The ever-changing world of Hollywood sees trends come and disappear in the blink of an eye, but there is one trend that has managed to stay relevant even after many decades -- Christmas-themed stories. At the end of every year, you can put your faith in Netflix to churn out the same cliched Christmas movies. All the sitcoms also always have holiday specials. And all the people during December religiously go on a holiday movie binge marathon.
All this leads to a vital question -- what actually makes these Christmas stories so popular?
Holiday stories are popular because they are easy to follow and are inherently romantic, filling people with warmth and a promise of happily ever after. Such stories are basically fairy tales for adults who seek to find escapism in an idolized world. In the holiday season, when people are resting and seeking comfort, they are not looking for complex or serious stories. They are simply looking for feel-good stories which make them feel happy. And perhaps this is why cheesy Christmas stories are so popular, not despite the cliches but because of it.
For a movie to be considered a Christmas movie, it is not enough to just set a movie with the backdrop as Christmas. Christmas classics are so beloved because they managed to connect their storylines with the festival in a meaningful way.
Dr. Seuss's famous story, How Grinch Stole the Christmas, makes its readers realize that Christmas is not about lavish decorations or gifts. The essence of the holiday lies in its ability to bring together communities and families for celebration.
In both Home Alone series, Kevin starts by hating his family, and by the end, he realizes the importance and value of his family as he wishes they were by his side during Christmas.
And Christmas movies are all about love, as shown in probably one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time -- Love Actually. It touches upon different kinds of love that exist and proves that at the end of the day love is essentially what connects all human beings.
And when I say I love cliches, these are the kinds of tropes I am talking about, which no doubt are unrealistic and cheesy, but ultimately, they make me feel warm and fuzzy. But these days, all we get are bland Christmas movies with little to no substance which reuse the same formulaic plot and simply seek to bank on nostalgia and people's fondness for their beloved holiday.
Here are some recommendations of some recent Christmas movies that manage to rekindle the spark of the old Christmas movies:
1) Kalus (2019) -- This is an animated movie that tells the story of an unlikely friendship that forms between a postmaster and a toymaker which ends up bringing laughter and joy to a dark town.
2) Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) -- This is a musical/film which is again about a toymaker who loses his most precious possession to his trusted assistant, and his granddaughter sets out on a journey to get it back.
3) The Christmas Chronicles (2018) -- This film is about two siblings, Kate and Teddy, who come up with a plan on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus.
4) Happiest Season (2020) -- This film centers around two lovers, Harper and Abby. Abby plans to propose to Harper in front of her family during Christmas only to find out that Harper hadn't come out to her family yet.
is a young writer from India who is currently pursuing Mass Media. Apart from reading and writing, she spends most of her time daydreaming and listening to music. You can find her on Instagram at @aastha.1703.