No time of year has more movies dedicated to it than the holidays and for good reason. We love watching feel-good movies, and holiday movies are famous for happy endings! There are plenty of festivities, families getting together, joy, goodwill, and gift-giving, not to mention it’s the best time of year for delicious treats. Secret? This Jewish gal loves a good Christmas movie, and of course, I have some favorite Hanukkah movies as well.
There’s something about cozying up in your pajamas, hot cocoa in hand (OK fine, a dirty martini), and popping in a holiday classic to get you into the season’s spirit. Here are five of my favorite holiday movies and five other films I plan on watching this year for the first time!
5. A Royal Christmas (2014)
A Royal Christmas is a great option for you to sit back, unwind, and watch a story about a girl spending the holidays with her new boyfriend, who, it turns out, is the Prince of Cordinia. Give me all the cheesy Hallmark goodness at this time of year!
4. 8 Crazy Nights (2002)
Adam Sandler brings all the laughs in this dark animated comedy. This is worth a watch whether you’re Jewish or not, as the memorable gags never stop from beginning to end. Of course, there’s the fab all-star cast to think about, too. Some of the humor and sequences are crude, so be careful about watching 8 Crazy Nights in front of young children. If the coast is clear, buckle up for a wild ride!
3. Meet the Parents (2000)
Another film that isn’t explicitly about Christmas but takes place during the holiday season is Meet the Parents. Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro, and Owen Wilson are all hysterical as the nervous boyfriend, disapproving future father-in-law, and ex-boyfriend. It’s relatable and heartfelt at times, and overall, it’s a must-watch around this time of year (or any time of year, for that matter).
2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
The third installment of the Vacation series, which centers around the Griswold family, does not disappoint. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong for the Griswolds, who are just trying to have a nice Christmas at their house with some close relatives from out of town. Some of their relatives are a bit…unordinary…and some of the events that occur while the families are in town are…unfortunate, to say the least. Chevy Chase and this film series are legendary for a reason. If you’re looking for Christmas laughs, look no further than Christmas Vacation.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
One of the quintessential Christmas films encapsulating what the holidays are all about. It’s a Wonderful Life is a can’t-miss option for this time of year. Take a walk with George Bailey, played by legend James Stewart, a downtrodden man on Christmas Eve who experiences a series of flashbacks brought on by his guardian angel, who is in charge of saving him. This isn’t a comedic choice like other options on this list, but if you’re looking for an influx of Christmas spirit, It’s a Wonderful Life is the film for you.
Spinning Into Some New Movie Suggestions for 2022
5. Single All the Way (2021)
This Netflix holiday romantic comedy came out last year and got good reviews! It centers on a man named Peter, a notorious bachelor, who convinces his friend Nick to pose as his boyfriend to avoid his family’s ire when they meet for Christmas. Looks good!
4. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
A holiday classic that has eluded me my whole life, this is the year I finally sit down to watch Christmas in Connecticut, a film about a writer who falls in love with a war hero after she pretends to be a mother and farmer’s wife for her magazine.
3. All I Want Is Christmas (2012)
A movie about a Jewish child who loves the concept of Christmas so much that he secretly trades airline tickets with another boy to travel to Christmastown, Washington, while his Jewish family heads to Florida.
2. The Night Before (2015)
A raunchy Christmas movie. Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie get together every Christmas Eve in New York City. Their annual goal? Party as hard as they can!
1. Double Holiday (2019)
You can never go wrong with Hallmark movies at this time of year. Double Holiday is about a Jewish woman named Rebecca who has to plan her company holiday festivities with her rival, Chris. It’s Hannukah, it’s Christmas, it’s Hallmark, and it’s love. Everything you need!
As I said, there are TONS of holiday movies out there. Have you seen all the ones on my list? Are any of these a part of your yearly holiday viewing schedule? What movies would you add to this list? Let me know what you think in the comments section.
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