12 Days of Black Christmas Movies To Celebrate the Season

Countdown to Christmas with this list of The 12 Days of Black Christmas Movies. Pictured: a husband and wife on the couch with some popcorn. |
Countdown to Christmas with this list of The 12 Days of Black Christmas Movies. Pictured: a husband and wife on the couch with some popcorn. |
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December and Christmas time are so widely celebrated that they have their own, unique genre of film. Every year, new holiday-themed titles are released with a mix of different storylines and the same tried-and-true holiday tropes. The beauty of this is that there are plenty of Black-led Christmas movies to share with family and friends during this time of year. So many, in fact, that it can be hard to choose exactly which ones to put on a must-see list.

If you’re stuck wondering which Black Christmas movies to watch this year, don’t worry. We have compiled a “12 days of Black Christmas” list that will get everyone into the holiday spirit. It features a mix of classics, new films and underrated TV network and streaming movies that might be new to you. The movies are ranked by a combination of IMDb ranking, Rotten Tomatoes score and our own good spirit. It doesn’t matter how you watch them, but just that you do and enjoy this holiday season with loved ones.

12. Candy Cane Lane (2023)

IMDb: 5.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: None at time of publishing

Audience Score: None at time of publishing

One of the newest editions to this 12 days of Black Christmas movies is Candy Cane Lane, an Amazon original comedy and fantasy Christmas movie starring Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jillian Bell. The film follows Chris (Murphy), who is dead set on winning the annual neighborhood Christmas decoration contest, and his family. To better his chances of winning, he makes a deal with a mischievous elf (Bell) who ends up casting a spell on the town that brings the 12 days of Christmas to life. Chris, his wife (Ross) and their children must work together to reverse the spell and stop the havoc from ruining Christmas.

11. Christmas Belles (2019)

IMDb: 6.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: None at time of publishing

Audience Score: None at time of publishing

Christmas Belles (2019) is a BET original comedy movie starring Raven Goodwin, DomiNque Perry, Omar Gooding, John Amos and more. The movie centers two 30-something year old BFFs named Delia and Porsha. These two best friends since kindergarten are happy and successful in their careers. However, they are sick of hearing from everyone that they need to hurry and get a man. Things become complicated between the friendship of Delia and Porsha when a handsome church pastor moves to town during Christmas time and a rivalry breaks out between the two for his heart. Hilarity and chaos ensue as the best friends attempt to one-up the other’s effort at attracting this handsome man. And as the girls lose sight of their friendship, it is the job of the family to remind them what the season is all about.

10. Our Christmas Journey (2021)

IMDb: 6.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: None at time of publishing

Audience Score: None at time of publishing

Actors Holly Robinson Peete, Lyriq Bent and Nik Sanchez star in this 2021 Hallmark Channel original Christmas movie, Our Christmas Journey (2021). While this is a smaller scale movie, it is deserving of a spot amongst these Black Christmas movies. The movie takes on an underrepresented storyline across Christmas films, especially those centering Black characters, as it tells the story of a single mom named Lena and her autistic son Marcus during Christmas time. In the film, Lena and Marcus are met at a crossroads during the holidays and Lena must learn to let go of several things to allow Marcus to truly thrive. However, unexpected events lead to Lena’s path to healing her heart.

9. The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

IMDb: 5.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Audience Score: 40%

The Preacher’s Wife is a beloved 1990s Christmas film starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston and Courtney B. Vance. The movie follows the story of a pastor, played by Vance, who is struggling with personal and professional challenges during the holiday season. His prayers for guidance are answered in the form of an angel, portrayed by Washington, who arrives to help the pastor reconnect with his community, wife, family and faith. Through heartwarming moments, soulful music and a touch of divine intervention, the film beautifully captures the spirit of Christmas and the power of love, faith and second chances.

8. The Perfect Holiday (2007)

IMDb: 4.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%

Audience Score: 52%

A list of Black Christmas movies is not complete without this classic, despite its mixed reviews. The Perfect Holiday (2007) is a romantic comedy featuring an ensemble cast including Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut and Queen Latifah. The film revolves around Nancy (Union), a divorced mother of three struggling to make ends meet during the holiday season. Her daughter sets out to find a new man for her mother, prompting her to ask a department store Santa (Chestnut) for help. Unbeknownst to her, the Santa Claus, actually an aspiring songwriter named Benjamin, becomes smitten with Nancy. As their worlds intertwine during the festive season, the movie weaves a heartwarming tale of love, family and the magic of Christmas. It uses all the classic Christmas movie tropes to showcase the importance of believing in second chances and the power of love to bring unexpected joy.

7. Last Holiday (2006)

IMDb: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%

Audience Score: 67%

Last Holiday (2006) is a heartwarming comedy-drama starring Queen Latifah, LL Cool J and Gerard Depardieu. The film follows the story of Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah), a shy and reserved woman who, after receiving a terminal diagnosis, decides to live life to the fullest. She cashes in her savings and embarks on a luxurious holiday at a grand European resort, indulging in boujee experiences and pursuing her dreams. Along the way, Georgia’s newfound confidence and zest for life inspire those around her, and her journey becomes a celebration of courage, self-discovery and the joy of embracing every moment. Full of charm, humor and uplifting moments, Last Holiday is a delightful exploration of seizing opportunities and cherishing life’s adventures. This is definitely the one to watch for those who want to see an inspiring, feel-good story this holiday season.

6. A Madea Christmas (2013)

IMDb: 5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%

Audience Score: 70%

It just would not be right if Madea did not make an appearance on this Black Christmas Movies list for 2023. A Madea Christmas (2013) is a comedy film directed by Black icon, Tyler Perry, who also stars as the beloved character Madea. In this holiday-themed installment, Madea accompanies her friend Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford) to a rural town, where Eileen plans to surprise her daughter with a visit during Christmas. However, the trip becomes a comedic rollercoaster as they encounter various mishaps, cultural clashes and family drama. Madea’s no-nonsense attitude and unconventional methods add humor to the chaos while tackling themes of love, acceptance and the true meaning of Christmas. Through its blend of laughter and heartfelt moments, the film delivers a message of reconciliation and the importance of embracing the holiday spirit amidst challenging circumstances.

5. Dashing Through the Snow (2023)

IMDb: 5.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%

Audience Score: 70%

Dashing Through the Snow is a comedic holiday movie coming to Disney+ starring Ludacris, Lil Rel Howery and Teyonah Parris. The movie revolves around Eddie Garrick (Ludacris), a social worker based in Atlanta who wants nothing to do with Christmas because of his past. However, Eddie takes his daughter, Charlotte, to work with him on Christmas Eve where they meet a peculiarly jolly man in a red suit named Nick (Howery). Eddie, Charlotte and Nick end up on a magical adventure that night that changes Eddie’s view of Christmas.

4. Friday After Next (2002)

IMDb: 5.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 26%

Audience Score: 75%

Friday After Next (2002) is a hilarious comedy film and the third, Christmas themed, installment in the Black favorite Friday series. Starring Ice Cube, Mike Epps and John Witherspoon, the movie follows cousins Craig (Ice Cube) and Day-Day (Mike Epps) as they navigate a series of misadventures after their apartment is robbed on Christmas Eve. Determined to make ends meet and recover their stolen rent money, they take on jobs as security guards at a shopping mall, leading to a string of ludicrous encounters with eccentric characters, ridiculous situations and their zany landlord, played by Witherspoon. Filled with outrageous humor and holiday-themed antics, the classic film delivers non-stop laughs while celebrating the spirit of the season.

3. This Christmas (2007)

IMDb: 6.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%

Audience Score: 81%

This Christmas (2007) is a holiday dramedy featuring a star-studded, Black ensemble cast including Regina King, Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Loretta Devine and more. The film centers around the Whitfield family as they reunite for the first time in years to celebrate Christmas at their matriarch’s home. As they come together, old tensions and secrets resurface, leading to confrontations and moments of reconciliation. Each family member grapples with personal challenges and relationships, adding layers of drama and heartwarming moments amidst the festive backdrop. Through its mix of humor, heartfelt emotions and soulful music, This Christmas highlights the importance of family bonds, forgiveness and the enduring spirit of togetherness during the holiday season.

2. The Best Man Holiday (2013)

IMDb: 6.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%

Audience Score: 83%

The Best Man Holiday (2013) is a dramedy serving as a sequel to the 1999 classic film The Best Man. The story reunites the original cast, featuring Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut and Terrence Howard among other notable cast members, as old friends who gather for a Christmas holiday reunion. The film delves into their lives, showcasing the complexities of friendships, love and personal challenges that have evolved over the years. As tensions and unresolved feelings resurface, the group navigates laughter, heartache and joy. This all culminates into creating an emotionally charged narrative that captures the spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation and the enduring strength of enduring friendships. Through its mix of humor and heartfelt moments, The Best Man Holiday explores the bonds that endure through life’s ups and downs, wrapped in the warmth of the holiday season. The nostalgic story and familiar faces only make the movie more worth a re-watch or first visit.

1. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

IMDb: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

Audience Score: 70%

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) is a heartwarming, musical fantasy Netflix original film. Set in the vibrant and magical town of Cobbleton, the story follows Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker), a once brilliant inventor whose creations brought joy to the world. However, after a betrayal, he loses his confidence and the magic in his life. Years later, his granddaughter Journey (Madalen Mills) arrives, reigniting his belief in himself and in the power of the imagination. With the help of Journey and a whimsical robot named Buddy (voiced by Ricky Martin), Jeronicus rediscovers his passion for inventing and embarks on an enchanting adventure filled with wonder, forgiveness and the spirit of Christmas. Jingle Jangle celebrates the magic of creativity, the importance of family and the joy of believing in oneself, wrapped in dazzling visuals and captivating musical numbers.