Every year on 1st December, no matter what day of the week it is I get excited. It means the countdown to Christmas is officially on and my personal tradition can start. I own about 30 DVD’s and half of those consist of Christmas films. My favourite kind of movie.
So, to mark 1st December, I thought I would list my collection and why I love them so much.
It’s A Wonderful Life
James Stewart stars as George Bailey in this all time great Christmas film. Throughout the film you see George muddling his way through life, not being able to live his life the way he dreamt it until it suddenly all comes to a head and he wishes he’d never been born. Queue an angel (Clarence) who was sent down from heaven to help George find his way by showing him what the world would be like without him in it. This movie never fails to make me cry big old happy tears and it is a MUST watch each year. Don’t let the fact that it’s black and white put you off. It will make you want to hug everyone you love and never let go.
You are missing out if you haven’t seen this film. Buddy the elf played by Will Ferrell, a human orphan who is brought up as an elf after accidentally ending up at the North Pole. It’s not until Buddy is an adult that he starts to realise he’s different from his fellow elves. He doesn’t quite fit in. After finding out what happened to him by Papa Elf, he decides he wants to go and find his real Dad in New York City (and ends up finding love in the form of a very blonde Zooey Deschanel). This film never fails to make me laugh out loud – it’s silly and hilarious. One of the best. SAAAAAANTAAAA!
One of the first films on the list that isn’t entirely classed as a Christmas film. It’s just set at that time of year. Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack meet in a crowded Bloomingdales after both reaching for the last pair of gloves in the store. After going for a Frozen Hot Chocolate at famous restaurant ‘Serendipity’ they realise they are meant to be together, apart from they are both with other people. They decide to leave it to the fate of the universe to decide if they are supposed to be together. Heart lifting and funny, I love watching this movie – it makes me believe that this stuff actually happens and that everyone’s fate is already decided!
The Santa Clause
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), a divorced businessman accidentally shocks Santa on Christmas Eve and he falls off his roof. Cue him following instructions on Santa’s business card, putting on his Santa suit and delivering the rest of his presents through the night along with his son and spending the night at the North Pole. Slowly throughout the year his appearance starts changing and he morphs into Santa (with fat belly and white beard) much to his son’s delight but his ex wife’s dismay. An oldie but a goodie. There has been 2 spin offs from this one which I’m not too keen on but this first one is a classic.
To me, this is the ultimate Christmas film. When 8 year old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother makes him sleep in the attic. After the McCallisters mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he awakens to an empty house and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. But his excitement sours when he realises that two con men plan to rob the McCallister residence. It is up to him to protect the family home. Merry Christmas you filthy animal.
Home Alone 2
Not many sequels hold up to the first, but this one is an exception. To me, I think this is just as good as the first. Along with the first film, this one was always one we as a family used to watch each year. After Kevin McCallister loses track of his father at the airport, he mistakenly gets on a plane headed for New York City, while the rest of the McCallisters fly to Florida. Now alone in the Big Apple, Kevin cons his way into a room at the Plaza Hotel and begins his usual antics. But when Kevin discovers that the con men he foiled the year before are on the loose and in the city, he struggles to stop them from robbing an elderly man’s toy store just before Christmas.
A Muppet’s Christmas Carol
Christmas isn’t Christmas without this film. One I watch each year without fail. A Muppet’s take on Charles Dickens classic ‘A Christmas Carol’. Michael Caine playa Scrooge alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Rizzo. The film has the perfect mix of comedy and compassion with the most beautiful songs to go alongside. One of my all time favourites.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Clarke Griswald (Chevy Chase) just wants a perfect American Christmas with his family. If you’ve seen any of the National Lampoon movies then you’ll realise that this idea is doomed from the beginning. Whether it’s the broken Christmas lights, the uninvited Redneck family turning up unexpectedly or the much promised Christmas bonus that doesn’t come through, the family’s misfortune is hilarious.
While You Were Sleeping
Another one in the list which isn’t specifically a Christmas film, but is just set around that time of year. This is a movie that is a little bit silly but also romantic and heart warming. When Lucy, a train station worker sees Peter mugged and pushed on to the tracks one Christmas Day she saves his life. At the hospital a nurse mistakes her for Peter’s fiancé and his family take her under their wing whilst he is in a coma. As she has no family of her own, she falls in love with them and finds herself unable to tell them the truth. A lovely chick flick worthy of a watch.
The Family Stone
This is another film I watch each year and have actually got my husband loving too. Everett Stone wants to bring his girlfriend, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), to meet his bohemian family at Christmas. Straitlaced Meredith, feeling she needs backup, asks her sister Julie (Claire Danes) to come along. Hoping to win the approval of her boyfriend‘s parents Sybil (Diane Keaton) and Kelly and the rest of the family, instead Meredith succeeds only in highlighting her uptight personality and making Everett doubt his intentions. It funny, cringeworthy and heart breaking – I dare you to not be in tears by the end of it.
Meet Me in St Louis
Another classic. This movie is where the song ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ originated from. It is a classic MGM romantic musical comedy focusing on four sisters (one of whom is Judy Garland) living in St Louis. The film spotlights the sisters’ education in the ways of the world, which includes, learning about life and love. If you haven’t seen this but love classic musicals then this is an absolute must!
Sleepless in Seattle
Another movie on the list that isn’t particularly a Christmas film but is set around that time of year. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan star in this movie based on the classic film ‘An Affair to Remember’. After the death of his wife, Sam (Tom Hanks) moves to Seattle with his son, Jonah to start a fresh. When Jonah calls in to a talk-radio program to find a new wife for his father, Sam grudgingly gets on the line to discuss his feelings. Annie (Meg Ryan), a reporter in Baltimore, hears Sam speak and falls for him, even though she is engaged. Annie haphazardly writes Sam a letter asking him to meet her at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. This film is so romantic and, like most 90’s Tom Hanks movies has a a great thread of comedy to it. An absolute classic rom com you have to see!
Miracle on 34th Street
This remake of the 1947 movie stars the great Richard Attenborough as Father Christmas who steps in to the shoes of a New York department store’s Santa Clause. From there he has to convince the store manager’s daughter (Mara Wilson) that Santa is real. In the middle of this, he gets wrongly accused of assaulting a man. This results in public uproar and a big court trial gets under way. I haven’t seen the original film but this one always makes me smile.
Ah, Love Actually. My family have a tradition that we watch this on Christmas Eve. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t seen this film, but if you haven’t then you are missing a treat. The movie focuses on a number of different people who are all connected in some way. There are too many famous faces to list but each storyline is relatable with all underlying undertones that Love always wins. And what’s Christmas without love?
What’s your favourite Christmas film from the list? Are there any you love that I haven’t included?