It’s that time of year when we start to think about our Christmas traditions. And one of my favourite traditions is to try and watch as many Christmas movies as possible over the holiday period. Saying that I like movies is an understatement. I LOVE movies. I probably own the best part of 1000 movies physically, and many more digitally.
Before Chase arrived, My husband and I would spend an entire weekend or two lounging around in our PJ’s, trying to cram in as many films or TV boxsets in as possible. Obviously sitting around in your PJ’s watching movies all day isn’t as easy with a toddler; but around Christmas time, we do still try to get a few of our festive favourites in before the big day!
So for those people looking for some festive inspiration, I’ve compiled a list of 25 of my favourite Christmas movies. Hopefully you’ll find a few new festive favourites to add to your list! Oh, and by the way, there’s no official order to these movies – It’s not a chart. Though if I had to pick my festive favourite, I think it would have to be Elf. How about you?
1. THE SNOWMAN (1982)
Despite having no words (bar the song), since it’s release in 1982, Raymond Briggs animation “The Snowman” has become an iconic brand representing all things Christmas.
It tells the story of a young boy who builds a snowman on Christmas Eve that comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause. A much loved classic in all households, and definitely one for the whole family to enjoy.
2. Love Actually (2003)
If your looking for a film that doesn’t follow one main story, but follows several – Each one pulling at their own unique version of finding happiness through love at Christmas, with a bit of comedy thrown in. Then this is the movie for you.
A fail-safe romantic comedy; good for a night in with the girls, or snuggled up on the sofa your partner.
Oh, and did I mention, that the film is set in London, and stars the lovable Hugh Grant.
3. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
A true Christmas classic, featuring the late Sir Richard Attenborough. This film is all about dreams coming come true if you just “believe”.
This Christmas movie is great for all the family, and should especially appeal to younger, more imaginative children.
4. Just Friends (2005)
A funny, yet feel-good movie that looks at a guy, who after being placed in the “friend-zone” by the girl he fancies – Sets out on a path to become a “hot and successful” womaniser.
Make sure to watch through to the credits to see Ryan Reynolds humorous outtakes!
5. Bridget Jones Diary (2004)
The second instalment of a Hugh Grant film. So my apologies. You’ll either love him or be sick of him by the end of this list!
This movie-adaption of best selling book by Helen Fielding, has won the hearts of many viewers over the years with it’s brutal honesty and witty charm. It’s about a British woman is who keeps a diary documenting her determination to improve herself whilst looking for love in a year. Definitely a movie that is starting to become a holiday tradition!
6. Jingle All The Way (1996)
Based on the 1980’s shopping frenzy over Cabbage Patch Dolls, this film brings to light every parents worst nightmare. Shopping for the “it” toys at Christmas, and the insanity that entails. A family-friendly comedy with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
7. Deck The Halls (2006)
Clichés and silly antics galore; Danny DeVito heads up this family comedy about a battle of status between two neighbours at Christmas.
8. A Royal Christmas (2014)
I’m a sucker for corny Christmas movies. Especially these virtually unknown television films that you find squirrelled away on subscription services like Netflix and Prime. They’re my guilty pleasure, but generally only at Christmas.
A film about a humble American seamstress who finds out at Christmas that her boyfriend is actually a Prince, and heir to the Cordinian throne. Upon taking her home for Christmas with the intention of marrying her, they both find that his traditional mother has other plans.
9. A Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)
Another one of those Christmas movies that is guaranteed to be on the TV every year. This humorous family-friendly take on the original Charles Dicken’s classic, stars Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, alongside your favourite Muppets characters.
10. Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)
After losing her waitress job and perfect “mother-would-approve” boyfriend on Christmas Eve, struggling artist and black sheep of the family Trudie kidnaps one of her hunky customers by gunpoint and takes him to her family’s secluded lodge to pose as her boyfriend for her parents.
One of those predictable rom-com Christmas movies where you know they’ll fall for each other in the end, but you have to watch it to find out how it all plays out…
11. The Santa Clause (1994)
After a man inadvertently kills Santa Clause on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically turning into the big man himself so that he can fulfil the festive duties in his place.
A family fun Christmas movie with comedic moments throughout. Definitely worth a watch in my opinion!
12. About A Boy (2002)
Yes I do realise this is yet another Hugh Grant movie, and no I don’t have a thing for him. he just happens to be centre stage in a lot of feel good Christmas movies.
Not exactly a traditional Christmas movie, but the film starts during Christmas, is based loosely on a storyline revolving Christmas, and ends the following Christmas! So that counts as a Christmas movie in my books! Though not a family friendly movie, this emotional film is definitely worth a watch.
13. Jack Frost (1998)
Michael Keaton stars in this heart-warming family favourite as an always-on-the-road singer, who never keeps his promises to his young son. After a car accident that claims his life, Jack is reincarnated as a snowman, and given a second chance to make amends and spend time with his son before he’s gone forever.
14. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
A Tim Burton Halloween-Christmas crossover, that sees King of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington journey out to Christmas Town in search of some thing new to celebrate instead of Halloween. Inspired by his visit, he tries to get the residents of Halloween Town to take on board the traditions he witnessed in Christmas Town… But things are never that easy…
Family fun with bats, ghouls, goblins and ghost dogs! There’s even a guest appearance by Santa! (well, until he’s kidnapped by the Boogie Man).
15. Four Christmases (2008)
A member of the US comedian Frat Pack, Vince Vaughn is not an unfamiliar face when it comes to romcoms and comedies. And this film is one of those that brings out his more sensitive side, rather than the haphazard funnyman we’re used to seeing.
A young couple who love their free-spirited life of travelling and doing what they want, end up having to spend the holidays with their two sets of divorced parents. The four Christmases with each family brings out emotions, memories and new thoughts on what the future may bring. And leads them to rethink themselves and their relationship.
16. Fred Klaus (2007)
My second Vince Vaughn instalment in this list – This was actually the first Christmas movie of the two in this list, being released a year before Four Christmases. Both films show Vaughn having to go through a journey of growing-up, to become the better man.
After a money-making scam goes wrong, self-centred and non-paternal Fred Claus heads to the North Pole to help his younger brother Nick “Santa” Claus prepare for Christmas. But when things start to go wrong for Santa, will his younger brother step up to help him out? A family feature, showing the magic of Christmas bringing people together.
17. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Another book-turned movie family feature starring Jim Carrey. You know straight away that this will be a great combination. Make that book a Dr Seuss classic, and that Jim Carrey character a Grinch who steals Christmas from the happy and lovable Whos of Whoville, and you’re onto a winner.
18. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
OK, so I realise that this isn’t actually a Christmas movie. BUT, think about it. Christmas at Hogwarts! Snow, magic, the castle decorated with humongous trees bigger than Hagrid, a feast to rival all feasts, and Harry celebrating his first proper Christmas with his new found friends.
I actually got to visit Harry Potter World in Florida, where Hogsmeade was covered in snow and decorated snowmen for Christmas, and more recently, Harry Potter Studios in the UK, again at Christmas time. Where they had the great hall decorated as they do in the movies, and the castle model covered in snow. It really reminded me of how much Harry Potter represents the magical experiences and emotions surrounding Christmas.
19. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe (2005)
Another “not exactly a Christmas movie” persae, but it also includes snow and magic, plus a family-friendly storyline; and the heroes winning will mean (amongst other things) bringing back Christmas to Narnia. And Santa even makes an appearance! So it counts…
I actually watched this film again last week as a warm up to December. Based on the best-selling children’s books by C S Lewis, it’s about four children who after being sent to a safe house in the countryside during the war, find a wardrobe that sends them to the magical land of Narnia. Here they learn about family, bravery, courage and helping others, all on their journey to make a free Narnia with the help of a mysterious magical lion named Aslan.
20. Home Alone (1990)
It wouldn’t be Christmas with Macaulay Culkin causing havoc in Home Alone. Growing up this was one of those movies I looked forward to seeing on the TV every year. Now over 25yrs later (yep, it’s been that long!) it’s still a firm favourite for all the family.
After being accidentally left at home by his family at Christmas, 8-year old troublemaker Kevin tries to protect his home from a pair of pesky burglars. A laugh-out-loud family comedy that will become, if not already, a movie tradition you watch every Christmas.
21. Polar Express (2004)
A magical Christmas movie that tells the tale of a young boy who embarks on an adventure to the North Pole upon the Polar Express.
Tom Hanks plays a whole host of characters in this film, whose influences help the young boy to learn about friendship, bravery, and the true spirit of Christmas.
A family favourite, and one of those great Christmas movies for all the family to enjoy.
22. The Holiday (2006)
Another one of my favourite Christmas movies. Seriously underrated in my opinion, this holiday rom-com sees two unlucky-in-love women from different sides of the world, take part in an intercontinental life swap for the holidays in order to try and catch a break from men. However both women end up falling in love with a local guy, and having to make the decision of make or break when they go back to their respective homes.
A heart-warming storyline, with an iconic cast list. Throw together Jude Law’s charm, and some comical twists from comedian Jack Black and you have a perfect date-night movie.
23. A Christmas Carol (2009)
Another classic, done numerous times – In fact it’s in this list twice (See slide 9 for The Muppets take). But this animated version with Jim Carrey has to be my favourite. Plus, the film was released on my birthday, and I happened to be in London at the time of the premiere, so got to see the magic recreated on the red carpet in a very special light switch-on event.
This animated retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel is about a man taken on a journey of self-redemption, thanks to the various ghosts of Christmas. Another family must-see this Christmas.
24. Elf (2003)
One of the funniest and most engaging Christmas movies of the lot, plus suitable for all the family – Will Ferrell is brilliant in this laugh-out-loud family comedy about a man who tries to fit in in the real world after being raised as an elf.
The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.
25. Frozen (2013)
Probably the newest of Christmas movies in this collection, but undoubtedly one of the biggest family favourites in recent years. Disney has captivated both young children and adults alike in this heart-warming animated adventure.
Combine a Snow Queen, a modern-day heroine, a mountain man, a playful reindeer, and a fun-loving, cuddly snowman – and you get this delightful animated film suitable for all the family.
Though I warn you now. You will never again be able to hear the words “Let it Go” without breaking into song…
And That’s A Wrap on Our 25 Best Christmas Movies!
So what do you think? Are there any here that are firm favourites in your house? Or did I miss one that’s always on your watch list? Let me know in the comments below!
Want to save this list for later? Follow my board on Pinterest for a quick and easy reference for all of these great Christmas movies!