Very merry movies to watch this holiday season

Holiday movies that satisfy fans of all genres

Elf, The Grinch, Bad Moms Christmas, and Love Actually are all Christmas classics.

A grown man in a full-blown elf costume; three adult women dealing with their comedic mothers during the holiday season; a cartoon—or live-action—green, hairy man who has a pet dog; or a rom-com that just meets the “holiday movie” category because it’s based in mid-December. What’s not to like?

Whether you need a laugh, a nostalgic children’s movie, or a sweet romcom with an even sweeter leading actor—shoutout Hugh Grant—here are some of the best holiday movies to dive into this winter break.

Will Ferrell running around NYC in yellow tights—need I say more?

Elf is one of the most classic Christmas movies of all time. It’s the definition of a people-pleasing movie, catering to all age groups. This movie gives you a mix of holiday cheer, the ‘Scrooge’ character trope that lands in just about every Christmas movie, and comedy that just meets the mark.

All around, this movie is exceptional and will continue to be a go-to for the holiday season. Whether you play it in the background or cuddle up for a movie night and give it your full attention, this movie never disappoints.

For those who see their out-of-pocket family members over the holidays

Bad Mom Christmas, the sequel to Bad Moms, perfects the unconventional nature of Christmas festivities with messy, yet loving, family dynamics. The holidays can be stressful, especially with the overload of family. Christine Baranski perfects the critical mother image, Cheryl Hines nails the role of the overbearing mother, and Susan Sarandon is a handful, to say the least.

The dry humour and out-of-pocket commentary will have you laughing so hard you might cry. The film provides relatability for viewers by depicting the reality of family gatherings over the holidays with a happy ending that makes you appreciate the family you do have—as unhinged as they may be.

The mix of comedy, relatability, and love is the perfectly mixed movie for this holiday season.

If you have a kink for bitter green men

The story of the Grinch was such a hit that there are currently four popular copies: the book by Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas; the cartoon short film; the live-action film starring Jim Carrey; and the 2018 animated movie titled The Grinch.

If four remakes of the same story don’t illustrate just how beloved this sweet story is, I don’t know what does. Personally, the live-action version gave me nightmares as a kid and I think the cartoon was sweet with cute visuals. But to each their own.

The Grinch is a timeless story, perfectly sweet for younger viewers and nostalgic for older audiences. Regardless of whichever version you watch, or however old you may be, the film overall will make your “heart grow three sizes larger” after watching it.

Hopeless romantics are relentless in every season

Romcoms always hit the spot for hopeless romantics like me, but even more now given the exacerbated false perceptions that even in the freezing cold, slush, and snow, you can find love.

What makes these holiday romances stand out most is that they aren’t really holiday movies. Movies like Love Actually and The Holiday depict stories of finding yourself and then finding your person—no Christmas involved—but they take place in mid-December, so they’re deemed holiday movies. Gorgeous casting calls and endearing love stories make these films merry for the holiday season.

Netflix’s Let It Snow gives you teenage love in its fullest form. Between the fear of confessing feelings to finding your own identity, the film follows four different experiences of high school seniors, their stories of love and friendship perfectly intertwining. 

This romantic comedy stands out from other trivial romcoms by immersing viewers in a realistic story of love and friendship that diverges from the conventional narrative; it features a queer romance played by two queer actors.

None of these movies smother you with Christmas or festive narratives, unlike the other previously mentioned films, but still give you messages of love and togetherness. What more could you ask for?

Child endangerment and divorced parent-turned legendary figure

Home Alone and Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause are two vital additions to your holiday collection. While very childish, both films’ innocent natures provide feelings of comfort and nostalgia over the holiday season.

Ironically, something about these movies—which show a mother forgetting her child at home while she’s on a flight, and a bitter father scaring Santa Clause so bad he falls off a roof—is comforting and sweet.

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This Christmas movie collection stands out from all others and—like the holidays—is worth celebrating. Happy holidays!

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