The Coziest Christmas Movie List (of 2023)

The Coziest Christmas Movie List (of 2023)

Well... I had to do this. There has to be at least one Christmas theme reading in this Notebook, before 2024 comes. So, let's celebrate December 1st, with the coziest Christmas movie list (of 2023). But, first, I'll rumble a bit, like always. 

I know that all of us experience Christmas in a different way. If you ask me, Christmas is my favorite holiday season, beside the fact that I'm not a winter person. I love Christmas lights, I love making Christmas gifts for my friends and family (I do that almost all year, but anyway), I love all Christmas decoration and beverages. Also, I am quite aware that everything is magnified through the marketing glass, but this is not our topic of the day. 

Above all, Christmas is one of the coziest seasons of the year. Hot and Christmas-y coffees & chocolates, traditional sweets, gingerbread smell, family gatherings, warm blankets and knitted sweatshirts, and Home Alone playing in the background. All these feel like Christmas, however, we are all waiting for a snow that never comes, at least in Athens, where I live.

Edward Scissorhands (1990) dir. Tim Burton

And now that we all want to feel like Kim from Edward Scissorhands, the following coziest Christmas movie list is feelgood and comfort, consists of six well-loved films and is dedicated to all those people who are or feel alone in holidays like these. I know that these movies make me feel like home whenever I go through a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), so I hope they make you feel like home, too.  

 

 The Harry Potter Saga

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) dir. Chris Columbus

I can't imagine any Christmas holidays without watching at least one of Harry Potter movies. I can't imagine my life without Harry Potter, actually. I know there are plenty of you out there who feel the same way (also, send me on Instagram your House, and I'll tell you mine there as well). Here, I am sharing a photo of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first ever Harry Potter movie, since I think it depicts how Christmas, even in a magical world like Hogwarts, can feel complete lonely, but also it is there to remind us that we may be not as lonely as we think we are. 

 

The Holdovers (2023) dir. Alexander Payne

The Holdovers (2023) dir. Alexander Payne

For me 2023 has been a successful year for films in general, and I couldn't leave this one behind. The Holdovers by Alexander Payne is my newest comfort and cozy Christmas movie and I bet it will be yours, too. Nobody likes teacher Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti). With no family and nowhere to go over Christmas holiday in 1970, Paul remains at school to supervise students unable to journey home. After a few days, only one student holdover remains -- a trouble-making 15-year-old named Angus (Dominic Sessa), a good student whose bad behavior always threatens to get him expelled. Joining Paul and Angus is head cook Mary (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) whose own son was recently lost in Vietnam. These three very different shipwrecked people form an unlikely Christmas family sharing comic misadventures during two very snowy weeks in New England. The real journey is how they help one another understand that they are not beholden to their past-they can choose their own futures.

 

Edward Scissorhands (1990) dir. Tim Burton

Edward Scissorhands (1990) dir. Tim Burton

It's almost unacceptable not to include a Tim Burton movie, and I have to admit, while I love The Nightmare Before Christmas (directed by Henry Selick, co-written by Tim Burton, Michael McDowell, Caroline Thompson), my most favorite is Edward Scissorhands. It gives me all the 90's vibes with a 60's aesthetic, while being one of the sweetest bittersweet stories ever made. In a castle high on top of a hill lives an inventor's greatest creation - Edward, a near-complete person. The creator died before he could finish Edward's hands; instead, he is left with metal scissors for hands. Since then, he has lived alone, until a kind lady called Peg discovers him and welcomes him into her home. At first, everyone welcomes him into the community, but soon things begin to take a change for the worse.

 

 Klaus (2019) dir. Sergio Pablos, Carlos Martínez López

Klaus (2019) dir. Sergio Pablos, Carlos Martínez López

As Klaus says: "A true selfless act always sparks another", and this film is exactly this. A film that sparks kindness, joy, laughter, emotions and all these things that feels like Christmas. When Jesper distinguishes himself as the postal academy's worst student, he is stationed on a frozen island above the Arctic Circle, where the feuding locals hardly exchange words let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up when he finds an ally in local teacher Alva, and discovers Klaus, a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys. These unlikely friendships return laughter to Smeerensburg, forging a new legacy of generous neighbors, magical lore and stockings hung by the chimney with care. 

 

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) dir. Frank Capra

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) dir. Frank Capra

When you watch It's a Wonderful Life, the official Christmas season has begun! For me, black & white films have an instant comfort feeling and what a better film to watch during Christmas holiday season that this classic Capra masterpiece. The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his personal dreams in order to help others in his community and whose thoughts of suicide on Christmas Eve bring about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence. Christmas is often the time when we think about the year that went by, and all those things we could have done better before the new year comes in. This is one of those films that really makes you think about perspective, choices, and new realities. 

 

Love Actually (2003) dir. Richard Curtis

Love Actually (2003) dir. Richard Curtis

And my crazy heart will...be forever in love with this film and I feel no shame. Love Actually is my all-year-long pleasure, but especially during this season, since it's Christmas and on Christmas you tell the truth. Ok, I'll stop. Love Actually follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. This movie ruined all my realities, and I'll forever love it for that. 

 

🎄 Honorable mentions 🎄

Home Alone (1990) dir. Chris Columbus
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) dir. Henry Selick
The Holiday (2006) dir. Nancy Meyers
Elf (2003) dir. Jon Favreau
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) dir. Bill Melendez
Carol (2015) dir. Todd Haynes

 

Main photo credits: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) dir. Chris Columbus
Back to The Notebook