Skip it or stream it: Holiday edition


Graphic by Maliah White

In this skip it or stream it, staff writer Abby Sink shares which holiday movies she would skip and which ones she would stream.

Abby Sink, Staff Writer

In my family, I’m the one who starts celebrating the holiday season as soon as November 1st hits. There’s something so magical about this time of year. The spirit that seems to exist within everyone is so cheerfully bright. 

Being as this is the most wonderful time of the year, there are quite a few films to fill up your holiday movie marathon roster. I’m not claiming to be an expert on holiday movies, but I have watched way too many Christmas movies over the years. Without further ado, throw on your cozy sleep pants, fuzzy socks and grab a cup of hot cocoa because it’s time to check out these ho-ho-holiday favorites.

White Christmas

Available for streaming on Netflix.

Verdict: Stream It

“White Christmas” is my all-time favorite Christmas movie. I grew up watching this film every year with my mother and now it is a yearly tradition that we must watch it together on Christmas Eve. White Christmas follows the story of Judy, Betty, Bob and Phil on a trip to Vermont to revamp the business of Thomas, an old General of Phil and Bob’s from the Army in World War II. 

This movie feels like you’re sitting beside a fire with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand. While its age shows in some moments, there’s a certain charm and warmth to this movie that is timeless. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it. It’s a movie I sometimes find myself indulging in all the way through February.


Happiest Season

Available for streaming on Hulu.

Verdict: Skip It

I wanted to love “Happiest Season.”  As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, we need more queer representation in mainstream media, but this movie is not it. The movie follows a woman named Abby going home with her partner Harper for the holiday season with the intention of proposing on Christmas. The catch? Harper has lied to her long-term partner about being out to her family in order to get her to Christmas. Harper’s entire family welcomes Abby as her roommate and best friend into their home for the holidays without having any clue that their daughter is gay let alone about to be engaged to a woman.

This movie plays into so many harmful stereotypes about queer relationships, and it’s honestly infuriating to watch. I want good representation to be out there and not whatever this is. The movie almost demonizes Abby for wanting her own girlfriend to be honest about their relationship and seems to punish her when she doesn’t want to be some dirty little secret. It’s honestly heartbreaking. 

Want a better queer movie option for the holidays? Check out “Every Time a Bell Rings” premiering on Hallmark this holiday season.


The Holiday

Available for streaming on Netflix.

Verdict: Stream It

“The Holiday” is a film I hadn’t discovered until a few years ago, but quickly became a favorite of mine. The movie follows two women from very different backgrounds swapping homes for the holiday season to mend their own broken hearts and how their lives change for the better because of it. This movie is so cheesy but features the many types of relationships we all have in our lives that make the holiday season special. 

The main cast of this movie is star-studded, featuring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black. You can’t have a flop on your hands if Jack Black is involved. 

Call it cheesy if you must, but this movie feels like a warm hug to me, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you need a smile.


Four Christmases

Available for streaming on HBO Max.

Verdict: Skip It

While charming in the mid-2000s when it was made, this movie doesn’t age well. Kate, played by Reese Witherspoon, and Brad, played by Vince Vaughn, attempt to navigate four celebrations with both of their divorced families. While the cast of the film in and of itself is charismatic, such as Kristen Chenowith as Courtney and Jon Favreau as Denver, the quality of its 2008 production shows. I used to love this movie as a kid, but its homophobic and misogynistic undertones really show the older I get.
Maybe it’s just me, but making fun of a girl for not being conventionally skinny and having friends on the LGBTQ+ spectrum was never funny and never will be. Nor will Brad, Vaughn’s character, showboating and making the entirety of the world about him and his feelings ever be charming. The warm, fuzzy feelings you are meant to feel during holiday films were not present and were instead replaced with frustration and, admittedly, boredom.


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Verdict: Stream It

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” follows the Griswald family as they welcome extended family into their home for the holiday. The goal is to have the perfect family Christmas, which doesn’t go to plan. With kidnappings, fires and illegal tree choppings galore, this movie is a mess but a classic mess nonetheless. If you can get past some of the 1980s objectification of women, you’re in for a fun ride. 

This movie is a classic in my home and my dad’s personal favorite Christmas movie. So much so, I can recall at least three past Christmases his gifts from family were related to this film. It’ll be four this holiday season as I bring him home a mug version of Cousin Eddie’s RV so that he can enjoy his eggnog in style while we watch the film together. 

There’s a reason this movie is a classic, and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend you check it out. 


Polar Express

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Verdict: Skip It

Okay, I know this is controversial. “Polar Express” is a beloved classic that is enchanting, charming and magical. I can appreciate it for what it is and what it did for the holiday movie scene. The hot chocolate scene lives rent free in my head and will continue to do so every time I take a drink of hot cocoa. The settings are gorgeous, and Tom Hanks is an incredible actor. 


I don’t know. I think I might be burnt out? I see it all over the place, we watched it every year for almost every class growing up and it’s just everywhere in my home. It’s the same feeling you get when you hear the same song over and over and over again. It just doesn’t feel the same after a while. It loses its sparkle. Heartbreaking as it is, my final verdict is skip it. 


Jack Frost

Available on Tubi.

Verdict: Stream It

“Jack Frost” is my personal favorite of the Rankin/Bass animated features produced for the winter. When I was a little girl, I watched this religiously. The movie focuses on Jack Frost, a winter sprite, who falls in love with a human girl. After she proclaims her love for him, he begs Father Winter to let him become human to be with her. Father Winter allows him to go under the condition that he must have a house, a horse, a bag of gold and a wife by the time spring rolls around. In the end, he must choose between what his heart desires and what is right.

Look, the movie is cute, it’s short and you can’t lose with Rankin/Bass. Not to mention, it features the takedown of an evil king, which is always fun. I highly recommend you try catching it on TV this holiday season wherever you can, or really, any of the Rankin/Bass animations.