14 Holiday Movies To Watch If You Don't Celebrate Christmas

by Danielle Burgos

The so-called "Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" can feel more like the Most Irritating or Lonely Time Of Year if you don't happen to celebrate Christmas. While the rest of the world is stringing lights, wrapping presents to put under the tree, and singing "Here Comes Santa Claus," you're stuck with a few token nods, if any acknowledgement at all. Well, if you can't beat 'em, the next best thing is to join 'em on your own terms. These holiday movies to watch if you don't celebrate Christmas are just the thing to relax with near an open fire, that won't shove candy canes and Yule cheer in your face.

Even if you do celebrate Christmas, the season can be absolutely overbearing — there's no escape from it, especially when it comes to entertainment. Nonstop Christmas songs on the radio, new movies coming out about the spirit of Xmas every year — it'd be enough to drive even the staunchest of Santa stans absolutely bananas. Whatever the reason, 'tis the season to turn your back on the near-monotheistic grip Christmas has on December, and check out some films that have very little to do with the spirt of Christmas, Santa, elves, or reindeer (though there are some mice). What they do include? Family squabbles, fistfights, Hanukkah miracles, monsters, murders, and plenty of cold, cold, snow. So grab a cup of hot cocoa and settle in with these non-holiday films.


'Groundhog's Day'

A winter gem that hits all the classic themes of Change, Redemption, and Caring, while giving an underrated minor holiday some love for a change.

Click here to stream.



For those who feel like the Grinch during holiday season, this tale of Christmas terror will have you cackling with glee at traditions turned topsy-turvy, as little monsters run amok.

Click here to stream.


'A Rugrats Chanukah'

Perpetual also-ran in the "holiday" season, Chanukah gets a proper and delightful holiday special all to itself courtesy of the Rugrats crew, who star in the story of Judah and the Maccabees.

Click here to stream.


'Pee Wee's Playhouse Holiday Special'

Chanukah also gets a fair shake in Pee-Wee's holiday special, featuring singalongs, a candle-lighting ceremony, and so many special appearances you'll think the real holiday was Night Of A Thousand LGBT Icons.

Click here to buy.


'Who Killed Santa Claus?'

Though the title implies Santa Haters Welcome, this story of a small French village solving the death of a beloved townsman who always plays Pere Noël is more murdery-mystery drama than Christmas Cursing.

Click here to buy.


'The Shining'

This macabre masterpiece will make sure no one's dreaming of a white Christmas, as the Torrance family deals with an evil hotel slowly driving dad Jack insane.

Click here to stream.


'The Lion In Winter'

If you think your family's difficult to deal with over the holidays, wait until you get a load of King Henry II's backstabbing, power-grabbing brood, and that's before his estranged wife shows up to hang with her husband and his new mistress.

Click here to stream.


'Dr. Zhivago'

This epic romance during the tumult of the Russian Revolution is so all-encompassing it'll even block out the endless Christmas jingles on TV. Drama, love, betrayal, all set against the frigid backdrop of a Russian winter.

Click here to stream.


'Edward Scissorhands'

Tim Burton's gothic romance dips towards the holidays, but is really a fairy tale explaining how a love that couldn't be explains why it snows.

Click here to stream.


'Trading Places'

A grubby, drunken Santa and taking down some Wall Street bullies — A Christmas Story this ain't. The extremely un-PC tale of two men who walk a mile in each others' shoes before teaming up for sweet revenge is a perfect cynical heartwarmer, especially in these politically trying times.

Click here to stream.


'An American Tail'

The story of one family's fresh hope for a new life hits all the usual holiday themes without a hint of commercial cynicism. Just try not tearing up when Feivel and his mom sing "Somewhere Out There."

Click here to stream.


'Fiddler On The Roof'

Simultaneously celebrating and breaking free of "tradition", this celebration of Judaism, family, and accepting change is the antidote to all that tinsel.

Click here to stream.


'Blast Of Silence'

This steely noir may take place over the holidays, but it's as far away from Christmas cheer as you can get. Lots of people claim Die Hard is their favorite holiday movie — this year, top 'em with this stunning thriller.

Click here to buy.


'A Serious Man'

The story of Job transposed to modern day, A Serious Man works any time of year, but takes on a special charm when you're feeling like an outsider in your own world.

Click here to stream.

Hopefully these non-Christmas films will have you feeling a little holly-jollier about having to deal with everyone else's merriment, or at least give you a break from all the holiday hype.