Get nostalgic with these 10 classic Christmas films

Love it or loathe it, Christmas is on its way! If the prospect of essay deadlines and ‘suggested reading‘ doesn’t jingle your bells (other Christmas-related puns are available), here are 10 classic Christmas films to get you (even slightly) in the festive mood.

Note: absolutely no Netflix Originals appear on this list (you’re welcome).

1. Elf (2003)

If you have a young relative (or if you happen to spend your time frequenting bargain shops) you’ll have seen that the irritating stripe-clad ‘Elf on the Shelf’ toys are everywhere. Not quite as annoying, but definitely stripe-clad, Buddy the Elf is the protagonist of this part-family-part-romantic-comedy film. Buddy, a human who was accidentally taken to the North Pole as a child by Santa, knows he doesn’t fit in with the other (much smaller) elves. This leads him to embark on a trip to New York, where he finds his real father and begins a real adventure.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Not exactly a traditional Christmas film, but this family fantasy-animation is perfect for anyone who hasn’t quite shaken off Halloween, just like Jack Skellington. Jack Skellington, King of Halloween Town, is bored of the same routine and stumbles upon Christmas Town. His attempts to bring this new, exciting holiday back to his own town just don’t go as planned.

3. Home Alone (1990)

Imagine being stuck at home, without annoying flatmates or parents, and Netflix all to yourself… sounds like a dream, right? This (minus the Netflix and flatmates) is exactly what happens to Kevin in this family comedy. After his family accidentally leave him home alone during the Christmas holidays, Kevin adjusts to it and craftily deals with the appearance of two men intent on robbing his house!

 4. The Snowman (1982)

While we may not get snow this Christmas, this film is a perfect reminder of childhood days gone by, building (rather underwhelming) snowmen in the garden. On Christmas Eve, a young boy builds a snowman which comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus.

5. Die Hard (1988)

It’s debatable whether or not this is a Christmas film (I don’t think so, but I guess it could be given the Christmas release date) but it’s definitely an alternative way to get into the festive spirit. NYPD officer John McClane tries to save his wife and several others who have been taken hostage by a German terrorist group during an office Christmas party.

6. Love Actually (2003)

Iconic. Christmas is all about spending time with people you love, and love is the central theme of this romantic comedy-drama. Several well-known Brits front the cast in this film, which follows eight couples and their very different love lives over the Christmas period in London.

7. The Holiday (2006)

Everyone loves a good festive romance, right? Well, this film fits the bill! Two women from different sides of ‘the pond’ swap homes with each other to get away from guy problems, only to fall in love while they’re there.

8. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

We can’t avoid a tear-jerker and, here’s your warning, you’ll need tissues for this one! It’s a classic Christmas film. An angel is sent from heaven to help a businessman by showing him what life would be like if he didn’t exist.

9. The Polar Express (2004)

Many of us will experience the horror of train journeys with their steep fares, constant strikes and less than tolerable passengers but, if ever there was a train you wanted to be on, it’s The Polar Express. In this film, a young boy heads to The North Pole on The Polar Express and he learns about friendship, bravery and the spirit of Christmas along the way.

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Not everyone embraces the Christmas spirit (especially not so early) and that’s exactly what this movie is about. Self-confessed Christmas hater The Grinch plans on ruining Christmas for the residents of Whoville but, in the end, it doesn’t go exactly to plan.

Image: Love Actually; Universal Pictures.

Jennifer Rose

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