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8 Netflix Christmas picks for every kind of holiday mood

2020 has been a year defined by loungewear. Zoom meetings. Work-from-home set-ups. Staying in.

For this holiday season primed to be dearth of any in-real-life celebrations, we’re planning on spending some good-old quality time with our smart TV, Netflix and its supreme catalogue of Christmas films and television shows. Microwaved popcorn and a beautiful glass of mulled wine at the ready…

If you’re in the mood for the classics…

The Holiday

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. ‘Home Alone’. ‘Love Actually’. The holidays won’t feel like the holidays without the scent of a freshly-trimmed fir, the brush of faux snow sprinkled across storefront windows and a once-a-year viewing of your favourite Christmas hall-of-famer; on Netflix, there’s the rom-com front-runner ‘The Holiday’. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet play love-lorn women, heartbroken and wishing to be anywhere but where they are — Los Angeles for the former; London for the latter — for Christmas. The solution? A quick house (see: life) swap where they secure meet-cutes with Jude Law and Jack Black. Happily ever after, because… you know. Christmas.

If you’re in the mood for easy, harmless fun…

The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again

It’s a trope tried-and-tested; a ‘Prince and the Pauper’-style switcheroo that fans of Hilary Duff as Lizzie McGuire and Lindsay Lohan of ‘The Parent Trap’ are no doubt familiar with. Another Disney alum is added to the rota as Vanessa Hudgen stars as three lookalikes, one-upping the first ‘Princess Switch’ from 2018 as a hard-partying cousin from out of town joins the baker-turned-princess and soon-to-be-coronated duchess from the original. Royal shenanigans, dubious British accents and a Christmas coronation sets the scene for silly, harmless festive fun.

If you’re in the mood for an action-packed Christmas Eve...

Die Hard

Sure, ‘Die Hard’ is not a sleigh-bells-and-tinsel Christmas flick. But neither is the first ‘Harry Potter’ film; that doesn’t stop that particular scene — when Hedwig soars over Hogwarts, blanketed with glistening white snow — from eliciting the kind of feeling, however implicit, this holiday season evokes. The film that spawned four sequels and launched Bruce Willis into action stardom, ‘Die Hard’ is, of course, set over Christmas Eve.

If you’re in need of some laughter…

Fred Claus

There’s one in every family — even the Clauses. Vince Vaughn stars as Frederick ‘Fred’ Claus, the black sheep of the family who — unable to compete with his brother Nicholas for approval — relocates far, far, far from the North Pole… to Chicago. A series of mishaps lead to chances for redemption. Second chances. Forgiveness. Paul Giamatti as Santa Claus. Familial love, acceptance and growth. All the things that make Christmas ‘Christmas’.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth…

Sugar Rush: Christmas

The holidays are a time for indulgence; usually, this comes in the form of bubbly drinks and scrumptious treats that — once consumed without an ounce of guilt — lay the foundation for those healthy-living new years’ resolutions. The ones that fall wayward in a month or two. Baking competition shows like ‘Sugar Rush: Christmas’ are such balms to the soul; easy-watching at its finest (and most delicious). It may even serve as inspiration for those plates of sugar cookies you’re leaving out for Santa come Christmas Eve.

If you’re in the mood for some learning…

The Holiday Movies That Made Us

A festive ancillary to Netflix’s ‘The Movies That Made Us’, ‘The Holiday Movies That Made Us’ delves deep into the stories; the people; the inspirations; the behind-the-scenes of two iconic Christmas movies. For season one, it’s ‘Elf’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. It’s full of incredible ‘did-you-know’ moments; in fact, we’ll start: Did you know the New York City shots in ‘Elf’ was filmed guerrilla-style? No actors, all real people with real perplexed faces when confronted with Will Ferrell in full elvish regalia.

If you’re with family…

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Perhaps the story of Christmas-time redemption, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ — based off of Dr. Seuss’s original — stars Jim Carrey as the titular character and introduces a baby-faced Taylor Momsen of Gossip Girl 1.0 fame as Cindy Lou Who. Justice for the Grinch, though, for this film should more accurately read: How the Grinch stole Christmas… and in the process showed a town-full of Whos what the holidays are really about. Not cheesy tunes or mountains of presents or over-the-top Christmas decorations shot out of cannons by a stunning Christine Baranski — but family, friends, kindness and seeing past differences.

If you need in the mood for some festive ambience…

Fireplace For Your Home

Sitting bundled-up and warm by a crackling yule-log fireplace is something out of pure Christmas-time fantasies; for most living in typical Hong Kong flats, it is fantasy. Turn television into a mantel-framed fireplace with Netflix’s ‘Fireplace For Your Home’ series; each episode an hour-long sustained close-up of log-crackling atmospheric warmth — no embers, clean-up or fire hazards to worry about. Choose between classic, birchwood or instalments set to festive holiday music.

Stream on Netflix Hong Kong.

8 Netflix Christmas picks for every kind of holiday mood

Retired Tumblr girl Joey has written her way through fashion trends, youth culture and luxury retail in New York and Hong Kong. Beyond internet adventures tracking down the perfect vintage find, you can probably catch her tufting rugs, swigging back Bloody Marys — her third, probably — and making fastidious spreadsheets about her Animal Crossing island.

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