December cozy movie calendar

Need some winter movie ideas?


Design by Mya Cummins

Mya Cummins, Staffer

It’s December, which means the temperature is dropping and it’s getting darker outside. It’s the perfect opportunity to fix yourself a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle up in a warm blanket and turn on the TV. But what to watch? Well, here’s a whole calendar of winter movies that are guaranteed to put you in a festive spirit. 

I’d like to note that a lot of the movies here are centered around Christmas. Unfortunately, the film industry doesn’t equally represent all winter holidays, thus making it difficult to find a more diverse set of movies. However, no matter what you celebrate, these movies are entertaining and great for a gloomy winter day. 

1st: Ice Age

We’re starting the month off strong with a crowd favorite, Ice Age. This movie takes place around 2.5 million years ago during the Paleolithic ice age, when animals began traveling south to escape rising temperatures. However, an unlikely trio stumbles upon a baby and heads in the opposite direction, in hopes of reuniting the child with fellow humans. This movie is great for family night.

2nd: Frozen

Frozen is a wholesome Disney princess movie about two sisters, one just trying to find true love and the other trying not to destroy the kingdom with her magic ice powers. It’s a relatively popular movie and if you’ve managed to get this far in life without watching or hearing the song “Let It Go”, I’m surprised. Olaf, a talking snowman, is guaranteed to make you laugh and the soundtrack is pretty catchy.

3rd: Blades of Glory

Jimmy MacElroy, played by Will Ferrell, and Jon Heder Chazz Michael Michaels, played by Jon Heder, are enemy ice skaters who tied for gold at the World Olympics However, both were stripped of their medals after showing poor sportsmanship. Four years later, the enemies pair up to compete as the fist male duo team in the Winter Olympics. 

4th: Eurovision

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star as two musicians whose dream is to win Eurovision, an international singing competition hosted by Europe.  After a series of unfortunate events, the team is set to perform at Eurovision representing Iceland. If you like rooting for the underdog, this movie is for you. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play the roles amazingly and will have you tearing up from either laughter or great emotion by the end of the movie.

5th: Die Hard

This action-packed thriller stars John McClane as Bruce Willis, a New York City Police officer. German terrorists seize multiple hostages during a Christmas party at Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. Willis’ estranged wife, who he was visiting, is one of the hostages. When the terrorists show they have no mercy, Willis decides it’s up to him to save them all. 

6th: Knives Out

Knives Out is a satire of the murder mystery genre.  Marta Cabrera is the caretaker for Harlan Thrombey, an extremely wealthy man with an eccentric family.  After Thrombey’s strange death, the police come poking around. There’s plenty of twist, turns, family fights and suspense. Even the most experienced of mystery readers won’t see what’s coming next. 

7th: Eight Below

Three scientists exploring Antarctica get into a bad accident, forcing them to leave  behind their sled dogs  in order to fly back and seek medical attention. The dogs have to fight to survive during a winter storm while their owners try to locate them. This is such a heartwarming movie and a great one to watch with a younger audience. 

8th: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

After getting sent to the English countryside to escape city bombings during the second world war, four siblings stumble across an old wardrobe that transports them to another land. The siblings quickly learn  an evil has begun to take over and that they must fulfill a prophecy in order to save Narnia.

9th: Frosty the Snowman 

Frosty the Snowman was included in the movie calendar for nostalgic reasons. I think this was a movie that most everyone watched when they were younger, no matter what holiday you celebrated. Besides, can you really get past a season of winter without at least humming the song? Fun fact, the lyric,  “I’ll be back on Christmas Day,” was just, “I’ll be back again someday,” in the original movie. 

10th: Snow Day

Snow Day follows two different storylines, both centered around the same family. The first storyline follows Natalie Brandston and her friends as they try to stop the snow blowing machine from making its way through town, in hopes of having more snow days. The second storyline follows Hal Brandston, who spends the day trying to win over his crush, with the ideology that “anything can happen on a snow day”. This is a great 2000’s movie and since this year there probably won’t be any snow days (for obvious NTI reasons), this movie is a good way to remember how exciting it was to not be in school.

11th: Jack Frost

This 1979 stop motion is another classic, nostalgic wintertime movie. The story follows Jack Frost as he becomes human, so he can be with Elisa, the girl he has fallen in love with. However, Jack has to go against Sir Ravenal, Elisa’s childhood sweetheart. 

12th: Elf

Will Ferrell must like holiday movies, because he’s starring again, this time playing Buddy the elf. Buddy, a human the grew up among elves in the North Pole, leaves to find his biological father in New York City. To say the least, Buddy is a bit misunderstood and has trouble connecting with his father. However, with some Christmas spirit and maple syrup, anything is possible.

13th: A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge, a cranky, greedy old man, is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. This Disney movie is adapted from the original Charles Dickens’s book and teaches a very valuable lesson that just might change your perception of the holidays.

14th: Love Actually

Yes, I had to include a cute Hallmark Christmas movie in here. Love Actually follows multiple different love stories around the holidays, all intertwined with one another. Each story is unique, heartwarming and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  

15th: Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas!

Good luck Charlie, It’s Christmas! is a movie that’s connected to the Disney TV show, but you can watch and understand everything without having ever watched the show before. The movie follows two different storylines, both centered around the Duncan family. Teddy and her mother find themselves giving up their plane seats and have to find another way to their grandparent house, while the rest of the family goes on ahead. In the second storyline, Gabe Duncan believes spending time with his grandfather will be extremely boring, however, after they bond over video games, he finds himself having an extremely action-packed break. 

16th: Home Alone

After being left behind by his family, Kevin McCallister, finds himself enjoying the house to himself for Christmas. However, Kevin soon realizes that there are robbers trying to break into his house, Kevin decides that the most reasonable way to deal with this issue is to booby trap his house. This movie is funny and entering, it’s a good movie to watch around Christmas but it’s not supper centered around the whole Christmas spirit like other holiday movies are.

17th: Home Alone: Lost in New York

 Home Alone: Lost in New York is a sequel to Home Alone. This time, instead of being left at the house by his family, Kevin accidentally boards a different flight, one that is headed to New York. While exploring New York, Kevin runs into the robbers that that attempted to rob his house in the first movie and has to find a way to out-think them once again. While both the movies are good, I personally think the second one is better.

18th: Christmas with the Kranks

 Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star as a married couple who’re home alone for the holidays. The couple agrees that since they’re daughter won’t be home, they should just skip Christmas altogether and go on a Caribbean cruise. However, their small town doesn’t exactly like the idea of them skipping Christmas.

19th: The Polar Express

A young boy finds himself on a train with many other kids heading to the North Pole to see Santa. The boy is able to make friends and rekindle his Christmas spirit. If you can look past the creepy animation, The Polar Express is a heartwarming Christmas story-not to mention that the hot chocolate dance number is unforgettable.

20th: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This is my absolute favorite Christmas movie. It’s hilarious and Jim Carry does a great job of embodying the Grinch’s personality in this live action rendition. It’s much more theatrical and humorous than the original cartoon version.

21st: It’s A Wonderful Life

George Baylie, played by James Stewart, finds himself in debt and on the verge of being sent to jail. George reflects back on all his hopes and dreams and realizes that he was never living the life he wanted to live. While George is losing all hope, an angel comes down to show him what life for the people around him would have been like if he was never around. 

22nd: The Santa Clause

After Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen, accidentally kills Santa, he realizes that he has become the new one. With his son’s help, Scott has to figure out how  to become Santa before the next Christmas Eve. It should be noted that this movie is part of a larger series, so if you find yourself really liking it, you might want to go check out the rest of The Santa Clause Christmas movies.

23rd: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswold wants to have the perfect Christmas. However, things keep getting in the way, such as the tree being too big and uninvited relatives showing up. Clark is determined to make the most of Christmas and not even a small bonus check will get in his way. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a sequel to the National Lampoon’s Family Vacation, both of which are great family comedies.

24th: Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown and his friends celebrate Christmas together through ice skating, dancing and picking out a Christmas tree. I thought that this would be a great movie to watch on Christmas Eve.

25th: A Christmas Story

 I choose to put A Christmas Story on the 25th because my family always watches it Christmas morning after opening presents. I think that this is a wholesome story about a kid who just wants a BB gun for Christmas and honestly perfectly embodies the holiday season as a kid. 

26th: Miracle

Miracle is a great movie to come off of that Christmas movie high. Herb Brooks, played by Kurt Russell, is hired to coach the U.S men’s hockey team. Even though odds are against the U.S., Brooks and the team work hard to try to win gold. 

27th: Bird Box

A strange force invades the world, one where if you see it, you’ll try to kill yourself. Malorie Hayes, played by Sandra Bullock, finds herself holed up in a house with complete strangers. Together, they have to learn how to survive without seeing the strange forces.

28th: Winter Bones

Ree Dolly, played by Jennifer Lawrence, goes looking for her criminal father in hopes of convincing him to show up to court so her family doesn’t lose their house.  Even after multiple warnings, Ree continues looking for him and finds herself mixed up in some dangerous business.

29th: Fargo

Fargo is based off a true story, which I think is what makes it so creepy. Jerry Lundegaard hires two guys to kidnap his wife and demand ransom from his wife’s father. The plan was for the kidnappers and the husband to split the money, but things go terribly wrong. 

30th: I, Tonya

This is a true story about figure skater Tonya Hardon. It primarily focuses on her rivalry with fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan. This movie is full of drama, uplifting moments and follows one of the most sensational sports scandals. 

31st: Groundhog Day

 While Groundhog Day is not in December,  I think it’s a staple in any winter movie list. Phil, played by Bill Murray, is a weather reporter for his local news station. When he goes to film a story on Groundhog Day, Phil suddenly finds himself living the same day over and over again. Phil spends most of the day trying to get his co-worker, Rita, to fall in love with him, while also trying to figure out how to break the cycle.