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Your 2022 Holiday movie guide

Grab the hot chocolate, popcorn and get cozy!

By: Logan Donoghue

A fireplace in the background and a cup of hot chocolate with a bowl of popcorn in the foreground. There's some popcorn on the blanket beside the bowl and cup and the photo is filled with festive reds and patterns.
A cozy scene perfect for snuggling up with a holiday movie! Photo credit: Jill Wellington from Pixabay.

Looking for the perfect holiday movie this year? In my household, picking a movie has to be one of the most stressful conversations ever. Sometimes we even take too long to decide and everyone is ready to go to bed before a movie is picked. So trust me, I know how hard this seemingly easy task can be. That’s why I don’t want anyone to struggle while choosing a festive film to watch this holiday season. On that note, here is a list of some of my favourite classic holiday movies and a few new releases that might also be worth a watch (figures crossed!). I hope this list provides you with a new set of movies to check out this holiday season and adds to the usual Santa Clause and Home Alone binges!

1. Four Christmases

Starting off strong with a holiday classic. Four Christmases, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, follows a happy couple who have successfully avoided their families on Christmas for years until a snowstorm deters their plans for a holiday getaway. Now that their families know they are home for Christmas, the couple needs to split up their day into four Christmases, attending each chaotic household until midnight. Four Christmases is the perfect mix of romance and comedy, as Vaughn and Witherspoon are quite the dynamic duo, but it’s also known to pull at your heartstrings. This has always been a go-to holiday flick in my house and has never let me down. This is the perfect watch for when you’re curled up in your bed with popcorn or on the couch with your whole family.

2. The Holiday

If you’ve never seen The Holiday, stop whatever you’re doing and put it on right now (but maybe finish reading this article first). This is a must-see holiday movie, perfect for those of you who want to laugh and cry at the same time. Packed with a great cast including Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black, this ensemble truly puts on a show to create the best holiday movie. Having been released in 2006, this movie is still such a classic as it follows two women who swap houses during the holiday season. The typical big-city girl goes to a small suburban town and vice versa. The question is, do they find love? How do their Christmases go? Was this a good decision, or the absolute worst? This is another movie that will absolutely pull on your heartstrings, but should be the top watch of the season. This is the perfect movie to watch with loved ones or curled up in your bed. Every minute of this film is enjoyable, and the star-studded cast carries the movie so well.

3. A Bad Moms Christmas

Okay, I’m switching it up a bit here and steering you away from the tear-jerkers. A Bad Moms Christmas has to be one of the most underrated holiday comedy movies ever. This movie starts and finishes in the most chaotic, yet heartwarming way. Mila Kunis, Katherine Hahn, and Kristen Bell have yet to let us down on the big screen, so why would they start now? A Bad Moms Christmas is exactly as it sounds. This movie follows three mothers trying to resist holiday stereotypes as they attempt to make Christmas a stress-free holiday, since, especially in their experiences as busy moms, trying to shop, cook, and bake, all while creating joy is never an easy task. This year, they decide to make Christmas simple by avoiding the uptight ways of the usual Christmas holidays. It's a hilarious movie full of famous actors you’re sure to recognize. However, despite the funny nature of this movie, I would refrain from watching it with your family and maybe saving this for a night with friends. Some scenes in this movie might make for an awkward experience while cozying up with the whole family. Do not subject your younger siblings to this movie; ensure you watch for those ratings before pressing play. That being said, this is the perfect movie for a night with friends with some popcorn and drinks.

4. Krampus

Now some of you may love the Christmas spirit but are looking for a film with a little more of a jump to it. If that’s the case, maybe this horror, fantasy movie is at the top of your list. Starring David Koechner and Toni Collette, Krampus is every child's worst mythical nightmare. In the film, Krampus is a mythical creature whose sole purpose is to punish children during Christmas. Due to family issues, one of the movie’s main characters, a young boy named Max, loses his holiday spirit and winds up unleashing the mythical creature. This horrifying experience put Max’s family’s trust and love to the test as they worked together to defeat this horrific beast. Krampus is sure to cause some startles but also offers viewers a warm sense of family — at least at some point in the movie — that will still have you feeling the Christmas spirit. But watch out because, if your spirit wavers, you might meet Krampus this season, and, personally, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone with the way this movie plays out.

5. Bad Santa

Now maybe you’re feeling the type of movie that’s in between romantic and horrifying but can still get you into the Christmas spirit. Throwing it back to 2003, Bad Santa is an action movie starring Billy Bob Thornton, Lauren Graham and Tony Cox. This action-packed movie takes a darkly comedic twist, as two friends meet each year around Christmas for a holiday con. These two friends, Willie and Marcus, dress up as a mall Santa and Elf in order to rip off stores on Christmas Eve. However, they face some additional challenges this year as Willie’s depression and alcoholism cause him to act out, drawing the attention of mall security and possibly breaking up their plans. Having always struggled with the Christmas spirit, a young boy disrupts Willie's plans as they work together to teach each other different aspects of life through their personal experiences. This might just be the perfect movie for those of you who prefer a dark comedy without neglecting your own holiday spirit. Considering the actions and language of this movie, be cautious of the age rating and vulgar themes throughout the film before deciding to watch this movie.

6. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

This classic family Christmas movie is a must-watch for everyone. If you’ve already seen this movie when you were younger, a re-watch is necessary, and, when you do, keep an eye out for the very relatable language and actions of the Grinch. In my experience, the older you get, the more relatable the Grinch becomes. Be sure to select the original live-action telling of this film, starring Jim Carrey, Christine Baranski and Taylor Momsen, as it’s the best version, in my opinion. Follow along as the Grinch struggles with his holiday spirit while living on the outskirts of Whoville on top of a mountain with his dog, Max. As he fights any notion of Christmas, he even ruins the holiday for the seemingly-innocent people in Whoville — or so he thought. Joined by Max, the Grinch faces the reality of isolated living and is accepted by a young girl, Cindy Lou, who is persistent in pursuing a friendship with the Grinch and sharing her love of Christmas with him — while teaching him that his heart isn’t two sizes too small after all. Does the Grinch find love? Does everyone accept him? Or, does he remain atop his mountain forever? This is a must-watch with family and friends, especially on a cold, wintery night, curled up with some popcorn and a drink. Seriously though, I never realized how relatable the Grinch was, though I’m still unsure if this is a good thing or not.


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