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Culture > Entertainment

10 Cheesy Movies to Watch This Holiday Season To Cure Your College Burnout

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Ahh, the holiday’s the most wonderful time of the year. However, for college students, it can also be the most stressful time of the year…finals season :(

I am here to cheer you up with some cheesy holiday movies that you can watch to get you in the holiday mood to prevent you from becoming a Christmas Scrooge before the finals season is over. Or you can reward yourself for completing your finals by cozying up with a nice warm blanket to watch these movies.

These are also good movies to watch if you want something on in the background while studying this season. Now, this list is not going to include your traditional classic holiday movies such as Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street, and Love Actually, just to name a few. Instead, this list is going to include some of the lesser-known cheesy holiday movies, from sources such as the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, and Netflix. These are all movies that I have seen and ranked in no particular order.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy your winter break by relaxing and taking time for yourself while enjoying time with your family and friends. See you next semester! <3

Holiday in Handcuffs (2006)

This is a movie that originally aired on ABC Family (now known as Freeform), and while it is fifteen years old, it is still a cute romantic holiday film. The film stars Melissa Joan Hart (who is best known for playing the titular character in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch) as Trudie, a woman who is about to go home to visit her family for the holidays, and introduce them to her boyfriend, Nick. Unfortunately, Nick abruptly dumps her. So she resorts to kidnapping, a man named David (played by Mario Lopez of Saved By the Bell fame), and makes him pretend to be Nick. Chaos (and romance) ensues. You can stream the movie on Hulu.

Love, Lights, Hanukkah! (2020)

Love Lights, Hanukkah is a ‘made for TV’ movie that aired on the Hallmark Channel last year. The movie follows Christina, who through DNA testing finds out that she is Jewish. She is reunited with her birth family, where she learns all about the Hanukkah traditions. Along the way, she also meets a handsome family friend named David played by Ben Savage from Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World. (wondering if there is a theme in naming holiday movie characters). You can purchase the movie from Amazon Prime.

Snowglobe (2007)

Snowglobe is another classic ABC Family movie. This story centers around Angela (played by Christina Milian), a woman who works at a deli, and is looking for Mr. Right. One day, she receives a mysterious snow globe in the mail. At night, she is magically transported into the perfect Christmas world in the snow globe. She meets a guy (of course). However, she also meets a cute new neighbor in the “real” world. Which one will she choose? Additionally, she learns a few life lessons along the way. You can stream the movie on Freeform for free.

Journey Back to Christmas (2016)

Journey Back to Christmas is another Hallmark Channel original movie. This is one that I have seen quite a few times and still enjoy each holiday season. The story follows Hanna (played by Candace Cameron Bure, who is best known for playing DJ Tanner on Full House and Fuller House), who is a nurse during World War II. Following a dangerous snowstorm, Hanna is mysteriously transported over 60 years into the future to 2016. Her town is very different, and she is very confused. She finds friendship in a policeman’s family. Will she get back to the 1940s or will she be stuck in 2016 forever? Watch the movie to find out! You can rent or buy this movie on Amazon Prime.

Dear Secret Santa (2013)

Dear Secret Santa is a made for tv movie which originally aired on Lifetime. The movie follows Jennifer (played by Tatyana Ali, best known for playing Will Smith’s little cousin on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). Jennifer has just returned to her hometown to care for her father. She makes a wish in a magic well to fall in love. The next day, she starts receiving letters from an anonymous “Secret Santa.” Will they fall in love? You’ll have to watch to find out. This movie can be rented or purchased on Prime Video.

A Snow Globe Christmas (2013)

Not to be confused with the other movie on this list, this is another Lifetime original movie. The movie stars Alicia Witt as Meg, a woman who is a director of cheesy Christmas films. One day, she is knocked unconscious while at work and wakes up to find that she is in a parallel universe married to her high school sweetheart, Ted (played by Donald Faison, best known for playing Turk on Scrubs). Is this all a dream? Is she being punked? Tune in to find out! You can buy or rent the movie on Amazon Prime.

A Christmas Melody (2015)

This Hallmark Channel movie is one of the network’s finest. Not only does this movie star Lacey Chabert from Mean Girls, but it also stars the queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey! Chabert and Carey play Kristin and Melissa respectively. These two women have been brought together to help produce a holiday pageant for a children’s elementary school. Obviously, since it is a Hallmark Movie, there will be plenty of romance. (and spoiler alert: Mariah sings!). You can buy or rent the movie on Amazon Prime.

The Christmas Chronicles 1 & 2 (2018 & 2020)

This movie is what I would consider a new modern holiday classic. The movie is set in Lowell, Massachusetts, and follows a brother and a sister who have just lost their father, they decide to videotape Santa Claus (played by Kate Hudson’s stepfather, Kurt Russell) and sneak on to his sleigh. This series of movies is extremely heartfelt, fun, and is not just for little kids. These are movies for all ages. The movies can both be streamed on Netflix.

The Christmas House (2020)

This movie follows a family with grown-up children who come home for the holidays. Each year, the family has a tradition of doing something called “The Christmas House,” which is basically making the house extremely decorated for the holiday season. The movie is groundbreaking for Hallmark as it features a gay couple in a lead role. One-half of the couple is played by none other than Aaron Samuels himself, Jonathan Bennett. Hallmark will also be airing a sequel to the movie this holiday season. You can purchase the movie on Amazon Prime.

Crown for Christmas (2015)

This movie is probably the silliest on the list (but honestly, who doesn’t need a little silly escape from reality after a long semester?!). The movie follows an American woman named Allie (played by Danica McKellar), who has just lost her job right before the holidays. She decides to take on the role of governess to the daughter of a European royal. Will she be charmed by his good looks and have a Christmas romance? Watch to find out! You can rent or buy this movie from Amazon Prime.

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Julia Duprey

U Mass Amherst '23

Hi! My name is Julia Nicholas Duprey! I am originally from Leyden, MA, a small town on the MA-VT border. I am currently a Journalism major and I am a community college transfer student. I am interested in many different things such as women's, political, and disability advocacy, fashion, makeup, spending time with my animals (I love both cats and dogs!), and my family. I also love watching television and movies and reading. I aspire to be a personality on radio and or television. I am also the president of The College Diabetes Network UMass Amherst Chapter! My socials are: https://www.instagram.com/julianicholasduprey/ https://www.instagram.com/jndphotostudio/ https://vsco.co/julianicholasduprey/gallery