Rachel Strange

There is Christmas overload out there. There’s pop culture’s current love/hate relationship with cheesy Christmas movies created for TV by probably twenty different television networks. Plus, there is so much Christmas music out there to choose from, some of it terrible and some of it delightful. Also, which holiday themed TV will fill you with glee and Christmas spirit? Should you just watch “The Office” Christmas episodes for the umpteeth time (the answer is probably).

Fear not readers, I’m here to help you create the Christmas playlist that will be the envy of all your friends and neighbors, the show binging list that won’t turn you into a Grinch, and I will recommend the cheesy Christmas romances that will hopefully make you say “I don’t know what weirdness I just watched, but I like it.”

First, If you only listen to one Christmas album it needs to be “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. This is the perfect album for Christmas dinner, opening presents, or any party. It’s chill, classic, and can sit in the background enough to not distract anyone from the festivities, but if you choose to actually listen to it, it still works. The Vince Guaraldi Trio have created something interesting and jazzy enough that even the grinchiest music nerd can’t deny it’s delightful. Might I also suggest “Christmas with the California Raisins” (for real!) for something that feels both classic and fun and Johnnyswim’s “A Johnnyswim Christmas” for those seeking something a little less traditional.

For your TV Christmas viewing needs, I’d like to first recommend Netflix’s “Nailed It” holiday episodes. I’ve mentioned my love for this show before in this column, but something about contestants not even kind of nailing the pinterest worthy, holiday inspired creations made me deep belly laugh more times than I care to admit. I will also always recommend watching The Office Christmas episodes, but the “Park’s and Rec” Christmas episode entitled “Citizen Knope” is not just one of the greatest Christmas episodes ever, but one of my all time favorite episodes of that particular series.

Last, for those looking for those cheesy Christmas movie recommendations, I admit to being no expert at this. I don’t always have access to cable so I miss many of the greats, however Netflix’s “A Princess Switch” and “A Christmas Prince” both fulfill that so cheesy it’s good thing you want in these kind of Christmas rom-coms. However, avoid the sequel “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding” unless you are big fan of nonsense economics and political intrigue being a major part of your cheesy Christmas movies. I also have to mention my first love of cheesy Christmas flicks, “Holiday in Handcuffs”. It is a corny delight featuring the best cast member from “Saved by the Bell” Mario Lopez (don’t argue with me, Slater was the best) and fellow 90s teen star Melissa Joan hart falling in love. It’s dumb, but they have good chemistry, which literally is the most important aspect of any movie in this genre.

Now you know! Go forth, be merry, and enjoy every aspect of your Christmas and holiday festivities with literally no pop culture related worries. It’s my gift to you.

Strange Perspective is a look at all things pop culture by Progress columnist Rachel Strange.