There aren’t many better ways to spend a cold December evening than snuggled up under a blanket watching a Christmas movie. Read on for my rundown of the top 15 festive movies that deserve a place on your TV this holiday season.
1. Home Alone
Home Alone is a beloved festive family movie and with good reason. Following the misadventures of Kevin McAllister, a bratty but endearing child who, through a series of admittedly unlikely but hilarious scenarios, keeps finding himself home alone, the whole series offers a combination of wit, slapstick humor, and heart-warming moments: the perfect combination for a Christmas movie night.
2. The Holiday
In this star-studded romcom, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz swap homes for the holiday season, with romance and shenanigans ensuing. This is a laid-back, feel-good festive flick that is sure to charm viewers with its easy-to-follow plot and cozy aesthetic.
3. Love Actually
Richard Curtis’ famous Christmas movie explores love and romance in all its forms. Unabashedly sentimental, but peppered with comic moments, most viewers will identify with one of the stories weaved into this touching patchwork of love stories.
One for all the family, Elf is arguably Will Ferrell’s finest work to date. This goofy, silly comedy follows Buddy, a human who grew up on the North Pole working for Santa, as he scours New York for his real father.
5. It’s A Wonderful Life
This well-loved classic couldn’t be left off this list. In a touching tale full of Christmas cheer, a suicidal man is visited by an angel who shows him all the ways in which he’s had a positive impact on the lives of others. Timeless and uplifting, this is definitely one to watch on a cold winter night.
6. The Santa Clause
If you kill Santa Claus, you become Santa Claus. Nobody learns this faster than Tim Allen’s Scott Calvin, who accidentally causes Santa’s death and subsequently transforms into his replacement, from the white beard to the generous belly. Funny and heart-warming, this is another film that can be enjoyed by all the family.
7. The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppets are back and re-telling Dickens’ classic tale in their trademark style. Join Kermit and friends as they teach Scrooge the real meaning of Christmas.
8. Die Hard
Wherever you stand on the “is Die Hard really a Christmas film?” debate, it definitely deserves a watch in the holiday period. If you need a break from twee romcoms or family favorites, this action-packed classic might be for you.
9. The Snowman
The beautiful artwork and moving soundtrack combine to make The Snowman a nostalgic Christmas classic. An incredible amount of emotion is packed into this 30-minute animation that follows the adventures of a boy and his snowman, and the inevitable heartbreak when the frost thaws.
10. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr. Seuss’ beloved tale is adapted into a live-action comedy in this Christmas classic. Taylor Momsen’s adorable Cindy Lou Who is on a mission to save Christmas from the Grinch, played very convincingly by Jim Carrey. Packed with catchy tunes and goofy costumes, this is another family favorite.
11. A Christmas Carol
The second adaptation of Dickens’ novel to make the list, the 1999 remake of A Christmas Carol, originally made for TV, is one of the best.
This dark comedy follows a 20th century Scrooge. The classic fable is updated for the modern age and is the perfect antidote to saccharine Yuletide offerings.
13. Arthur Christmas
James McAvoy shines as Arthur in this whimsical animation that follows Santa’s youngest son as he battles to ensure that not one child is forgotten on Christmas morning. This movie is beautifully animated, imaginative, and as touching as you’d expect a festive tale to be.
14. Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Not inspired by any of the Dickens adaptations mentioned so far? Try Mickey Mouse’s version. A classic Christmas offering from Disney, this heart-warming festive favorite offers an animated twist on the well-known tale.
15. Miracle On 34th Street
This magical film follows a skeptical girl and her equally skeptical mother who may have stumbled upon Santa Claus himself. Funny, uplifting, and charming, this family fantasy has earned its reputation as an undisputed Christmas classic. Both the 1994 and 1947 versions are worth a watch.
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