Your Holiday Guide to Bad Christmas Movies

It’s time to curl up with a mug of microwaved cocoa and your favorite store bought cookies to watch the worst cinema has to offer for the most wonderful time of the year. From knock-offs of classics to the boring but at Christmas, here is your definitive guide to the seemingly bottomless depths of Christmas movies.

Honorable Mention: The Holiday

This film is too competent for the list, but it is one of the worst mainstream “Christmas” films I’ve ever seen. Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, two women successful in career but unlucky in love, swap houses for two weeks. The film feels too focused on Cameron Diaz’s romance with Jude Law, and shoves in three separate plot threads for Kate Winslet; a former lover, a neighbor, and a new friend who is obviously going to be her love interest but it doesn’t happen until around the two-hour mark of this film. Its desperation to be “old Hollywood” is foiled by its own inability to edit and focus on making a story that isn’t bonkers.


10. Christmas Inheritance

Christmas Inheritance Movie

It’s a Hallmark movie made for Netflix.

Starring someone you’ve never heard of and Plop from the worst season of ‘The Office’, Christmas Inheritance is about an heiress who gets drunk and does some backflips for charity. As punishment, she has to go to a small town and deliver a card to her dad’s old business partner. For some reason, people can’t know her identity. It’s a fine, inoffensive bad Christmas movie. 

Available on Netflix


9. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

The Christmas Prince: A Royal Wedding

Do you love royal weddings? This isn’t the movie for you. Despite the title, the sequel to 2017’s A Christmas Prince is mostly about pissing all over centuries-old traditions and the country’s economic crisis. Amber, who is poised to become queen of Totallynotengland, deals with the difficulties of being part of the royal family – this includes having her blog posts screened to protect the family’s image and having to wear traditional garb for the wedding. Doesn’t the upper echelon of society have it so hard in an absolute monarchy? This odd treatise on radical individualism and indictment of poor finance management on the national level isn’t the romantic royal dream it’s been marketed as.

Available on Netflix


8. Christmas Wedding Planner

Christmas Wedding Planner Netflix

Kelsey was raised by her wealthy aunt, and now has the chance to plan her cousin’s wedding to start her wedding planning business. Things turn south when the bride’s ex, a private investigator, shows up to investigate the groom and maybe ruin the wedding. The film is chock full of wacky music and sound effects to go along with the cartoonish characterization. Kelsey randomly writes texts to her dead mom(?) that this writer seems to think is a great substitute for subtext that mostly left me confused. The third act will baffle you. If you dream of a wedding weekend pseudo-spy thriller, like Gossip Girl and the last season of One Tree Hill meets Wedding Crashers, this is the closest you’ll get to your dream.

Available on Netflix


7. 12 Dates of Christmas

12 Dates of Christmas Movie

It’s Happy Death Day except instead of finding a murderer, it’s the worst blind date you’ve ever witnessed.

Kate is a professional businesswoman who is hung up on her ex. After being sprayed with perfume, she lives the same day over and over. Despite being about the blind date, the film insists on being about the ex for way too long. The initial interaction with the blind date is one of the most uncomfortable scenes I’ve watched in a clean film, and not in the way it’s supposed to be. The filmmakers also can’t distinguish between dramatic irony and poor communication. The best thing I can say about this film is that it doesn’t look or sound as bad as the rest of these films.

Available on Hulu


6. Joseph and Mary

Joseph and Mary Christmas Movie

Set design that would make Ed Wood shudder. Bartleby, the Scrivener was apparently in charge of making the characters look like first century Israelis. The acting is on par with bad community theater. The eponymous couple is arguably not even the focus. Joseph and Mary brings the story of Jesus’ birth and early life to screen, but it’s kind of in the background. The story is really about a drunk rabbi named Elijah who marries a woman whose husband and kids were killed by the Romans. She seeks vengeance for her family’s slaughter (way less interesting than it sounds), and he faces the struggle of whether to be a revolutionary or not (cannot emphasize how boring it is compared to my description). It’s like if Life of Brian was unfunny and had way less action. The film’s message is in favor of maintaining civility and the status quo over bringing about social change. Despite Herod literally murdering babies and children, the film believes the moral thing to do is sit idly by and let injustice occur. It also manages to sneak in the idea that taxes are bad. If you need a religious film to watch, but you want to laugh, this is the trash for you.

Available on Amazon Prime


5. Girlfriends of Christmas Past

Christmas Past Movie

If you thought this would be anything like A Christmas Carol, you were wrong. The film shows its quality from the get-go, as we are jarringly acquainted with two of the main characters at the end of a Thanksgiving meal. In the strange, convoluted plot, three women get revenge on the man who dumped them around Christmas. Their plan? Make him pay money to charity, make him fall down, and ruin a business meeting he’s having at a country club that also appears to be a house. That last sabotage takes up most of the film. Watch as the protagonist’s new love interest mansplains all of her faults to her, and listen to the multiple instances of bad karaoke. There’s a surprise German accent for the cherry on top. At least the plot is something that has been achieved in a good film before.

Available on Hulu


4. A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale

Christmas Movie A Dogwalker's Tale

Here’s how I imagine this script came about; after multiple rejections from studios, writer Jake Helgren (the auteur behind Girlfriends of Christmas Past) quickly changed the setting to Christmas. Suddenly, this mundane plot about saving a dog park becomes a mundane plot about saving a dog park at Christmas. Luce, who is billed second despite being the protagonist, is a rich college student whose parents are off doing “charity things” for “kids and Africa and stuff.” After racking up obscene amounts of credit card debt, she begins walking a neighbor’s dog for money. At the dog park, she meets Dean, a veterinary student who dreams of being a professional dog walker. Will the college kids save the dog park for the several citizens who use it? Find out in this cinematic-adjacent look into the lives of people with literally nothing better to do than go to the dog park at ten o’clock on a weekday.

Available on Hulu


3. My Santa

My Santa Christmas Film

It’s The Santa Clause 2, but on bath salts. Santa’s son, Kris, has been on a decade-long journey to find a wife, and he must have one by midnight on Christmas Eve or he won’t be able to replace his dad. How does he find a wife? By going to malls and dressing up like his dad. He has some magic, but it comes and goes. Meanwhile, Jen is a reporter and single mother who doesn’t have clearly defined goals except getting her son an action figure. There’s kind of a love triangle involving a man who may or may not be orange, there’s two wacky sidekicks, and there’s a debate on the morality of inner-office relationships that culminates in one of the strangest non-sequiturs I’ve ever seen in my life. Be prepared to hear dozens of iterations of “it was just a lucky guess” when Kris accidentally uses his mind reading powers. If you love a terrible rom-com, this movie can’t be topped.

Available on Hulu


2. Homeless for the Holidays

Homeless for Christmas Film

Shot almost entirely in close-ups, Homeless for the Holidays is about Jack Baker, a marketing executive who is fired from his job at an indiscernible time of year. Despite his fifteen years of corporate experience, Jack (who looks like a lanky Adam Sandler) can only find employment at a fast food restaurant. The tone is wildly inconsistent, jumping from unfunny comedy beats to melodramatic marital troubles to a character monologuing at a civil worker about the efficacy of welfare in a span of three scenes. The score sounds like a royalty-free version of Bugs Bunny music made on a Casio. The worst part about this movie is its 105 minute run time. Most of these movies keep it around 80 minutes, but the editor of Homeless for the Holidays appears to be unaware that you don’t need to shoehorn in all of the footage just because it was shot. I can really only recommend this to experienced movie masochists, it is a slog to sit through despite the ample amounts of absurd. 

Available on Amazon Prime


1. A Little Christmas Business

Christmas Business

The filmmakers have the audacity to charge $4.99 (£3.95) for this monstrosity.

Daniel Baldwin stars in this bizarre series of poorly mic’d scenes that mostly take place in an office building with sweet wood panelling. The work-oriented Baldwin takes a tumble, and is confronted with ghosts of his past, including a school nurse, his old coach from the high school boxing team, and a tween newsy that can’t quite deliver a New York accent. The script is rich with on-the-nose messaging about the importance of spending time with your family, and seems temporally and spatially confused when it comes to subplots. There’s a grandmother with terrible dementia that’s treated comedically while affecting nothing. If you aren’t completely sold yet, what if I told you it’s only a 75 minute commitment? This is the peak of terrible Christmas films, and ranks up there with The Room for the title of best worst film ever.

Available on Amazon Prime


Have you seen any of these bad Christmas films? Has this list made you more inclined to check them out? Let us know in the comments!

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Jacob Davis

Jacob is a film critic, and co-host of the podcast Three Guys One Movie.
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