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We’ve officially entered the fast-paced month of December with Christmas shopping frenzies underway and a warm cup of hot cocoa waiting at home. Hollywood has made no exceptions as shown by a long list of Christmas movies that have already hit streaming channels. From new variations of Christmas classics to ultra-cheesy and predictable yuletide movies, these five new movies are must-watches this holiday season.

“A Christmas Story Christmas”

I triple-dog dare anyone to spend a Christmas without the iconic 1983 “A Christmas Story.” While it’s nearly impossible to level up a nearly 40-year-old beloved film, fans who are feeling nostalgic should grab their ugly pink bunny pajamas for this new movie. 

“A Christmas Story Christmas” is a hit-or-miss for viewers as it brings an interesting new story for the grown-up but still imaginative Ralphie Parker, played by Peter Billingsley, from the original movie. This new rendition creates more of a continuum of the original storyline rather than recreating the well-established Christmas classic. “A Christmas Story Christmas” is available on HBO Max.

“Christmas with You”

Cheesy Christmas movies are often overrated, but this Netflix original is an exception. While the storyline is still predictable, “Christmas with You” is a fun, feel-good movie to get viewers into the holiday spirit. 

This movie follows the life of Angelina, played by Aimee Garcia, a pop star who travels to a small town. Angelina not only has great music, but an epic love story waiting for her. This movie reminded me of the 2022 “Marry Me” film starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, but much tamer and more festive. “Christmas with You” is available on Netflix.

“The Noel Diary”

For those who are wanting a Christmas movie without the overload of mistletoe and magical snowflake kisses, “The Noel Diary,” an adaptation of a book by author Richard Paul Evans, is a perfect match. Justin Hartley stars as Jacob, who returns to his hometown and finds a diary that holds the secrets of a mysterious woman named Rachel, played by Barrett Doss. 

“The Noel Diary” is not an average Christmas movie, nor is it predictable, as the timeline merely occurs around Christmas time. The acting in this romantic comedy is superb, which is only amplified for viewers by an intriguing plotline. “The Noel Diary” is available on Netflix.

“The Santa Clauses”

Tim Allen is back again as the witty Scott Calvin from the four original “The Santa Clause” movies. In “The Santa Clauses,” a six episode special, Calvin searches for his Santa Claus replacement a few years after the final movie along with some of the original cast. 

While “The Santa Clauses” would’ve been more effective as an actual movie, this limited mini-series is still whimsical and genuinely funny for both adults and kids. The final episode releases on Dec. 14, just in time to binge-watch before the holiday season. “The Santa Clauses” is available on Disney+.

“Falling for Christmas”

It never hurts to have at least one average and predictable Christmas movie on a watchlist this year as viewers wrap gifts for family and friends. “Falling for Christmas” is a cheerful movie with the bonus of starring Lindsay Lohan who makes her return to acting as Sierra Belmont, an heiress who gets diagnosed with amnesia before meeting the love of her life. However, other than Lohan’s presence, viewers shouldn’t set their acting standards too high. 

The love interests — Jake Russell played by Chord Overstreet, and Tad Fairchild played by George Young — were played by mediocre actors, and some scenes felt cheap and poorly produced. If anyone is looking for a movie to play in the background to set the holiday vibe without needing to pay close attention, then “Falling for Christmas” is available to you on Netflix.

Whether someone is looking for a Christmas movie to play in the background while finishing up some holiday baking or they want to snuggle up with a cup of eggnog, there’s plenty of new and exciting films to watch this season.

culture@dailynebraskan.com