My Favourite Christmas Movies

I am mad about Christmas. Everything takes on special meaning – “we’re eating Christmas cookies and drinking Christmas eggnog from our Christmas mugs, while looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve!” I also like to watch Christmas movies non-stop from the first of December (and that’s if I can control myself enough to not start earlier).

Strangely enough, I couldn’t have picked a more polar opposite husband, though he’s coming around. Every year when we buy yet more decorations, he always says that it’s because I love it so much… but with all the little comments here and there about how magical everything looks, I think he secretly loves it too. Maybe not the racing around the countryside to visit 1231872139 family members though, but I don’t think that’s ever going to change.

He does put up with my endless Christmas movie marathon though, so I think I picked a winner. Sometimes it almost feels like he enjoys them too! Here are my favourites that I love to watch at this time of year, in no particular order:

The Muppets Christmas Carol

The best! I have loved this movie since we had it on VHS as kids and would watch it non-stop for the whole month of December. Michael Caine is perfectly Scrooge-y (“if he became a flavour you could bet he would be sour!”) and the songs are extremely catchy. I think it’s a huge missed opportunity though to not have an aged-up Belle at the family Christmas at the end so that Scrooge has another chance with her. Even though it’s highly unlikely that she would have stayed unmarried in those days.

Love Actually

It seems that everybody has a problem with this movie, but if you can get past all that and enjoy it for the silly, daggy, sometimes sexist, very British movie that it is, it’s good! The director actually hates that people think of it as a Christmas movie, because it’s meant to be about love instead. Then why have the whole plot revolve around Christmas then? Definitely a Christmas movie.

The Santa Clause

Quintessentially 90s – psychiatry is a big point in this, which is kind of telling as it was a huge preoccupation in that era. I was watching this the other day with Nathan, and it kind of shocked me that despite little niggling arguments, Scott and his ex-wife actually have a pretty good, respectful co-parenting relationship, which is nice to see. I have an issue with this though – if Santa puts presents under the trees, why do none of the parents believe in Santa? How do they rationalize these presents that they didn’t buy magically appearing under the tree? Or do they just assume every year that the other parent bought the gifts? Or we could be massively overthinking this. Just watch it.

Miracle on 34th Street

But which one? The old Natalie Wood one, or the new Mara Wilson one? They both have their charms. I think the modern one is more entertaining, but Natalie Wood is such a star. The newer one always makes me cry when everybody is cheering in the streets, and when Santa talks to the little deaf girl. I would also gladly sell Nathan and the dogs for a chance to live in the catalogue house.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Again – a movie that everybody thinks is a Christmas movie, but the director said it’s actually for Halloween! Which may be reasonable, because there are very, very few Halloween movies. But you can’t have a scene like ‘What’s This?’ and then say it has nothing to do with Christmas.

The Family Stone

Another one that makes me cry. Sarah Jessica Parker gets on my nerves a lot, but she actually really suits her character here – it’s okay that she’s unlikable, because she eventually finds somebody who likes her regardless. The boyfriend swapping is a little odd, and the ‘normal’ argument at the dinner table is excruciating, but I guess this is how real families work.

Little Women

Not technically a Christmas movie at all, but Christmas happens! And anything with snow and tartan and evergreen trees is always going to feel like Christmas. Again, Laurie with the “I’ll take any one of the sisters, don’t mind which one” thing is a bit weird, and has felt stranger as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still heartwarming. You will cry over Beth though, even if Claire Danes is the queen of ugly crying.

Sleepless in Seattle

Again, not really a Christmas movie at all. It starts at Christmas though, so it kind of counts. This is another movie that has seemed stranger as I got older – so, Annie stalks a man she heard on the radio, emotionally cheats on her fiancé, turns up where a stranger lives just to stare at him, but it’s all okay because they are happy in the end. It is creepy, to be honest. But the movie itself is so comforting and romantic, definitely feels like Christmas.

And the absolute best… Gremlins

So a Christmas movie! Nathan and I have watched this several years in a row on Christmas Eve, because it’s always time for Gremlins. Bonus points if you watch Gremlins 2, which has nothing to do with Christmas.

A Mom for Christmas

This one doesn’t even have a gif, because even though it appears to be a cult favourite among people I know, it seems to be almost entirely absent on the internet. Olivia Newton John is a mannequin brought to life when a girl wishes she had a mother for Christmas… and she is a total nutcase. I don’t think I will ever be convinced that Olivia Newton John isn’t some kind of alien, along with John Farnham and Delta Goodrem.

Honourable mentions:

It’s a Wonderful Life
Jingle All the Way
Die Hard

Not on the list: 

The Christmas Prince. Sorry, not sorry!

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