December 30, 2019

The 10 Films (+ 1 Short and 1 Show) of Christmas | A Holiday Recap

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always enjoyed Christmas. It’s always felt like a magical time of year! Whenever December 1st rolls around, I’m always ready to dive headfirst into everything: celebrations with my loved ones, anything Christmas-themed (from d├ęcor to drinks, from snacks to sounds), buying and wrapping and giving gifts, and all the traditions that I’ve grown up with (noche buena, Secret Santa, Christmas movies). I had an amazing time celebrating the holidays in so many ways this year, and I felt like it would be fun to do a two-part recap! 

For my first recap, here’s a list of all the holiday-related films (and a short) that I watched this year. I didn’t get around to rewatching some old favorites (specifically The Holiday, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Love Actually), but we did watch quite a few things! 

Klaus – It must be said that this is one of my two new favorites from this year! Klaus is an animated Netflix film that explores an alternate origin story for Santa Claus, where a postman and a toymaker form an unlikely friendship that changes the small town they live in forever. It is a truly lovely film and it had me sobbing like a baby by the end of it! 

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure – Speaking of sobbing like a baby, I’m truly obsessed with the Frozen franchise right now. After seeing Frozen II at the end of November, it felt right to finally watch this short. I honestly expected to enjoy it, but I didn’t realize how deeply moving it would be! It’s the story of how Olaf searches for a Christmas tradition for Anna and Elsa, and it made me cry both times I watched it. 

Home Alone and Home Alone 2 – These two films will always be on my rewatch list during the holiday season because they will always bring me right back to my younger years. They’re fun to watch, especially with all the over-the-top hilarious shenanigans that go down in both films as Kevin outwits the thieves that cross his path both times using his own smarts. 

Same Time, Next Christmas – I really enjoyed this movie! It’s about two individuals who celebrate Christmas every year in Hawaii with their families, and how their life circumstances continue to prevent their romance from happening (even though they’re clearly meant to be together). It was so sweet, and totally gave me the warm fuzzies. It also made me want to go to Hawaii even more than I already do! 

Merry Happy Whatever - I didn't get the chance to watch all the episodes of this show, but the few that I did get to were so entertaining! It's basically centered around a girl who brings her boyfriend home for Christmas and introduces him to her family, who are big on traditions and, well, family. It's a fun sitcom with a great cast, and I definitely will be finishing the show.

A Christmas Prince: Royal Baby – I will always watch anything in this franchise! I fell in love with the characters in the first film, and I continue to adore them with every film that follows. In this one, Amber and Richard are just about ready to take a holiday break and welcome their child, but they one last duty before that happens - to host foreign royals to renew a sacred truce. It turns into a mystery when the truce disappears, and it is really entertaining (and surprisingly heartwarming) to watch. 

The Knight Before Christmas – The trailer for this movie looked so delightful, with a premise that features a knight from the past time traveling into the present and ending up in the care of young woman after she nearly runs him over. It was a lot of fun! I particularly enjoyed the charming characters (especially the familial aspect) and the fashion (I loved all of Vanessa Hudgens’ outfits). 

Noelle – This was a cute holiday movie! Anna Kendrick plays Noelle, who goes on a journey to find her brother Nick, who was supposed to take over as Santa, when he disappears right before Christmas. As you might expect from a Disney film, this is hilarious and heartfelt, inviting viewers to really think about what the holidays are truly about. It’s definitely a good (and kid-friendly) pick to get you in the holiday spirit! 

A Cinderella Story: A Christmas Wish – While the plot is set up exactly as you’d expect, I still ended up liking this movie! It’s about an aspiring singer who works as an elf, who finds her own holiday miracle (even though her stepfamily tries to get in the way). Turns out I’m really a sucker for the Cinderella plot in films! It was so charming and cute and had the perfect holiday touches to make it feel festive. 

Let It Snow – I read the book this was based on ages ago, but I was curious about how it would translate into film. It’s no easy feat to juggle multiple storylines, which the film and novel both do as they explore the different Christmas Eve experiences of a group of teenagers. It was fun to watch and had some good moments, but it was honestly average (and personally forgettable) overall. 

Holiday in the Wild – This is the story of a woman jilted by her husband just before their trip to Africa, who ends up going there on her own and getting involved in an elephant conservation initiative. It’s not technically a true holiday movie (though Christmas is a part of the film)! It was cute, though a little less believable than some of the other romance-centric films I’ve included, and that’s saying something. 

Have you seen any of these? What did you think of them? 
What holiday movies would you recommend? I want to add more to my list for 2020!


  1. Totally agree re: Klaus!! I loved it so much and it's definitely one that Andrew and I are adding to the yearly rotation!

  2. I got to quite a few of these too! I'm still bummed I didn't get to ALL of the movies on my watchlist but I need like a week off from work BEFORE the holiday to squeeze everything in that I want!


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