This holiday season, spend the evening with a bowl of popcorn and a watchlist full of the cheesiest, funniest, and most iconic holiday movies!
I don’t know about you, but for this holiday season I’m ready to kick-back, relax and soak in the holiday spirit via Netflix. This time of the year is always my favorite: the holiday-themed drinks, the light snow covering the ground, and most importantly, the infinite list of movies to get through. It’s a family tradition at this point to glue our eyes to the screen right before Christmas, soaking in all the holiday content we can, good and VERY bad. I’m a seasoned watcher and now, I’d like to pass on the master list to you.
Before that though, I feel I need to touch on a few issues with holiday movies. The lack of diversity in these movies, both racially and with sexuality, continues to make cheerful holiday stories seem like they only belong to straight white people. Even more so, many holiday movies push the agenda that the “strong working woman” can only be happy once she finds love (i.e. A Christmas Miracle) who so happens to be sexist but somehow charming (see: Holidate, which I just couldn’t bring myself to add to this list of movies.) Yet, the genre is changing and becoming more inclusive. Christmas is celebrated differently by people all over the world and has taken on different meanings so I’m excited to see this genre grow and become more representative. Now, here are seven holiday movies you must binge-watch this December.
A Christmas Prince
My family and I have been following this saga for three years now, arguably too long to care for such a cheesy Christmas movie. A Christmas Prince, which was released in 2017, was the first of a now three-part series following a journalist Amber (Rose McIver) who flies abroad to write about the heir to the throne, Prince Richard (Ben Lamb.) The story begins to unfold as Amber is thrown into the world of royalty and may even fall in love with a king-to-be. As cheesy as it may sound (and be,) this is the perfect series to binge-watch and let yourself get fully immersed in. I won’t give too many spoilers, but just know there’s tons of beautiful scenery, dramatic problems, and maybe a few minor plot holes. But, that’s what makes it such a fun watch!
Rise of the Guardians
Rise of the Guardians is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. I’m not sure if it’s because of the capturing animation or the way it makes me feel like a kid again, but nevertheless, it deserves to be watched at least once a year. Rise of the Guardians follows the “guardians,” aka: magical characters, including: Jack Frost (Chris Pine,) the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher,) the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman,) … etc., as they try to protect the world from the villain Pitch (Jude Law.) This story is full of magic and yet has an intriguing dark undertone. As the viewers see the imaginary lives behind the characters we love, the story wraps us into this universe where they are complicated just like humans. It’s a beautiful movie to watch and something that doesn’t scream Christmas!
Here is your yearly reminder to watch Home Alone again! The ultimate feel-good movie of the holiday season is perfect if you can’t decide what to watch tonight! Nothing is better than a funny movie with twists and turns that I seem to forget every time. Home Alone is about a kid, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) who is left alone for Christmas after his parents and siblings leave him behind by accident. But even more so, it’s a fun story about a kid doing whatever he wants and whatever he can to protect his home. This is the perfect Christmas movie if you’re looking to relax and laugh!
The Princess Switch
The Princess Switch, starring Vanessa Hudgens, is about a duchess and a commoner switching places right before Christmas. Stacy De Novo (Hudgens,) a woman from Chicago flies to Belgravia for a baking competition and runs into Lady Margaret (Hudgens) who looks exactly like her. When the two of them decide to switch lives, the story, and their love lives, become infinitely more complicated. Now the sequel is out, Princess Switch: Switched Again, which I will be watching later this year! This is a light-hearted movie and is also pretty cheesy. But it definitely fits the holiday vibe and I’d recommend watching it with friends or family for a few laughs!
A Cinderella Story Christmas Wish
I know the Cinderella Story has been done to death, but I surprisingly enjoyed it. I was fully expecting the movie to be pretty bad but it was entertaining! It follows the classic Cinderella Story just with a Christmas twist, as Kat Decker (Laura Marano) works at Santa Land but is relentlessly controlled by her stepmother and stepsisters. She meets Dominic Wintergarden (Gregg Sulkin,) a charming celebrity who lives nearby. With the help of her best friend (Isabella Gomez,) Kat gains confidence and finds her voice. I’m 20 now so I definitely have a soft spot for Laura Marano and Gregg Sulkin who were on Disney Channel when I was a kid. The acting wasn’t too shabby and I love a nice, happy ending!
I had to throw in Elf, especially since I haven’t watched it in a long time! This is a Christmas classic and also such a cute watch for the whole family. It follows Buddy (Will Ferrell,) a human who grew up with elves as he returns to New York City and tries to see if he fits in. Buddy also encounters a little love story with Jovie (Zooey Deschanel.)
The Polar Express
Finally, another classic, The Polar Express! This movie is the epitome of Christmas. From its breathtaking animation to lovely character arcs, The Polar Express is the most nostalgic movie on this list for me. It’s both happy and sad, in addition, it’s truly all about that Christmas magic. As it follows kids on their journey to believing in the power of magic and to believing in themselves, The Polar Express is the kind of movie you wish you could get sucked into. I love it and can’t wait to rewatch it this season!
Now that you’ve seen my most binge-worthy movies, I’d like to share some honorable mentions that I haven’t seen yet but definitely will be watching this year!
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
I’ve heard great things about the storytelling, stunning sets, and overall how it wraps viewers into this fantasy world!
This movie is still on my list from last year but even though I’ve heard many mixed reviews, I really want to give it a chance. In case you couldn’t tell, I love bad Christmas movies almost as much as I love the good ones, so this seems like a harmless rom-com to watch!
This 2020 movie stars Kristen Stewart as Abby and her girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie Davis) as they head to Harper’s home for the holidays. I’ve heard pretty good things about this movie and LGBTQ+ watchers are excited to be represented in a holiday film. Amongst the negatives, a silver lining is that Happiest Season opens up a conversation about being closeted and that is healthy or not.
This animated movie follows a postman who ends up working with Santa Claus. Overall, it looks funny and pretty cute so I can’t wait to watch!