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All Of The Best Christmas Movies (Romantic Comedies, Kid-Friendly Picks, And More)

It’s time for my yearly magnum opus: an overly comprehensive roundup of holiday movies. In 2020 and 2021, I limited myself to Netflix original films (and you can catch up on those rankings right here!)…but today, I want to expand the pool a bit. After chatting with the rest of the EHD team, we identified four key Christmas movie categories – romantic comedies (because our team is a little corny, obviously), movies that are comfortable to watch with your adult friends and family (no awkward encounters!), classic films that are fun for the whole family (you’ll know these by heart), and picks that kids will love (both new and old!).

The other kicker: the movies had to actually be pretty good (or SO bad that it circles back into being hilarious – it’s weird how that works, isn’t it?). A lot of holiday films are formulaic, or forgettable, or just not worth your time (looking at you, Falling for Christmas – a devastating disappointment!), so I only included movies that are fun to watch. It’s a big list – get ready to skim, and keep an eye out for any new titles to add to your streaming service queue of choice! – but I’m sure there are a ton of other great Christmas movies out there that I missed or haven’t seen yet, so feel free to drop your favorites in the comments. LET’S BEGIN.

Rom Coms

Love Actually (2003): Nine (!!!) intertwined storylines; too many iconic moments to count. (Fun fact: Kiera Knightley was 18 and Thomas Brodie was 13 when this film was released.)

The Family Man (2000): A high-rolling Wall Street banker wakes in an alternate reality to find himself married to his college sweetheart. It’s nice to finally see a man have to choose between career and love in a Christmas movie for once, you know? (No shade to the whole “domineering woman meets small-town single dad” genre, of course).

Last Holiday (2006): After learning of a surprise terminal illness, Queen Latifah quits her job, cashes out her life savings, jets off to Europe, and lives the rest of her life to the fullest. (Spoiler: her work crush follows her across the world, too). This is my favorite Christmas rom-com, y’all!

Love Hard (2021): An LA blogger with a cute apartment (I’m halfway there, guys) spends the holidays in Lake Placid, NY (my childhood haunt!) with the guy who catfished her and his family. It’s sweet and fun.

The Holiday (2006): Two women swap homes for the holidays – one moves into a Hollywood mansion, the other takes residence in an English village – and naturally fall in love with local men. (Poll: would you go for Jack Black or Jude Law? I’m a Jack Black girl all the way!!!)

Holidate (2020): Two strangers-turned-friends agree to become each other’s platonic plus-ones for a year’s worth of holidays before catching feelings. It’s a Christmas movie you can watch all year long!

Serendipity (2001): John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale fall in love after reaching for the same pair of black cashmere gloves (cute). 10 years later – and living on opposite coasts – they trust fate to bring them together again. A must-watch for all my fellow ~woo woo~ “put it out into the universe” pals out there!

Single All The Way (2021): Tired of his family’s pestering, a man convinces his best friend to pose as his boyfriend on a trip home for the holidays. (Added bonus: Jennifer Coolidge also stars in it).

The Preacher’s Wife (1996): An angel is sent to answer a preacher’s prayer and then he, uh, falls for the preacher’s wife. Beyond that: Denzel! Whitney Houston! What else do you need?

New Year’s Eve (2011): Not totally Christmas, but still seasonally appropriate. It’s the Garry Marshall version of Love Actually, with an all-star cast and cheesy intertwined plot.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001): It’s not not a Christmas movie, you know? An early 30s woman finds herself in a love triangle with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. It’s famously relatable (except for the fact that most of us will never find ourselves in a love triangle with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant).

Happiest Season (2020): A woman plans to propose to her girlfriend at a family Christmas party before learning that her partner hasn’t come out to her conservative parents. (Bonus: it was written and directed by Clea DuVall, who played Marjorie on Veep!).

Last Christmas (2019): Emilia Clarke works as an elf in a year-round Christmas store. Henry Golding sweeps her off her feet. Michelle Yeoh plays Santa!!! Why isn’t this movie bigger?!

While You Were Sleeping (1995): Festive, but not overwhelming, with lots of classic tropes – mistaken identity! A coma! Amnesia! Love triangles! Wedding disruption! It’s an easy watch.

Why Him (2016): This was an EHD team recommendation that’s also not technically a Christmas movie, but still pretty Christmas-y – a dad travels to Silicon Valley for the holidays and realizes that his daughter’s boyfriend, a tech multimillionaire who’s a little bit of a loose cannon, is about to propose. (I don’t know if you can tell from the poster, but he’s not a fan). FYI this is more of a “watch with friends,” not family:)

Friends & Family

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017): Christmas wasn’t always this big of a deal, you know? Based on a true story, the film tells the story of Charles Dickens – who was nearly broke after three consecutive flops! – and his creation of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ which changed the world (and the literal meaning of Christmas) forever. If you’re going to watch one new holiday movie this year, this should be it.

Four Christmases (2008): After their yearly holiday vacation is canceled, a couple visits all four of their divorced parents’ homes on Christmas Day.

The Family Stone (2005): An uptight career-oriented woman finally meets her boyfriend’s free-wheeling, relaxed family at Christmas…and it doesn’t go as planned. (Also, the casting here is incredible. Diane Keaton should be in every Christmas movie).

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944): It’s the musical that launched “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” everyone! Track a year in the life of the Smith family leading up to the 1904 World’s Fair. (Fun fact: Judy Garland and director Vincent Minnelli were dating while filming, and Liza Minnelli was born 2 years after the film’s release!).

The Dog Who Saved Christmas (2009): This is – and I am not joking – the worst movie I have ever seen. I loved it. A dog needs to learn to bark by Christmas, lest his family return him to the shelter for failing to live up to his guard dog duties. Mario Lopez voices the dog. It’s a mess. Make a drinking game out of it or throw it on when you’re a little slaphappy and overtired with friends. It’s awful. You’ll have a blast.

The Knight Before Christmas (2019): This is similar to the film above. It’s supposed to be romantic – a time-traveling medieval knight falls in love with Vannesa Hudgens – but it’s absolutely goofy. My mom and I have never laughed harder at a Christmas movie.

Scrooged (1988): A curmudgeonly but wildly successful TV executive (Bill Murray!) is haunted by three ghosts after firing a staffer on Christmas Eve. (I’m sure you can guess where this is going, right?).

A Bad Moms Christmas (2017): This is an Em recommendation! Three stressed-out moms are overwhelmed by the holidays (they’re juggling crafting memorable experiences for their families while hosting their own moms – woof) and they decide to rebel against expectations.

Die Hard (1988): It takes place during a holiday office party. There are 4 Christmas songs throughout the film. It’s a Christmas movie. Case closed.

El Camino Christmas (2017): But if Die Hard isn’t overtly holiday enough for you, this one may do the trick – a guy ends up barricaded in a liquor store with five other people during a shootout on Christmas Eve. (This is a great choice for those who are looking for something a little less saccharine – like, your stoic dad would probably watch this with you).

Christmas on the Square (2020): A wealthy woman plans to sell her small town to a developer – putting all her neighbors’ homes and businesses at risk – and then Dolly Parton (an angel both in the movie and in real life, I think) shows up. It’s kind of a slog, but you’ve gotta watch it once, you know?

Jingle All The Way (1996): A workaholic dad spends Christmas Eve hunting down the hottest toy on the market for his son. Classic 90s vibes.

Gremlins (1984): This is a movie about what happens when men don’t listen to directions. (I’m kidding…but I’m also not kidding?) A guy doesn’t take care of his new pet (a Gremlin, obviously) and ends up unleashing a horde of tiny monsters on his idyllic town on Christmas Eve. (Bonus: this film was one of the reasons the PG-13 rating was created, so proceed with caution if you have younger kids!).

Fred Claus (2007): Santa’s brother, Fred, gets bailed out of jail and heads to work at the North Pole in an attempt to pay off his debts. It’s a cute sibling rivalry and enjoyable for the whole family (…but maybe skip this one if you don’t want your kids to see Santa getting beat up by his bitter older brother).

Trading Places (1983): Christmas meets social commentary meets insider trading – it’s almost 40 years old (and some of the jokes haven’t aged well, to be fair), but this film still feels relevant. Two financial firm owners take the “nature v. nuture” debate to the next level when they frame a wealthy manager for a crime and hire a street-smart unhoused man (Eddie Murphy!) to take over his position, betting that Eddie Murphy will turn into a rich jerk and that the disgraced manager will fall into poverty. It’s pretty heavy, but served with a big dose of Christmas cheer. (It also apparently plays every Christmas Eve in parts of Italy, which is hilarious).

Edward Scissorhands (1990): Group this in with Gremlins and Die Hard on the “alternative Christmas movie” list. I mean…the whole thing is a long story about why it always snows on Christmas, you know?

Jack Frost (1998): Michael Keaton, a touring musician who prioritizes fame over family, dies in a car accident on Christmas Day (no!) but is brought back to life as a snowman the following year after his son plays a sad tune on a harmonica. Can a father and son make amends? (I’ll let you guess how it turns out.)

A Very Murray Christmas (2015): An all-star cast (Bill Murray, George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus, Maya Rudolph, Michael Cera, Rashida Jones…I’m only stopping because I’m running out of space) stars in a quick and unassuming holiday special. The original song by Phoenix is the icing on the cake.

Classics for Everyone

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): The Muppets and Michael Caine take on the classic Dickens tale. (I think this is my all-time favorite Christmas movie, everyone! I loved it as a kid and I still love it in my 30s. It’ll never get old).

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965): I KNOW, I KNOW. It’s technically a TV special, not a movie. TOO BAD – it’s a classic. Charlie Brown is disappointed by the commercialization of Christmas (me too, cutie!) and searches for the meaning of the season. It’s very tender!

Elf (2003): “I thought maybe we could make gingerbread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.”

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974): Watch this Rankin/Bass original that inspired the art direction of Elf – it’s sweet and heartwarming. When Santa comes down with a cold and a bad case of ennui, Mrs. Claus and the elves need to lift his spirits. SO HEARTWARMING. (And not just because of Heat Miser!).

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964): Tune in for more Elf inspiration here – like, Buddy’s outfit was ripped straight outta this film). The stop motion is timeless and gentle and kind – if it’s been a few years since your last watch, take an hour, grab some hot chocolate, and enjoy. (Also, we need more movies inspired by songs).

The Home Alone Franchise (1990): This is the most popular Christmas movie in America for a reason. (Let it be a lesson to all of us that precocious troublemakers are surprisingly self-sufficient).

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946): Believe it or not, a movie about a man’s suicidal ideation on Christmas Eve was not an immediate hit!!! This film initially tanked at the box office and didn’t even come close to breaking it even – it only became a classic after it entered the public domain, which allowed it to be broadcast without licensing or royalty fees.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020): A depressed toymaker finds new hope when his jubilant granddaughter shows up on his doorstep. It’s like the Greatest Showman, holiday edition – a modern classic for sure.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947): A man named Kris Kringle fills in for a drunk Santa at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (some stories really do last the test of time, right?) and is eventually hired to make regular appearances as Santa at the Macy’s in Manhattan. When Kringle claims that he really is Santa, he’s taken to court (of course) to judge his mental health and authenticity. It still feels timely, doesn’t it?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): I mean…a guy who cares this much about getting the perfect tree and setting up the most beautiful decorations kind of seems like a keeper, no?

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): It’s a Q4 hit. Enjoy it in October! Enjoy it in November! Enjoy it in December! It’s got everything the end-of-the-year needs, from the Pumpkin King to Sandy Claws.

It Happened On 5th Avenue (1947): Two unhoused men move into a seemingly-vacant NYC mansion while its owner is vacationing in the south. It’s a classic tale of “money poor, but rich where it counts.”

A Christmas Story (1983): “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966): Technically another TV special, but…it’s my list, and I’m making the rules. It’s bright, it’s cheery, there are some iconic (and now gif-able) animation moments, and it’s almost entirely narrated (which almost feels fresh today!). Set aside 25 minutes and tune in – it’s worth it.


Klaus (2019): A failed postman is exiled to a frozen town, where he forms an unlikely partnership with a reclusive toymaker. Together, they bring a lot of joy to a dark town that needs it most. IT’S GORGEOUSLY DONE.

The Santa Clause Franchise (1994): A divorced dad becomes Santa (both physically and occupationally) while everyone thinks he’s a nutjob. His son – the world’s cutest kid, I think – steps in to help save Christmas. It never gets old, does it?

The Polar Express (2004): If you’re a fan of the uncanny valley, this is for you. (It’s not for me, but I can acknowledge that it’s still a good movie!). After the entire town has gone to bed on Christmas Eve, a skeptical boy boards a magical train for the North Pole in an attempt to learn the truth about Santa.

The Snowman (1982): This, however, is WAY more my speed. A boy makes a snowman on Christmas Eve; it comes to life and brings him to meet Santa. The animation is so soft and lovely. (Still great for adults, too! It’s like a bubble bath for your eyes).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000): Little ones love Jim Carrey and his dog in this movie, y’all. Ron Howard directed this version and it’s safe to say that he is a national treasure.

Alien Xmas (2020): This is my favorite Netflix animation special (and it’s from Jon Favreau, the director of Elf)!! When aliens team up to steal the earth’s gravity (and, consequently, all of the presents), a tiny alien named X falls in love with the Christmas spirit and works to thwart their kleptomaniac plans. So much heart and SO, SO CUTE.

Arthur Christmas (2011): When Santa forgets to deliver presents to one child (out of, uh, 600 million), it’s up to his youngest son, Arthur, to deliver a present before Christmas morning. Super underrated.

Eloise at Christmastime (2003): Eloise (of the Plaza Hotel, of course) decides to involve herself in everyone’s business. (Literally, SO much happens in this movie that it cannot be condensed into a small blurb.) Julie Andrews stars as the nanny, too.

The Christmas Chronicles Franchise (2018): After two siblings accidentally crash Santa’s sleigh, they team up with Santa to save Christmas. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn should play Santa and Mrs. Claus in EVERY MOVIE. They’re incredibly endearing (and a little sarcastic? It’s refreshing).

PHEW. Lotta words here. Did you find anything new to watch? Do you have any recommendations or synopses to share? What’s your favorite Christmas movie? LET’S TALK ABOUT IT. Happy Friday – see ya in the comments 🙂 xx

Opening Photo Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Emily’s “Messy” But FULL Of Memories Christmas Family Room


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78 thoughts on “All Of The Best Christmas Movies (Romantic Comedies, Kid-Friendly Picks, And More)

  1. I love this post every year!! I noted 3 that I haven’t seen yet for my viewing over the next week. I also died at your description of the worst movie you’ve ever seen. (And I agree about the Vanessa Hudgens Knight Before Christmas.) Thank you!!

  2. Can you really have a list of the best holiday movies without mentioning Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas?? It’s possibly the most endearing movie of all time.

    1. My husband ADORES this movie and keeps trying to foist it on me and the kids, but we cannot make it through. I find it unwatchable, ha. I think you had to grow up with it!

      1. I just watched it … it was cute and sweet and I’m glad I watched it once but I wonder if nostalgia is a big factor in it’s appeal (I get it…I still dream about Sigmund and the Sea Monsters).

  3. Also recommended:
    White Christmas. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, a classic!
    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Up there with Die Hard as an alt holiday movie.

    And the animated Grinch is a classic. The live action does not even rank in comparison.

    1. my boyfriend just told me about kiss kiss bang bang!! i didn’t know it was by the same guy who directed die hard – i gotta watch it this year!!

    2. How in the world was White Christmas not on this list?!?!?! It’s so good! Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney … a heartwarming story, funny bits, dancing, the general, the snooping aunt (or whoever she is..), and of course, Bing Crosby singing THE SONG! It’s my favorite — as I think is pretty clear.

    3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is the best movie in its genre (heisty-comedic-action movies?). I keep wanting something else to scratch the itch!

    1. A bit of the same with Trading Places. One of my favourite movies but be prepared for some unhomed breasts on screen if you don’t have a ‘tv/airplane’ version.

  4. Thank you Caitlin! No skimming here, I read your every word. So much fun. Will come back to this list often.

  5. Oh man, the Jim Carrey/Ron Howard Grinch movie always freaks me out – it’s so visually BLEAK, like the colors are all kind of desaturated and everything feels hazy and claustrophobic. Borderline grotesque – it’s making me squeamish just thinking about it lol. Elf, The Santa Clause, and The Family Stone are my perennial rewatches, though! 🙂

    1. My 5 year old and I just watched The Grinch. DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE!! The grinch is a total RAGER for the first hour and 30 minutes and then in the last 15 gets with a hot, Who lady and is finally happy (oversimplification). I really could go on and on. This movie is terrible.

  6. Haven’t seen some of these—added them to my TBW list. I’ve watched the following new-to-me movies on Netflix this year:

    • 48 Christmas Wishes (kids only)
    • David and the Elves (kids but watchable)
    • Angela’s Christmas (rated G but I loved, so sweet)
    • Angela’s Christmas 2 (rated G but I loved, not as good as original)
    • Christmas Full of Grace (a few laughs and stunning bit filmed in the Petropolis Imperial Palace)
    • Christmas on Mistletoe Farm (kids but watchable for the animals)
    • Christmas With You (👍, musical)
    • El Camino Christmas (super violent)
    • Falling for Christmas (Caitlin hated but my husband and I laughed a lot)
    • The Noel Diary (w/ Kevin from This Is Us, 👍, based on a book—1st of 4 in the series— I haven’t read yet)
    1. Yes to Angela’s Christmas!! It’s become a tradition for us. So sweet!!! Makes me cry every year.

    2. I love love love Angela’s Christmas. I find so many holiday movies cliche and unwatchable, but not this one! Almost unbearably cute and very well made.

  7. Thank you for this fun list. I thought ‘the Noel Diary’ was an enjoyable new Christmas movie. And Justin Hartley is always good 😉

  8. A couple more amazing family movies:
    White Christmas – classic
    Little Women – the 94 version is a beautiful picture of Christmas
    The Christmas Candle – beautiful and heartwarming
    The Star – animated, with an all-star cast of voices – so funny and celebrates the True meaning of Christmas

  9. My 8 year old and I watched a LOT of Netflix Christmas rom coms during the pandemic – somehow it became our thing. I was disappointed with the Netflix offerings this year (totally agree about Falling for Christmas! Boring as heck!) but our absolute favorite is the Princess Switch series. Kid friendly, goofy, and Vanessa Hudgens and her baking partner guy are great.

  10. The Man Who Came to Dinner. 1942. We watch it a few times every year. Betty Davis, just the best movie.
    It Happened on 5th Ave. 1947 Another really old movie, so sweet it makes me cry every time I see it.
    Christmas in Connecticut. 1945. Barbara Stanwyck. I want to live in that house!!!

    Can’t recommend these enough!

      1. i’ve put off watching christmas in connecticut for years and this is the most compelling description – will watch this weekend!! i LOVE this plot!

  11. Meh.. there’s a lot of bad movies in this list and it all seems like a mix bag. Like “you can’t go wrong if you put anything with Xmas on it that is relatively known”.. there’s no inspired choice, and even the excerpts are bland.

    Maybe work harder next year..

    1. D, we’d all love to see your list of better alternatives! Criticism is easy. Content/problem solving is hard.

  12. Can I add one to the wonderfully holiday adjacent? It’s a Ginger Rogers / David Nivens movie (his first in the US) called Bachelor Mother, where Ginger Rogers, about to lose her retail job as Christmas ends, rescues an infant, left on an adoption facility doorsteps, from falling down the steps. She’s caught by them as she does so and they assume the baby is hers, leading to all sorts of confusion as she is at first forced to keep the baby in order to not lose her job and then chooses to keep the baby in the face of the store owner’s attempts to take it (he believes it is his son’s baby – David Niven is the son roped into it all). It is humorous with all sorts of light social commentary on making assumptions, getting community help (her landlady is the best!), and making a family regardless of blood and being a unmarried mom at a time that wasn’t allowed. It is so fun and lovely!

    1. Oh! And Ginger Rogers correcting David Niven’s mansplaining in situation after situation is awesome, all under the general Christmas spirit.

  13. Great list! Classics I also love and recommend. Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas, We’re no Angels.

  14. I always make time for “Desk Set”. The plot doesn’t revolve around Christmas, but the Christmas presents and party resolve the plot, if that makes sense. Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy, written by Nora Ephron’s parents, and the most entertaining portrayal of a computer on film: what more could anyone want?

  15. For those who like “off-color” humor, The Night Before with Seth Rogan, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is HILARIOUS. It has a lot of drug humor and highjinx, definitely not for family, but great for after the kids go to bed. It makes me laugh out loud, truly, and is streaming free on Prime.

  16. Love this list! The Preacher’s Wife is a remake of The Bishop’s Wife with David Niven, Cary Grant and Loretta Young. While it doesn’t have Whitney Houston, Cary Grant as an angel is also pretty great!

  17. Just an idea, I would consider adding where these movies can be streamed, especially for free on subscription platforms. That’s pretty much the first thing I try to figure out after reading. Same goes for all movie suggestions on the blog. You have some pretty great suggestions below you might consider adding to next years list. Some I’ve never even heard of that look cute.

  18. I recommend The Claus family (2020) for a family/kids movie, a magical and beautifully made movie from my country. Some scenes are filmed in charming Bruges. And one of the best Belgian actors is playing Santa. Apparantly the movie is gaining a lot international interest nowadays. There are even two sequels in the meantime

  19. This feels pretty off topic. If you want to write about movies, maybe do a list of the best home decorations from holiday movies?

    1. TCM is doing its annual New Year’s Eve marathon of all six Thin Man movies!! They are all wonderful, but the first, The Thin Man, is perfection.

  20. Caitlin!! Listen to this advice and this advice only…lol I get your sense of humor. Obsessed with Bill Murray? Jack Black over Jude Law? Yea, me too.

    This movie is rarely on “Christmas movie” lists and I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. It has Ryan Reynolds in it and it’s pure gold. So funny and quotable. It will be your new fav Christmas rom-com, sorry Queen Latifah.

    ”Just Friends” Watch it!!

  21. Thanks for including Die Hard! Our family watches it together every Christmas Eve and it never gets old

  22. What a list! I may try a few of the more recent movies here. Thanks!

    My holiday favorites are the 94 versions of Little Women and Miracle on 34th Street (Mara Wilson is brilliant) We recently added the 2019 version of Little Women (Great Gerwig’s) because it’s so good!

  23. The Shop Around the Corner (1940) is a romcom starring James Stewart, directed by Ernst Lubitsch, about two people who have never met in person but have been falling in love by writing each other letters, then comedy chaos ensues. The writing is impeccable and the story could easily translate to today: holiday retail, finding a job, connecting with someone you haven’t met in person, kind of amazing. For NYE, I have to recommend The Thin Man (1934), a comedy about a husband and wife solving a murder and drinking cocktails, all with perfect comedic timing.

  24. Mixed Nuts is one of my favorites. I like it more every time I watch it. Star-studded as well. And the music is great- I have the sound-track and it’s also one of my favorite Christmas albums.

  25. We just watched 8-Bit Christmas with Neil Patrick Harris. My sister recommended it as a great family movie and it sure was! All of us from to 29 to 68 loved it! Very family friendly and the ending was so moving I cried with joy and nostalgia. And the ending has a great Christmas/life message for youngsters! 🎄

  26. I have a few more recommendations!

    For a movie the entire family can watch, Noelle starring Anna Kendrick is sweet, festive, funny, and it has some lovely poignant scenes. Shirley MacLaine plays Elf Polly, who has been nanny to Kendrick’s Noelle and Bill Hader’s Nick and now has to help Noelle bring an absent Nick back to the North Pole to take his place as the new Santa. Kendrick perfectly embodies the earnest naivete of someone raised as Santa’s daughter and who believes in holiday magic.

    I have watched a LOT of cheesy holiday romances in the last few years. These ones are surprisingly decent quality and have good chemistry between the leads:
    – The Spirit of Christmas: busy attorney needs to get an old inn appraised for sale, but the handsome ghost who inhabits it for 12 days every Christmas objects and thwarts her at every turn.
    – The 12 Dates of Christmas: Amy Smart screws up a blind date with Mark-Paul Gosselaar because she’s obsessed with making things work out with her ex. She learns to appreciate the holiday and her family, and to see what a catch Gosselaar is, when she has to keep repeating Christmas Eve and the blind date.
    – A Christmas Movie Christmas: Great for those who enjoy both Christmas romances and a gentle ribbing of their many tropes, while those tropes are simultaneously employed in a Christmas romance 😁 Two sisters fall asleep after one makes a wish with Santa, and they wake up in a seemingly perfect Christmas town with their own story to play out.

    And finally, A Boy Called Christmas is another good movie for families (although TW for a parental death that happens onscreen in one story and grieving children in the other). On Christmas Eve, Dame Maggie Smith is babysitting three children who have lost their mother. She tells them a story about a boy named Christmas. The tale explains the origin of many Christmas traditions. It tugs at the heartstrings without feeling like it’s manipulative or schmaltzy in any way. It’s bittersweet, yet magical.

  27. The original Bishop’s Wife (that the preacher’s wife is based on) is one of my favorites!
    Two other “incredible” recommendations: Harold and Kumar Christmas (it’s as absurd and ridiculous as you’d expect and very enjoyable) and The Spirit of Christmas (a Hallmark movie about a woman who falls in love with a ghost for Christmas – I watched it three years ago and literally can’t stop talking about how ridiculous it was but it sure is memorable!)

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