Depending on how you roll during the holiday season, the day after Thanksgiving may usher in moments to be filled with merry and bright.
But, after you’ve checked off the classics like “Home Alone,” “White Christmas,” and the claymation “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” what is there left to watch? You’ve got 24+ days to fill with cheer.
Below are 10 lesser-known Christmas classics that may not have been added to your holiday movie rotation yet:
10. “Unlikely Angel” (1996)
Dolly Parton is one of my favorite Christmas staples! In this heartwarming classic, she falls from the sky to help heal a wounded family and spark holiday romance. She does this all while toting a guitar and struggling with her new found role as an angel.
9. “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947)
This movie was the original to one of my favorite Christmas movies that you probably have heard of “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996) starring Whitney Houston.
In the original version from the 40’s, the dreamy Cary Grant plays the role of Dudley — later taken on by Denzel Washington 😍 — the angel sent to answer the prayers of a struggling bishop.
Curl up by the fire — tv or real — , grab a snack and enjoy.
8. “A Diva’s Christmas Carol” (2000)
Most of us when we think of Vanessa Williams and Christmastime we think of music, but prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
“A Diva’s Christmas Carol” takes a fun spin on the classic “A Christmas Carol” with a dash of VH1’s “Behind the Music” and a cameo from TLC’s ‘Chilli.’
Ah, the 90’s music vibes!!!
7. “The Christmas Box” (1995)
In this t.v. holiday classic, a family moves in with an elderly woman (Maureen O’Hara) and their lives are forever changed. There’s a little bit of magic in this house alongside some tears. Get out the tissues.
Side Note: They made a prequel the following year called “The Timepiece” (1996) with James Earl Jones.
6. “To Grandmother’s House We Go” (1992)
Oh, the Olsen Twins.
Check out the super sweet, super cheesy adventure chock-full of “Full House” cameos. Mary-Kate and Ashley try to give their single mom a break for Christmas and go to their great-grandma’s house all by themselves.
5. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas” (2014)
This is a holiday-themed movie-length episode from a great Hallmark tv series called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” — if you haven’t seen the show before I highly recommend it.
The cast of main characters work for the dead letter department of the post office. Each episode chronicles their adventures as they try to solve the mystery of who from and where to these undeliverable packages and letters go.
This Christmas episode helps answer two different little girls’ Christmas letters — one addressed to Santa and the other addressed to God.
Can you feel the warm fuzzies already? Just trust me and watch it.
4. “All I Want for Christmas” (1991)
This cute flick features the young Thora Birch and Ethan Embry — aka Ethan Randall — as well as Leslie Nielson, Lauren Bacall and Kevin Nealon.
Thora Birch’s character asks Santa (Leslie Nielson) to reunite her parents for Christmas and holiday hijinks ensue.
So cute and funny!
3. “Christmas in Connecticut” (1945 and 1992)
The remake (1992) and the original (1945) are tied for third on this list. I can’t choose!
This famous homemaker is a fraud and tries not to lose her job by accumulating a home and a fake family for Christmas. And well… it gets complicated — especially when a dreamy stranger enters the picture.
Watch them both. You won’t be disappointed!
2. “It Happened on 5th Avenue” (1947)
I LOVE this movie. It’s a black and white oldie, but a goodie set in 1940’s NYC.
Homeless man, Aloysius T. McKeever, habitually squats in mansions all year long while the unassuming weathly owners are out of town. This Christmas while squatting in real estate tycoon Michael J. O’Conner’s home, McKeever collects a temporary family of new friends to fill the home who also have no place to go.
Unbeknownst to the other squatters, the mansion’s real owner O’Connor, his daughter and ex-wife also pretend to be homeless and find themselves building relationships with all these loving down-and-outers.
1. “A Smokey Mountain Christmas” (1986)
This film is how I personally transition from fall to Christmas time. It’s like my own personal Santa in the Macy’s Day Parade. Slap on some tube cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven — Annie’s Organic if you’re wondering — and call it a day-after-Thanksgiving-morning!
My country music-loving friend in college introduced me to this and my holiday film watching has never been the same.
Dolly Parton — yes she’s on this list twice and if you’ve never seen “Christmas of Many Colors” you should watch that too — is a Christmas movie triple threat. But, this movie in particular is my favorite Christmas movie of all.
She plays country singer, Lorna Davis, who — while looking to escape the spotlight for awhile — has a run in with the gaggle of orphans who were squatting in her friend’s cabin in the Smokeys.
Dolly, adorable orphans, a witch, a mountain man and a skeezy sherif. What more could you want?
Other great films that are worth mentioning that you may or may not have heard of are:
- “Holiday Affair” (1949) – Ugh, just watch it.
- “Eloise at Christmastime” (2003) – Super cute movie with Julie Andrews.
- “Call Me Claus” (2001) – “A Christmas Carol” remake with Whoopi Goldberg.
- “Mrs. Santa Claus” (1996) – Starring Angela Landsbury as Mrs. Claus.
Happy holiday watching!
What’s your favorite lesser-known Christmas classic? Comment below.