Five awesome Christmas movies on Netflix


Blake Roberts, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again: Christmas. It’s a holiday filled with cheer and goodwill for all of humanity. Past disagreements and prejudices melt away under the comforting glow of a fully decorated Christmas tree. It’s enough for even the most jaded soul to feel like there is hope for us all as a species.

For many of us, one of the best traditions of the holidays is the beloved Christmas specials we watched as children with our families. Everyone knows them: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Christmas Carol,” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” to name a few.

But what about those Christmas specials that aren’t so well known? Netflix, everyone’s favorite video streaming service, has dozens of Christmas shows. While most of them are just Christmas-themed episodes of popular kids shows, buried among them are some more unique films. For better or worse, here are five Christmas specials of Netflix you’ve probably never heard of.

1. “All American Christmas Carol”

“Christmas is for suckers,” says Cindy Wagman, the main character (Taryn Manning, as also seen in Orange is the New Black) of this delightful Christmas romp for the whole family, and that sets the tone for the entire film. It’s a basic retelling of Dicken’s Christmas carol: three ghosts (one of whom is one of her children’s recently deceased father) attempt to make Cindy see the errors of her boozy ways.

It’s a cynically dark take on the Christmas genre, full of lowbrow, crass comedy. It’s definitely not everyone’s style of humor, and it sometimes verges into “so bad its good” territory. But if you’ve had too much eggnog and are tired of the constant sweetness of the holiday, this movie may do you some good.

2. “A Country Christmas”

Oddly enough, it’s another movie about a “redneck Christmas.” Is there enough of a market to warrant two redneck Christmas movies being made in the same year (2013)? Unlike “AllAmerican Christmas Carol,” this movie tones down the crudeness and replaces it with sincerity. This is a movie you could actually watch with your family.

The basic plot is that Santa Claus loses his powers and becomes stranded in a barn. It’s a pretty run of the mill Christmas special, except for its famous guest star: Trace Adkins. Is Trace Adkins still relevant? I’m not sure, but if you’re a Trace Adkins fan, then this is will likely rocket into your top ten list of favorite Christmas specials.

3. Any movie where animals replace Santa Claus

Santa has a hard job. I think we can all agree on that. The poor elf has to deliver presents to over 1,000,000,000 kids across the globe in a single night. It’s a demanding job, but thanks to his magic, he can do it.

But that doesn’t mean he can’t be replaced by an animal. There are so many movies on Netflix featuring an adorable critter taking over for Santa. “Hercules Saves Christmas” is about a talking dog who saves Christmas. “Beethoven Saves Christmas” is about a normal dog (who is admittedly unusually large) who saves Christmas. Perhaps the cutest of all is “Santa Claws,” which is about a litter of kittens who give Santa allergies and therefore have to save Christmas. Don’t question how, just watch the kittens and try and forget about finals.

4. “Stalled”

Are you craving a Christmas horror movie but don’t have the cash to see the new film, “Kram – pus,” which is coming out on Dec. 4? Don’t worry, “Stalled” is on Netflix and will happily fill your carving for holiday horror.

This movie truly has it all: the zombie apocalypse, an office Christmas party, and a janitor trapped in the women’s bathroom (hence the name “Stalled”). In fact, the entire movie takes place in the women’s bathroom. That’s the gimmick. It’s admittedly low budget, and the actors’ British accents can be hard to decipher at times. But if you’re in the mood to see Santa’s suit splattered with a darker shade of red, then this is right up your alley.

5. “I Am Santa Claus”

This isn’t your typical Christmas special; in fact, its not realty a Christmas special at all. It’s a documentary about five “professional Santas.” You know, the kind at the mall who let kids sit on their laps. The viewer follows the lives of Mick, Russell, Jim and Bob, all mall Santas, for a year, as they “protect the integrity of the spotless, untarnished reputation of the ‘Red Suit,’” as the Netflix description says.

This is probably the best film on this list. It’s a feel-good yet also fascinating look at the often over-looked “Santa’s Helper,” and how they live in the other eleven months out of the year that they aren’t suited up and doing what they do best.

So that’s it, the five Christmas movies on Netflix you’ve probably never seen or even heard of before. Just remember, no matter what you watch this holiday season, be sure it’s in the company of loved ones. And remember to forgive your mom when she asks if you want to “Netflix and chill.” She doesn’t know any better.