The 5 Best Non-Holiday Movies to Watch This Holiday Season

Can I tell you a secret?

In corporate courtyards across the country, white lights are strewn all over trees with no leaves,  window stores are decorated in unique but somehow predictable ways and, of course, everyone's walking around with those red (very secular) Starbucks cups.

None of that is a secret, of course.

But do you know what might be?  It's supposed to be 'the most won-der-ful time....of the yeeeaaaar," but truth be told...

{cue whisper voice}

--for some of us, the holidays are the most dif-i-cult time....of the yeeeeeeaaaaaar.

Without a doubt, there are genuinely special parts of this season.  This time of year holds the potential for deeper connections, conversations with old-time friends and family that you don't get the luxury of enjoying as often as you might like, budding and classic family traditions, cultivating gratitude, sleeping in, tasty leftovers enjoyed at random points during the day...

That's all nice, for sure.

What's not so nice is the less-advertised but common knowledge flip-side to the holidays.

It's only natural to be stressed by truly difficult family members, being asked whether you're dating someone 6 times in one evening, expensive travel, the body and food issues that commonly arise, hosting duties, lack of alone time, getting denied time off work and perhaps most significantly, the fact that so many people encounter seasonal affective disorder or the winter blues and just don't feel like themselves.

It's safe to say that everyone has moments during the winter when they don't want to go anywhere, talk to anyone, or do anything besides cozy up on the couch and watch a movie.

During these natural anti-social holiday moments, watching Miracle on 34th St. might have you reaching for a little too much of auntie's special eggnog.  Not a good call.

You want something else in those moments, something gloriously unrelated to holiday magic, you want...

1.  Gladiator  Four words, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!!!"  Without a single strand of tinsel to be found in the entire two hours and fifty-one minutes of this historical action/drama, you can be sure your answer will be a resounding yes.

gladiator movie

2.  Amelie  This touching film is so sweet, but not in a cheesy way.  It's a feel-good movie about a strange, deeply introverted girl.  Highly relatable for me some of us.

amelie movie

3.  Legally Blonde  "Bend, and snap!" Vapid superficiality at its best.  Go ahead and turn your brain off while you enjoy the unexpected comic genius of the lovely Reese Witherspoon.

legally blonde

4.  Love Actually  Sneaking this in because the Billy Mack character is subversive enough to tip the scales and make this the perfect anti-holiday holiday movie--plus, how can you resist the little kid with the British accent who's painfully in love!?

love actually

5.  Coming to America Classic. Perfection.


Holiday stress solved! (For at least an hour or two, anyway.)