Every year when December rolls around, I explode like a festive bomb. I adore Christmas and everything that comes with it. The music, the jumpers, my candy cane earrings (yes I am wearing them as I write this) and of course the films. Each year brings with it a raft of new festive films but for me, the old ones are the best. Here's my run down of my Top 10 Christmas Films...
10. Father Christmas
Definitely more of a short than a feature film, at only 26 minutes, Father Christmas is a delight. Created in 1991 for Channel 4, it shows a different side to Father Christmas. He's a rather grumpy man who finds his Christmas Eve trips a real drag. So, he takes himself off on holiday. Father Christmas in swim shorts and sipping cocktails is not our traditional view of the man in red, but it's certainly a lot of fun.
9. Meet Me in St Louis
Perhaps not strictly a Christmas film but it does feature Judy Garland singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!
8. The Holiday
Well, Jude Law and a cosy chocolate box cottage - what more could you want?? This movie has it all - jazzy Christmas music, Mr Napkin Head, beautiful homes in both the UK and USA, wonderful actors and snow!
7. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Having recently (ahem, last night) watched this film, I can attest to how well it stands the test of time. I still cannot get over the fact that Cindy Lou Who became Jenny in Gossip Girl, but the stand out is, of course, Jim Carrey. There are some amazing facts out there about the making of this unique film, including that Carrey spent 2 hours getting into the Grinch make up and 1 hour getting out. As an appreciative gesture director Ron Howard appeared on set one day in full Grinch make up and costume. However, Carrey thought he was a stunt double for himself and expressed disappointment in how they didn't look anything alike. I assume the joke was then revealed....
6. The Snowman
The original and the best. Don't try to tempt me with the addition of The Snowdog, as cute as he may be. I have nothing further to say about this wonderful short film, except that not much conjures up the spirit of Christmas than a group of snowmen dancing with Father Christmas.
5. Miracle of 34th Street (1994)
Richard Attenborough, awesome music and New York at Christmas? This is my dream! I have loved this film for years and every Christmas rediscover the charm and warmth of it. The story of a little girl who has been told by her mother that Santa Claus does not exist finds herself befriending a man who claims he is in fact, Santa Claus. The film takes a dark twist when this man is accused of being insane and the question is then asked of the judge in the case - Do you believe in Santa Claus?
4. Love Actually
Ah, Love Actually. Iconic to a tee. Whether it's Emma Thompson crying to a soundtrack of Joni Mitchell after she suspects husband Alan Rickman of having an affair; the infamous carol singing scene outside Keira Knightley's house or the run through Heathrow airport, everyone has their favourite part of this classic film. A true ensemble cast, this is Richard Curtis at his very best.
3. A Muppet Christmas Carol
I LOVE this film! It's absolutely hilarious, beautifully scripted and wonderfully simplified without losing the heart of the original Dickens' story. It's a tradition for me to watch this while decorating the tree as there's always songs to sing along to and you can't help but feel jolly and Christmassy!
2. White Christmas
This one is a proper tear jerker for me. We have been watching this on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember and singing our hearts out to tunes like The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing, Sisters and of course White Christmas.
So here we are, number one. If you've scrolled to the bottom of this page to find out my favourite Christmas film, then you've also discovered my favourite film of all time. They are one and the same.
1. It's a Wonderful Life
I'm going to come right out and say it - I have a crush on George Bailey. Specifically, James Stewart playing George Bailey in this, the most festive of movies. This moving depiction of a man's life that didn't go the way he intended is essential viewing for young and old. It teaches us to appreciate what we have, be open to new things and to always remember "no man is a failure who has friends". Crikey, I've just welled up typing that.
It's no secret that this Christmas is going to very different. I will be spending it with my family and taking in every single minute. In this absolutely ridiculous year, we need time together more than ever.
However you're spending the festive season, Merry Christmas!
Here's the one and only Frank Sinatra telling you to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
P.S. You might notice the lyrics are slightly different in this version - they're the original ones!
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