I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas movies. On one hand, they are nostalgic time capsules made for reminiscing over holiday seasons past. On the other, they sell heavily saturated cinematic themes featuring a ton of forgettable titles that for years focused on white folks. Thankfully, we’ve seen a recent surplus of holiday films featuring all kinds of people, their families, religions, and circumstances.
With so many streams and networks fighting to fill your cue with holly, jolly fun, I want to offer a few options in the classic and new categories you should check out.
“A Diva’s Christmas Carol”
Vanessa Williams knows how to pack a punch. “A Diva’s Christmas Carol” is a campy Christmas remake of the Charles Dickens classic. Williams plays Ebony Scrouge, a superstar singer who used to be in a successful Supremes-style girl group in the 80s. After years of solo success, Ebony is more known for her terrible attitude and diva antics, but she’s forced to deal with her choices when three Christmas spirits show up.
Williams and crew have a blast in this retelling. There are musical numbers, shade, wigs, and drama!
Unfortunately, you can’t stream “A Diva’s Christmas Carol” anywhere, but you might get lucky if you Google it—but you didn’t hear that from me.
“The Long Kiss Goodnight”
Every winter people argue whether “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie—it is—but they forget that it’s not the only action Christmas movie out there and it’s certainly not the best! “The Long Kiss Goodnight” will give you pithy one liners, action, and explosions that’ll make all your Christmas dreams come true.
Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) is an elementary school teacher who suffers from amnesia. For years she’s hired private investigators to find clues to her previous life. Mitchell Hennessy (Samuel L. Jackson), a dirt-bag and dirt-cheap private investigator, is the one who stumbles upon new evidence that uncovers Caine’s past life as a top-secret agent.
Now streaming on Showtime.
“The Noel Diary”
If you’re looking for all the feels check out “The Noel Diary.”
Jacob Turner (Justin Hartley) returns home to settle his estranged mother’s estate when the mysterious Rachel Campbell (Barrett Doss) arrives, looking for information about the mother she never knew.
Jacob joins Rachel as she pursues the truth about her birth mother, which takes each on a winding road to reconciliation.
It’s a lovely film that manages to tell a heart-warming story about family, love, and connection.
Grab your tissues for this one.
Now streaming on Netflix.
This fun Christmas romantic comedy follows Natalie Bauer (Nina Dobrev) as she tries to find love the old fashion way—on a dating app. After making a seemingly amazing connection with a man online, she decides to surprise her East Coast match, “only to discover that she's been catfished.”
The catfisher, Josh Lin ( Jimmy O. Yang), feels terrible about what he’s done, so he decides to help Natalie find a man despite having feelings for her.
This film has plenty of opportunities to be cringey, but it refuses to take the bait. It’s sure to be a treat.
Now streaming on Netflix.
“Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas”
This is one of the strangest Christmas movies I have ever watched, but it’s certainly one of the most unique.
Jess (Aisha Dee) goes on the best first date of her entire life only to die in a car accident. I wasn’t sure how exactly we bounce back from that, but the script does exactly that.
After shucking off her mortal coil, and with no idea how to ascend to the afterlife, Jess reaches out to her best friend Kara (Kimiko Glenn), who’s the only person that can still see and hear her. Jess needs help figuring out how to move on and let Ben (Kendrick Sampson) know she didn’t ghost him on purpose.
You can stream this on FuboTV.
I hope these movies bring you some joy and entertainment over the holiday season!
Perdita Patrice is a Texas-based writer and documentary filmmaker. She enjoys live music, reading, and watching TV. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @perditapatrice