[Ed. Note: Some of these may no longer be available on Netflix, but there are a lot more streaming options today (2021) than in 2013!] It’s fairly well known that Netflix’s collection of Christmas movies on Instant is abysmal. Year after year, Netflix subscribers with visions of sugarplums log on around Christmas-time and search for their favorite movie. Only to discover it’s disc only. They search for another. Disc only, still. And on and on it goes. Maybe it’s not profitable to license movies that only get watched one month out of the year? Maybe studios are reluctant to license steaming for movies they can sell DVDs of each Christmas? Whatever the reason, the streaming selection of holiday favorites is a crapshoot of disappointment. Which is why I’m here to help. No, you won’t find exactly what you’re looking for. But you can watch the following!
Title: White Christmas
Fix: Old timey Christmas cheer
Well, what do we have here? Because I believe it is a legit Christmas movie? You may have already read my lengthy diatribe on how I consider White Christmas to be the best classic Christmas movie of all time. So I’ll spare you the rehash. But this is a solid entry in Netflix’s collection and a crowd pleaser. (Assuming your crowd skews old.)
Title: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Fix: The LOLs, uncomfortable situations
This was a fairly recent acquisition on Netflix’s part and damn necessary. Because right now it remains the singular well-known Christmas comedy on Instant. So watch this one with the entire fam! Even if the scene where Chevy Chase awkwardly talks about that shop girl’s nipples is always a bit awkward to watch with your dad.
Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Fix: Children’s movies, animation, something spooky
Is this a Christmas movie? Or a Halloween movie? Both? I guess it doesn’t really matter. If it feels right to you, then watch it whenever you like! Tim Burton’s stop motion classic seems to only have grown in popularity these last few years (if the number of instagrammed Jack Skeleton and Sally couples’ costumes this Halloween are any indication.)
Title: Love Actually
Fix: Romance, multiple storyline movies
Unpopular opinion alert! This movie leaves me…lukewarm at best. But I know it’s a favorite and a must watch for some. And hey, the drinking game is pretty good!
Title: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Fix: Creepy 80s kids movies, things that are bananas
Okay, I’m cheating a bit here because I’ve never seen this movie. But I want to! And just ran out of time before writing this post. The reviews for this movie are overwhelmingly positive. And it’s a Finnish children’s movie with zombie reindeer. Basically, I’m sold. Update: As noted by commenter Heather, not for children.
Title: 12 Dates of Christmas
Fix: ABC Family movies, cheesy things, Groundhog’s Day-esque plots
Five movies and one failed experiment later, FYA HQ came to the conclusion that ABC Family original Christmas movies? Are just not that good. With the above movie being the one exception. I am unashamed to recommend it!
Title: Extreme Christmas Trees
Fix: Reality television, extreme things
Sure, this isn’t a movie. But for those of us who occasionally enjoy reality-adjacent programming, this is a fun and quick Christmas themed distraction. As a one off episode in TLC’s neverending cosmic quest to discover the most extreme everything, we see all sorts of large, unique and expensive Christmas trees the US has to offer. And obviously there is a tree made out of cake, because this is cable television.
And Bonus Entry…!
Title: Fireplace For Your Home
Fix: Burning logs, burning more logs, the burning of logs
For when you really just need a fake fire, crackling in the background on your big screen TV.