10 Christmas Movies That Aren’t *Really* Christmas Movies

Regular Christmas is stressful. Christmas 2020 is as about as exciting as another swab for COVID-19.

Call me the Grinch, but this year the constant advertising to overspend on gifts is making me particularly sour as the global pandemic rages. Many families won’t come together to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with their loved ones. The whole season feels off, much like the other holidays we’ve all foregone in the past several months.

That said, comfort has been the name of the game in 2020. Binge-watching for some peace of mind has become second nature for everyone. In the coming week, when many of us will be getting those one or two much-needed days off from work or daily responsibilities, I’ll be choosing movies and TV that give those ~cozy vibes~ without overloading on Santa Claus. Here’s a list of movies that aren’t technically Christmas by genre, but do the trick for fireside nights with peppermint schnapps in hand.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Image: MGM

This one has always been inexplicably Christmas-y to me. For whatever reason, the magic of Oz always seemed best enjoyed through the years next to a Christmas tree.

Harry Potter (2001-2011)

Image: Warner Bros.

Take your pick of the eight-movie-long franchise to teleport you back to childhood. Particularly Christmas scenes from the first few films capture the *enchantment* of the season.

Frozen I & II

Image: Disney

The perfect Christmas time children’s movies sans-Santa. Everyone loves Olaf.

Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Image: New Line Cinema/Getty Images

A classic bonehead comedy that happens to take place in snowy Aspen, CO. Jim Carrey arguably wins the best ugly Christmas sweater in this one as the iconic Lloyd Christmas.

The Holiday (2006)

Image: Columbia Pictures

The perfect yule movie for a wine night “in” with girlfriends over Zoom. Sweet without being saccharine, The Holiday is several cuts above typical Hallmark fare while still capturing the romance of the special time of year.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

Image: Warner Bros.

This ridiculous rom-com take on the Charles Dickens classic features pre-Oscar Matthew McConaughey as a bachelor visited by the loves of his past. Another fine contender for holiday girls night.

Prisoners (2013)

Image: Warner Bros.

Welcome to the dark side of the list. In Prisoners, the holidays are the backdrop for a kidnapping and harrowing mystery starring Hugh Jackman.

The Lodge (2019)

Image: Neon

Even darker, a “family” goes away for the winter to celebrate Christmas at a remote cabin. No spoilers— but there’s hardly anything holly-jolly about this film, as it’s perhaps one of the better horror flicks of last year.

Misery (1990)

A classic from Stephen King. Perfect for any time this winter, but suitable for any fellow Scrooges around Christmas.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Image: 20th Century Fox

Last but not least, Tim Burton’s romance-fantasy that includes a beautiful Christmas twist. This cult classic is a macabre fairytale fitting for a year as bizarre as the one we are wrapping up now.

Despite all the challenges and disasters of 2020, the holidays aren’t about what you’re watching on Christmas, it’s who you’re watching with. Enjoy, stay safe and have a merry Christmas and happy small-iday!