With the release of the Kristen Stewart-led, queer Christmas rom-com Happiest Season just around the corner, Vogue takes a look back at the best LGBTQIA+ friendly holiday films available to stream now. 

While there’s a huge back catalogue of Christmas films, only a handful feature prominent LGBTQIA+ characters with meaningful storylines — and here are our favourites. From a Christmas dinner gone awry to a heartwarming interreligious romance, these seven cinematic equivalents of a warming cup of hot chocolate will make you laugh, cry, and say, “Pass the eggnog martini!”

‘Happiest Season’ (2020)

In Clea DuVall’s upcoming, female-fronted take on the classic in-the-closet-out-of-the-closet yarn, a young woman, played by Kristen Stewart, spends Christmas with her girlfriend Harper’s (Mackenzie Davis) conservative parents. The clinch? Harper hasn’t come out to her parents yet. Available to stream on Hulu from 25 November 2020 and billed as the world’s first major LGBTQIA+ holiday romcom, Happiest Season puts a queer spin on a conventional tale, spreading a message of hope and acceptance during a year in which we need it most.

‘Home for the Holidays’ (1995)

Home For The Holidays Christmas Films Christmas movies Holiday Festive

‘The Family Stone’ (2005)

In this queer-themed comedy of errors, out-and-proud Gunn (Keith Jordan) heads home for the holidays only to have his well-meaning Midwestern parents — who still assume he’s straight — try to set him up with his high-school girlfriend. If that weren’t enough, Gunn’s boyfriend (Adamo Ruggiero) turns up unannounced — predictably, chaos ensues. As sweet and nutritionally slight as Christmas pudding, this feel-good film won’t bag any Oscars, but it might just win your heart.

‘Love the Coopers’ (2015)

A decade after The Family Stone, Diane Keaton is back as the matriarch of another illustrious make-believe family. This time, she’s joined by Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried and John Goodman — to name a few of the A-listers in this all-star romcom. While the plot is a fairly by-the-numbers affair, it’s worth sticking around for Anthony Mackie, whose Officer Williams is confronted with facing his identity after an impromptu session with a life coach (Marisa Tomei).

‘Carol’ (2015)

Cate Blanchett plays the titular Carol in this Oscar-nominated, big-screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s celebrated romance novel The Price of Salt. It’s Christmas 1952 and Carol falls for younger shop assistant Therese (Rooney Mara) in a New York department store. Sumptuously shot and beautifully acted, the film chronicles the budding relationship between the two women during a time in which homosexuality was taboo.