Most Christmas classics follow a formula. There's winter in the air, crazy and enthusiastic relatives and/or neighbors, a grinch who doesn't believe in the power of Christmas, maybe even a grumpy old man who has lost faith in the goodness of people — you get the picture. Another major part of that Christmas movie formula is, unfortunately, a majority white cast. If we believed the movies, then people of color would never celebrate Christmas. But, if you're looking to get away from the monotony of that facet of holiday classics, these
17 Christmas movies that aren't about white people will do the trick. Sure, some of them still follow the same Xmas plot formula, but that just goes to show you that holiday clichés are universal.
Regardless of the cast's ethnicity, Christmas movies are about finding joy with others, and it's safe to say that all of these movies check that box. They just check it while also providing proof of a more diverse world than, shall we say, what's white as snow. To be fair to the genre, modern Christmas movies are now more diverse than ever, which is why this list of
Christmas movies not about white people has every kind of holiday film you could ever want — from musicals to family comedies to made-for-TV wacky romance. It's everything you need to have a perfect Christmas movie marathon.
'A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas'
Harold and Kumar are back in this R-rated Christmas comedy. The third film in the Harold & Kumar series is full of festive cheer, and some pretty disturbing Santa humor too.
Stream here. The Best Man Holiday has all the drama one expects from a Christmas reunion movie. It also has the sexy choreography you wish every single Christmas movie had, not to mention the all-star cast including Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, etc. Stream here.
Not all of
Rent revolves around the holidays, but it's definitely a Christmas movie. This isn't one of those family fun Xmas films, though, so you probably don't want to pick Rent for your family movie night. Stream here.
Another Christmas musical,
Black Nativity is all about an estranged family coming together over the holidays. Based on a play by Langston Hughes, this movie will make you feel the Christmas spirit, guaranteed. (And if that isn't enough to sell you, it also features Mary J. Blige.) Stream here.
Christmas comedy classic
Trading Places is a bit dated for 2017, but Eddie Murphy's talent is as timeless as the Christmas movie genre itself. Stream here.
'Nothing Like The Holidays'
The Rodriguez family does everything to survive Christmas in
Nothing Like The Holidays, but even they can't escape the inevitable family drama. It's your classic Christmas dramedy starring John Leguizamo, Jay Hernandez, and Elizabeth Peña. Stream here.
Hopping onto the family reunion train is
Almost Christmas, a movie about what happens when a big family makes the pilgrimage back home for the holidays for the first time since the death of the matriarch. Stream here.
Last Holiday, a movie about a woman who decides to drain her bank account and treat herself to an extravagant vacation after finding out she's dying, proves anything, it's that Queen Latifah should be in every Christmas movie ever made from now until the end of time. Stream here.
'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer'
Yes, all of the "people" characters in the classic stop-motion
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are white, but the movie is mostly just animals, thus making it not about white people. Stream here.
Denzel Washington stars in
The Preacher's Wife as an angel named Dudley who comes to help a Reverend played by Courtney B. Vance and his wife played by Whitney Houston. If that doesn't make you want to see this movie, I don't know what will. Stream here.
Siblings: you can't live with them, can't live without them, especially on Christmas.
This Christmas has all the sibling rivalry and drama you could ever want from a Christmas movie. Though, be warned, the movie does star Columbus Short and Chris Brown, so, if their private scandals have turned you off, best steer clear. Stream here.
The story of Christmas is retold in this live-action
Nativity Story starring Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary and a pre-Star Wars Oscar Isaac as Joseph. Yes, it's a bit on the religious side, but it is Christmas after all. Stream here.
A departure from your traditional Christmas movie, Wong Kar-Wai's
2046 doesn't necessarily embrace the holiday spirit. But, as Slate's Dennis Lim points out, most of the film takes place during the holiday season, which works well with the film's meditations on the passage of time. Stream here.
A single mom (Gabrielle Union) falls in love with a mall Santa (Morris Chestnut), who is lying about his profession. High jinks ensue.
As far as made-for-TV Christmas movies,
Christmas Cupid, starring Christina Milian and Ashley Benson, has got to be one of the best. It's A Christmas Carol meets Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and it's perfect. Stream here.
Holiday in Handcuffs could be called "A Stockholm Syndrome Christmas," but it also stars Mario Lopez and his dimples, so, we take the good with the bad. Stream here.
'A Diva's Christmas Carol'
Vanessa Williams plays a pop diva who gets her ego checked by three Christmas ghosts in
A Diva's Christmas Carol, a criminally underrated Christmas romp. Stream here.
Here's to everyone enjoying a white Christmas outside, and a wonderfully diverse Christmas on screen this holiday season.