Ten holiday classics to enjoy during winter break


The Christmas Chronicles (2018, Netflix)

It is that time of the year again when stockings are hung, trees are adorned with lights and families are at the fireplace singing and dancing to the wonderful music of Christmas or watching holiday shows and films while getting cozy with some cookies or popcorn. This year, in the midst of a global pandemic, many individuals are staying home and badly need some entertainment to pep up their holiday season. Here is a list of the top ten movies from 2016 to the present that may turn your 2020 drear into holiday cheer:


  • The Christmas Chronicles (2018, Netflix):

This family adventure follows two children, Kate and Teddy Pierce (Darby Kate and Judah Lewis), who recently lost their dad. After seeing Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on Christmas Eve, they follow him while their mom had to work a night shift at the hospital. After the skinnier version of Santa realizes the children followed him on his sleigh with a camcorder, chaos ensues. From then on, from chasing fleeing reindeer to musicals in jail cells to overall trying to save Christmas and the holiday spirit in the Northern Hemisphere with the help of Elves, the children go through a magical journey to become true believers. As number one on this list, this movie has amazing settings and animation and, with its song “Santa Claus is Back in Town,” puts a fun jazz and pop spin to the Christmas spirit.


  • A Christmas Prince: Royal Wedding (2018, Netflix):

As the second installment of the “A Christmas Prince” trilogy, this romantic comedy displays the development of future queen Amber (Rose Mclver). Beginning as a regular journalist in America, she fell in love with soon-to-be king Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) after a visit to Aldovia. Now, twists and turns, such as the traditions of Aldovia, cause Amber to second-guess herself in her capability to become queen and conform to her new royal life after their wedding. With its cheesy humor and characters, it is the perfect movie for a relaxing evening with family and makes it that much more entertaining to watch.


  • The Princess Switch: Switched Again (2020, Netflix):

Second in the “Princess Switch” series and unlike any of the other romantic Christmas movies, this romantic comedy consists of three different characters with the same face yet antagonizing personalities played by High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens. As in the first movie, another switch-a-roo occurs between Duchess Margaret of Montenaro and Stacy from America to bring together destined lovers Margaret and Kevin, Stacy’s best friend who has hit a tough point in his relationship with Margaret as future queen, but this time with the intrusion of an evil triplet. Hudgens’s creative accents and extraordinary acting skills as an antagonist and protagonist bring this movie third in rank.


  • A Christmas in the Heartland (2017, Netflix/Amazon Prime): 

A great family movie on Netflix, the plot of this story is surrounded on another switch-a-roo, but not between individuals who look alike like in “The Princess Switch”. Instead, the switch occurs between two teenagers on a plane, who are about to visit their grandparents who never saw either of them before. Jesse Wilkins (Brighton Sharbino) is a country girl, while Kara Gentry (Sierra McCormick) belongs to a wealthy family. Their switch allows them to bond with each other’s family and help them realize how “the other side” lives. The values and bonding of family displayed on both sides through music and an unprecedented interaction at a local beauty pageant in this movie rank it fourth.


  • The Christmas Project (2016, Netflix):

While many believe Christmas is a time of presents and tasty baked goods, this coming-of-age family movie presents the true meaning behind Christmas as a time of giving and caring for each other, no matter each other’s relations for the rest of the year. As a yearly Christmas tradition, four brothers always give gifts to a neighboring family the days before the holiday as a way to give back. This year, their mother decided the family will be giving gifts to the despised Hagbarts, the bullies of the boys’ school. Through displaying a childish perspective of revenge and love, this movie ranks fourth because of its interactions containing playful cuteness and morals.


  • The Holiday Calendar (2018, Netflix):

An antique calendar, a photographer desperate for an opportunity, and two men competing for the photographer’s love define this romantic prophetical. Through a magical calendar, given by her grandfather, that can predict her future through miniature toys, photographer Abby Sutton (Kat Graham) finds “pre-destined” love among two men: one being a fancy doctor and the other being her best friend from her childhood. While attempting to become a more well-known photographer, she must deal with the conflict of her aspirations and fate, resulting in anticipating suspense for viewers.


  • A Christmas Prince: Royal Baby (2019, Netflix):

As third in “A Christmas Prince” series on Netflix, after falling in love and marriage, the third most predictable event occurs: the pregnancy/birthing of the royal baby by now Queen Amber and King Richard. However, before the baby is born, Amber and Richard must go through a detective adventure to find out the culprit who stole the hundreds of years old peace treaty between Aldovia and Penglia before an imposed curse by the protector. While full of action and enrichment of a queen’s capability, this third movie in the trio does not meet up to the first two in screenplays.


  • A Cinderella Story: A Christmas Wish (2019, Netflix):

Like any other “Cinderella” Story, this movie’s plot includes two stepsisters and a stepmother trying to steal the successes of an aspiring singer, Kat Decker (Laura Marano). At her new Christmas day job of being an elf at a Santa meet and greet, Kat falls in love with the handsome new Santa Claus, Dominic Wintergarten (Gregg Sulkin). Dominic happens to be one of the rich and popular guys of her area and with whom she had a non-pleasant previous encounter. Through a winter gala and many unprecedented events, the movie displays the capability to move past any difficulties and individuals towards success. However, it has a common and flat storyline, so it is ranked eighth.


  • Holiday Rush (2019, Netflix):

Imagine being fired during the Christmas season and having bratty kids who desire all the wealthy items in the world. Well, in this family comedy, a rich radio DJ named Rashon Williams (Romany Malco) must deal with this situation, including a new relationship with his long-time manager and having to sell his home. Through fights, misunderstandings and runways, Rashon’s family must deal with many undesirable events that could tear the family apart. While presenting great morals, the movie also includes many cheesy jokes and creates confusion in Rashon’s main goal throughout it, making it one of the lower-ranking movies.


  • Christmas with a Prince (2018, Netflix):

This bonding romance, with a sequel, involves a dedicated pediatrician, Dr. Tasha (Kaitlyn Leeb), for children with cancer having to deal with the arrival of her high school crush, Prince Alexander (Nick Hounslow), to her hospital after a ski injury in the area. Through bonding and getting to know one another, both fall in love with each other, and Tasha realizes that Alexander is a kind and gentle prince, not a stuck-up one. While the movie can be easily connected with by prospective or current doctors through its major setting consisting of a hospital, the romance subplot became its downfall with the couple not having any natural chemistry.


These ten romantic, adventurous and family films display the joy and cheer of the Christmas season while making sure to portray what truly the holidays are about: family, religion and giving back. Hopefully, they can become part of everyone’s holiday memories this unprecedented year.