The holidays are here, and with them comes the films that we all know and love. Here, I’ve compiled a list of ten of my favourites and recommendations for you.
10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
The Grinch is one of those films that I’ve definitely seen, and remember enjoying, but can’t exactly remember all the deetails too. Nonetheless, it’s revered by many as being one of the best Christmas films ever. it’s the second highest grossing holiday film of all time, and, being based on a Dr Seuss story, I can imagine that under the initially odd tone, there’s a good message and a heartwarming story.
Okay, I know, not necessarily a Christmas film. But It’s definitely at least half Christmas/ half Halloween, and therefore I think it deserves a spot on this list. Full of music that juxtaposes fear and cheer, it’s definitely one to watch with kids who are older than 8. I’m pretty sure that if I’d watched this any younger I would still be having nightmares about the Oogie Boogie Man! A beautiful showcase of Tim Burton’s best work, The Nightmare before Christmas gets me excited about Christmas and Halloween at the same time- but despite the conflict, it’s 100% a fun film to watch.
This classic 80s blockbuster is a staple of my film collection- and yes, I know, it’s again not the most Christmassy of films, but it is set in the festive season and starts off with a distinctly seasonal song; “Baby Please Come Home” by Darlene Love. It’s a bit darker than most films on this list (perhaps excepting The Nightmare Before Christmas) but that makes me enjoy it all the more, as it’s something different.
I love Gremlins, hence its inclusion on this list, and it’s definitely one that I recommend you watch over the Yuletide season.
7. The Santa Clause (1994)
I feel like this is one that ends up on our screens almost every year, one way or another. The film (which is now two decades old!) follows the story of a man who becomes Santa Claus, and is full of drama, humour, and fun. It’s a modern classic, and for me, brings with it a whole load of nostalgia.
Perhaps it’s controversial that this film isn’t higher up on the list; Elf is revered by many as the epitome of Christmas cheer in movies. But for me, while it does have the festive cheer factor, and invariably puts me in a good mood, Elf is the kind of film that can come across as a little over the top and could potentially be a little irritating. However, nothing will ever top the scene where Will Ferrell duets ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside” with a showering Zooey Deschanel.
Another classic of the season- a little Macaulay Culkin left alone in his house for the Christmas holidays and fending off robbers all by himself. This film is full of charm, and is unusual in that almost the whole thing is carried by an eight year old. It has all the festive cheer that you’d look for in a Christmas film, without repeating the same story lines.
4. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A classic of the festive season, It’s a Wonderful Life is one that I don’t necessarily watch every year, but I don’t need to. It has the perfect mix of festivity, familiarity, and an intriguing story. Although some people may be a little hesitant to indulge in a black-and-white film, it doesn’t affect the experience at all, and if anything, adds to it.
3. Love Actually (2003)
Almost everyone loves a rom-com now and then, whether they like to admit it or not. And with a mix of stories that converge at the end, countless celebrities, and most importantly, Bill Nighy’s rendition of “Love is All Around Us”- or Christmas is All Around Us-Love Actually is easily one of the most fun and heartwarming festive films around. While it makes us kind of hate Alan Rickman’s character, and can be uncomfortable to watch with parents during Martin Freeman’s sex scenes, it definitely deserves a place high up on this list. Besides, who could forget a tiny Thomas Brodie-Sangster learning the drums to impress his crush?
If any film truly captures what a British Christmas is like, especially as a child, it’s Nativity. The innocent humour, the catchy songs, the adorable children; how anybody could fail to enjoy this film I don’t understand. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend that you do. (Beware though: you’ll struggle to get “Sparkle and Shine” out of your head afterwards!)
So we’ve come to the top of the list- the best Christmas film of all time. Muppet Christmas Carol has all the ingredients needed for a Christmas film- a twist on a Christmas classic, cheerful music, and even Michael Caine! Perhaps I’m biased on this one, as I did grow up watching The Muppet Show, but it has an added nostalgia to it that makes me love it even more.
Do you agree with my favourite Christmas films? Let me know by leaving a comment!