10 OF THE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES
There are so many things I love about Christmas, the fairy lights, the gingerbread and generally the happy glow everybody has about them knowing presents and holidays are on the horizon. For me, watching copious amounts of Christmas cheer is definitely high on my list, after all who doesn’t love a fairytale or drama with a festive twist? So strap in and make yourself some popcorn (or a hot chocolate with marshmallows and a gingerbread man, because, you know - it’s Christmas!) and work your way through my favourite Christmas movies.
1. Love Actually
My number one… This is the one movie that I sit and watch with my family every single year after the Christmas Day madness has passed and everyone else has gone home. Nine intertwined stories show us different types and forms of love through the lead up to Christmas. If you haven’t watched this - stop reading and go and turn on your TV now.
Classic Christmas movies don’t get much more classic than this one. Buddy the Elf was raised from a toddler to adulthood by Santa and his elves, but has always felt he didn’t really fit in. In search of his biological father, he travels to New York City, leaving a trail of chaos wherever he goes and finds his father is a cynical businessman who is in need of some Christmas spirit.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
A favourite from Dr Seuss takes us to the town of Whoville where Christmas cheer is in full swing. But our grumpy green Grinch doesn’t like that and plots to ruin Christmas for everybody. Joined by his dog Max, the Grinch finds a snag in his plans when he meets little Cindy Lou Who along the way.
4. Arthur Christmas
I had only discovered this one in more recent years, but have loved watching it every year since. A new twist on the traditional portrayal of Santa Claus, shows how Santa delivers every present via a very high tech operation run by hundreds of elves beneath the North Pole. When one present is missed and a little girl could wake up with nothing under the tree from Santa, Santa’s youngest son Arthur resorts to the olden ways to deliver the gift before the morning dawns.
5. The Holiday
This year was the first time I watched The Holiday and I absolutely loved it. To me it felt like a bit of a cross between Love Actually and Bridget Jones Diary - probably because both are set in the UK too. Both cheated on, and a bit down in the dumps, Iris from England and Amanda from the US are in need of an escape and switch houses for the Christmas break. While Iris finds herself in a LA mansion, Amanda navigates through the picture-perfect Surrey countryside. In very different circumstances, both find love from the locals. Did I mention this one also has Jude Law in it? If the story line doesn’t get you, hopefully his presence alone will.
6. A Christmas Prince
Unlike most of the other ‘classics’ on this list, this relatively new addition is a bit of cliche fun. An aspiring American journalist is sent to the foreign fantasy nation of Aldovia to cover a press conference of the crowning of prince Richard after the passing of his father. After slipping into the palace she is mistaken for the princesses tutor and begins to get to know the family.
7. Home Alone 1 and 2
A 90’s cult classic, I think we all grew up watching this one at Christmas time. Eight year old Kevin McCallister finds himself left behind at home for Christmas. Fending for himself, he goes head-to-head with two boneheaded criminals who attempt to rob his family home, and so the hilarious antics begin. One year later, in Home Alone 2, Kevin finds himself stranded in New York City after losing his family at the airport. With his Dad’s trusty credit card in hand, Kevin turns a suite at The Plaza into his playground, and finds himself entangled with the boneheaded criminals again, as they attempt to rob a children's toy store.
8. The Princess Switch
Another modern Christmas tale from Netflix (see A Christmas Prince, above), one week before Christmas a down to earth baker from Chicago travel to fantasy like Belgravia to compete in a baking competition for the royal family. While there, she discovers the duchess is her exact identical and they decide to switch places for two days, only to realise they are more suited to the others life.
9. Christmas With the Kranks
Another classic from the 2000’s, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas this year and escape on a Caribbean cruise. Their Christmas obsessed neighbours don’t take kindly to this as they are determined to win the annual ‘best decorated street’ competition. Social outcasts from their lack of Christmas spirit, a last minute visit from their daughter turns everything on its head.
10. The Santa Clause
Back to the 90’s for divorcee Dad Scott who is with his son on Christmas Eve. After accidentally killing a man in a Santa suit they are taken to the North Pole where an elf explains he will take the place of Santa before the next Christmas. Thinking it is a dream, the antics begin as he gains weight, grows a white beard and starts transforming into Santa over the next few months.
Plus one bonus, Shrek The Halls
Not quite a movie, but this little short film is a whole lot of usual Shrek fun. On Christmas Eve Shrek realises that he can’t skip Christmas and needs to set up for the first Christmas with his new family. Unfortunately all of his friends (hello Donkey, Gingerbread Man, Puss in Boots & co) have their own ideas about what Christmas should be.