It is one of the best things do to at Christmas time: get cozy and watch a Christmas movie! In the Netherlands, the Harry Potter movies are often broadcasted the week before Christmas. And I remember that the Home Alone movies would also be playing during Christmas and before. But there are also a lot of great Dutch Christmas movies!
I picked five for you, let me know what you think!
About: This was my favorite Christmas movie as a child. The movie is an adaptation of a famous children’s book written by Chris van Abkoude. The story is set in Rotterdam during the 1920’s and follows the story of a young boy named Kruimeltje (little crumb). Left as a baby with the strict lady Koster, he becomes homeless after she passes. But before she dies, she gives him a locket with pictures of his parents. Now he wants to find his dad, who went to the US when Kruimeltje was a baby. He happens to meet an old friend of his dad and together they set out to find him.
Level: All levels, and very beginner friendly. The movie on YouTube has English subtitles.
About: In a search for love and happiness, six men take stock of their lives and set course for their romantic futures: advertising man Tim, who panics about his impending marriage to the perfect Laura; his best friend Wouter, who has to do everything he can to keep his girlfriend Nicole; the shy Niels, who hopes to find a woman for life in the recently divorced Susanne (not knowing that her ex, the frustrated Frank, is still chasing after her); and lastly, womanizer Dennis, who meets the successful folk singer Ro, who is different than the girls he was with before.
Level: Intermediate to advanced. There are some fast interactions, but don’t let that scare you!
Where to watch: Amazon Prime / Netflix (VPN needed). Check out the trailer here.
De Familie Claus (2020)
About: Jules Claus doesn't like Christmas at all. After the death of his father last year, he no longer wants anything to do with the so-called 'most wonderful time of the year'. When his mother is at work, Jules enjoys spending time in his grandfather's toy store. One day he finds a magical snow globe that can take him to the farthest corners of the world in a special way. During his adventure he discovers something amazing: none other than his own grandfather is the one and only Santa Claus! The tradition appears to have been in the family for years, and now that Jules' father is no longer there, his grandfather has taken up the task again... When his grandfather breaks his leg, Jules decides to help him. But before he can share the Christmas feeling with others, he must first learn to love the most beautiful holiday in the world. This is a heartwarming Christmas movie for the whole family!
Level: They speak Dutch and Flemish in this movie. It is for all levels, very beginner friendly and also appropriate for children.
Where to watch: Netflix (no VPN needed). Check out the trailer here.
Pietje Bell (2002)
About: This movie is also an adaptation of a famous children’s book written by Chris van Abkoude that is set in the 1920’s. Pietje Bell is a cheeky 10 year old boy that turns the city upside down with his mischief. Then the depression sets in. Pietje Bell's father is having a hard time and Pietje makes all kinds of attempts to earn money. He finds a job as a paper boy and organizes his own circus performance. When he is wrongly accused of theft, he calls his friends together and they start ‘The Black Hand Club’ to right these wrongs. An earlier adaption of the book was made in 1964 and is called ‘De avonturen van Pietje Bell’.
Level: All levels. Please note if you want to watch the movie with kids: there is some violence towards kids in the movie.
Where to watch: Apple TV. Check out the trailer here.
All you need is love (2018)
About: Maarten is the presenter of the popular television program All You Need Is Love, but disappears just before the broadcast of the well-known Christmas special. Without anyone knowing, he takes off by plane and heads to the Scottish highlands. In the Netherlands, the Christmas special is coming closer and closer, and producer Olav and his assistant Japie are desperately searching for a new presenter, while the rest of the Netherlands is preparing for Christmas Eve.
Level: Intermediate to advanced.
Fun fact: The TV show ‘All you need is love’ exists in real life in the Netherlands and it is also an amazing show. Check out the 2022 Christmas Special of the actual TV show here, or subscribe to NL Ziet to see the program on Christmas eve.
Enjoy the movies and I wish you all a vrolijk kerstfeest and a gelukkig nieuwjaar!