18 Christmas Movies You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now
Maybe it’s the Christmas cheer that makes our hearts more open to movies with cookie-cutter narratives and manufactured sentiments. Or, maybe it’s just that our holiday party benders have us mentally sedated to the right levels to actually enjoy Hallmark movie marathons. Either way, while there are plenty of Christmas classics for those with a more refined taste in films, there's whole heaps of the cheesy stuff left for the rest of us.
Formulaic happy endings with paper-thin characters and minimal substance? Yes, please! And luckily, Netflix has caught onto this trend, and is ready to fill our insatiable appetite for corny movies with a catalog of Hallmark-esque originals. With new-age narratives like the catfish rom-com Love Hard, to long overdue queer holiday rom-coms like Single All the Way, Netflix is often gifting us with heart-warming narratives tied in a pretty bow. Looking for something with a bit more to it? Fret not. Netflix has plenty of Christmas staples to please the film snob Scrooges in your house. Here are the best Christmas movies on Netflix.
It wouldn’t be the 21st century if there wasn’t eventually a catfish Christmas rom-com. Nina Dobrev stars as a hopeful-romantic whose plans to surprise her online beau with an IRL visit quickly prove to be more complicated than she expected. Upon learning that the person she’d been chatting with, played by Jimmy O. Yang, was using pictures of a local man on his profile, she forces him to set her catfisher up with who she believes to be her true match.
Single All the Way
Clearly we, as a society, have landed on the nice list this year to receive yet another Jennifer Coolidge appearance on our screens. Single All the Way might fit into most of the formulas expected from a Netflix holiday rom-com, but, being the first of its kind to focus on a queer couple, it’s a step in the right direction for films depicting joyous queer love.
Fireplace For Your Home
Sure, many of the naysayers might say things like, “An hour-long video of a fireplace isn’t a movie,” or, “You’re practically just watching a screensaver.” To that I say: Seeing is believing. Sure, Fireplace for Your Home and its groundbreaking sequel “Birchwood Edition” might not be cinema, but it’s arguably one of the greatest additions to the Netflix holiday category. Not only is it festive and ambient, but it’s the perfect middle ground for when your Christmas party is too boisterous for a movie, or when your family has been arguing over what to watch for hours.
From Wallace & Gromit to Chicken Run, there’s nothing quite like the magic of the British claymation studio Aardman. Robin Robin is no exception. This Christmas special tells the story of a young robin raised by mice who, desperate to fit in with her family, makes a wish upon a Christmas star. Not only with Aardman’s new felt-adorned animation style make you feel warm and fuzzy, but the 30-minute run time makes this a perfect family watch before bed.
A Boy Called Christmas
Following in the footsteps of fellow Santa Claus origin stories like Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, A Boy Called Christmas is a clever reimagination of how a young St. Nicholas came to find his purpose. With a cast including Kristen Wiig, Henry Lawfull, Toby Jones, and Sally Hawkins, and incredible special effects, this is another great fit for a family-friendly holiday movie night.
Holidate has a unique brand of kitsch. But the charm of Emma Roberts pulls off this quirky flick about a duo who, tired of navigating the questions of being single every holiday, decide to couple up. I bet you can't guess what happens to them!
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square
You don't watch Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square for its high-end writing. You watch it to feel good. And to listen to crazy songs and to believe in something greater than you. And if anyone judges you for it, you remind them that it won the Emmy for best movie made for TV and then you scream "I will always love you!" in their stupid faces.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
One of Netflix's newest holiday films has all the hallmarks of a perfect Christmas tale: someone who has lost faith in the holiday, loneliness, and then the resurgence of the spirit, thanks to the love and company of a long-lost family member. Plus, bonus points for not just regurgitating the same, whitewashed Christmas narrative overused every year.
Nostalgic for a good old-fashioned 2D-animated Christmas movie? Klaus is Netflix’s first ever Academy Award-nominated animated film, offering an alternate backstory behind Santa Claus featuring a reclusive toymaker.
Operation Christmas Drop
Loosely based on the U.S. Air Force’s humanitarian tradition of the same name (Google it), Operation Christmas Drop is an offbeat rom-com about a congressional assistant assigned to investigate a U.S. Air Force base in Guam. Intent on finding information to justify shutting it down, her plans take a turn when a charming commander takes it upon himself to show her around and convince her otherwise.
The Knight Before Christmas
A gorgeous woman disillusioned by the prospect of finding true love meets a gorgeous man who just might change her mind? I’ll be damned. Regardless of how trite the plot might be, this movie does bring a fresh new spin on the classic rom-com trope. Vanessa Hudgens stars as a school teacher who finds herself being courted by a time-traveling knight.
A Christmas Prince
This 2017 holiday movie proved the point that the people of Netflix appreciate sap this time of year. As soon as it premiered, this one quickly became a favorite (admittedly bad) movie. Even Stephen Colbert hilariously admitted to being obsessed with the story about an ambitious American journalist who goes to a fictional European village to cover the royal family. Shocker: She falls in love with the prince.
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
Last year, after the surprising success of the first movie, the universe of A Christmas Prince got a second story. This time, the story picks up one year later when journalist Amber and her prince are having an inevitable Christmas wedding. So, it’s the same thing, but filled with all the stereotypes of weddings and Christmas. There’s also the plot point of a crashing economy that makes for some shockingly heavy issues to throw into the mix.
El Camino Christmas
So you hate Christmas movies but still want to be included? Great. Get to know El Camino Christmas—a tonally skewed hostage-turned-Christmas movie that stars Dax Shepard (??) and Tim Allen (?!) in a gritty stand off with police.
The Christmas Chronicles
There is a confusing fascination in American holiday culture with wanting to either capture Santa, help Santa escape the law, or in the case of 1994’s The Santa Clause, tend to Santa’s mortality. In this 2018 film, Kurt Russell plays Santa Claus, who finds himself in the crosshairs of two kids who want to capture him.
The Princess Switch
Vanessa Hudgens plays a baker who goes to yet another made-up village in Europe for a baking contest and in the process meets a princess who looks just like her (also played by Vanessa Hudgens). When her royal doppelgänger proposes they switch places, things go awry. Is it terrible? Sure. Is it wonderful? Also, sure.
The Holiday Calendar
A photographer inherits a seemingly magical Advent calendar that predicts her future—right down to her dating life. This one definitely aims for the Hallmark quality of holiday movie, and it gets pretty close. Bring on the corniness.
Holiday in the Wild
Rob Lowe is a man of many talents, so why wouldn’t a new holiday Netflix movie be one of them? In this one, Lowe is somehow a tour guide in Africa who meets Kristin Davis, who’s there on safari. She agrees to help at an elephant sanctuary alongside Lowe’s character. There’s a lot of the usual “We’re just friends.”
From: Esquire US