‘Tis the season to sit around in your pants eating junk food and binge-watching shows on Netflix in the comfort of your bedroom.
Okay, so admittedly we do that pretty much all year round, but with the weather outside so frightful at this time of year, there’s really no excuse not to crank up the heating and marathon some shows on everyone’s favourite streaming service.
Especially since there’s a fair few holiday specials and Christmas movies coming to Netflix this month in order to get us all properly hyped for the big day on December 25.
Here’s seven of the best for you to check out while you wait for Santa to arrive:
A Very Murray Christmas
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Bill freakin’ Murray has his own Christmas special! The star-studded feature-length show is a Netflix original which follows the actor as he attempts to assemble a holiday variety show at the Carlyle Hotel in the midst of a grim winter storm, which he fears will make it a disaster.
The special features guest appearances from Miley Cyrus, Michael Cera, George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Rudolph, Rashida Jones and a whole heap of others. Although the star of the show will almost certainly be that renowned Bill Murray dry wit.
Billy Bob Thornton stars as a miserable alcohol-fuelled conman who poses as a mall Santa and teams up with his partner-in-crime elf to rob department stores during the holiday season. Naturally, his dastardly plan all goes to shit when he befriends a young lad who makes him see the errors of his ways after years of drug abuse and robberies.
It’s sort of like a drug and sex-fuelled version of Miracle on 34th Street – it’s not exactly a traditional Christmas movie but if you love rude and uproariously funny dark comedies, then this one is definitely for you.
Richard Curtis’ Christmas-set romantic comedy is back on Netflix from the start of the month. Yes, it’s cheesy as fuck but it’s a great way to get yourself into the holiday mood. Featuring pretty much every British actor and actress under the sun, in ten sort-of interconnecting stories, this one is about as uplifting as it gets.
Billy Nighy is absolutely hilarious as jaded rockstar Billy Mack, while the rest of the movie made us all envious of big romantic gestures, made every young lad want to move to America, and made us all wish that Hugh Grant was our actual Prime Minister rather than the absolute plank we have to put up with. Plus, that powerful scene with Emma Thompson is worth the £5.99 monthly fee alone.
The Legend of Frosty the Snowman
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a talking snowman. This one may not have any scenes of flying or a soundtrack sung by Aled Jones, but it does feature magic and a happy ending. The feature-length adventure sees good old Frosty blow through the quiet town of Evergreen and finds that magic, silliness, and nonsense of all kinds are strictly against the rules, something he’s eager to change.
One of your standard heart-warming family films and, quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that in our book!
An old school Xmas classic from 1954 – sure, we’ve all heard the movie’s titular song by star Bing Crosby, but have you actually checked out the movie itself? Two soldiers-turned-singers and best friends fall for two sisters and join them to perform a Christmas show in Vermont.
While they’re there they bump into their former World War II commander and, with him facing financial difficulties and on the verge of losing his country inn, the mates and their song-and-dance troupe vow to save the hotel. A joy-filled musical which you’ll enjoy, as long as you don’t think about how Bing Crosby used to (allegedly) batter his kids…
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s twisted Halloween-meets-Christmas feature is back on the on-demand streaming service from Christmas Eve. It’s one of the most unique takes on Xmas ever – a stop-motion animated feature, part dark fantasy, part musical, focusing on the story of a talking skeleton from Halloweentown who discovers a secret portal to Christmastown. And it turns out he’s quite taken by the whole Yuletide thing!
Full of originality, this is still one of the best Xmas films more than 20 years after its release and Jack Skellington still stands up as a holiday hero for the modern generation.
Black Mirror: White Christmas
It’s the only new release on Netflix on Christmas Day itself and, quite frankly, who wouldn’t want to curl up with the family in front of the fire and watch this creepy Black Mirror special from 2014? The 90-minute festive special of Charlie Brooker’s acclaimed dark satire really isn’t all that festive, but it is brilliant, with three mini-stories featuring the likes of Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall.
The Xmas tale takes a look at the growing influence of technology in our lives and it’s pretty dark, with people being sold into the gaming industry and relatives able to block one another in real-life, not just on social media. Probably not a great one to get you into the Christmas spirit but, after the booze has been flowing all day and the family have fallen out over Christmas dinner, it’ll probably be the perfect accompaniment to your evening.