Looking for that great list of Christmas films for you to enjoy over the holidays? Look no further.
In no particular order:
01. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
Classic film. With one of my favourite actors James Stewart. One of those films that grabs you from the word go. It’s a step away from the traditional Christmas film, but is something that has come to be revered and holds a special place in many a heart.
02. I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (1998)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas! The first though you have when you hear the title. A film that brought joy to many a young heart, with messages and meanings that play on traditional holiday values and ultimately, spirit. Oh and Jessica Biel, another favourite. Overall a great journey for all.
03. MICKEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (1983)
You know me, a massive Disney fan. So when I first saw Mickey’s Christmas Carol on the Disney Channel, I naturally had to watch it 20 times in a row.
04. UNACCOMPANIED MINORS (2006)
I actually lost my DVD and recently discovered it. In the three years I couldn’t find it, I’ve wanted to re-watch it several times. Good little movie, with an interesting plot (one I feel like the mother from Home Alone could somewhat relate to.).
05. CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS (2004)
I didn’t mind this film, (ok fine, maybe it’s because I love Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) yes, it may be a little predictable. The ending always gets to me, and I have to say the whole snowman fiasco really intrigues me. Does this actually occur? Are there streets that force you to comply with their Christmas decoration standards?
06. DIE HARD (1988)
I remember I watched this film once or twice as a child. I rediscovered it five years ago, and was shocked I let this one slip through the Christmas movie list crack. Bruce Willis, ah. Merry Christmas indeed.
07. RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MOVIE (1998)
Ok, so this movie was on repeat one year. I even think we recreated it as part of one of our fabulous Christmas plays. So the songs in this are brilliant! I sometimes randomly sing the ‘I hate Santa Claus’ song and have all these people staring at me thinking, “Um. Ok.” It’s just the track the villain in the film performs, but it is oh so memorable. Definitely worth a look.
08. THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992)
I really like this version of A Christmas Carol, I think it’s the addition of Michael Caine and the journey he takes. Also each Muppet and the character they take on. The ghosts are my favourite, you know Statler and Waldorf as Marley. The Muppets characteristics embedded within the tale, quite well done.
09. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
So this movie definitely scared me as a child. Which is so weird, because I now love Tim Burton films including this movie. The songs are great and the animation absolutely fantastic. Put the movie on and you see how many people come and sit with you to sing along to the tracks.
10. THE FAMILY STONE (2005)
SJP, SJP, SJP. Sarah Jessica Parker in a Christmas movie. I love the story, visuals and casting. Diane Keaton, SJP, Dermot Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, Craig T. Nelson, Tyrone Giordano, Brian White, Elizabeth Reaser, Claire Danes and the ever charming Luke Wilson. Some characters you love, others, not so much. I’m sure you can tell who I like.
11. HARRY POTTER (2001)
I have to put Harry Potter in. Whether or not you chose to watch one or marathon it, completely up to you. Christmas features in a couple of the films (if not, all. Good excuse to revisit the films) and I have to say, there is an overall Christmassy feel with the snow, scarves and beautiful candles. Plus, that time Dumbledore gave Harry one of the best gifts ever! The invisibility cloak. I used to imagine, waking up in similar circumstances to Harry and Ron in the dorm. Running downstairs to the fireplace and greeting everyone. Alas, Christmas here is in the middle of Summer, dream fail.
12. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990)
Johnny Depp, Wynona Rider, Tim Burton. Maybe I should change the name of this list to movies that feature snow. Those ice sculptures Edward creates. I want one. I want it now, and I want it in my front yard (so everyone can see a two metre sculpture melt in under 5 minutes). Great ending to the film.
13. MICKEY’S ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS (1999)
I loved this, it’s a collection of cute little tales from the different characters in the Disney world. Primarily Mickey’s friends. Who remembers hidden Mickey? I’m pretty sure some feature in this collection. This was always a VHS (now DVD) we’d watch every year.
14. DR. SUESS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000)
THE BEST! Did you know it is reportedly the highest grossing Christmas film to date. Jim Carrey, at his finest and Taylor Momsen before Gossip Girl. We were watching this a few months back and enjoying every minute of it, even though it wasn’t Christmas. The many times we’ve quoted this film, and there’s the running joke that everyone resembles some aspect of the Grinch in this film. Watch it to see what part suits you most.
15. THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
Charming film, with another favourite, Tom Hanks. The creativity and design that went into this film is quite breathtaking. I love the idea too. The plot. A magical train comes in the middle of the night to transport you to the North Pole. The action in the film is pretty cool too. We actually went that one step further and bought the video game. Great fun over the Christmas break.
16. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947)
Such a sweet film. The story and plot was adapted well for the Christmas setting and the concept behind it all makes for a tale that captures the viewer. You can feel quite emotional watching films that connect with you, this is one of them.
17. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS (1997)
LOVED THIS FILM. We watched it so much when it was released. I remember one Christmas, or more like the lead up to it, I was ill and we had this on repeat, while I drank lemon Gatorade. We watched it up until the point our VHS recorder broke. We now have it on DVD, and it’s just as good as I remember it being. Small tip: definitely check this film out, as I’ve heard suspicions that some of the characters may appear in the Disney Live Action Film of Beauty and the Beast to be released in 2017.
18. THE SANTA CLAUSE 1, 2 & 3 (1994, 2002 & 2006)
Another marathon. As you know, I love Tim Allen, so when the first movie came out I was over the moon. The story is great, awesome concept, I would always think of this movie on Christmas Eve, wondering if the noise I heard coming from the roof was Santa. Numbers two and three work just as well. Plus with the addition of Martin Short in the third, brilliant!
19. ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011)
Smart, witty, great animation and ultimately a film that tugs at the heart strings. Again, a great list of actors lending their voices to the characters. Such as James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, Laura Linney and Eva Longoria. The animation is worth the watch. Another film you definitely shouldn’t forget this Christmas.
20. HOME ALONE 1, 2 & 3 (1990, 1992 & 1997)
ANOTHER FAMILY FAVOURITE. We have a tradition to watch these films every Christmas. The hijinks, Kevin McCallister gets up to are things we as children could only dream about. This is another film we quote all the time. My favourite line would have to be Uncle Frank on the plane, “If it makes you feel any better, I forgot my glasses.” Their faces trying to comprehend him comparing his forgetting reading glasses to forgetting a child at home are priceless. Oh and the Tim Curry sequences in the second film, “I LOVE YOU.” So great.
21. LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)
BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! So the cast is fan-freaking-tastic Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Rowan Atkinson, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Laura Linney, Rodrigo Santoro, Martin Freeman, Kris Marshall, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant among others, just screams ultimate Christmas movie. I love the story lines. I love most of the characters, some naughty, some nice, and I especially love Hugh Grant dancing to Jump (For My Love). It’s set in beautiful towns, with gorgeous settings and overall relatable stories that speak to a lot of people.
22. THE HOLIDAY (2006)
ANOTHER GREAT FILM! I love the combo of characters and actors, as well as the story, well actually, concept behind it all. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet have had enough of the people they deal with in their everyday lives and engage in a house swap over the holidays. What then happens is pure delight for those of us sitting on the couch sipping tea and enjoying gingerbread cupcakes. The ingredients for this delicious recipe include the adorable duo Jack Black and Jude Law. Definitely watch this!
23. RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (2012)
LOVE IT! Rise of the Guardians takes on the stories of Christmas’ Santa (Alec Baldwin), Easter’s The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), those to do with the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman aka Sandy. In the mix there we have Jack Frost (Chris Pine), and a modern interpretation of the Boogeyman, Pitch Black (Jude Law). Ok so after watching this film and Frozen, I’ve come to the decision Jack and Elsa belong together. That is all. ULTIMATE FROZEN DREAM!
24. HOLIDAY INN (1942)
GREAT FILM. If you love music, dancing and overall just a feel good Christmas movie, this one is the one for you. The concept is, Bing Crosby decides to take over a property and turn it into a hotel that only opens on certain holidays. Starring Fred Astaire (one of my favourite classic golden Hollywood stars) and Marjorie Reynolds. It’s a wonderful film and features one of my favourite songs White Christmas.
25. ELF (2003)
THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS FILM. If you watch anything this Christmas, it has to be Elf. The perfect combination of storytelling techniques in a film. On the Christmas character scale Buddy, portrayed by Will Ferrell, is perhaps the top Christmas Character, maybe tie with Santa Claus. The cast, great! We have James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel, Edward Asner, Mary Steenburgen, Peter Dinklage and Andy Richter. I reference this film so much in my every day life. Practically every time I step onto an escalator awkwardly. Every time I choose to randomly sing in a store. Every time the countdown to Christmas begins. MAKE SURE YOU WATCH IT!
BONUS BOXING DAY FILM: FROZEN (2013)
I had to add this. As one of my favourite Disney fIlms, I felt it was only right to add Frozen as something to watch in conjunction with the Christmas favourites. As if I need to list why it’s so great and why it should be mentioned here. To those who disagree with me I say, Let it go! (Did you see that one coming?)