It may not be the most wonderful year, but that doesn't mean we don't get to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. And even if we can't celebrate the holidays like "normal" (I could probably use a year off from the family political arguments anyway), we still have festive decorations, Starbucks drinks that taste like peppermint and, of course, Christmas movies.

Now please don't think I'm being snarky when I say the bar is low when it comes to Christmas movies. They're cheesy. They're predictable. They're EXACTLY WHAT I WANT RIGHT NOW. What more could I desire from a holiday flick than a little bit of laughter, a whole lot of fake snow (these things were all shot in July I'm sure) and an ending I saw coming since the first five minutes when Lacey Chabert sighed and told her best friend, "I guess I'll be alone again this Christmas..."?!

But with all of the Christmas film options out there (and believe me, there are a freaking ton), I'm here to help you decide which ones to prioritize. And as perhaps the only piece of evidence that 2020 wasn't all bad, these three soon-to-be-classics all came out this year.

Here, my top picks for the best Christmas movies of 2020.

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OK, while I clearly thought the Dolly Parton Christmas movie (which *ahem* did not make this list...) was going to be my favorite of the year, it actually turned out to be the star-studded musical Jingle Jangle instead.

Don't believe me that it's star-studded? We've got Phylicia Rashad, Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Ricky Martin and Princess Tiana herself, Anika Noni Rose. Daaaaayum.

And while the performances are great, the best part of this flick is that it's just so much fun. The music (some of it from the one-and-only John Legend) is upbeat and lively enough to dance along to. The sets and costumes are bright and cheerful (unlike in a certain Dolly movie I may have mentioned earlier...). The plot is predictable in the absolute best sense of the word.

As far as Christmas movies go, this is definitely the best of the year—a must-watch for families and holiday film fanatics alike.

Watch on Netflix


If you love a twist on a 'happily ever after' story, this one is for you.

The fabulously wide-eyed Jillian Bell nails her role as Eleanor, a fairy godmother-in-training, who is out to save her fairy godmother school from being shut down for good (dooming her to a life as a Tooth Fairy). In order to do so, she has to deliver an actual 'happily ever after' moment to her chosen victim human, played by Isla Fisher (not Amy Adams).

Again, this Disney+ gem is predictable, but I just don't freaking care. Bell is so funny and likeable. Plus, the Christmastime storyline about a young mother (Fisher) overcoming mildly annoying obstacles (mean bosses? yuck!) and super serious struggles (being a single working mom, dealing with widowhood, raising two kids who clearly haven't fully dealt with their father's death) is one that gave me all the feels.

Fun for the full fam for sure (#alliteration).

Watch on Disney+


Perhaps the most controversial pick on this list is Holidate, of course. And not just because it didn't get the best reviews (let's agree to disagree, other reviewers!). The film features quite a lot of adult language and off-color jokes. Like so many that my colleague said, "I wouldn’t suggest watching it with a faint-hearted significant other. (After one sexual scene, my partner hollered from the other room, 'What on earth are you watching?!')"

That said, this fun and funny holiday rom-com starring Emma Roberts and some hottie whose name I didn't bother to Google is great if you're looking for something with a "will they or won't they" storyline that involves a lot of swear words and Kristin Chenoweth. Plus, you don't only get one holiday here. You get all of them!

Recommended for viewing with friends or significant others while the kids are asleep (or pretending to be).

Watch on Netflix

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