Every year, as Christmas is approaching, many of us choose to get into the Christmas spirit by watching Christmas films. Whether it’s cheesy Netflix movies, or classic nostalgic ones from childhood, there’s something about Christmas films that is so different to any other film; they don’t have to be objectively wonderful to be enjoyed, and you can simply watch them every year without losing interest.
This year, I’ve watched a combination of Christmas films – some new, some old. I haven’t participated in the blogging event Blogmas, where bloggers post Christmas posts everyday of December, nor have I posted even one singular Christmas post so far, so this one is a little overdue!
Here’s a list of some of the best Christmas films, the most heart-warming Christmas films and the absolute classics! I’ve only included the ones I’ve watched this year, so I’m sure there are many more great ones to watch in 2021 (but not until December of course).
This is actually a Christmas film I’ve never watched before, but then it was only released last year! It’s all about a young boy who is sent to become a postman, and he befriends what can only be called an unfriendly Santa. This animated family movie tells the story of how Santa came to become, well, Santa. On the surface it’s a kids film, but it also deals with mature subjects of loss, and it was unexpectedly wonderful.
The Grinch (2018)
I can’t remember if I’ve watched the original Grinch movie – if I have, it was a long time ago – but I’m glad as it meant I went into this film with fresh eyes. And I was pleasantly surprised! Of course, it reminded me so much of Horton Hears A Who, due to the same animation, so it felt almost nostalgic although I’d never seen it before. It was feel-good, adorable, and the overall message was heart-warming.
I also think this film is very relevant to today; it isn’t the presents and the “stuff” that makes Christmas (or any holiday) what it is, but the kindness and love we have towards each other as people. And, in light of the coronavirus and lockdown, this hit a little harder, as many of us can’t spend that quality time with the people we’d like over Christmas. But this film acts as a reminder that every interaction matters – whether to those close to us or simply to strangers.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
This 80’s slapstick comedy is one of those classic stupid yet entertaining Christmas films. Somehow, I’d never heard of it until it popped up on Amazon Prime, but it was nice to watch something different. It’s perfect to watch with friends or family; it wouldn’t be as entertaining on your own! I think there might be a sequel to this film too, so that’s on the list for next year…
It wouldn’t be Christmas without watching at least one cringey Netflix film. Last year, that was The Knight Before Christmas, which was truly awful but entertaining to watch with a friend. This year, it was Holidate. I think if you go into these films knowing it’s going to be a light-hearted, predictable watch, then you won’t be let down. It wasn’t actually as bad as I expected and I enjoyed watching it, but the speech at the end was definitely too cheesy for my liking.
A Christmas Carol (Virtual Live Theatre!)
So, this one is an exception on the list because it wasn’t actually a film – it was live theatre! Due to lockdown, theatres have been closed, so instead you can buy virtual tickets to stream the live show from your living room! I’d never tried this before, but I really enjoyed it. My Dad and I gathered ice cream pots (just like the ones you can buy at the interval at theatres) and watched on the TV with the Christmas tree lights in the background. It can never fully replace being there at the theatre itself, but it’s the closest you can get. The acting was exceptional, and I really resonated with the overall message of A Christmas Carol – outlook and perspective is everything.
So, perhaps this is cheating because I haven’t watched this film this year yet, but Christmas isn’t Christmas without Elf and I will definitely be watching it on Christmas Day! There’s not much I need to say about this one because it’s a classic and everybody knows it, but this is one of those Christmas films I’ll never get bored of and it always makes me laugh.
Home Alone / Home Alone 2
Again, I haven’t watched these yet this year, but the plan is to watch them today or tomorrow! I normally always watch Home Alone every year, but I can’t remember if I’ve seen the sequel. Either way, I’ve heard great things, so I’m looking forward to giving that a go too. It’ll no doubt bring back happy memories of when I travelled to New York a couple Christmases ago!
What Christmas films have you watched this year? Do you have a particular tradition?
Let me know in the comments below… and Happy Christmas Eve!