There’s nothing better than snuggling down with your family and a nice cup of hot chocolate to watch Christmas films. Christmas films are joyful, simple and innocent compared to other films floating around these days. The made-for-TV ones are especially sweet and comforting, perfect for Sunday afternoon viewing with the family. I adore watching Christmas films with my mum every year. It makes me feel at peace and it’s just something I look forward to every year when the weather gets colder, and the Christmas excitement is starting to spread. Out of all of the films I’ve watched, l’ve finally narrowed it down to my top 10, and here they are (in no particular order):
Elf is a complete classic! I remember my dad took me to see it in the cinema all those years ago, and he utterly loved it! I remember laughing at the jokes and puns made for kids and my dad laughing at the jokes I didn’t quite understand. The pure innocence of the narrative makes Elf one of the most enjoyable Christmas films out there. Will Ferrell’s man-child sense of humour is absolutely perfect in this film, and every single member of the audience laughed at least once during the film.
Elf follows a human child, Buddy, raised as a Christmas Elf, as he discovers he truly is different from the other Elves. He finds out who his father is, and sets off to New York to reach out to his family. His father, of course, started a brand new family and almost completely forgot that Buddy existed, but worse than that. He’s on the naughty list! What can Buddy do to help his family? Who will he meet along the way? Will there be romance? Will there be a very merry Christmas in the end? You’ll have to snuggle down and watch Elf this Christmas to find out!
9) Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
Narnia might not be everyone’s first choice of Christmas film, but I think it’s wonderful to watch at Christmas time. I’ve read all the books, and almost died of pure happiness when they announced a film franchise re-boot. The winter theme that’s running along with the main narrative in this film really gives you a warm, Christmasy feel. Even Father Christmas himself makes an appearance and gives the Pevensie cildren a gift.
Narnia again is full of pure innocence and hope, that’s absolutely perfect for Christmas time. Following a family of four on an epic adventure that’ll change their lives, we delve into a magical land where lions can talk, fauns are civilised, and evacuees can be royalty. I love this film beyond words can describe, and I’m really hoping you know the story of the Pevensies. If you don’t however, check out Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe before Christmas comes hurtling around the corner! I assure you, you won’t be disappointed by the love and magic that flows from the film.
8) Home Alone
Home Alone is another great classic! I remember watching this as a little girl and only wishing I’d have the courage to do what Kevin does whilst accidentally left home alone. Not only is it an adventure for young Kevin, but he also puts his skills and knowledge to the test as he tries to protect his home from two cunning thieves while his family is away.
Set at Christmas time, Home Alone will warm your heart and give you a few giggles along the way. Of course it was then made into a rather successful franchise, but you can never beat the first one starting Macaulay Culkin. The simplicity used to trick the villains and the pure joy it brings it’s audience, even after all these years, is enough to keep your spirits high with festive vibes and of course, to keep you thoroughly entertained. No matter how many times you’ve seen this film, it will always, always be a classic to watch at Christmas time!
7) Christmas Mail
Christmas Mail is one of those Made-For-TV Christmas films that is just magical. It honestly is one of my favourite ever Christmas films. I found it on a Christmas channel called Christmas24 with my mum about six (ish) years ago and I instantly fell in love with it! Not only do I love the entire narrative of the film, but the fact the characters are people we would never usually think to focus on in a film. They’re your average Joe’s and plain Jane’s, but there’s something captivating about watching their story unfold in a wintry manner. People who you see every day with that innocent charm and the never-ending hope are the people you will end up falling in love with after watching Christmas Mail.
The film follows Kristi North a new-comer to an American town, who starts working at the local post office where she receives letters for Santa (sent in to the local post office from the local children) and replies to them! One letter is written by a little girl called Emily who lost her parents in a tragic accident prior the film, so she’s now staying with her unlucky in love Uncle Matt and wishes that he’d be happy and find someone to love and to love him back. Without giving everything away, not only does this film show my dream job (after watching it I really wanted Kristi’s job!), it shows how easy it is to bring love and joy to people at Christmas time – simple things have huge impacts on the people you do them for. If you’re stuck for something sweet and thorough enjoyable to watch this Christmas, check out Christmas Mail! You won’t be disappointed! Plus, there’s a dog in it. It’s practically the perfect Christmas film!
6) The Santa Claus
I remember watching The Santa Claus in primary school every year, and every year we’d be so excited to watch the same film over and over again. Our teachers must have known the entire script by the end of it all. Because it was a film my friends and I worshiped all those years ago, I had to include it here.
The Santa Claus is a simple idea, and I’m sure many of us wondered about it when we were younger. Who is Santa? Who gets to be Santa when the other retires or something happens to him? Does he have a family that will take his place? Is the new Santa chosen at random? WHAT HAPPENS?! In this delightfully festive film we find out! A divorced father of one, Scott, so happens to be in an accident involving Santa Claus. He finds instructions that tells him to put on the Santa suit if an accident occurs. Suddenly he’s whisked away delivering presents across the world! Shortly after that incident happens, Scott slowly finds out that there’s no escaping the big jolly man in the sky – because he is now, by default, the big jolly man in the sky. It may be 22 years old, but the fun and excitement it brings while watching it never fades. This is a perfect family film to settle down to over the festive period!
5) How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Have you ever heard the term ‘you’re such a Grinch!’? If you have, it probably means you’re a bit of a Christmas-party-pooper and are just generally grumpy over the Christmas period. But fear not! How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a film about just that! Of course, it is based on a popular Dr Seuss book, but it captures perfectly how a lot of us are grumpy and ‘hate’ Christmas, especially when everyone else seems to love it.
In Whoville, a small town full of Who’s, is where a little girl name Cindy Lou Who lives with her family. The entire town is excited for Christmas and are busy making preparations, but Cindy Lou wants more than just Christmas. She wants to befriend The Grinch. The Grinch, a nasty, fluffy green creature that’s spiteful and hates Christmas. But with a new-found friend, will he be able to get over his hatred for Christmas? Or is he about to ruin Christmas for the entire town of Whoville?
No matter how many times I watch this film, I still find it entertaining and magical. Even if I do relate more to the Grinch these days that I did years ago… If you want something a little bit different, with Christmas joy and a deep hate and sarcastic comments to balance out the sweetness then this is the perfect film for you!
4) Harry Potter: And the Philosopher’s Stone
Here in the UK every Christmas, ITV (a British TV channel) puts on the Harry Potter series leading up to Christmas. That’s how you truly know Christmas is here. If you’ve not seen any of the films from the franchise, then how on earth have you managed that?! How have you lived a life without magic for so long?!
I love rewatching the films at any time of the year, but at Christmas they seem even more magical. Maybe it’s the magic you’re seeing on-screen along with the festive feeling of the Christmas countdown that’s making everything seem even more magical at this time of year. Whatever it is, it’s a tradition in many homes, including mine, to watch the entire franchise just before Christmas. Harry Potter is utterly incredible in so many ways, and I adore it with my entire heart. So if you’re searching for something uplifting, magical, but not glittered with a Christmas vibe, Harry Potter is the guy for you.
3) It’s A Wonderful Life
Nothing beats a true classic film to watch at Christmas time. Not only is It’s A Wonderful Life an iconic Christmas film, it’s also a beautiful tale of hope, joy, love and never giving up on who you are. Everyone knows this tale in some form or other. George Bailey has a very rare opportunity to see what life would be like if he hadn’t existed, and that reminds him exactly why he exists.
George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 before attempting to deposit it in the bank. Mr Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realises that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George…But will it be too late to safe George, his company, family and town? This is the perfect film to watch on Christmas Eve. It’ll give you all the feels.
2) The Nativity
So The Nativity is not just only one of my favourite Christmas films, but it’s by far one of my favourite ever films! The first time I saw it, sat on the sofa with my mum drinking hot chocolate, I was instantly in love with everything about the film. The characters, the charm it had, the narrative – everything! I even sobbed my eyes out at parts that weren’t even that sad. It was just a fantastic film from start to finish. If I ever needed a reminder of why I’m studying media production, this is it.
The Nativity sees two schools fight for a 5* review from one of the harshest critics in the UK. Mr Maddens, a rather grumpy primary school teacher is assigned the task of directing and composing the Christmas nativity, along with his new teaching assistant Mr Poppy (who’s the real star of the film). When a slight fib slips out that Hollywood directors and film companies will be coming to Mr Maddens’ production of the Nativity – it sets everyone off on a rather exciting adventure, and an unforgettable rehearsal. This is the film that will make you laugh, cry, sing, and gasp at – what more can you want?
1) Love Actually
Love Actually is one of the most romantic films I’ve ever seen. It’s a gorgeous tale that has ever so slight links with each and every character involved. Based in London (and for a little while America) we see the characters and their lives in the run up to Christmas. We see a variety of characters from iconic British figures to every day families coping with every day life. There is no way to describe this film other than fantastically made, and the narratives are brilliantly intertwined with one another.
I adore this film so much. Although this year it will be extremely hard for me to watch, since Alan Rickman passed away this year. I’ve not watched anything with him in since his passing, but it’ll be a beautiful way to remember him, by watching one of the most beautiful films that he’s a huge part of. Although this film is bittersweet, it’s still one of the greatest Christmas films I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across. No matter how old I get, or how much the film becomes dated, it will always hold a very, very special place in my heart – especially around Christmas time.
And those are my Top 10 Christmas Films! I’d like to give honourable mentions to The Nightmare Before Christmas, Peter Pan, The Polar Express and many others – but if I had to write about all of my festive favourites then I’d be here until next Christmas! Let me know what your favourite Christmas film is down below in the comment section! And of course, if we share any films in our top 10 lists! Until tomorrow, have an awfully big adventure!