5 Christmas-themed movies to lighten up awkward family get-togethers

  1. “Elf” (2003)

Whoever hasn’t seen “Elf” yet is missing out. This hilarious, family-friendly comedy is sure to find something fun in it. “Elf” brings out the outrageous Christmas spirit of Buddy the elf (Will Ferrell) that we can’t help but find as endearing and sweet as his love-interest Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) does. Follow Buddy through his innocent and oblivious adventure to the big apple in his search for his biological dad (he was raised by elves and Santa himself).


  1. “The Holiday” (2006)

Likely known to fans of Kate Winslet and Jude Law, this fun romantic comedy brings happiness no matter the season. Set in Surrey, England, and Los Angeles, California, the story follows two women, Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who are heartbroken and decide they need a change of scenery. With the help of a home-exchange site, they flip houses for the winter holiday and actually find that it was a great idea in the end. This movie brings hope and happiness when we feel that life isn’t going so great. It’s a romance without the agony and utterly predictable story.


  1. “Love Actually” (2003)

The British rom-com and classic, “Love Actually” is an endearingly wonderful montage of interlocking life stories that makes us believe in happy accidents and the power of the holidays on our normally monotonous lives. The storyline follows an array of characters that all have something going on over the holidays, which we are along for the ride. Some of the lead characters include Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley among others. In the end, you’ll be rooting for every character.


  1. “Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)

A family favorite, “The Grinch” stars actor Jim Carrey as a conniving, yet inevitably lovable Grinch with the help of Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), who brings out the best in him even when he is against all the love and hope that comes with Christmas. The story takes place in Dr Seuss’ town of Whoville,where everyone is over the moon about Christmas to a fault. Everyone cares about getting presents and the mechanics of what to do, but they don’t stop to enjoy the festivities and wonder of the holiday. This is all changed with the help of Cindy Lou Who and her solicitations to the unhappy Grinch. This tale shows the change of heart and perspective that allows this to be a heartwarming family film.


  1. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)

Based on the Peanuts comic strip, A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a classic that even our parents and grandparents should know. We can all reminisce with the innocence and playfulness of childhood with this cute cartoon movie. Charlie needs a little help from his friends to get into the holiday spirit, and they don’t disappoint. From the fun dancing to the childhood hope it brings, it’s an easy-going narrative that is great for the holiday season. “It’s a classic everyone should watch at least once in their life, especially with their family,” says Alex Miles, St. Edward’s student.