Santa must’ve come early this year because Netflix already has a massive slate of Christmas-themed original shows and movies headed to the streaming service from now until the end of the year. Magical family films, sequels to movies that already exist in the Netflix holiday universe, and cheesy, predictable titles that put Netflix on par with Hallmark and Lifetime-here’s the holiday cheer Netflix is spreading this year.
In an oversaturated genre of extremely formulaic titles, a new Christmas movie is emerging that sounds like it’s in a league of its own. Like its name suggests, this stop-motion sci-fi/holiday crossover finds aliens attempting to steal Earth’s gravity to more easily take over the planet, and one little guy from outer space named X set on spreading the holiday spirit and stopping them.
A California Christmas
This one might be Netflix’s most Hallmark-like Christmas movies yet. It follows a wealthy player who disguises himself as a ranch hand to try to convince a farmer to sell his land before Christmas. Does he inevitably fall for the farmer’s daughter and learn the value of family and hard work? Truly hard to say!
Two years ago, a pair of meddling kids and Kurt Russell (as daddy Santa) saved Christmas in one of Netflix’s biggest holiday originals to date, The Christmas Chronicles. Well, they’ve got to save the holiday again-this time from a “mysterious, magical troublemaker named Belsnickel.”
If you wish more Christmas movies were like Die Hard instead of Love Actually, this might be the Netflix release for you. The German action comedy is about a regular man en route with his new lover to her hometown for Christmas who stumbles upon an attempted murder, and ends up in the crosshairs of the crime when the killer’s target escapes with him.
Based on Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s popular YA novel Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, this series follows two teens in NYC who are strangers to each other but decide to pass back and forth a notebook they confide in and call on the other to complete a series of dares in the city around Christmastime. It’s basically required viewing for people who won’t shut up about how magical it must be to be in New York for the holidays.
Good golly, Miss Dolly! The country star has another holiday special up her sleeves, this one a scripted movie starring Christine Baranski as a wealthy Scrooge-like lady who returns to her hometown after her father’s death, ready to sell much of the land over to a developer, until she (of course) has a change of heart. It wouldn’t be a Dolly movie without new Dolly tunes, so expect a killer soundtrack along with this one, too.
It’s never fun to be the one person at the holiday party without a date. So, to solve that conundrum, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey star in this rom-com as a pair of holiday haters who decide to go as each other’s dates for every holiday gathering over the next year. Do they inevitably fall for each other and end up together? Definitely hard to say!
If your mom thinks she has the best holiday decorations on the block, just wait until she gets some new tips from the self-described Mr. Christmas himself, interior designer Benjamin Bradley, who visits a handful of homes to get them holiday-ready in this HGTV-esque reality show.
The Holiday Movies That Made Us
Why watch holiday movies you’ve seen 100 times when you can watch a docuseries that talks about them instead? The Movies That Made Us anthology returns with a new special that delves into the significance of some of the most beloved Christmas movies.
This holiday movie is about an iconic toymaker (Forest Whitaker) who, with the help of his whip-smart granddaughter and their magical creations, must track down his apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key) after he steals one of his inventions. In the tradition of beloved holiday movies, this one is a musical and has a whole slate of new, original songs from the likes of John Legend, Usher, and others. (One performed by Keegan-Michael Key is particularly great).
Just Another Christmas
A Brazilian movie that’s basically Groundhog Day but on Christmas Eve, it follows a man who, after taking a tumble, wakes up one year later on Christmas Eve with no memory of the past year, and keeps waking up that same o, holy night until he forces himself to face his mistakes.
This holiday movie is inspired by the U.S. Air Force’s real-life program based in Guam where trainees airdrop supplies and gifts to neighboring islands. The flick, of course, has a cutesy love story in it between a congressional aide (Kat Graham) who visits the military base with plans to defund it and the pilot (Alexander Ludwig) who runs the program.
This miniseries from Germany stars one of the nation’s most popular comedians, Luke Mockridge, who plays a a down-on-his-luck dude who travels back home around the holidays, only to find out his brother is now dating his ex.
Available: Now The Princess Switch! Switched Again! Is there anything else to say?! Netflix Christmas movie queen Vanessa Hudgens is stepping back into both of her lookalike roles again-and taking on a third, party girl Fiona, who comes to the kingdom to shake things up.
If you think you’re stressed in the kitchen around the holidays, you haven’t felt the pressure of time quite like these bakers working against the clock on Sugar Rush. The competition series’ Christmas-themed iteration returns with another slate of episodes featuring all-new whimsical, wintery desserts.
Available: December 16
Hailing from South Africa, this Christmas series is about a woman who finally comes home for the holidays for the first time in years and manages to ruin her sister’s wedding in the process, trying to pick up the pieces before the big day arrives.
An Unremarkable Christmas
Available: December 17
Trying to be a good person as the year comes to an end, a man invites the boss at his accounting firm to spend Christmas with his family-only to find out he’s invited one of Colombia’s most notorious criminals into his home.
Available: December 18
The Norwegian rom-com series returns for another heartwarming holiday installment. Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.