The real meaning of Christmas isn’t receiving gifts, it’s watching movies. So stick on a Santa hat, and settle in for twelve days of streaming to warm your cold black heart.
Is this even a Christmas movie? You know the debate will rage forever, so brush up. On the one hand, there’s tinsel, on the other, Bruce Willis goes sleeveless. Perhaps it’s actually an early commentary on climate change? Regardless, yelling “Yippee ki yay!” is as Christmas as eggnog.
2. “A Nasty Piece of Work” Hulu
Few things have the potential to ruin Christmas like not getting your bonus after working your ass off all year. Such is the premise of this holiday horror-comedy from the team behind “Into The Dark.”
3. “The Muppet Christmas Carol” Disney+
There are upwards of two dozen versions of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of why nobody likes a tightwad. But only this one has Michael Caine share the screen with Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang.
4. “Holiday In The Wild” Netflix
If sugary but charming is your holiday bag, cue up this romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Kristen Davis. After being dumped by her husband, Kate heads to Zambia where she meets a cute baby elephant named Manu and an even cuter pilot named Derek (Lowe). Of course romance ensues.
It’s the Christmas movie that spawned a cottage industry of think pieces. Whether it’s to join in the debates — Andrew Lincoln, creepy stalker or no? — or to watch Hugh Grant boogie and Emma Thompson stick it to it Alan Rickman’s adulterous “classic fool,” don’t pretend that you don’t love “Love Actually.”
6. “The Spirit Of Christmas” Hulu
Murder gets the festive treatment (!) when a hot ghost haunts/romances a lawyer who is appraising an inn in Vermont. He can’t move on until the mystery surrounding his death has been solved — which should make you feel better about your own holiday to-do list
7. “The Princess Switch” Netflix
There’s another whole year to wait for the sequel to Vanessa Hudgens’ life switcheroo story about a princess and a baker (yes, it is happening!). In the meantime, the original is a feel-good tale about the grass always being greener. Meghan Markle probably relates.
8. “Home Alone” Disney+
This ‘90s classic is the crown jewel in Disney+’s holiday lineup and a reminder that yup, Macauley Culkin and all of us are getting old. Kevin McAllister falls asleep in the attic the night before a holiday vacation to Paris, and is forced to defend his family’s (suspiciously sizable) home against bungling home invaders. Look out for Kieran Culkin as the family pee pee pants.
9. “A Very Brady Christmas” Hulu
If you’ve still never watched America’s real first family’s iconic 1988 Christmas special, we don’t know what you’ve been doing with your life. The cast was mostly reunited for 90 glorious minutes, featuring more subplots than Game Of Thrones and the gravity-defying hair the times required.
10. “The Santa Clause” Disney+
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) reluctantly takes over from Santa after he accidentally makes the real one fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. Sometimes a job just falls into your rapidly expanding lap, you know? Unlike some deadbeat-turns-Santa movies, this one genuinely feels the Christmas spirit.
11. “Alone For Christmas” Hulu
When the romance and cute kids gets too much over the holidays, switch gears with a disobedient pup who must use every trick he has to save the presents under the Christmas tree from thieves. If it reminds you of Home Alone, it’s supposed to! As for whether you should or shouldn’t take the dog with you to grandma’s house… that’s left up for debate.
Believe the hype. Frank Capra’s black-and-white tale from 1946 is THE classic holiday movie, with bells and life lessons galore. George Bailey (James Stewart) contemplates suicide only to be saved by an angel-in-training who helps him reevaluate the meaning of it all.