There's movie magic and then there's Christmas movie magic. They just have something about them and I often find myself allowing them to get away with things I would normally find off-putting in a film. Every single one of them has their own special Christmas feel and everyone has their particular favourites that they watch every festive season. I'm here to share with you my ten favourite Christmas movies but before we get started, here's a few honourable mentions that didn't quite make the list but you may find in yours...


White Christmas


Love Actually

Black Christmas (1974)

The Christmas Chronicles

The Christmas Chronicles 2

Miracle on 34th Street

The Grinch

The Santa Clause

The Muppet Christmas Carol

10) The Night Before (2015)

The Night Before has grown on me substantially over the past couple of years, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt tearing it up on Christmas Eve for one last time to attend the Nutcracker Ball, an exclusive party-to-end-all-parties that has eluded them since their college days. It's wild and references a number of Christmas classics in a unique way amidst all the drug-fuelled chaos of this Christmas Eve adventure, Michael Shannon's scene-stealing drug dealing angel and Seth Rogen's paranoia inside a church at Midnight Mass being the icing on the cake.

9) Jingle All the Way

Whoever thought of putting Arnie at the front of one of the cheesiest Christmas films of all time is a genius because Jingle All the Way is so much fun. Majorly flawed in places but so great in others, Arnie is the father facing the nightmare of hunting for an in-demand toy for his son's (CHAMIE!!!) Christmas present. He goes through hell trying to get the toy, being labelled a pervert one of many mishaps he faces, as well as ensuring his wife is kept out of the clutches of his sleazy neighbour, Ted, culminating in one of the most ridiculous finales of all time but I love it. Without Arnie, this wouldn't come anywhere near this list so everyone together now, "PUT THE COOKIE DOWN!!! NOOOOW!!!"

8) Elf

There is no one else out there you could imagine filling the shoes of Buddy the Elf better than Will Ferrell, his comedic talents and childlike demeanour suiting Jon Favreau's Elf to a tee. It's a classic fish-out-of-water scenario that's both hilarious and heartwarming as Buddy looks to make a connection with his real father. In honour of this film, I will down a 2 litre bottle of Coca-Cola at the dinner table and lace my Christmas dinner with maple syrup. 'Tis the season of indulgence after all.

7) Bad Santa

One of the more unconventional Christmas films on this list and most definitely a film that doesn't, for the most part, adhere to the feeling of goodwill throughout. Bad Santa is a comedy vehicle for Billy Bob Thornton that really does deliver on the bad in abundance, whether it be his drinking, womanising or manner of dealing with the children who come to visit him in his grotto. It just proves that not every Christmas film has to be happy-clappy to make an impression.

6) Home Alone

What would you do if you were an eight-year-old left at home alone as the rest of your family jetted off to Paris for Christmas and your house was targeted by a pair of notorious burglars? Well, in Chris Columbus' 1990 classic, the tables are well and truly turned as Kevin McCallister sets up a bunch of imaginative booby traps both inside and outside of his house for the burglars, who don't exactly come across as the most prepared duo. It's violent and at some points I kind of hope they get their hands on Kevin but I can just about side with him in the end, just.

5) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

As controversial as this may be, I prefer this sequel to the first film. Yes it does retread familiar ground and the fact his family forget him again means he should probably be taken out of their care, but I find it to be a more entertaining film overall. Call me a sadist as well but the battle against Harry and Marv towards the end of the film is better here too, the bricks to the head reducing me to tears every single time.

4) Gremlins

Three simple rules to follow when Billy is his gifted Gizmo, a Mogwai, for Christmas would mean that his small town would have a peaceful and merry Christmas. Instead, the rules are of course broken and a horde of murderous gremlins are unleashed. Joe Dante's family horror film is the perfect mix of fun and scares, Steven Spielberg's influence felt throughout, ensuring people of all ages will be kept thoroughly entertained.

3) The Nightmare Before Christmas

Whether you have it as a Christmas film or Halloween film, The Nightmare Before Christmas is quite simply a great film. A favourite of mine from my childhood and a film that to this day lives up to those memories as Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, looks to reinvent Christmas after becoming fed up with scaring people every Halloween. The animation is stunning and the songs are just absolute crackers, What's This? being one of the greatest songs in the history of cinema.

2) Die Hard

Now, let's get this straight. Die Hard is most definitely a Christmas film. It's about a cop travelling to the other side of the country to spend Christmas with his wife and kids who just so happens to get caught in the middle of a hostage situation at her company's Christmas party. You're wrong if you don't think it can be classed as a Christmas film. Bruce Willis is on fire as the wisecracking New York cop, John McClane, and he goes up against Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber, who is easily one of the greatest movie villains of all time. It's fast-paced and explosive fun for the festive season and, as they say, Christmas doesn't start until Hans Gruber has fallen from the Nakatomi Plaza.

1) It's a Wonderful Life

Since seeing this for the first time about 5 years ago, It's a Wonderful Life has become essential viewing on Christmas Eve for me. James Stewart delivers one of the best performances of all time as George Bailey, a desperate man thinking of ending things until he is shown what life would be like if he had never been born. It's full of memorable scenes, none moreso than the closing scene of the film that always brings a tear to my eye. They say no film is perfect but It's a Wonderful Life is one of those films that just proves that statement wrong. If you have never seen it, do yourself a favour this Christmas.


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