Home Alone? Love Actually? The Muppet Christmas Carol? 'Tis the season to dial the A/C to Arctic and snuggle up to lose entire days to watching Christmas movies.
You’ll find a few block-busting numbers in the mix – notably Elf and, erm, Elf – but predominantly a whole of lot Netflix Originals and made-for-TV movies to get your teeth into.
Here are the 12 most promising-looking watches that might* just make it on to Santa’s nice list.
(*No promises. Let us know what you think of the ones you've seen in the comments.)
A Christmas Prince
Struggling junior reporter gets dispatched to get “the scoop” on a reluctant European prince. Stuffed with a Santa’s sackload of clichés, this 2017 Netflix Original has garnered something of a cult status – little wonder there’s a 2018 sequel. (Spoiler – as if you didn’t guess where this was heading – in the title.)
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
Available to stream from Friday November 30, our couple-to-be are back and struggling with life in the royal fishbowl. Expect sweeping snowy scenes and plenty of well-worn royal-vs-riff-raff exchanges that see the future queen getting colder feet than Frosty the Snowman.
A Very Murray Christmas
Haven’t watched this since its 2015 release? It might be too self-aware for some (at one point declaring “this is a sad excuse for a Christmas special”) but for others the sight of Bill Murray cantankerously playing himself – alongside a host of other actors doing the same – will be a welcome break from the chintz of Netflix’s festive rom-com onslaught.
Eliza Taylor (aka, Clarke off The 100) stars in this fun, watchable Netflix Original about a party girl company heiress, dispatched to the suburbs to learn a thing or two about personal responsibility. Cue snow, romance and plenty of morality plot armour.
Will Ferrell’s giant man-baby act may be touching 15 years old, but the gags are as fresh as ever. Buddy, the human raised as an elf, wreaks havoc in the North Pole before setting off in alarmingly wide-eyed wonder to find his real parents in the Big Apple.
When their flight to Fiji gets cancelled, Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaugn find themselves forced to spend Christmas visiting all four of their divorced parents, familial quirks and discord throwing their own relationship into jeopardy.
Miss Me This Christmas
After marrying on Christmas Day six years ago, Regina and Franklin are now on track to finalise their divorce this coming December 25. After starting up a whirlwind romance with a millionaire, Regina finds herself on the receiving end of a marriage proposal. But are her feelings really gone for her soon-to-be-ex-husband? Does Rudolph have a red nose? Stay tuned…
Shrek The Halls
Give yourself the gift of half an hour of Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers as Shrek and Donkey (and the rest of the fairy tale gang) get together for this gag-filled holiday short. Being an ogre, Shrek’s not big on Christmas – until Fiona and the kids persuade him otherwise.
The Christmas Chronicles
Available for streaming from Thursday November 22, this original Netflix film sees Santa (Kurt Russell) have his sleigh accidentally sabotaged by two siblings, out to determine whether the jolly man really exists. They’re soon enlisted to help him get back in the skies and delivering presents around the world. Can they save Christmas? Who cares, Russell’s easily the most entertaining Santa you’ll find on the streaming service all season.
The Holiday Calendar
In one of the most, well, original of Netflix’s Original films, aspiring photographer Abby Sutton inherits an antique calendar, counting down to Christmas. Each door she opens appears to grant a wish. Will it lead her to success? Or, even, love? You’ve probably guessed the answer to both by now…
The Polar Express
Probably the only thing more loveable than Christmas itself – Tom Hanks lends his voice to multiple roles in this heart-warming animation, first released in 2004, in which a young boy heads off on an adventure to the North Pole. All aboard – next stop, Santa’s gaff.
The Princess Switch
An unexpected hybrid of Prince and the Pauper (rich swaps with poor) and Parent Trap (Americans doing dodgy British accents), starring High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens. We’re not sure where she’s been since they were All In This Together, but now she’s off to Belgravia, swapping lives with a Duchess and accidentally falling in love with a prince. Fun, cookie-cutter fluff.
And some that might fit better on the naughty list…
48 Christmas Wishes
Looking like someone’s Christmas craft experiment, this film sees two clumsy child elves accidentally incinerate a small town’s letters to Santa.
A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale
Credit card declined? Can’t buy gifts for anyone? Get a job as a dogwalker and rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Tenous.
A Wish For Christmas
Mean Girls’ Lacey Chabert fronts this paceless-looking TV movie about a woman whose wish – to be braver – is granted by Santa, and allows her to deliver her boss a few home truths. As far as festive feels go, we’ve got none for Gretchen Wieners.
Christmas Wedding Planner
Not even Kelly Rutherford (the icy Lily Bass from Gossip Girl) can make this film look less saccharine than a tin full of Quality Street, as a wedding planner teams up with a private investigator (cue swoon) to save the big day.