Festive flicks: 10 Christmas movies and series for the holidays

‘Tis the season to stream from the comforts of home with a delightful lineup of films and television shows fit for the Yuletide celebration.

From a whirlwind romance formed through a series of dares to coming aboard the train to the North Pole, make sure to cozy up with a warm glass of hot chocolate and a cute Christmas jumper to boot. 

Here’s our list of festive flicks and where to stream them.

1. The Family Switch (2023)

Kicking off the list is a fun romp where a freaky swap lasts more than a Friday for this family. The Family Switch shares the story of the Walker family—high-spirited father Bill (Ed Helms), overachieving matriarch Jess (Jennifer Garner), and their three children CC (Emma Myers), Wyatt (Brady Noon), and Miles (Lincoln & Theodore Sykes)—and how their lives never seem to intertwine due to their differing outlooks. But a chance encounter with the whimsical photographer Angelica (Rita Moreno) has them switching lives much to their disdain, and eventual reconciliation. 

Watch for: that warm, fuzzy feeling of family, family dog Pickles with a human soul, and the strong performances of the children
Watch where: Netflix

2. While You Were Sleeping (1995)

“So, we saw each other and he smiled—and I knew my life would never be the same again.” 

A chance meeting between train fare collector Lucy Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) and commuter Peter Callaghan (Peter Gallagher) results in the latter getting into a coma on Christmas Day after a mugging accident by the train tracks. Miscommunication ensues when the nurse mistakes Lucy as Peter’s fiancée, and eventual bonding with the family leads Lucy to fall for Peter’s brother, Jack. 

Watch for: romance under the snow, unexpected love, “What’s your type of girl?”
Watch where: Disney+

3. Something from Tiffany’s (2022)

Two couples—Rachel (Zoey Deutch) and Gary (Ray Nicholson) & Ethan (Kendrick Sampson) and Vanessa (Shay Mitchell)—are unknowingly roped into each other’s life when a car accident results in a mix-up of jewelry… and a reshuffling of romantic intentions. But maybe underneath all the confusion lies something crystal clear, that maybe the love that you were looking for was the love that gave your former flame a second chance at life. 

Watch for: beautiful chemistry, a long peek at a Tiffany’s store, and Kendrick Sampson’s eyes
Watch where: Amazon Prime

4. Dash and Lily (2020)

This is the only holiday series that makes it to the list, and it begins with a notebook in a bookstore. Two teenagers Dash (Austin Abrams) and Lily (Midori Francis) fall in love through a series of dares scribbled onto the pages of a red notebook, and through the episodes, they get to learn about each other and live their lives alone together. Each episode takes you closer and closer to their chance meeting, and the last episode will have you screaming for that well-deserved, neatly wrapped happy ending.

Watch for: cute teenage fluff, beautiful dialogue and chemistry, Ella Fitzgerald’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and  The Jonas Brothers’ Like It’s Christmas
Watch where: Netflix

5. The Holiday (2006)

My personal favorite on the list! Directed by romantic comedy queen Nancy Meyers, journalist Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) and movie trailer producer Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) switch homes for the holidays. Initially wishing to find peace from their upended lives, they find unexpected joy and love along the way. 

Watch for: old Hollywood references, Jack Black as one of the romantic leads, the adorably emotional Jude Law, beautiful lines, snowy London, sunny LA, and electrifying chemistry
Watch where: HBO Go

6. Happiest Season (2020)

Daughter of conservative parents Harper Caldwell (Mackenzie Davis) attempts to bring her girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart) to her childhood hometown for the holidays. Unbeknownst to Harper, Abby wishes to propose to Harper and meet her parents as well. Family arguments and mishaps ensue, but the film ends on a more hopeful note. 

Watch for: the sweet moment between Abby and Harper’s ex Riley, Aubrey Plaza as Riley, and brilliant ensemble performances
Watch where: Netflix

7. Home Alone (1991)

Ah, there is nothing like the sweet sound of “Keviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!” decking through the bedroom halls this season. Young suburban boy Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself alone during the Christmas season when his family accidentally leaves him behind on their trip to Paris, and in the process has to defend his house from a home invasion by robbers. 

Watch for: the iconic “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!”, the McCallister’s pass-the-message airport stint, and the childhood nostalgia
Watch where: Disney+

8. Midnight at the Magnolia (2020)

“Sometimes risking everything is the only thing worth doing.” Cue the Christmas hallmark cheese! Best friends Jack (Evan Williams) and Maggie (Natalie Hall) are the stars of a beloved radio show in their hometown. To get their show syndicated, they, in turn, must fake being a couple to their family and audience but feelings, eventually, get in the way. 

Watch for: the friends to lovers trope, the cheesy speech at midnight, beautiful chemistry
Watch where: Netflix

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

This film is for those who aren’t afraid of a little Christmas fright. Directed by Tim Burton, the animated musical tells the story pumpkin king Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, accidentally stumbles upon Christmas Town and schemes to take reign over the place. 

Watch for: the goth elements, the brilliant animation, and the scary Yuletide delight
Watch where: Disney+

10. Love At First Sight (2023)

Another personal favorite of mine! Based on the book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, two teenagers Hadley (Haley Lu Richardson) and Oliver (Ben Hardy) find themselves entangled with destiny (Jameela Jamil) as they go through a series of situations that rope them towards each other. 

Watch for: amazing chemistry, beautiful lines, the countdown to the Christmas season, and the warmth of family
Watch where: Netflix

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