We have a solid holiday tradition in my house come Christmas Day. Presents first – bubbly is encouraged and pjs are essential, Christmas lunch (if like me, the cooking rests on your shoulders, you may want to check out our ultimate guide to Christmas dinner at home), move onto the red wine and stick on a slew of festive films to see us through the day. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it. So, it’s no doubt that as the years of tradition have gone on, I have seen my fair share of Chrissy films. Some have been forgettable, but a number have risen from the ranks to become firm favourites in my family. Whether you’re on the lookout for some festive feels or laugh-out-loud goodness, here’s my top 10 picks for Christmas movie viewing, in no particular order…
It’s A Wonderful Life
Shout out to my dad for this festive favourite! This black-and-white classic is best remembered for the line “every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings” and Jimmy Stewart running through the streets wishing anyone and everyone a Merry Christmas. This film gets me every year with the lovely reminder that Christmas isn’t about presents and material possessions but rather spending it with friends and loved ones.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Yes, I’m big kid at heart, but with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Michael Caine in the cast… can you really blame me? This light-hearted Scrooge adaptation has held a special place in my heart since it came out in 1992. Filled with adorable hijinks, our favourite muppet characters and heart-warming songs (I defy you to walk away without humming “One More Sleep Till Christmas” all evening), it’s easy to see why this film has been on the roster year in and year out.
Ok, while I admit this isn’t the most thought-provoking or high-brow film out there, I still find it an utterly charming Christmas rom-com. Featuring two recently single girls swapping homes, cars and lives for the holiday season and each finding romance in a new place with two new men, The Holiday is wonderfully light-hearted and ideal viewing for the post-turkey food coma. Plus, how wrong can you go with Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Cameron Diaz?
Meet me in St. Louis
Not entirely set around Christmas-time, this classic film features a family faced with having to move away from their beloved St Louis and July Garland belting out Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas like only Judy can. Safe to say this heart-warming film gives me that warm fuzzy festive feeling every time!
The Nightmare Before Christmas
After a recent discussion with a friend about whether The Nightmare Before Christmas would fall under the Halloween or Christmas category, we realised, it totally falls under both! Following the misadventures of Jack Skellington and the awesome characters of Halloween-town as they try to take Christmas off Santa’s hands, this Henry Sellick and Tim Burton stop-motion classic has achieved cult-status for a reason. Watch it, that’s all I’ve got to say!
A classic and if nothing else, a reminder of how adorable Macaulay Culkin once was. This film never fails to bring a smile to my face courtesy of the fab cast (Joe Pesci, John Candy and Catherine O’Hara), hilarious slapstick and great dialogue. Definitely a comedy that has stood the test of time in my house!
Not only one of the best action films ever made, but yes, Die Hard counts as a Christmas film as far as I’m concerned! While it doesn’t technically take place on Christmas, it’s set during an office Christmas party and manages to include typical elements of any festive film. Christmas songs and decorations, the importance of family, fighting against greed and promoting goodwill towards (good) men, so what if greed is personified by the awesome Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber? At the end of the day, it’s a film about good triumphing over evil, plus Bruce Willis isn’t exactly hard on the eyes, talk about a Christmas win!
Miracle on 34th Street (both 1947 and 1994 versions)
It’s literally impossible for me to choose which version of this classic Christmas flick is my favourite. The 1947 release features an adorable Natalie Wood as young Susan and has all the charm of a classic black and white movie. But, the 1994 film cast the utterly brilliant Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle. Either which way, this heart-warming tale of family and love teaches us all to never stop believing in our dreams!
“Smiling’s my favourite!” and safe to say so is Elf! Brimming with typical Will Ferrell hilarity, silliness and endless quotes (“You sit on a throne of lies!”), there’s next to nothing I could criticise about this movie, other than the fact that there should be more of Zooey Deschanel singing (that girl’s voice would melt snow). Buddy the Elf reminds us all to keep positive, be ourselves and never forget to spread Christmas cheer by “singing loud for all to hear”!
Where to begin… not only a fantastic Christmas movie but possibly one of my all-time favourite films, yes I’m all about the cheese. Love Actually is brilliant Brit movie-making at its best: boasting a stellar cast, hilarious quotes that have received cult status (“I hate uncle Jamie!”) and filled with both heart-warming and heart-wrentching moments. Excuse me while I cuddle up on the sofa, mulled wine in hand and settle in for yet another screening.
Notable mentions: A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Scrooged and White Christmas.
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