By Skylar Dorr
Christmas time is a wonderful excuse to throw on your favorite comfy slippers and pajama set, heat up some hot cocoa, light a fire and put on a movie to get into the holiday spirit. But when it's the hundredth time you’re getting snuggled up to watch “The Polar Express,” the repetition might take away some of that holiday joy we all hold so dear.
Here is a list of 11 holiday movies that’ll put some of the festive fun back into your snowy movie night.
1.“Love, Actually” (2003) This is a romance/comedy that’s split up into separate storylines, following nine different tales of various couples navigating their love life during the holiday season. While you might have seen this Christmas romcom once or twice, it’s being brought back to theaters for the 20th anniversary. Visit your local AMC website to see if there are any showtimes near you, and see this fun-loving film on the big screen.
2. “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) This film follows the journey of a man named Kris Kringle (sound familiar?). When the scheduled Santa shows up a little impaired, Kringle fills in during the Macy’s Annual Thanksgiving Day parade, and he’s immediately a hit with the public. However, he starts to stir up some trouble when he claims that he really is Santa Clause, and his mental well-being is called into question. Considering that the film was made in 1947, it brings that warm classic feeling of an old movie.
3. “Bad Santa” (2003) It’s a dark comedy about a man named Willie T. Stokes who spends his holidays posing as a mall Santa, with the intention of ripping off whatever shopping outlet he’s in. However, his con is taking a toll on him, and after almost getting caught and befriending a young boy in the process, the depressed man wonders if there’s hope for him yet. Be wary though, this film is rated R and might not be suitable for a younger audience.
4. “A Christmas Story Christmas” (2022) It’s hard to go through all these years without having seen “A Christmas Story” at least once, but have you ever wondered what became of young Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB Gun? In this sequel, Ralphie, now an adult with a family of his own, travels home for the holidays after the passing of his father in order to give his children a Christmas just as unforgettable as the one he had as a child.
5. “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” (2022) If you’re a Marvel fan, then you’ll love this pick. While it’s more of an episode and less of a movie, it still doesn’t fail to bring Christmas cheer that’s out of this world. This storyline features the Guardians on a very important mission; to make this Christmas unforgettable, and Quill travels back to Earth in search of the perfect Christmas present.
6. “Little Women” (2019) This classic is set three years after the Civil War, and follows the four March sisters and their journey to achieve their very different life goals. While technically it’s not a film about Christmas, the holiday is still an important factor in all adaptations of this tale, and the snowy setting helps to bring that holiday feel to the film. The overall familial undertone makes it the perfect movie to watch by the fire with your own siblings or other family members.
7. “The Holiday” (2006) This film follows two women, one living in a quaint village in England, and another in Hollywood, California. When one of those women, Iris, gets dumped by her boyfriend and becomes depressed, she swaps homes with her Californian counterpart Amanda. Not too long after the swap, they each have a chance encounter with two men that lead them on their own respective holiday paths.
8. “Spirited” (2022) This musical/comedy is one of the more recent ones on our list, having been released last season. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell, it's a musical spin on the Charles Dickens “Scrooge” tale, and is guaranteed to give you a laugh and maybe even get a song stuck in your head that isn’t “Jingle Bells.”
9. “Violent Night” (2022) This movie is our second rated R film on the list, but that doesn’t make it any less fun and enticing to watch. When an elite group of mercenaries breaks into a family home on Christmas Eve and proceeds to take everyone hostage, they aren't prepared for the Feds to arrive. By Feds, I mean Santa Clause, and in this film, Saint Nick is no saint.
10. “Die Hard” (1988) This film isn’t one that you’d normally expect to see on a Christmas movie list, but it’s on here nonetheless. When NYC police officer John McCain is visiting his family on Christmas Eve, he attends a holiday party at a Japanese-owned business where his estranged wife works. When a group of terrorists take the party hostage, it’s up to him to save the day, and simultaneously save Christmas.
11. “The Chronicles of Narnia” (2005) This winter classic is one you may have already seen, but is perfect to watch around the holiday time with friends and family. Set during World War II, four siblings discover a magical world that lies beyond their wardrobe, a world that lies in peril due to the evil White Witch. They team up with a magical talking lion, as well as various otherworldly creatures, in order to save the kingdom of Narnia.
When you’re snuggled up by the fire this holiday season with your loved ones and don’t have the heart to tell them that you’re tired of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” this list will provide you with some film suggestions that’ll allow you to watch with fresh eyes. So grab some popcorn and some eggnog, and let the magic of some of these lesser-known holiday movies transport you to a world of festive cheer.