Holiday vacations start next week, which means the time for lounging around in sweatpants and overeating is upon us. Of course, holiday relaxation wouldn't be complete without a good crop of favorite flicks, and lucky for us, Netflix has them in spades. But how do you know which to watch?
With so many Christmas films on the streaming giant, it's easy to get lost in the search. Pretty soon, you've wasted an hour scrolling and it's time for a 14-hour nap/cookie-binge. Well, we're here to prevent that from happening. Ditch your work clothes and put some more rum in that eggnog, movie fans, here are the 10 Best Holiday Movies Streaming On Netflix.
10. A Christmas Prince
This film isn’t just a Netflix special, it was a phenomenon. According to Netflix’s Twitter, over fifty people watched A Christmas Prince every day for 18 straight days. Combined, those folks watched over 1,400 hours of A Christmas Prince, which is probably longer than it took to make the movie. Though we don't recommend you do that, we do recommend you check out this movie, especially if you love the royals or are into iZombie. That’s right, Rose McIver AKA Liv Moore is the lead in this film, and she does an absolutely charming job. Besides, you need to watch this film if you’re going to check out this year’s sequel, A Christmas Prince 2: Royal Wedding. Could this movie have started an all-new cinematic franchise? Maybe not, but the views it’s earned sure aren’t Mortal Engines numbers.
9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Before you check out the new animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s classic Christmas tale, revisit the live-action adaptation of the old animated adaptation. In a prosthetic suit that’s worthy of Shape of Water, Jim Carrey brings his signature wild comedy to the classic Christmas villain of the Grinch. Known for its wonky visuals and lasting soundtrack (I heard “Where Are You Christmas” on the radio yesterday), this modern Christmas classic is great for its original fans or newcomers out of the Benedict Cumberbatch film. Just get ready for a momentary cringe when you remember who played the Mayor of Whoville.
8. The BoJack Horseman Christmas Special
As any fan of the series knows, BoJack Horseman perfectly spoofs family sitcoms from the 90s. The Christmas Special is no exception, hilariously picking apart the holiday-themed episodes of Full House, Saved By the Bell, etc. While you watch the festive episode of BoJack's show, Horsin' Around, you also get snippets of Todd and BoJack hanging out in the modern day. They provide commentary, banter, and of course, plenty of cynicism. That said, this is actually a pretty warm addition to the BoJack Horseman canon. For a show that's usually just under fully depressed, this special ends on a light note, even if just for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Don't worry though, BoJack fans. Season Four comes just after this and clears that right up.
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7. Bad Santa
Not every Christmas flick has to be G-rated. For example, Bad Santa is about as far from that as can be. It’s a raunchy, profane Christmas comedy about a guy who absolutely does not deserve to wear the suit. Legendary comedic actor Bernie Mac brings his trademark brand of off-the-wall humor to the film, and it’s fun to watch him alongside Billy Bob Thornton. Especially if you’ve seen Thornton’s latest work, like Fargo and Goliath. Turn this movie on if you’re not easily offended, sick of holiday innocence, or just want an adult comedy with a tinsel tinge. Just make sure the kids are in bed first.
6. Fireplace for Your Home
This entry's a little bit different, because it doesn't focus on just one film. No, Fireplace for Your Home is, in fact, a series. We begin with the original Fireplace for Your Home. Next, you've got the Classic edition, which is a slightly brighter, more traditional view of a fireplace. For the discerning lumber connoisseur, Netflix also offers the Birchwood edition of its fireplace, still guaranteeing the finest in simulated warmth. Finally, Netflix released a fireplace set in the universe of their original film Bright, featuring a mystic fire, magic faeries, and hints at a seedy fantasy underworld. So don't be too bummed about Daredevil, TV fans. Netflix is still on top when it comes to quality streaming franchises, and Fireplace is proof.
5. The Christmas Chronicles
If you prefer your Santas round, this might not be for you. But, if you're down for a silver-fox Santa that just happens to look like a Living Planet, give this one a shot. The Christmas Chronicles is kind of a Santa Clause for a modern audience. It provides an inside peek at the inner workings of North Pole magic by sticking Santa in the real world, leaving him to get himself out of a very human problem. Like any good Santa movie, this film is about the power of belief. Its main characters overcome obstacles by finding hope where it seems to be missing. This film might not feature the version of Santa you've grown up with, but it's a great addition to the Santa genre. And after watching Kurt Russel have so much fun in the role, you might find yourself wanting to believe in this version anyway.
4. The Princess Switch
Christmas is a time for cheesy romantic comedies. In recent years, those films have included a lot of baking, and also...monarchy? Well, this Vanessa Hudgens hit has them both. It’s a sort of Prince and the Pauper tale about a baker coming from Chicago to compete in a baking contest held in a vaguely European fictional country. The thing is, she just happens to look exactly like the future Queen of this country. The two meet and quickly decide to switch places, a choice that leads to laughs, tension, and of course, everlasting love. I gotta say, I adored this movie. It’s got everything you want from a Hallmark-style Christmas flick, from cute meet-up scenes to a thoroughly happy ending. Plus, Vanessa Hudgens kills it as both the baker and future Queen. This movie isn’t just worth a watch, I’d say it’s worth a sequel.
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3. White Christmas
There are few movies as integral to pop culture Christmas than this one. Bing Crosby’s classic story of showbiz and romance didn’t just cement its place in Christmas movie history, it championed Christmas music as well. Hits like “Snow,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and of course the titular “White Christmas” are staples for this holiday season, and they all were born out of this film. If modern Christmas history was American history, this film would be the Declaration of Independence. Even if it wasn’t so important to our image of the holiday, this film’s gorgeous scenery and exuberant dance numbers make it an absolute must watch. Especially if you don’t mind shedding a happy tear or two.
2. A Very Murray Christmas
Sadly, holiday specials seem to be a thing of the past. Variety hosts like Dean Martin, Carroll Burnett, or Andy Williams have apparently gone the way of Old Hollywood, and that’s a real shame. However, If there’s any shot at this format rising again, this Netflix special is it. Hosted by the always charming Bill Murray, this trippy showcase is an absolute joy to watch. It features Miley Cyrus, Rashida Jones, and even George Clooney. In fact, there are a couple other exciting surprise celebrity guests, but if Bill Murray didn’t already sell you, listing them where won't help.
1. Love Actually
Last but not even remotely least, this film is an absolute must-not-miss this season. It is everything a good Christmas movie should be. It's heartwarming, funny, and honest, sweet but not dripping with sap. Not only that, this is what any good ensemble movie should be. Each story shines as a piece of a larger picture, resonating on a real emotional level despite their truncated screen time. It features iconic performances, history-making scenes, and a rewarding wrap-up that will make even the Scroogiest watcher a little bit warmer inside. Why? Well, the holiday season can be messy, funny, and even tough. But at its core, it's about different people connecting in different ways to make a better world. This movie exists to remind us that that's not just Christmas. That's love.
What holiday favorites are you watching this year? Did we leave any off this list that deserve to be on here? Let us know in the comments section below!