Written by Shannon Lawrence
Take a break from the school year (whether you or your children took online or in-person classes, it was bound to be tiring) and get together with your family and loved ones over the winter break to watch some all-time favorites! Most of these movies are available on Netflix or Crave. If you don’t have an account, buying one for your friends or family could be a great Christmas gift idea! Or if you prefer to have the hard copy DVD to watch, you can find most of these for under $10 on amazon - wrap it up and put it under the tree with a little note saying how much you’d love to watch it with whoever you’re gifting it to, and it becomes a great personalized Christmas gift!
1. ‘Home Alone’ (1990) - comedy, family
When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip, his mother (Catherine O'Hara) makes him sleep in the attic. After his parents accidentally leave for their trip without him, he decides that his wish to have no family has come true. However, he soon finds himself having to defend the home against two nincompoop burglars (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern), which he does with a hilarious amount of creativity.
2. ‘The Grinch’ (2018) - animation, family, comedy, adventure
The Grinch has always lived a solitary existence inside a cave on Mount Crumpet in peace and quiet, that is, until his neighbours in Whoville decide to make this year’s Christmas celebration bigger and brighter than ever before. The Grinch decides he must put a stop to this, and that the only way of doing so is by taking over as Santa Claus and stealing Christmas along with the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all.
3. ‘Love Hard’ (2021) - comedy, romance
An LA writer (Nina Dobrev), falls for an East Coast guy (Jimmy Yang) on a dating app and ends up flying 3,000 miles to surprise him over the holidays upon which she discovers she’s been catfished.
4. ‘Elf’ (2003) - adventure, comedy, family
Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally taken to the North Pole as a toddler and as a result, was raised there alongside elves. After he grows up, he decides to travel to New York to find his real father, and finds his encounter with the real world to be challenging as he must try to fit in despite his elfish ways. His story is both entertaining and touching as he reunites with his real family.
5. ‘Love Actually' (2003) - comedy, drama, romance
This classic rom-com follows the lives of eight very different couples as they navigate their love lives in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Its cast includes: Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman, Keira Knightley and Hugh Grant.
6. ‘Die Hard’ (1998) - action, thriller
Some might argue whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, but for the sake of this post, we have decided that it is. Looking for something other than a rom-com to watch for once? This classic is your go-to.
7.‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993) - fantasy, family
The second movie on this list that isn’t a rom-com, Tim Burton's classic is the perfect spooky transition movie between Halloween and Christmas. It follows the adventures of Jack Skellington, the king of Halloweentown who decides he will take Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role.
8. ‘The Polar Express’ (2004) - animation, adventure, comedy
On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical train ride and journey to the North Pole. His adventure is based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, and is one of self-discovery where he learns that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Disclaimer: some people find the faces in the movie to look creepy because of the animation. However, the train and the scenery look amazing.
9. ‘Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’ (2020)
This Netflix original musical fantasy film won two NAACP Image Awards in 2021, which were well deserved. Inventor and toymaker Jeronicus was losing hope and feeling like his life was falling apart after his previous apprentice, Gustafson, stole his new big invention and book from under his nose. However, his granddaughter, an adventurous and aspiring inventor herself, brings his energy back as they come together to rejuvenate the older man’s failing toy business “Jangles and Things” and get Jeronicus’s creative spark back while healing a broken family at the same time.
10. ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ (2001) - adventure, family, fantasy
Though it might not seem like a typical Christmas movie, the first Harry Potter movie is filled with the type of joyful spirit we look for in Christmas movies. The Christmas scenes here depict Harry’s first happy Christmas away from the Dursleys. Definitely worth watching again!
11. ‘Silent Night’ (2021) - drama, horror
A couple invites their closest friends to join them for Christmas dinner at their English countryside home. As they come together to celebrate, everything feels like old times, except for one thing - everyone is going to die.
12. ‘Holidate’ (2020) - comedy, romance
As the holidays come around, two singles decide that they’re fed up with being single during the holidays and agree to be each other’s “holidate” - platonic plus-ones to make the holidays go by smoother. Things get interesting when they end up catching real feelings for each other.
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