What Movies Should You Watch This Holiday Season?

Elaine Wu, Online Staff Writer

December arrives once more and so too does the holiday season, with its Christmas earworms and generally festive spirit. That part of winter will never change, even with a global pandemic among us. Mariah Carey will still sing, and heartwarming holiday movies will continue to play all month long on TV. 

As for the immense repertoire of holiday movies out there, what movies would one recommend? I definitely don’t have much to say on this matter; I’ve watched maybe three Christmas movies throughout my whole life, perhaps four if The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) counts. Home Alone (1990) remains at the top, though. 

So, instead, what movies do the faculty and students at PDS enjoy? Sophomore Zoë Latanison’s favorite holiday movies include A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and The Grinch (2018). Unfortunately, the rights to all the Charlie Brown specials have been bought by Apple, meaning they will, for the most part, only be watchable on Apple TV +, a streaming service which costs money. Meanwhile, sophomore Paris Smith’s favorite holiday movie is The Nightmare before Christmas, arguably a Halloween movie as well as a Christmas one, with elements of both holidays included within.

Freshman Dean and Upper School History Teacher Stefanie Santangelo prefers movies such as The Holiday, The Last Holiday, and Love, Actually, released in 2006, 1950 (with a 2006 remake), and 2003, respectively. The Holiday is a rom-com film about two women with boyfriend problems switching homes and finding love in the process. However, their relationships will soon become interrupted as they return to their homes. The Last Holiday, meanwhile, follows the journey of a woman diagnosed with a deadly illness, who abandons her old life in order to stay at a fancy hotel in Europe. Love, Actually takes on a whole different tone, following the lives of nine different people, telling nine interconnected stories. Ms. Santangelo also recommends Prep and Landing, a Disney cartoon that aired in 2009.

Hopefully, these recommendations are helpful as we celebrate the holiday season. Since no one can travel abroad during break this year, snuggling under a blanket with a warm mug of cocoa and a wintery movie to watch might be the best option this holiday. As always, stay safe and enjoy the season!