It may be getting dark earlier, and a lot colder with frost on your cars in the mornings and icicles hanging from your noses, but Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year.
And Netflix can help you with your festivities.
In this article we look at Netflix Christmas movies (that were available at the time of writing) to cosy up to this holiday season.
Even as a new generation of Christmas movies approaches on Netflix, it can be hard to steer away from the classics we all know and love. In my opinion though, this film will soon be one of them.
It is utterly fantastic. A mixture of 2D art style and 3D lighting, Klaus impresses with incredibly beautiful landscape settings.
A Netflix original movie released on Netflix on 8th November 2019, I kept skimming past it, thinking this wasn’t Christmassy enough, but oh (or should I say ‘Ho!’) how I was wrong. This is a beautiful tale on the origins of Santa and how he came to be.
We are introduced to Jesper, who is an over-privileged, self-entitled young man, living off his father’s wealth at the Postal Academy. He does not do the tasks and training that is asked of him and with that, his father sends him to be a postman in the most remote part of the world – Smeerensburg. Being above the Arctic Circle, it makes residents here live away from what is normal and as a result, they end up fighting their neighbours; which comes as a surprise to Jesper.
The youngster is tasked with delivering 6,000 letters in this town or he is cut off from his father. Later Jesper meets Klaus, who has a deeply sad story of how and why he lives alone and makes toys for children in his cabin. Jesper soon discovers that this is the best way to get more letters posted and tells all the children in the town about this exchange. He gets more letters delivered and the depressed and upset children of Smeerensburg get toys, while the rude and undeserving little ones get coal in their stockings. Sound familiar?
I cannot recommend this enough, it is funny in places, emotional in others and you slowly find yourself loving the characters in this movie. It also holds a wholesome Christmas message, teaching adults and children alike that “a simple act of kindness always sparks another”.
2: Daddy’s Home 2
The first Daddy’s Home (2015) movie was a moderate success, which saw big names such as Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini cast in lead roles. It was made to be a fun movie about two parents battling it out — between stepdad and dad — to become the best father to their children. As a family film, it did give us some laughs.
Then came the second movie
When the trailer first came out, it was advertised as being a Christmas film – I was not expecting the next movie to go down this route. With controversial actor and director Mel Gibson making an appearance, I honestly thought it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. However, this is a funny and festive movie that takes traditional Christmas and modern families and puts them together in one movie. We see the family relationships develop and strain, along with what it means to be a good/bad mother, the different traditions on family at Christmas time, and relationships between the feuding fathers.
With two highly-dysfunctional families under the same roof at Christmas, the cracks start to show, making this very comical. By the end you’ll be singing along to the cast’s version of the much-loved Band Aid’s Christmas hit “Do they know it’s Christmas’’.
A slapstick comedy inside a modern take on Christmas; what more could you ask for?
3: Arthur Christmas
As one of my all-time favourite Christmas movies, this must be on the list.
I remember watching it in the cinemas when I was just 14, when it was first released in 2011. It really puts you into the festive spirit and is still visually pleasing, and very enjoyable to watch, even 8 years later.
Clumsy and over-enthusiastic Arthur is the son of current Santa Claus and is second in line to take over the mantle. He also loves everything about Christmas. He is given the job of reading letters the children send to the North Pole and what they want for Christmas. While he works away in his little post room, his older brother Steve takes control of the North Pole and creates an orderly Christmas with the use of high-tech equipment. He is also figuring out how to get all the gifts to the children all on one night, as the growing population of the world has posed a threat to the North Pole’s operation. He might have the brains, but Steve lacks the true Christmas spirit. To him, every chid is a number and not a name. Despite his new technology, Steve still runs into issues on Christmas Eve and one child is missed out on receiving their gift from Santa. Arthur and his grandfather (the previous Santa) are the only ones that can help deliver it in time.
I am 22 now and still love this movie to death and gets me right in the Christmas spirit. This is a must watch, at least three times this holiday season!
*Note – this movie has since come and gone from Netflix. Keep an eye out, as it may return! If you can’t get it on Netflix, find it elsewhere. It’s not to be missed.
4: Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger
The British film, the official Children in Need film of 2012, had its first public screening on 11 November 2012 and is an improvised Christmas comedy sequel to the previous Nativity!
Starring David Tennant and Martin Freeman, they help St Bernadette’s Primary School to enter a Christmas competition called “A Song for Christmas”, in which each school produces their own Christmas song. The winning song earns its school £10,000 and the chance at being a Christmas number 1. Even though this movie was quickly filmed over the course of six weeks in October and November 2011, it’s movie that you must watch; no matter what age.
Seeing these cute children singing their favourite songs at their school audition is adorable! It may be slightly cringe-worthy but it’s totally worth it.
5: Rise of the Guardians
A movie by DreamWorks Animation released in (2012), Rise of the Guardians’ amazing art style means it holds up very well some seven years later.
This is a movie about all the mystical beings we know from childhood: Sandman, Santa Claus, Tooth fairy, Easter bunny and newly acquired Guardian, Jack Frost. They must all join forces to try and defeat evil spirit, Pitch – also known as the ‘boogyman’ on Earth – who controls children’s fears to gain power. This is not primarily a Christmas film, but it is set around winter and Santa is a part of the guardians’ squad. It does also show that children need to believe in these magical creatures, for if they don’t then they cease to exist and spread joy during these holiday festivities – a classic Christmas movie trope.
Rise of the Guardians is a movie mainly about Jack Frost and how he was created and chosen by the Moon. He does not know what his ‘centre’ is though, and what his main power is. He awakens from an icy pond with no recollection as to who he is and why he was given these powers. For 300 years he was known to cause chaos and destruction, all the while no child can see him nor is he truly believed in. We go on a journey with him and his fellow guardians to discover his past.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and has many stars voicing these characters such as: Chris Pine, Stars: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher.
6: The Christmas Chronicles
Kurt Russel makes an epic comeback as a rugged Santa in this Netflix original movie set on Christmas Eve. Added on Netflix 22nd November 2018, it was one of the most streamed films of the year, proving to be a massive success for the service.
Two siblings Teddy and Kate Pierce are left alone on Christmas Eve as their mum works the night shift at the hospital. Kate wishes to show her big brother Teddy that Santa is real, and aims to capture Santa Claus in the flesh on video. Before long, they find themselves sneaking into Santa’s sleigh and causing mayhem, which inevitably delays Santa from doing his job, putting Christmas at risk!
Kids never learn, do they?
With loads of shenanigans and whacky adventures that unfold, it makes the perfect movie to be viewed on Christmas Eve. Let’s just make sure that your kid doesn’t get any crazy ideas and stays up past bedtime trying to get a glimpse of the man in red.
7: New Year’s Eve
Set in the in-between period after Christmas, we are transported to New York on New Year’s Eve. Following its release in 2011, New Year’s Eve has only wrapped up a 7% score on Rotten Tomatoes and 5.7/10 on IMDb – not great, but hear me out.
It has the same set up as Valentine’s day, which is basically an imitation if Love Actually, in which this romantic comedy introduces the audience to a collection of characters during this one day, as we are shown the trials and tribulations of each character and how they overcome them by the days’ end. It utilises star names with the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Ludacris, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel and Zac Efron. The movie is about hope, love (really, who would have guessed?) second chances and forgiveness. It also explores how negativity should be left behind so that we can welcome the new year.
It’s not the most festive movie so it may be a worth a watch after Christmas day, and to make you feel less alone during your NYE if you have no one to kiss when the clock strikes 12, or if you haven’t any parties to go to. I am in favour of a night in on New Year’s Eve, who’s with me? Anyone?
8: A Bad Moms Christmas
This movie is basically ‘Bad Moms’ set during the Christmas period. If you’re a fan of the first, and you are a fan of Christmas… well.
Bad Moms at Christmas takes us though the struggles that arise during Christmas for parents; and mothers in particular. The basic premise that we’re introduced to is that Christmas is not a time that mothers should enjoy. Instead, it’s their job to make sure that others have fun.
That resonates with me, ya know!
We have the previous actresses from the first ‘Bad Moms’ movie (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) getting drunk and going about Christmas chores. However, in this movie, we have double the trouble and drama as the Bad Mom’s mums show up at their door for Christmas. The moms show their mums how they do Christmas, whilst rebuilding their classically broken relationships.
It’s a fun movie for women specifically I’d say (unless you like trivial mum drama and male strippers) and make them say “Ha Ha, I do that” (I’m looking at you meme lovers). Not my most-loved Christmas movie, but it’s a fun one to tickle you when all seems overwhelming, or even during your Christmas wrapping breaks.
9: Let it Snow
If you are a lover of author John Green – of Fault in our Stars and Paper Towns fame – then this is the one for you.
Set on Christmas Eve in Illinois, Julie Reyes runs into a rising pop star, Stuart Bale, on a train. He’s a heartthrob (oh what a difficult time to be alive) and mistakes Julie as paparazzi and of course, she hates that. Due to the heavy snowfall, the train is forced to stop, and Julie gets off. As she heads off to walk home, Stuart joins and offers lunch at a local diner called Waffle Town. Sparks fly and friendships grow, dilemmas follow – such as the one where the two almost kiss in front of Stuart’s publicist.
As romance flourishes, other characters Dorrie and best friend Addie, Tobin, Angie and Keon, go through their own relationship struggles, as well as coming terms with their feelings at Christmas.
I’ll be honest, that’s pretty much what happens, I was in no rush to read this book or watch the film, but it was entertaining. If you have spare time in our day then you can put this on and feel the fuzzy festive feelings inside!
10: Bad Santa 2
Bad Santa is back for another dark humoured movie as a sequel to the 2003 ‘Bad Santa’. Offered a ‘job’ that can get up to 2 million dollars, by stealing from a Chicago charity event, can bad Santa get worse?
Willie is still as sad and depressed as he was 13 years ago and tries to kill himself. Thurman ‘the Kid’ Merman, now 21, finds Willie after his father has abandoned him, and his grandmother passed away. This makes Willie a father figure to ‘The Kid’, which is exactly what Bad Santa wanted, yet being the man he is, he tries to drive him away; for the kids own good. Later his ex-partner in crime, Marcus, introduces him to the job of a lifetime, but he’d have to work alongside his mother. Hilarity obviously ensues.
This is crude, rude and full of family feud. If you want some adult laughs and a drunk in a Santa suit, then I suggest you give this a watch.