For a holiday that brings people together under one single roof, it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to celebrate it or count down to it is to watch a list of movies that encapsulate the spirit of Christmas.
Each major holiday season is well caught by Hollywood to be made movies about, with important narratives to be spread either to serve as important lessons for children, or simply to remind adults things growing up has made them forget. If you’re wondering what movies you should watch this yuletide, here are 12 you should definitely check out.
1. Home Alone
Home Alone is a family classic loved by many since its release in 1990. This is definitely a movie worth rewatching for the nostalgia, and if you haven’t seen it yet, then it’s a good idea to meet your inner child again this Christmas.
This movie touches on the importance of parental support in the formative years of the child, even in things they might consider small, but to the child means everything. The naïveté of a child and the lack of impossibility brought by, the major theme of the film, is definitely what draws most to the main character as he portrays something we’ve all had as children so perfectly.
And of course, the whole thing just feels homier with all the snow.
2. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Following the success of the first film, Home Alone 2 came to the theaters consequentially to greet a number of anticipating audiences. Contrary to the first episode, Kevin no longer gets left at home, but rather gets to go to the airport without making it to their actual destination after taking the wrong plane headed to New York.
The new setting and additional characters definitely added something to the sequel, especially with Kevin’s newfound friendship with the pigeon lady. The core of the film centered on redemption, and how this is made possible by the people around us who help us move forward from wherever we may be stuck in. This is all explored in the lens of a child, hence giving the entire experience both playfulness and innocence.
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Being a Dr. Seuss adaptation and starred by thee Jim Carrey, there had already been a precedence that this film was going to be amazing. The story of the Grinch was already a classic, but having it made in live action was definitely a Christmas gift in itself.
Discourse regarding the true spirit of Christmas has long been around, and this film mentions that a lot. The Grinch personifying loneliness as the dark side of a season where everyone is surrounded by everyone they love, we are given a troubled character who ultimately finds redemption.
Klaus is a more recent addition to your repertoire of jingling bells, released in 2019. The film offers a fresh perspective with its alternative origin story about Santa Claus.
It is a light-hearted tale that takes away the mythologizing of Santa Claus, and instead portrays him as an ordinary man who just takes joy in making toys for kids, which is something he and his late wife always wanted to do for the kids they never had.
Tackling themes of redemption and reconciliation, the film is definitely an interesting and wholesome Christmas movie worth watching.
5. Falling for Christmas
Falling for Christmas is a romantic comedy Christmas film which is also Lindsay Lohan’s first movie project in years.
The film follows a love triangle with a classic amnesia twist that leaves the main character in limbo between two love interests. Ultimately, the film ends with a note of following one’s heart as well as doing things for yourself that your family might not approve of.
6. The Princess Switch
Following a similar premise with Barbie’s Princess and the Pauper, The Princess Switch stars Vanessa Hudgens both as a duchess and an ordinary woman who look exactly the same and decide to switch places during Christmas.
The romantic comedy film tells a lighthearted story that concludes with realizing the importance of appreciating things that are immaterial, and how love goes beyond status and public perception.
7. Family Switch
Because Christmas is a season for families, we get a lot of films that focus on kin being lost or mixed up. Family Switch adopts the Freaky Friday trope where everyone in the family exchange bodies with each other as a result of a rare planetary alignment.
Knowing what it’s like to be the other person more, the troubled family starts to be more understanding of each other and compassionate towards their differing lifestyles.
8. Last Christmas
Starring the Mother of Dragons of herself, Emilia Clarke, this movie was highly anticipated by many in 2019. Contrary to her popular stern and strong white-haired character, she plays Kate who has a bubbly golden retriever-esque personality similar to Emilia’s actual nature.
The movie tackles themes such as the struggles of being in the working class as well as the complexity of love. With Henry Golding as Emilia’s love interest, we are given a stellar performance with a shocking twist at the end of the film.
9. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms gives a layer of mystery to the classic Christmas tale most of us know. They added new characteristics and complexities to the magic world Clara enters, keeping the film interesting despite the story being adopted.
With the star-studded cast including Mackenzie Foy (Renesmee Cullen herself) and Kiera Knightley, you’re definitely in for a Christmas adventure.
Anna Kendrick who has a ticket for the long way ‘round stars as a worker in Santa Claus’s present factory in the North Pole in ‘Noelle’ (2019). The film is set in a setting where Santa Claus died five months prior to Christmas, and everything and everyone in the factory is just all over the place.
The comedy focuses on the main character’s discovery of herself, exploring the highs and lows of having big shoes to fill. It is definitely worth the watch if you want a fresh perspective of how Santa Claus works as an entity, and for a lot of laughs too.
11. A Christmas Carol
Adopted from Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol (2009) brought so much life to the beautiful classic with its animation, portraying the characters as perfectly as possible.
Following a traumatic childhood, Ebenezer Scrooge lives life as a bitter individual who just regards Christmas as Humbug. In an attempt to change his tragic trajectory if he continued his lifestyle, three spirits visit him to give him back his ability to see, clouded by everything he went through and his current state of mind.
12. The Polar Express
This animated adventure fantasy film introduces an express train that takes children to the North Pole. It explores how children can view Christmas in a shallow way—only thinking about presents and what good things come with Christmas. This perception of Christmas caused the children a lot of trouble due to their selfishness. At the end of the film, it was shown how this preconceived notion of the season is exactly what makes adults forget the essence of it along with the idea of Santa Claus.
It is a heartwarming film that highlights the importance of remembering what Christmas really is about. It definitely is a 2004 classic.
Put on your ugly Christmas sweaters, make that chocolate drink, and huddle in a tight couch and spend time with your loved ones with these movies on the screen this Christmas!