.


#12: Under the Greenwood Tree (2006)


Under the Greenwood Tree
Photo: ITV/ BBC VIdeo

DVD Synopsis:

In a small village in the south of England, Dick Dewy, a handsome working man, falls in love with Fancy Day, a newly arrived schoolteacher from a wealthy family who happens to be the village beauty. But other, richer men also want to win the hand of Fancy.

There’s Farmer Shiner, a wealthy landowner, and Reverend Maybold, the decent young vicar. Who will win Fancy’s hand? And even if she agrees to marry Dick, will her father consent to the marriage?

This charming, timeless story of rural life gave Thomas Hardy his first real taste of success, and with its rustic setting and moving tale of young love, it weaves a spell that still entrances today.

Why You Should Watch: I recommend Under the Greenwood Tree for those seeking romantic Christmas period dramas even if it isn’t technically about Christmas.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video and Hoopla. Buy on DVD.


#13: Cranford: Return to Cranford (2009)


Return To Cranford
Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis:

Cranford, where everything changes and all remains the same, and Miss Matty’s house is full of bustle when her maid Martha gives birth to a daughter.

Elsewhere the shadow of the new railway still looms. Miss Matty is concerned about a young girl who lives in an isolated cottage with her mother and domineering brother. Her worries open a Pandora’s box and fears that Cranford will never recover.

Why You Should Watch: Who doesn’t love the characters of Cranford? While not as amazing as the first mini-series, you’ll still like everything the sequel has to offer. Then there’s the fact that it all ends with a massive Christmas Party! AND, who doesn’t want to see the Doctor and Loki in a period drama together?

Where to Watch: Stream on BritBox. Buy on Digital and DVD.


#14: Love’s Christmas Journey (2011)


Love's Christmas Journey image; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch _ Love's Christmas Journey
Photo: Hallmark

Hallmark Synopsis:

While still mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, recently widowed Ellie King (Natalie Hall) visits her brother Aaron Davis (Greg Vaughan) and his children for Christmas. Ellie does her best to enjoy the holidays, even making new friends with Mrs. Thompson (JoBeth Williams), a local shop keeper, and handsome admirer Deputy Strode (Dylan Bruce).

Settling in nicely with her brother’s family, Ellie also meets Erik (Bobby Campo), a young man abandoned by his outlaw father whom Aaron has taken in as one of his own. When Aaron travels out of town to purchase adjacent land for farming, Ellie agrees to watch his children, but the season’s festivities are threatened when Aaron goes missing.

Why You Should Watch: If you love the sweet and wholesome Love Comes Softly series of period drama movies, you’ll likely enjoy the Christmas movie too.

Where to Watch: DVD.


#15: An Avonlea Christmas (AKA Happy Christmas, Miss King) (1998)


Happy Christmas Miss King image; The Top 30 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas
Photo: Sullivan Entertainment

Official Synopsis:

The award-winning cast of “Road to Avonlea” returns for this touching King Family reunion. As they prepare for their traditional Christmas dinner, their gathering is marred by the news that one of their youngest members, Felix, is missing in action on the battlefields of Europe.

To make matters worse, the indomitable Hetty King collapses with an unexpected health emergency. “An Avonlea Christmas” is an uplifting drama that reinforces the power of family love in times of crisis.

Why You Should Watch: I could go on for days about Avonlea and the brilliance of the Christmas special (namely the characterization of Hetty King). However, if you love Anne of Green Gables, then An Avonlea Christmas should be at the top of your list of Christmas period dramas to watch. I still miss this heartwarming show.

Where to Watch: Buy to Stream on Gazebo TV or buy on DVD.


#16: A Christmas Carol (1938; 1951; 1984; 1999; 2005 & More)


The Top 30 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas
Photo: TNT

1999 Amazon Synopsis:

Patrick Stewart stars as Scrooge, the mean-spirited miser who gets his terrifying comeuppance when he imagines he’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past.

Why You Should Watch: A Christmas Carol is one of the best Christmas stories ever written. It’s so iconic the famous Charles Dickens story has been adapted again and again. I decided to list some of the best. Do you have a favorite A Christmas Carol?

Where to Watch: 1938 adaptation – Stream on Hoopla. 1999 adaptation – Rent/buy on Digital and DVD. 2004/5 adaptation – Stream on Hallmark Movies Now. You can rent or buy all versions on Digital and DVD.


#16 Bonus: A Christmas Carol (2019)


FX Official Synopsis:

FX’s A Christmas Carol is an original take on Charles Dickens’ iconic ghost story by Steven Knight (Taboo, Peaky Blinders). The FX Original movie is a spine-tingling immersion into Ebenezer Scrooge’s dark night of the soul.

The remake stars Guy Pearce as “Ebenezer Scrooge,” Andy Serkis as “Ghost of Christmas Past,” Stephen Graham as “Jacob Marley,” Charlotte Riley as “Lottie / Ghost of Christmas Present,” Joe Alwyn as “Bob Cratchit,” Vinette Robinson as “Mary Cratchit,” Jason Flemyng as the “Ghost of Christmas Future,” Kayvan Novak as “Ali Baba,” Tiarna Williams as “Belinda Cratchit,” Lenny Rush as “Tim Cratchit” and Johnny Harris as “Franklin Scrooge.”

Why You Should Watch: The cast alone promises a unique and fresh take on the Charles Dickens classic. But the trailer looks impressive too. I am counting down the days.

When To Watch: Premieres on FX and BBC One sometime in December 2019. (I will update when an official date is announced.)


#17: Joyeux Noel (2006)


Joyeux Noel; The Top 30 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas

Amazon Synopsis:

Based on the true story of three armies in the bloody trenches of World War I – and the miraculous Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge.

Why You Should Watch: Joyeux Noel is an underrated period drama that will touch your heart because it’s a true story. I also liked the subtle romance.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Sony Crackle, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD.


#18: Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (1986)


The Nutcracker; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch

Amazon Synopsis:

The colorful holiday classic is finally brought to the big screen, designed by famed children’s story author and artist Maurice Sendak, and written for the first time to be as close as possible to the original story. A lavish, exciting and heart-warming celebration of dance, of music, and of life. Based upon the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s original production.

Why You Should Watch: Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without The Nutcracker. And this version is considered the most faithful adaptation of the original tale. However, I’m still waiting for a complete faithful take on the story.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Youtube and Tubi. You can also rent/buy on Digital and DVD.


#19: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)


The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Keira Knightley is the Sugar Plum Fairy and Mackenzie Foy is Clara in THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.
Photo: Disney

Official Synopsis:

All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world.

It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.

Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.

Why You Should Watch: So, I haven’t seen this one yet; however, it’s worth watching for the cast alone. The production values are also impressive.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Netflix, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.


#20: The Nativity Story (2006)


The Nativity Story; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch
Photo: New Line Cinema

Amazon Synopsis:

In a story of profound faith, one young woman struggles with the destiny as she is chosen to give birth to the Son of God and to become the object of salvation for billions of souls.

Why You Should Watch: I believe it’s important to remember what Christmas is all about: the birth of Christ. Overall, I found this movie to be a beautiful depiction of the Christmas story with an all-star cast. Others seeking Christmas period dramas about the first Christmas should seek this one out.

Where to Watch: You can rent/buy on various streaming platforms and buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.


#21: Babes in Toyland (1961)


Babes in Toyland; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch

Amazon Synopsis:

All roads lead to magical, merry Toyland as Mary Contrary and Tom Piper prepare for their wedding! But villainous Barnaby wants Mary for himself, so he kidnaps Tom, setting off a series of comic chases, searches, and double-crosses!

Why You Should Watch: Okay, so I haven’t seen this musical fantasy film since I was a kid. However, I remember loving it! Maybe it’s time for a revisit?

Where to Watch: You can stream on Tubi and Pluto TV, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD.


#22:  The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)


The Man Who Invented Christmas
Photo: Parallel Films/Rhombus Media

Official Synopsis:

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol. 

Directed by Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), the film shows how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) mixed real-life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.

Why You Should Watch: Watch this excellent period drama for two reasons! One: Dan Stevens in the title role of Charles Dickens. Two: Christopher Plummer is seriously an excellent Scrooge.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Prime Video and Kanopy, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.


#23:  Christmas at Downton Abbey (2011)


Downton Abbey
Photo: ITV

Amazon Synopsis:

Christmas 1919. Downton Abbey is hosting a lavish Christmas party, yet despite being the season of goodwill, tensions are rife and Bates’s arrest has cast a shadow over the festivities.

RELATED | CLASSIC ROMANTIC MOMENT: DOWNTON ABBEY’S MARY AND MATTHEW – A CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL

Why You Should Watch: What Downton Abbey fan doesn’t want to re-watch that swoony romantic proposal scene between Mary and Matthew?

Where to Watch: You can stream on Prime Video and PBS Passport, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.


#24: Christmas Oranges


Christmas Oranges; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch

Amazon Synopsis:

Rose was shipped to Irongates and the strict headmaster, Mr. Crampton (Edward Herrmann), immediately seems to dislike Rose — and makes sure all children are punished for any infractions of his rules.

Why You Should Watch: Every once in a while, we all need a good orphan story about a young girl bringing hope to those who have lost it. Additionally, Gilmore Girls fans will love watching Edward Herrmann in this sweet family movie.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Tubi and Pure Flix and buy on DVD.


#25: Dickensian (2016)


Dickensian
Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis:

Set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens’ critically acclaimed novels, Dickensian brings together some of literature’s most iconic characters, including Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham, as their lives intertwine in 19th century London.

Why You Should Watch: It’s like Once Upon A Time but with Dickens characters.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Prime Video, Hoopla, and Britbox, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD.


#26: Emma (2009)


Emma
Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis:

This BBC WGBH/Boston Co-Production features an all-star cast including Romola Garai (Atonement) as Emma, Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone) as Mr. Knightley, and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, The Book of Eli) as Mr. Woodhouse.

Beautiful, clever, and rich Emma Woodhouse is convinced she is good at matchmaking after her older sister and her governess both marry suitable husbands. Certain of her talents, Emma plays a dangerous game as she persuades her new friend, the young, pretty and socially inferior Harriet to reject an advantageous marriage proposal to a local farmer in favour of dashing Mr Elton.

So begins a story which challenges Emma’s naivety and her social preconceptions. Fresh and funny, this perceptive adaptation brings Jane Austen’s comic masterpiece to life.

Why You Should Watch: If you need a good dose of Jane Austen during Christmas, Emma is a good bet because of the beautiful Christmas scenes.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Hulu and Britbox, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.


#27: Lark Rise to Candleford Christmas Episode (2008)


Lark Rise to Candleford; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch
Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis:

The series opens with a wonderfully captivating seasonal tale that unites the past and the present. When Dorcas and Emma each want to give Laura the same gift for Christmas, an old family wound is opened up and Laura finds herself torn between two mothers. As the inhabitants of Lark Rise and Candleford prepare for the festivities, loyalties are tested and, amid the gift-giving and carol singing, tensions are building.

Why You Should Watch: Lark Rise to Candleford has an infectious ability to make you feel warm and pleasant on the inside. So, of course, watching their Christmas special (Season 2, Episode 1) should be a top priority for those seeking Christmas period dramas with a touch of warmth.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Hulu and Britbox, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD.


#28: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)


Meet Me in St. Louis; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch
Photo: MGM

Amazon Synopsis:

The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. 17-year old Esther has fallen in love with the boy next door who has just moved in, John.

Why You Should Watch: While the film as a whole is superb, you should at least tune in for Judy Garland’s gorgeous rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

Where to Watch: You can stream on The Criterion Channel, rent/buy on various streaming platforms, and buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.


#29: Mrs. Parkington (1944)


Mrs. Parkington
Photo: MGM

Amazon Synopsis:

Story of a social-climbing woman who marries a wealthy-but-homespun man and forces her way into high society.

Why You Should Watch: This underrated classic film goes back and forth between Christmas 1938 and a woman’s past. While not perfect, Mrs. Parkington is a must-see for all Greer Garson fans.

Where to Watch: You can rent/buy on various streaming platforms and buy on DVD.


#30: Silent Night (2002)


Silent Night; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch

Amazon Synopsis:

Based on a true story. In 1944, as American soldiers are making their way through Europe, a platoon find themselves lost behind enemy lines. On Christmas Eve, with little hope remaining in their hearts, they discover a refuge, a small cabin inhabited by a German woman and her young son.

Why You Should Watch: A beautiful period drama about finding hope in the darkest of times, the film will make you believe in the goodness of others. Overall, Silent Night is an inspirational story about the true meaning of Christmas.

Where to Watch: You can stream on Philo or buy on DVD.


#31: The Dead (1987)


The Dead; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch

Amazon Synopsis:

His wife’s nostalgia gives a man pause after a party in 1904 Dublin. Directed by John Huston. From the James Joyce story.

Why You Should Watch: If you’re looking for a poetic period drama that’s quiet and elegant with brilliant direction and an excellent script, then watch The Dead. However, I should note the film isn’t your typical Christmas movie but rather a masterful work of art.

Where to Watch: You can rent/buy on various streaming platforms and buy on DVD


#32: The Nativity (2010)


The Nativity; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch

Amazon Synopsis:

The greatest story ever told, as you’ve never seen it before. Writer Tony Jordan transforms a classic tale with familiar characters into a gripping human drama with an all-star cast. Starring Tatiana Maslany, Andrew Buchan, Peter Capaldi and Claudie Blakely.

Why You Should Watch: If you ever wanted to see a more humanized version of the Nativity, then take a look at this series. The Nativity has a fantastic cast, so it’s one I’m adding to my watchlist.

Where to Watch: You can buy on Amazon Prime, Vudu, or an imported DVD.


#33: When Calls the Heart Christmas Episodes (2017, 2018, and 2019)


When Calls the Heart Christmas; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch
Photo: Hallmark

2019 Clip:

Why You Should Watch: Is anyone else excited for another When Calls the Heart Christmas? Make sure to watch it on Christmas Day. For those interested, the special airs Wednesday, December 25, at 8 pm/7c ET on the Hallmark Channel.

Where to Watch (Previous Seasons): Stream on Netflix. You can also rent/buy on Digital and DVD.


#34: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (2007)


The Christmas Miracle; The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas To Watch

Amazon Editorial Review:

“The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” is a story of love, redemption and above all, hope. When a broken-hearted boy loses the treasured wooden nativity set that links him to his dead father, his worried mother persuades a reclusive, ill-tempered woodcarver to create a replacement and to allow her son to watch him carve it.

The commission takes their relationship to unexpected places as the young boy makes greater and more difficult demands of the woodcarver’s ability, and as Christmas approaches, the three of them struggle to come to terms with each other, their painful memories and the process of putting their unhappiness behind them.

Why You Should Watch: Honestly, I haven’t seen this period drama yet. However, the synopsis sounds super promising and a good choice for the entire family.

Where to Watch: On DVD.


BONUS #35: Edward Scissorhands (1990)


Edward Scissorhands
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Amazon Synopsis:

An uncommonly gentle young man, who happens to have scissors for hands, falls in love with a beautiful teenage girl.

Why You Should Watch: While not technically a period drama, there’s just something period-like about Edward Scissorhands. So, I wanted to add Tim Burton’s best film (and arguably most romantic) to the list. Plus, Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were simply magic together. Furthermore, Edward’s ice sculptures were gorgeous. I love this Gothic fairy tale even if it’s a little on the dark side.

Where to Watch: You can rent/buy on various streaming platforms and buy on DVD.

What Christmas Period Dramas are your personal favorites? What will you be watching over the holiday season? Sound off below…


Top Photo Credit: Little Women (Sony Pictures), The Knight Before Christmas (Netflix), and Road to Avonlea (Sullivan Entertainment)

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The top 35 enchanting Christmas period dramas to watch: pinterest image

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