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Holiday Movies, Media, and Cult Classics to Get You Through the Holidays

Written by Lucy Anderson

Photography by Sophia Keefe

CD/PM: Sophia Querrazzi

Talent: Chloe Webb

The Holiday Season has proved itself a fruitful producer of countless anthologies of holiday-themed movies, TV episodes, and other media. Plus, if you’re like me and prefer to spend some quality time on the couch over winter break, you’ll love this collection of twelve holiday-themed, cozy, and dare I say nostalgic pieces of winter classics.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

This beautifully done stop-motion animated movie musical is, to me, peak holiday nostalgia. With a runtime of only 55 minutes, this holiday classic is absolutely worth the watch. Available on Amazon Prime, grab some cocoa, fuzzy blankets, and a loved one to enjoy the lovely journey that Rudolph takes us on in his film.

Bobs Burgers, “Father of the Bob” (Season 5, Episode 6)

If you are anything like me you will love this emotional, heartwarming, and downright funny holiday special. Bob Burgers is well-loved for its many holiday episodes and specials, but this episode holds a special place in my heart. A fantastic story of family drama, wrapped in a 20-minute package. This episode, along with the entirety of the series, is available to stream now on Hulu.

The Polar Express (2004)

This movie is a well-known holiday classic across the hearts and minds of Gen-Zers. Besides being unintentionally hilarious at times, the movie is filled with iconic moments and some equally iconic voice performances. Starring Tom Hanks as the Conductor, who, of course, is fantastic in this film, takes children on a magical journey to the North Pole. The movie is available across multiple streaming platforms, including Hulu, Max, and Amazon Prime. Make sure to hold on to your ticket!

Violent Night (2022)

Even though this movie only came out last year, it has quickly become my favorite holiday thriller/comedy/action movie. For those of you who might want to expand your holiday watch list, this movie is a great addition. Starring David Harbour of Stranger Things, this Rated R film is sure to provide a switch-up when you get bored of the usual holiday classics.

Bojack Horseman Christmas Special - Sabrinas Christmas Wish (2014)

Bojack Horseman Christmas Special is the first of two projects on this list to feature Will Arnett. This Christmas special is attached to the Netflix original, Bojack Horseman, and with a runtime of 24 minutes it's really just a one-off episode of the show. This special is quick, witty, and a great watch if you have 24 minutes to spare.

A Christmas Story (1983)

A Christmas Story is one of those movies that just screams “home for the holidays.” This cult classic is a classic for a reason, and the nostalgia that this movie provides is fantastic. For a movie set in the 1940’s, it’s impressive how topical it can be. Besides some very outdated stereotypes towards the end of the film, this movie is one of my personal favorites to watch every year. I mean, even just hearing the name of the movie makes me want to grab a pink bunny onesie and ask Santa for a BB gun for Christmas.

The Office, “A Benihana Christmas” (Season 3, Episodes 10 and 11)

Of course, I had to include an episode of The Office on this list. “A Benihana Christmas” has been praised as the best Christmas episode from The Office's entire run. I won’t explain too much, since these episodes are better watched instead of explained. These episodes, as well as the full series, are available on Peacock.

Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery (2022)

Another recent, and Rated R, holiday movie is Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery. Starring Will Arnett, with special guest stars Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph, this murder mystery and comedy will not disappoint. If you’re a fan of Arrested Development, Bojack Horseman, or anything in that vein of comedy, you should definitely check this one out. This movie is streaming exclusively on Netflix.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The original animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another quick watch and a wonderful adaptation of the original story by Dr. Suess. The movie is under 30 minutes and is a great watch to pair with Jim Carey's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Speaking of Jim Carey’s iconic performance, his take on the Grinch is considered the most iconic version of the story and also serves as a wonderfully nostalgic rewatch during the holiday season.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Okay, this is not technically a Christmas movie but it is definitely a holiday movie. Telling the story of The Guardians, Rise of the Guardians has a collection of holiday characters ranging from Santa Claus to the Easter Bunny. This often-forgotten animated movie is a lot of fun and still holds up over 10 years later. If you want something to get you settled into the holiday spirit without being super holly jolly, this take on classic holiday characters is for you.

Glee “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” (Season 3, Episode 9)

Knowing me, I had to include a Glee Christmas episode on this list! (Half of you are groaning and half of you are ecstatic at the mention I know) Glee is a hilariously convoluted and controversial show, but man can those 20 and 30-somethings playing high schoolers sing! This Christmas episode is my favorite of the ones that Glee produced, and it’s really just because of the song choices. Hearing Darren Criss and Chris Colfer sing Let it Snow is the perfect dose of holiday cheer to start the season off right.

Little Women (2019)

Little Women is the epitome of a Christmas movie that isn’t a Christmas movie. The star-studded cast gives their all for this film, with multiple Oscar nominations being awarded to them, as well as the movie as a whole. While only part of the movie focuses on the holiday season, the film as a whole has a beautiful representation of the multitudes that can be contained within one family.

And that’s it! Hopefully, this list of twelve-holiday movies, specials, and TV episodes can help you get started in setting the holly jolly mood that will last all season long!

Written by Lucy Anderson

Photography by Sophia Keefe

CD/PM: Sophia Querrazzi

Talent: Chloe Webb

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