Christmas marks the last wholesome checkpoint before everybody stumbles into the New Year stuffed and still drunk. It’s a time to gather your family, exchange gifts and just try your absolute darndest to be nice to whomever may cross your path. The crisp air seems to hold the twinkly decorations in a magical glow that makes the holiday seem like more than just an event conjured up by early Christians trying to woo pagans, who were fine with converting, but still wanted a festival near the winter solstice.
But despite the cynicism we gain as we age, Christmas can’t help but evoke our stronger childhood memories. It’s when, if we were lucky, the things we wished for as a kid appeared under a tree as our bleary-eyed parents nursed coffee and nodded as we told them what a great guy that Santa Claus is. And most of all, it gives us a momentary hope that human beings will recognize that the best way to be is kind, generous and understanding of one another.
With the gooey feelings and idyllic scenery, the season makes for plenty of harvestable material for good holiday movies. Often, there’s some curmudgeon that’s just not in the mood, but eventually, gets his spirit turned around by whatever it is that floats in the air this time of year—be he a Pumpkin King, a green, garbage-eating grouch or a drunken, petty-thieving mall Santa.
But since these stories essentially write themselves, there’s a load of just absolute stinkers on Netflix that lazily repackage these familiar tropes in a way that’s unsubtly trying to pull the tears from your ducts. Not too worry, whether it’s your frequent browsing of Complex or a random scroll through Google that led you to this list of films, here are 10 Christmas movies that will put you in the proper mood for the season.