AARP Eye Center
Trust us, we love It’s A Wonderful Life and How the Grinch Stole Christmas as much as anyone, but watching only the classics during the holiday season can be a bit like getting the same gift under the tree every year. Allow us to gingerbread-spice up your December streaming schedule with these 12 new Christmas-themed films and TV shows. Which recent holiday films have made it into your annual repertoire? Let us know in the comments below!
Falling for Christmas
The premise: Lindsay Lohan kicked off her big comeback tour with this sweet-natured romantic comedy that would feel right at home on the Hallmark Channel. The former child superstar plays spoiled heiress Sierra Belmont, who experiences total amnesia after a skiing accident and is nursed back to health by a widowed lodge owner named Jake (Glee’s Chord Overstreet). For the film, Lohan recorded a cover of the 1957 holiday classic “Jingle Bell Rock,” a cute nod to her performance of the same song in Mean Girls.
Check it out if you like: the 1987 comedy Overboard, albeit with a lot more snow and twinkly lights this time around.
Watch it: Falling for Christmas on Netflix
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.
A Christmas Story Christmas
The premise: With its leg lamp and Red Ryder BB Gun and a tongue stuck to an icy pole, 1983’s A Christmas Story has emerged as an unlikely holiday classic, even inspiring a Broadway musical. Set 30 years later, this sequel sees Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley, 51) returning to his Indiana hometown with his wife (Erinn Hayes) and kids in tow after the death of his dad, aka The Old Man. The Parker family house from the original film is now a museum and guest house in Cleveland, so the crew commissioned a replica of the home and surrounding neighborhood to be built on the sequel’s set in Hungary.
Check it out if you like: very gentle comedy and Julie Hagerty, 67, who’s taking over the role of Mrs. Parker from the retired actress Melinda Dillon, 83.
Watch it: A Christmas Story Christmas on HBO Max
The premise: Songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are best known for their work on The Greatest Showman, La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen, and now they retell A Christmas Carol as a musical, from the point of view of the ghosts. For his next redemption project, the Ghost of Christmas Past (Will Ferrell, 55) sets his sights on cynical hotel manager Clint Biggs (Ryan Reynolds), who’s described as “the perfect combination of Mussolini and [Ryan] Seacrest.” But things take a complicated turn when Past finds himself falling for Clint’s assistant, played by the always charming Octavia Spencer, 52.
Check it out if you like: celebrity cameos and show-stopping musical numbers, with intricate choreography by Emmy nominee and So You Think You Can Dance contestant Chloe Arnold.
Watch it: Spirited on Apple TV+
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
The premise: The Charles Dickens classic has been remade over and over and over again (see above), but this adaptation combines something old (it’s an update of the 1970 Albert Finney–starring musical Scrooge) and something new (sleek computer animation). Taking on the title role is Luke Evans, who played Gaston in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, alongside a star-studded voice ensemble that includes Olivia Colman as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Jonathan Pryce, 75, as Jacob Marley.
Check it out if you like: the works of Leslie Bricusse, who also wrote the music and/or lyrics for films like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Doctor Dolittle and Victor/Victoria.
Watch it: Scrooge: A Christmas Carol on Netflix