The holidays are right around the corner, and that means curling up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa, your loved ones, and those holiday movies and television shows that make the season feel magical. Sure, you’ve got presents, tinsel, and enough cookies to send you into a comfortable sugar coma, but there’s just something about those holiday classics that really put you in the merry mood. Is it even Christmas until you’ve seen John McClain stop Hans Gruber or you’ve cried while watching George Bailey realize that life would suck without him? I think not.
Luckily, Amazon Fire TV is here for all of your streaming needs. Whether you’ve seen these movies a dozen times or you’re discovering a new family favorite, Fire TV has virtually all the shows and movies you need — thanks to apps like Netflix, Hulu, SHOWTIME, and HBO — to ensure that no stone is left unturned in your pursuit of holiday entertainment. And if you’re looking for a few outside of the box options that are slightly off the typical Christmassy path, these movies and TV shows are a good place to start.
The Holiday — Available On Amazon Video
Everyone thinks about Love, Actually as the ultimate Christmas romcom, and while it is indeed wonderful, everyone should also add the criminally slept on The Holiday to their list as well. It’s the ultimate form of wish fulfillment — finding love, life, and a new purpose when you take a trip overseas — and is the perfect movie for a cozy night in with your sweetie. If the awkward friends-to-lovers dance between Kate Winslet and Jack Black doesn’t win you over, you just might be a Grinch.
The Nightmare Before Christmas — Netflix
There is a significant amount of debate as to whether or not The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, but perhaps the best answer is “both.” The tale of Jack Skellington finding his true place in the midst of the holiday hubbub is a spooky, spritely favorite for a reason, with clever animation and songs that will be stuck in your head for days (but in a good way). If you’re looking for a movie to mix up the usual slate of feel-good flicks, here’s your spooky chance.
Bob’s Burgers, “Christmas In The Car” — Hulu
If you’re looking for an underappreciated gem to enjoy during your holiday downtime, Bob’s Burgers is one of your best bets. A gently funny (but still sharp) animated comedy about one working-class family’s attempts to keep their burger place afloat in a town full of weirdos, Bob’s Burgers is always best when they have to unite for a common cause. In this particular Christmas episode, a car accident and a Santa trap bring the Belchers together to save Christmas, proving that it doesn’t matter where you are, it’s who you’re with that make the holidays great.
Batman Returns — Available On Amazon Video
You know what Christmas doesn’t have nearly enough of? Batman. It’s the holiday season in Gotham when Michael Keaton’s Batman has to face off against The Penguin, and while there is more crime than Christmas, that certainly doesn’t disqualify it from the ranks of surprising holiday favorites. While it may ignite a particularly lively debate over who is the best Batman, Batman Returns will also provide a hefty dose of action to your Christmas lineup.
Trading Places — Netflix
A homeless scam artist gets plucked from prison and given a sweet life while a pair of evil millionaires tortures an upper-crust colleague for sport and pocket change. It’s not the Christmasiest of all movies but there’s a dirty drunken Santa Claus with a bag full of drugs and the Scrooge/Grinch types get their comeuppance while their victims get to look good and feel good in the tropics — a Christmas miracle if ever there was one.
Die Hard 2 — Available On Amazon Video
Speaking of action… Listen, Die Hard is awesome. There is no disputing this. However, it would be a shame to forget Die Hard 2 in the shuffle. It’s the rare sequel that manages to be as fun as its predecessor, and Bruce Willis still has all the best real world tough guy bravado of John McClain. You can’t help but wish the guy could just once have a nice, quiet Christmas with his wife, but at the same time, no one is better than kicking butt and taking names. Christmas movies tend to be a little bit on the quieter side, so if you need some action to shake things up, Die Hard 2 should be your go-to zig when everyone else is expecting the original Die Hard zag.
Friends, “The One With The Holiday Armadillo” — Netflix
Sitcoms are known for their theme episodes, but few shows skewered the stress around the holidays quite as well as Friends. While their Thanksgiving episodes may be the most famous, their takes on Christmas and Hanukah shouldn’t be ignored either. Perhaps the best of the bunch was the seventh season “The One With The Holiday Armadillo,” in which a frantic Ross (was there any other kind?) tries to make Hanukah sound as cool as Santa to his young son Ben. Costumes go awry, family bonding ensues, and everyone finds out that Monica kind of has a thing for Santa Claus.
Iron Man 3 — Available On Amazon Video
It wouldn’t be a Christmas list without a Shane Black movie. While Iron Man 3 is largely about the aftermath of The Avengers, we also get a glimpse of how Christmas is celebrated at Stark Mansion, and, side note: it’s pretty awesome. While Marvel continues to raise the stakes and thrill audiences, it can be good to recall a comic book movie that comparatively seems intimate. Especially around the holidays. Sure, the stakes may be lower in Iron Man 3, but the emotional payoff is even better.
As you start planning your holiday festivities — it’s never too early! — you can’t go wrong with some of these unconventional options that you can find on your Amazon Fire TV. You may even start a new holiday tradition!