This time last year, many of us would be gathered around a fireplace with our loved ones, building gingerbread houses or driving around to upscale neighborhoods to marvel at their ridiculously large light displays. Yet, these activities seem lightyears away from our current reality, for Christmas trees and baked goods don’t seem to hold a candle to the dangers of a pandemic. So, how can you remain in the holiday spirit while still being safe?
Social distancing and spending holidays apart doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy those precious moments that staying indoors in winter weather brings. Through services such as Netflix Party and Hulu Watch Party, you can collectively stream the holiday classics that are nothing short of a tradition between your family and friends. Below you will find a list of Honeysuckle’s recommendations for frosty favorites for everyone from horror buffs to gooey romantics.
HORROR: The Dorm That Dripped Blood directed by Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter
A gory slasher, also known as “Pranks” and initially titled as “Death Dorm,” the 1982 film follows a group of college students who chose to stay in their dormitory rather than leaving for winter break. The students soon realize that they probably should have gone home as a crazed killer follows the students, killing them off one by one. With a low budget of $90,000, the film manages to do its job with leaving audience members equally disgusted and shocked by the ending—as any good slasher flick should.
COMEDY: The Night Before  directed by Jonathan Levine
Starring Anthony Mackie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, this lighthearted movie is perfect for a (digital, of course) wine night with friends. The film follows three childhood friends that annually reunite on Christmas Eve, yet, as one of them is about to embark on the road to fatherhood, they soon realize how much things will change. To make the most of their last reunion together while they can still be wild, they try to find the best and wildest Christmas party in New York, colliding with a lot of hilarious incidents along the way.
ROMANCE: Love Actually directed by Richard Curtis
One of my personal favorite movies of all time, there isn’t a single Christmas where my mom and I aren’t snuggled up on the couch with blankets and a tissue box crying over this heartwarming masterpiece. The film follows eight different couples through the holiday season, with eight very different obstacles to overcome. At the end, there is a very strong message elucidating how the holiday season is about being there for one another and loving each other as often and as hard as you can, for life can be so fleeting—a message all of us can relate to in these times.
ANIMATED: An American Tail directed by Don Bluth
If you’re looking for something you can watch with the whole family, this cartoon about a family of mice who emigrate from Shostka to the United States to find freedom and escape from cats is the one for you. It explores Hanukkah and the turmoil the Jewish people have faced through a lense children can understand, with action packed scenes sure to keep their attention for the full 80 minutes.
DOCUMENTARY: The Black Candle directed by M.K. Asante
Directed by best-selling author M.K. Asante, with narration and poetry from Maya Angelou, this documentary beautifully illustrates the importance of Kwanzaa and depicts the struggles and triumphs of the African American family through it. Using the seven principles of Kwanzaa (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith), the film explores its growth through the Black Power Movement in 1960, to the global pan-African holiday that is celebrated by millions.
Take some time to enjoy yourselves this holiday season, in whatever form that may come in, whether you celebrate or not.