Life + Arts Movies

Holiday movies to get into the spirit of the season

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Cue the holiday movie marathon! December may be finals season, but it’s also the Christmas season and that’s a reason to celebrate. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to cozy up under a blanket with a Christmas movie and get into the spirit of the season between study sessions. 

But with seemingly endless options, what holiday movie should you pick?  

Whether you’re in the mood for a streaming service original or a cable channel classic, this list has you covered. A mix of releases both old and new, you may even see a title or two you haven’t heard of.

So grab the Christmas cookies and caramel corn, and tune into one of these five holiday films. 

The Happiest Season (2020) 

A lesbian couple, played by “Black Mirror” actress Mackenzie Davis and Kristen Stewart, take center stage in this romantic comedy directed by Clea Duvall.

Hijinks ensue when Harper (Davis) brings Abby (Stewart) home with her for the holidays where she’s hiding her sexuality from her conservative parents.

Featuring a high-profile cast including Alison Brie, Dan Levy and Aubrey Plaza, the film will have you laughing at the on-screen sibling rivalry and dabbing away tears at its heartfelt moments. 

Where to watch: Hulu

The Princess Switch: Switched Again (2020) 

A sequel to the 2018 “The Princess Switch” directed by Mike Rohl, the Netflix original stars Vanessa Hudgens as two women who happen to look identical.

The catch? One of them is a duchess set to inherit the throne in the fictional Montenaro, while the other is a baker.

Duchess Margaret and look-alike Stacy swap places as Margaret’s Christmas coronation approaches so she can patch up her relationship with Stacy’s friend Kevin. With its third look-alike and heartfelt love story, the film is a perfect break from finals stress.   

Where to watch: Netflix 

Home Alone (1990) 

In the hustle and bustle of preparing for a family Christmas trip to Paris, the McCallister family accidentally leaves youngest son Kevin home alone when they depart for the vacation.

The precocious eight-year-old, played by McCauley Culkin, then defends his house from two bumbling intruders with a series of intricate booby traps.

The hilarious John Hughes classic, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is guaranteed to have you laughing into your hot chocolate. 

Where to watch: Disney +

The Santa Clause (1994) 

In this Christmas comedy directed by John Pasquin, Tim Allen plays father, toy salesman and reluctant Santa Claus Scott Calvin.

After accidentally scaring Santa off his roof, Scott steps up to finish the job and to maintain his son Charlie’s belief in Father Christmas.

But his job isn’t done when he shrugs out of the Santa suit. Unbeknownst to him, the suit comes with some strings attached that make for a funny holiday film.  

Where to watch: Disney +

Elf (2003) 

Would any Christmas movie countdown be complete without this laugh-out-loud classic?

Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human raised by Santa’s elves, in this Jon Favreau comedy.

While on a quest to meet his biological father, the peppy Buddy is set on spreading Christmas cheer in New York City. 

Where to watch: Netflix

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