Christmas movies, TV shows based or filmed in Texas to watch

Fictional football coach Eric Taylor, played by actor Kyle Chandler, led the Dillon Panthers during a five-season run on NBC.

Fictional football coach Eric Taylor, played by actor Kyle Chandler, led the Dillon Panthers during a five-season run on NBC.


Texas has always been a hotbed for film and television production, but not so much when it comes to Christmas-themed movies. We searched deep in the archives to come up with a few that you can add to your holiday movies to watch.

The Lone Star State has served as a filming location since the early 1900s for movies such as “The Secret Kingdom” (1917), “Heart of the Sunset” (1918) and “Death Valley Kid” (1920). The first movie to ever win best picture at the inaugural Academy Awards in 1929 — “Wings” — filmed scenes in Texas.

Lately, the state has been busy hosting production crews thanks to North Texas native Taylor Sheridan bringing his work home. From “Yellowstone” and its prequel “1883”, to the newly released “Lawmen: Bass Reeves,” all have given Texas its close up.

But when it comes to Christmas-themed film and TV, Texas has been given a lump of coal. Here’s what we know about holiday projects set or filmed in Texas:

What Christmas films have been filmed or set in Texas?

“Angels Sing” (2013)

  • Stars: Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson
  • Filming locations: Bastrop, Austin
  • Where to watch: Max, Plex

“Angels Sing” is based on Texan Turk Pipkin’s 1999 novel, “When Angels Sing.”

The movie’s logline reads, “A father’s holiday spirit was crushed by an accident when he was a child. When his son faces a tragedy, a mysterious man instills in him the courage to find the joy he lost.”

“Christmas with the Dead” (2012)

  • Stars: Damian Maffei, Brad Maule
  • Filming locations: Nacogdoches
  • Where to watch: DVD

“Christmas with the Dead” is a zombie movie set in east Texas.

The movie’s logline reads, “Calvin does not care that it is June and his family members have turned into zombies, he is going to fulfill his last promise and have the best Christmas ever.”

“A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale” (2015)

  • Stars: Jonathan Bennett, Lexi Giovagnoli, Dina Meyer
  • Filming locations: Round Rock, Austin
  • Where to watch: Freevee, Hulu, Peacock, Tubi

“A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale” is, you guessed it, a movie about a dog walker finding love at Christmas.

The movie’s logline reads, “Luce is a college student who gets a holiday job caring for a land developer’s dog, but then she meets an attractive guy who is protesting her boss’s plan to tear down their local dog park and turn it into a spa.”

“Christmas Twister” (2012)

  • Stars: Casper Van Dien, Victoria Pratt
  • Filming locations: California
  • Where to watch: Freevee, Peacock, Tubi

“Christmas Twister” was not filmed in the state, but is set around the Texas towns — Granbury, Stephenville and Dublin.

The movie’s logline reads, “A meteorologist discovers a massive storm system is about to strike Texas, causing devastation across the state. He fails to convince the authorities of his theory, and even his wife refuses to accept his warnings, leaving him struggling to get her and their children out of harm’s way.”

“Lonestar Christmas” (2020)

  • Stars: Stephanie Bennett, Marco Grazzini
  • Filming locations: Canada
  • Where to watch: Lifetime

“Lonestar Christmas” may bare the same name as the state, but was filmed entirely in Canada.

The movie’s logline reads, “When a widowed mother takes her daughters to spend Christmas with her estranged dad on his Texas ranch, she unexpectedly falls in love with a local Mexican restaurant owner, while learning to forgive her father for the past.”

“Christmas Comes Home to Canaan” (2011)

  • Stars: Billy Ray Cyrus, Gina Holden
  • Filming locations: Canada
  • Where to watch: Plex

“Christmas Comes Home to Canaan” was not filmed in the state, but is set in the fictional south Texas town of Canaan.

The movie’s logline reads, “A widower falls for the physical therapist assigned to treat his son after a car accident. He invites her to stay with him in his small home town over the festive period, but his daughter creates difficulties for the pair.”

“A Christmas Heart” (2024)

  • Stars: Bill McAdams Jr., Kevin Sorbo
  • Filming locations: Granbury
  • Where to watch: Not yet released

Word broke a few weeks ago that “A Christmas Heart” was filming in Granbury.

The movie follows a firefighter who loses his family just before Christmas. The film is set to release sometime in 2024.

What TV shows have had Christmas episodes filmed or set in Texas?

“Walker, Texas Ranger” (1993-2001)

  • Stars: Chuck Norris, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Sheree J. Wilson
  • Filming locations: Austin
  • Where to watch: Peacock, Pluto

“Walker, Texas Ranger” starred the roundhouse kicking Chuck Norris battling crime around the Lone Star State.

The show had three Christmas-themed episodes over its run, including “The Covenant” (season 4 episode 11) where Walker and his crew are tasked with tackling warring gangs on Christmas Eve.

Another holiday-themed episode was “A Ranger Christmas” (season 5 episode 13). The episode charts Walker telling a Christmas story about a Texas Ranger from 1876, that’s then told in flashback with Walker and the rest of the cast playing late 1800s era characters.

The third and final yuletide-themed episode was “A Matter of Faith” (season 8 episode 12), where men dressed as Santa Claus rob armored trucks that were picking up donations from Santa bell ringers.

“Friday Night Lights” (2006-2011)

  • Stars: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford
  • Filming locations: Austin
  • Where to watch: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime

“Friday Night Lights” is among the most celebrated shows of the 21st century.

Set in the fictional Texas town of Dillon, the show followed the high school football team’s players and coaches, both on and off the field. The show had a couple episodes set during Christmas such as “The Giving Tree” (season 3 episode 10) and “Texas Whatever” (season 5 episode 12).

“Walker” (2021-present)

  • Stars: Jared Padalecki, Lindsey Morgan, Molly Hagan
  • Filming locations: Austin
  • Where to watch: Max

“Walker” is a reboot of Chuck Norris’ “Walker, Texas Ranger” series.

There’s only one episode of “Walker” thus far that’s been set around Christmas and that’s “Douglas Fir” (season 2 episode 6).

“King of the Hill” (1997-2010)

  • Stars: Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Adlon
  • Filming locations: Animated show
  • Where to watch: Hulu

“King of the Hill” is set in fictional Texas town of Arlen.

The show had numerous Christmas episodes, including “Pretty, Pretty Dresses” (season 3 episode 9), “’Twas the Nut Before Christmas” (season 5 episode 8), “The Father, the Son and J.C.” (season 6 episode 4), “Livin’ on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane” (season 8 episode 7) and “Ms. Wakefield” (season 9 episode 2).

“Houston Knights” (1987-1988)

  • Stars: Michael Paré, Robyn Douglass
  • Filming locations: Houston
  • Where to watch: DVD

“Houston Knights” followed a Chicago cop who was transferred to Houston.

The show had one Christmas-themed episode in “Somebody to Love” (season 2 episode 10).

“Beavis and Butt-Head” (1993-2011)

  • Stars: Mike Judge, Kristofor Brown, Dale Revo
  • Filming locations: Animated show
  • Where to watch: Paramount+

“Beavis and Butt-Head” is set in the fictional Texas town of Highland.

The show’s “Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas” (season 6 episode 7) sees the pair spoof popular Christmas movies.

This story was originally published December 18, 2023, 3:48 PM.

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Brayden Garcia is a service journalism reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where he worked at the student newspaper, The Shorthorn. He previously covered education at The Dallas Morning News.

source: star-telegram

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