This is the one thing I look forward to more that anything this time of year. There’s nothing I love more than listening to Christmas songs on the radio when I’m cooking or driving to work, and Me and my Husband have a real tradition of trying to watch as many Christmas movies as we can each weekend on the run up to Christmas. I make some hot chocolate, we get some snacks and munchies, and snuggle up under a blanket to watch them.
I’ve got a real set list of film I HAVE to watch each year, and I thought I’d share them with you, with my reasons why I love them so much! There’s a few traditional options, and a few more odder choices, but here they are, in order…
1.Home Alone/Home Alone 2 (1990/1991 20th Century Fox)
To me, this is the ultimate pair of Christmas movies, and it seemed like a complete sacrilege to separate them – I can’t watch one without the other! What I love about these films is the way they manage to capture the spirit of Christmas amongst all the hilarity. Obviously, the parts where Macaulay Culkin outwits the burglars are my favourite bits, but for me it’s how his character comes to appreciate Christmas and his family that warms my heart.
2. Scrooged (1988, Paramount)
Bill Murray at his finest! It always surprises me how people have never seen this; it’s one of my favourites! I love A Christmas Carol adaptations (The Jim Carrey version is my second favourite; I love watching it in 3D) but this remains my favourite by far. I love the modern take on this; I love the black humour, I love the acting, I love the darkness of this version. Scrooge is played by a greedy TV executive, whose ruthlessness to his employees and loved ones warrants a visit by three spirits to remind him of who he used to be. Bill Murray absolutely NAILS the arrogant, sarcastic executive, and the modern-day Three Spirits are hilarious. A dated film, but still a classic.
3. Die Hard (1988, 20th Century Fox)
This isn’t your typical Christmas Film (It certainly wasn’t made as one!) but for me its become synonymous with Christmas, and I only ever watch this at this time of year. Bruce Willis is a cocky NYPD cop who travels to LA to win back his estranged wife, and gets caught up in a Terrorist plot when they invade her work place. It’s not even a Christmas Film – its more of a Christmas backdrop – but the swell of ‘Let it Snow’ at the end of the film just works for me. Plus, terrific acting from Willis and the late-great Alan Rickman, a brilliantly written script and humour throughout just gets me in the Christmas mood. Yippee ky-ay!
4. The Santa Clause (1994, Disney)
This was my favourite Christmas movie as a child! What child wouldn’t want their Dad to become Father Christmas?!? It’s just good clean humour that children will find funny, but as an adult still has me chuckling away at the adult jokes. Scott Calvin going grey, putting on weight and dressing like a granddad has me in stitches; his grumpiness funny but heart warming at the same time. I love the explanation of how he gets down the chimney, the magic of Santa’s sack and how to enter homes lacking fireplaces, and it never feels like Christmas until I’ve watched this film.
5. Jingle all the Way (1996, 20th Century Fox)
It’s silly, it’s cheesy but I really enjoy it. We can all relate to Jamie, who is desperate for Santa to bring him a Turbo Man doll, but little does he understand that Dad forgot to buy it, and it’s now completely sold out! I always remember wanting a Tamogotchi for Christmas (Remember them?), and was massively disappointed when Santa didn’t bring me one (My mom had a right game trying to get one; they were sold out everywhere), so I can understand the pressure a parent is under to get the best toy. In Jingle all the Way the journey getting hold of Jamie’s favourite toy is comedic, and makes me think of my future when my son is old enough to want certain gifts from Santa! Put the cookie down! NOW!
6. Love Actually (2003, Universal)
I genuinely love the fact that this is such a feel good, heart warming film despite there being some really difficult storylines. The first Christmas after losing a wife and mother, facing Christmas alone due to the illness of a sibling, the hurt of seeing someone you love in love with someone else, discovering a partner is having an affair; there are some really difficult storylines, but I love the fact that this is reminiscent of real life. Not everyone has a picture perfect Christmas, and there are some horrible things happening all the time, but it’s how the characters deal with these things and try to make things special that makes this film wonderful. It’s not all doom and gloom; there are some genuinely funny moments, but its the more poignant moments that I remember most. It also features one of the most romantic moments I’ve ever watched, in the form of Kiera Knightly and The Walking Deads Andrew Lincoln – ‘You, to me, are perfect’.
7. The Polar Express (2004, Castle Rock Entertainment)
The thing that makes this movie so magical is the build up to arriving at Santa’s home in the North Pole. Having this magical mystery train turn up in the dead of night to take children on the verge of not believing in Santa to go meet the man himself, the magic of the train and its staff, just makes this film perfect to watch on Christmas Eve. Strangely enough, I only like the parts on the train and where they meet Santa; the bits in the Elf warehouse and around the North Pole I could actually do without, but its the build up to the big event that’s my favourite. I always think that when my Son is old enough to question Santa’s existence, I’m going to show him this film and ring a bell to show I believe. Magical.
8. Christmas with the Kranks (2004, Revolution Studios)
What I like about this film is that the Kranks aren’t Scrooges (Despite what their name might suggest!). They’re just a married couple, not wanting to spend Christmas on their own the first year their daughter is away at college, and decide to go away for the holiday season. Nothing wrong with that. What is funny is how all their neighbours react to the lack of Christmas coming from their home and the lengths they go to, to avoid anything spoiling Christmas. I just think this is a lighthearted film with a good message, and reminds me very much of Deck the Halls (another good film) that the main thing about Christmas is having those you love around you.
9. The Snowman/The Snowman and the Snow Dog/Father Christmas (1982, 2012, 1992, CHannel 4 Television Corporation)
The reason why I’ve included all of these together is because A) They’re only short films, B) They’re all part of the same universe, and C) Because like Home Alone, you can’t have one without the others! These were the ultimate Christmas films for me growing up as they were just so magical and clever; the idea of a Snowman coming to life and taking you to visit Father Christmas, that same Father Christmas getting away from everything the other 364 days of the year and travelling the world, and most recently, that lonely little boy getting to play with that same snowman and puppy. These films just appeal to me for the genuine warmth and love. It’s not all happy; I’m always sad when the Snowman melts at the end, but that has been replaced with the most recent addition as that lonely little boy gets to keep the puppy. Classics that are always great for Christmas Morning.
10. The Holiday (2006, Universal Pictures)
Again, not so much a Christmas film as one that is Christmas based. I remember going to see this; I was at College, it was Christmastime, and my mom and sister met me in Birmingham City centre to see it. We walked around the German Market, grabbed a spot of lunch and went to see it in the tiniest, cosiest cinema screen I’ve ever been in. Again, I love the feel good factor of this film and how you can make your own Christmas with those you love. Its funny and heartwarming and sad in equal measure, and I enjoy snuggling up with this on.
Some tough choices that didn’t quite make the list: Jack Frost, The Nightmare before Christmas.
With Christmas songs, there are so many that I love, that this list is pretty interchangeable depending on what mood I’m in. Here are a few of my current favourites:
Top 10 Christmas Songs
- Fairytale of New York – The Pogues feat. Kirsty McCall
- Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea
- Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakir’ Stevens
- Sleigh Ride – Disney Family Christmas Collection
- Let it snow – Dean Martin
- Merry Christmas – Slade
- Christmastime (Don’t let the bells end) – The Darkness
- I wish it could be Christmas everyday – Wizzard
- Winter Wonderland – Doris Day
- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas -Bing Crosby
Bonus hit: It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Andy Williams
And those are all my choices. Please like and share, and don’t forget to leave a comment saying what your favourite Christmas Song/Movie is!