There is something strangely comforting about bundling up in your favorite pajamas and watching cringey holiday movies this time of year. After a semester of online classes, there is nothing I’d rather do than zone out in front of the TV. I’ve gathered my top 5 holiday/Christmas movies to binge during this extra-long winter break…it’s time to let our brains check out and find comfort in unrealistic romance.
“Holidate” is the perfect mix of classic Hallmark-y Christmas romance and the modern dating scene. It follows Sloane (played by Emma Roberts), a north Chicago native tired of showing up to holidays alone. Her mother and friends are always pushing her to date, but she just hasn’t found the right person yet. She solves her holiday problem by agreeing to a “holidate”—for a year, she spends every holiday with the same man, Jackson (played by Luke Bracey). Viewers follow Sloane and Jackson through each holiday, sans romance, until a year finally elapses and they’re both left with what they really want—the most epic love story.
- “The Princess Switch” (and “The Princess Switch: Switched Again”!)
I love Vanessa Hudgens. She’s lived rent-free in my mind since “High School Musical.” Has she made some bad choices? Yes, of course she has…especially when you consider her comments on the COVID-19 pandemic back in March. However, when “The Princess Switch” came out in 2018, I was delighted to see her back on my screen. This movie has serious Parent Trap vibes—its premise is that of a baker and princess being doppelgangers, which allows them to switch places and experience each other’s lives for a short time. This one is a good choice, because if you love it, there’s a sequel to watch!
- “A Bad Moms Christmas”
If you were a fan of “Bad Moms” (2016), “A Bad Moms Christmas” is a safe bet. Think of it as the holiday adjacent to the first movie. You’ll probably recognize the theme—a group of stressed-out moms who feel like they need to deliver the perfect Christmas to their families. The film has all the makings of the typical holiday movie; there’s sort of a chaotic plot that is riddled with cringey attempts at comedy. It is uplifting, though, and a good choice if you just need to take your mind off finals—plus, you can somewhat avoid the romance theme that most holiday movies have.
- “A Very Country Christmas”
A country girl at heart, I couldn’t help but add this one to the list. In “A Very Country Christmas,” you get all the best parts of typical Hallmark movie, but the twist is that the male love interest is a famous country music singer hiding out in his hometown. While the plot of the movie is obvious from the start, it is comforting watching a small-town interior designer find ‘love’ with a superstar. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?
- “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Arguably one of the most classic of the Christmas movies, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has become increasingly fun to watch as I’ve gotten earlier. Obviously, there’s more to it than a cartoon monster being in misery during the holidays. Most people could benefit from a little lesson from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” especially during a year where it feels hard to appreciate what we have. Hold your family close, celebrate your community and let the Grinch remind you that it’s not material things that define your worth or make you happy—it’s the relationships you form with the people around you. Maybe if we’re lucky, our hearts will grow a little bit this holiday season, too.
The holidays will definitely be different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them. Watching Christmas movies is a great way to decompress without exposing yourself to the virus. Snuggle up with the people in your household—or with a mug of hot chocolate—and enjoy these films this holiday season.