It’s the holiday season once again, which might have you down in the dumps. You may find yourself siding more with Ebenezer Scrooge than Bob Cratchit; but not so fast, bah humbugs. There’s no need for that! The holiday blues have hit all of us before, and they’re bound to hit us again at some point. So when you feel that snarl coming the next time you hear a holiday tune, know that there are some ways to snap right out of that mentality. And, what better way to do that than binging some perfect holiday movies? Here are some of the best films you can catch on Netflix and TV over the next week to totally put you back in the holiday spirit. (And no, Love Actually is not included here, because it’s just not fair to think that come next Christmas, someone will chase me through an airport for love.)
The Muppets + elaborate musical numbers + Michael Caine. Honestly, do you need anything else to instantly zap you out of any Scrooge-like ways? A Christmas Carol is one of the most iconic Christmas stories ever told, and the Muppets completely do it justice. It hits on all the important points from Charles Dickens’s novel. . . plus Fozzie Bear. And Gonzo and Great and Rizzo the Rat narrate the whole thing! Just thinking about this movie gets me really excited. And try not to sing along to, “Whenever You Find Love, It Feels Like Christmas.”
First off, The Family Stone has one of the best casts ever assembled for a film ever: Sara Jessica Parker, Rachel MacAdams, Luke Wilson, Claire Danes, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson, and Diane Keaton? It’s like a Christmas present in itself. Also, the big thing about The Family Stone is that it’s not one of those happy-go-lucky Christmas movies. Real stuff goes down with this family, which makes it all the more wonderful to watch and realize that the holidays don’t have to be perfect.
Jingle All The Way
I myself do not have kids, so I don’t yet know what it’s like to go on an all-out manhunt for the the most coveted toy of the holiday season. When I do one day have children, I expect Christmas shopping for youngins to be exactly like Jingle All The Way. This film came out in 1996, and was inspired by the real-life Christmas toy sell-outs, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It’s a delightfully quintessential late 90s Christmas movie, which also includes Sinbad. How can you not feel better after watching this?
Do you ever find yourself looking at pictures of houses you will never own? I’m guilty of that just about every single day. How about a movie that features a house that I know I will never own, but I desperately long to just look at for hours? Cue, The Holiday. It’s a film by Nancy Meyers, who just loves to give us pretty things to look at all day long (ahem, the house in Something’s Gotta Give). The rom-com is set between Los Angeles and Surrey and obviously it has a happy ending. BUT LOOK AT THAT HOUSE.
Basically, we can never have enough re-tellings of A Christmas Carol. This one has got Bill Murray playing the role of a nasty Scrooge who—as always—is visited by three ghosts and learns the errors in his ways and how he can change them. But it’s set in New York City in the late 80s, and has Carol Kane. Maybe do a back-to-back viewing with this and the Muppets.
While You Were Sleeping
Way before Sandra Bullock played Miss Congeniality and won an Oscar for The Blind Side, she played Lucy, who works for the Chicago Transit Authority and is completely in love with Patrick Gallagher. Then, Patrick Gallagher falls onto the train tracks, and Lucy rescues him. It could be love at first sight, except that he’s in a coma. And then Lucy falls in love with his brother, played by Bill Pullman. The whole story takes place between Christmas and New Years, and we fall in love with Lucy as she falls in love with the Callaghan family.
Honestly, is there any Christmas movie more quoted than Elf? How many times on a weekly basis do you say, “Bye bye, Buddy! Hope you find your dad!” If you say it even during non-holiday seasons, then Elf is the best go-to, feel good Christmas movie for you (aka year-round feel-good movie, obviously). Elf also brought us the best Christmas mantra ever: the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
There’s a little bit of the Griswolds in all our families. Whether it be the dad who has to rig up a million lights outside, or the unexpected relatives that show up out of the blue, or even mom who knows there’s no way to win at Christmas with all the chaos. However you identify with Clark and his family, it’s good to know that there’s one family out there that is in fact a little bit weirder than yours.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas
JTT ALERT. That’s right, our favorite 90s sitcom crush, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, was in a Christmas movie (that also featured Jessica Biel). Basically, JTT’s dad tells him if he can make it back to New York from California by 6pm Christmas Eve, he gets a car. Hijinks ensue. JTT is dressed up as Santa. It’s the perfect Christmas movie.
A little unorthodox of a choice, I am well aware. But, did you know that Die Hard actually takes place on Christmas Eve? Yes, it sure does. So if you’re not in the mood for any sort of lovey-dovey Christmas romance story, but still need a happy ending (and maybe a movie with a few explosions), Die Hard should be your go-to Christmas choice.