Normally, I don’t start watching Christmas movies until December 1st. Yup, that’s right, not November 1st, after Halloween movies make their exit — December 1st. But this year, I’m making an exception! With Covid still looming, I’ve given up caring about the holidays staying “in their lane” and being contained to their specific months. I just wanna watch all the things that make me happy right now, and that includes all manner of Christmas movies.
If you’re looking for movies to watch right now, though, here are a few that I absolutely loved watching. And, as luck would have it, they’re all currently available on Netflix. So, get ready to make your holiday binge-watching list a lot longer.
Netflix Christmas Movies to Add to Your Queue ASAP
1. The Holiday Calendar (2018)
Kat Graham plays a struggling but talented photographer who inherits an antique holiday advent calendar (from Gramps, played by Ron Cephas Jones), which seems to predict the future. But of course, no one actually believes an advent calendar is magical. It’s cute, heartwarming, and has a hint of Christmas magic in it, but this time around the magic is for adults, and I love it!
2. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
Written and directed by my amazingly talented friend, David E. Talbert (and produced by his even more amazingly talented wife Lyn Sisson-Talbert), Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a musical adventure and a visual spectacle for the ages. We’ve already watched this film at least three times, and I can’t wait to watch it again this holiday season.
Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (played by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker), whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when his trusted apprentice (Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (Madalen Mills) — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within. Featuring original songs by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, and Davy Nathan, Jingle Jangle reminds us just how strong a family’s love can be and the power of possibility.
3. Holidate (2020)
Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) hate the holidays. They constantly find themselves single, sitting at the kids’ table, or stuck with awkward dates. But when these two strangers meet one particularly bad Christmas, they make a pact to be each other’s “holidate” for every festive occasion throughout the next year.
With a mutual disdain for the holidays (and mutual assurance that they have no romantic interest in the other), they make the perfect team. However, as a year of absurd celebrations come to an end, Sloane and Jackson find that sharing everything they hate may just prove to be something they unexpectedly love.
4. Operation Christmas Drop (2020)
Congressional aide Erica Miller (Kat Graham) unwillingly gives up a traditional family Christmas to travel at her boss’s behest. But when she lands at a beachside Air Force base in Guam, she clashes with Capt. Andrew Jantz (Alexander Ludwig) over his pet project — Operation: Christmas Drop. They both know her assignment is to find reasons to defund the facility.
Yet, Captain Jantz is convinced that once Erica truly sees the impact his project has on the island, she’ll work with him instead of against him. Despite their disagreements, and whatever the rule book says, this one reminds us that Christmas is indeed a time for giving, and I think everyone should watch this every year just to remember how fortunate we all really are.
5. The Princess Switch (2018)
One week before Christmas, Margaret (Vanessa Hudgens), the gorgeous Duchess of Montenaro, switches places with Stacy (Vanessa Hudgens), a “commoner” from Chicago who looks exactly like her. With the assistance of a magical Santa’s helper, Margaret falls in love with Stacy’s handsome co-worker (Nick Sagar), while Stacy falls in love with Margaret’s fiance (Sam Palladio), the dashing Prince. It’s a crazy twin story, but one that I absolutely adore. It’s so good they made a sequel, and a third is coming.
6. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
Produced by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter) and directed by Clay Kaytis (The Angry Birds Movie), The Christmas Chronicle tells the story of sister and brother Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis). The siblings’ Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.
After staking out Santa’s arrival, they sneak into his sleigh, cause it to crash, and nearly derail Christmas. But as their wild night unfolds, Kate and Teddy work together with Santa and his loyal elves to save Christmas before it’s too late. And yes, there’s a sequel for this movie too, but I’m partial to the original.
7. Holiday Rush (2019)
Popular New York radio DJ Rush Williams (Romany Malco) has been spoiling his four children since they lost their mom (La La Anthony). Unfortunately, the kids share their pricey Christmas lists right when he loses his job. To keep Rush on the air, his producer Roxy Richardson (Sonequa Martin-Green) and his Aunt Jo (Darlene Love) plan to help him buy another station — if the Williams family can downsize fast and embrace a simpler life.
In this heartwarming film, a loving father reconnects with his children and opens his heart to love when they all learn that true joy comes from not what you have but who you have around you. It’s also a great reminder to kids that what they have is enough and to be grateful for what they do have now since you just never know what could happen in the future.
8. Klaus (2019)
When Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) distinguishes himself as the postal academy’s worst student, he gets stationed on a frozen island above the Arctic Circle, where the feuding locals hardly exchange words — let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up when he finds an ally in local teacher Alva (Rashida Jones) and discovers Klaus (Oscar winner J.K. Simmons), a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys.
These unlikely friendships return laughter to Smeerensburg, forging a new legacy of generous neighbors, magical lore, and stockings hung by the chimney with care. This animated holiday comedy may be a tad darker than you’re used to, but it sure is a wonderful and magical story.
More Binge-Worthy Christmas Movies
Have fun getting into the holiday spirit with these Christmas movies! And if you want to binge-watch even more wholesome holiday content after this, try ’80s Christmas movies, ’90s Christmas movies, or anything from Netflix’s 2021 “Here for the Holidays” lineup.
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