Netflix Can Try, But Hallmark Still Has the Best Cheesy Christmas Movies of All Time

There are two kinds of people in the world: People who think cheesy Christmas movies equal kissing under the mistletoe, and people who think cheesy Christmas movies equal scratching your eyes out with mistletoe. 

The former can love the movies unironically, or they can recognize that the movies are cheesy and embrace that as part of the fun. The latter, if they still have their eyes left, can have fun hate-watching them. Either way, when it comes to those kinds of movies, Hallmark is still king, despite Netflix muscling in on their territory.

Netflix logo on a phone screen
Netflix logo | Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How Hallmark got its crown

It’s easy to see how Hallmark tops Netflix in this regard. They’ve been doing it longer. Hallmark has been making greeting cards since 1910, so they have something of a lock on holiday sentiment.

Netflix may be able to devote a section to cheesy movies, but Hallmark devotes an entire channel to the concept. No, make that three channels devoted to the concept: The Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. 

With as many as three channels at their disposal, Hallmark has cornered the market on holiday movies as cheesy as many of their cards. There are entire lists on the Internet devoted to ranking Hallmark movies with the likes of Lacey Chabert and Alicia Witt. 

Here’s how devoted the following is: Not only do the movies have a podcast called Deck the Hallmark dedicated just to them, but the folks who run that podcast make a point of watching them for 25 hours straight. They could probably conduct health studies on the perils of drinking enough eggnog to fill that time. 

Netflix comes down Santa Claus lane

Being the streaming champ, Netflix is doing what it can to put its trademark red stamp on Christmas. Only instead of those once ubiquitous red envelopes, they’re starting to do it with their own original Christmas movies marked with the big red N. 

True, Netflix still mostly broadcasts other folks’ Christmas movies, with that roster being highly variable in quality, just like most parts of Netflix. Now their Christmas movies are making bigger splashes. 

Last year they had The Christmas Chronicles, starring Kurt Russell — Snake Plissken and Stuntman Mike himself – as Santa Claus. 

This year’s Netflix offerings include Let it Snow, an original movie starring their Sabrina, Kiernan Shipka, catering heavily to the teen market. There’s the animated Klaus from one of the creators of Despicable Me (with no minions in sight), and The Knight Before Christmas with Vanessa Hudgens and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

That title should speak for itself. The streamer’s most formidable offering may be the Christmas episode of The Great British Baking Show, which is bound to trash many a diet. 

Meanwhile, Hallmark still has the most tinsel

So while Netflix’s Christmas offerings are growing, for sheer volume, they can’t compete with Hallmark. Watching 25 hours of original Netflix Christmas programming may or may not be possible, but even if it is, it doesn’t have the same pull the Hallmark name does. 

Having sifted through all those movies, the podcasters at Deck the Hallmark decided the best-looking one was Christmas at the Plaza, not least because it takes place at New York’s Plaza Hotel, the site of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

If you want to watch that movie, however, you’ll have to turn to the new streamer on the block, Disney+, which has it and the other Home Alone movies as part of their Fox acquisition.

And thanks to that same acquisition, they have one of the best Christmas movies ever made, the original Miracle on 34th Street. Not even Hallmark can top that.