Christmas carols on the radio, holiday shopping lists … and Netflix? Yes, Netflix! The streaming giant's slate of original holiday content runs the gamut from romantic comedies to family fantasy films, with a Dolly Parton musical and even a swingin’ variety show thrown under the tree for good measure. Get in the holiday spirit with these 12 terrific Netflix Christmas movies!
A Castle for Christmas (2021)
The plot: In this yuletide romantic comedy, best-selling American author Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields, 56) runs off to Scotland to escape a scandal. And once there, she falls head over heels in love — with a castle. When she tries to buy the estate (the real-life Dalmeny House, a Gothic revival mansion built outside of Edinburgh in 1817), she quickly comes into conflict with its owner, the grouchy Duke Myles (Cary Elwes, 58), who doesn’t want to sell it to a foreigner.
Stream if … you had to cancel a trip to Europe this year, and the next best thing is watching your ’80s crush gallivant around gorgeous Scottish backdrops.
Watch it: A Castle for Christmas
Single All the Way (2021)
The plot: Last winter, the Hallmark Channel debuted its first LGBTQ holiday movie, and Netflix is getting in the game this December. Peter (Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie) is sick of his family constantly nagging him for being single, so he convinces his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to come home for the holidays to pose as his boyfriend for his parents, played by Kathy Najimy, 64, and Barry Bostwick, 76. But the plan begins to fall apart once Peter finds out that his mother has set him up on a blind date with her eligible-bachelor trainer (Luke Macfarlane from the ABC series Brothers & Sisters).
Stream if … you love Jennifer Coolidge, 60, as much as we do. She stars as Aunt Sandy, who is responsible for writing and directing the sure-to-be-hilarious town Christmas pageant.
Watch it: Single All the Way
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Love Hard (2021)
The plot: In this very 21st-century romantic comedy, L.A. journalist Natalie (The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev) matches with her dream guy, Tag (Darren Barnet from Netflix's Never Have I Ever), on a dating app. And on a whim, she decides to travel across the country to meet him. Upon arrival, she learns that she’s been catfished by Tag’s childhood friend Josh (Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang). He agrees to set them up on one condition: Natalie has to pretend to be Josh’s girlfriend over the holidays.
Stream if … you, too, need a date for Christmas.
Watch it: Love Hard
A Boy Called Christmas (2021)
The plot: Billed as a Santa Claus origin story, this lush fantasy film follows the young Nikolas (Henry Lawfull) as he sets out on a snowy adventure with a reindeer and his pet mouse (voiced by Stephen Merchant from the British Office). He’s searching for his father, who is himself on a journey to discover a fabled elf village called Elfhelm. Filmed across Europe, including Finnish Lapland, the movie stars an incredible ensemble that includes Oscar winners Jim Broadbent, 72, and Maggie Smith, 86, plus nominees Kristen Wiig and Sally Hawkins.
Stream if … you and your grandkids have worn out the Polar Express DVD and need a new wintry classic to watch together.
Watch it: A Boy Called Christmas