What To Watch: Holiday Cheer

I’m a purist and a romantic when it comes to holiday movies. I’ve loved the same movies since I was a child and have not grown out of any of the animated classics. Even if I’ve seen these movies dozens of times, I alway re-watch them when the holiday season comes around.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about this iconic classic. I don’t have to tell you that it’s required holiday viewing.


There are few holiday movies funnier than “Elf,” in my humble opinion. Exceptional cast, great dialogue, infectious holiday cheer and a very thoughtful reconstruction of the food pyramid - what’s not to love? I’ve seen this movie probably 100 times and I still laugh every single time.

Olive The Other Reindeer

I feel like this movie is underrated and not as well-known as it should be. It’s a cartoon film based on a children’s book about a dog named Olive who mishears the lyrics to “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” on the radio and thinks that she is the “other reindeer” missing from Rudolph’s gang. The precious pup goes on a quest to the North Pole to fulfill her destiny. Bonus: Drew Barrymore voices Olive. If you don’t fall in love with this movie, there’s coal where your heart should be.

Love, Actually

Christmas is all around us. I love how this movie is full of a variety of different holiday stories, from heartwarming to heartbreaking. It’s funny, sad, loving, joyful and confusing all at once. Just like love. Also, the cast is iconic.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

I am including both the animated & Jim Carrey versions in this. The animated version is a classic and the Jim Carrey version is a wacky twist on the story that always trips me out, but in a good way. It looks like it shouldn’t have been made because real person Grinch is fairly frightening, but somehow it worked nonetheless. Do I understand why I enjoy live-action Grinch? Not really. But it’s still on my holiday re-watch list every year.

The Family Stone

I’ve only seen this movie a few times, but something about it is comforting. The cast is phenomenal (Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson and Elizabeth Reaser, to name just a few) and it’s a very well-told yet complex family story, all set around Christmas. If you like a good family drama with emotion, this one's for you.

The Holiday

I’m always here for a Nancy Meyers movie. Every movie of hers is pure gold. If you somehow missed this classic rom-com in the early 2000s, here’s a plot refresher: Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet arrange a home exchange to escape their heartbreak during the holiday season. Kate’s character goes to Los Angeles to stay in the home of Cameron’s character, and Cameron’s character goes to London. Somehow, Jack Black is one of the romantic leads and it works. This movie is sweet, predictable and full of holiday aesthetics.

*Honorable Mention* The O.C.

Many TV shows have standout holiday episodes, and Chrismukkah episodes of “The O.C.” are some of the best of the whole show. The absolute best are the episodes from seasons 1 and 2, "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" and "The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't." Seth Cohen, the patron saint of Chrismukkah, makes these episodes a holiday necessity. No matter how bad he screws up, you can’t be mad at him because he’s just trying to spread the holiday joy. Honestly, “The O.C.” is one of the best cheesy teen dramas ever and you should just watch all 4 seasons when you have some extra free time over the holidays.