It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Or, if you’re anything like me, it’s actually been looking a lot like Christmas since the day after Halloween. I can’t help it. I grew up in the Philippines – also unofficially known as the Christmas capital of the world – where the Christmas season starts in September. So here are our favourite Christmas movies for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy with a big cup of peppermint hot chocolate or mulled wine, wear your favourite holiday pyjamas, and get cosy – it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Love, Actually – let’s start with the classic, shall we? Some say this movie is problematic and honestly after watching it again recently, I agree. But isn’t it interesting how this film was okay back in 2003 but won’t fly in this day and age? It’s filled with inappropriate relationships, body shaming, and it treats the women in the stories pretty terribly. So why do we keep watching this every year? What is it about the film that makes it a classic? And why do we, despite its flaws and terrible messages, can’t help but love it? I don’t have the answers. But I do know that when Hugh Grant does his monologue at the very end, I can’t help but ugly cry as if on cue.
Elf – It’s wholesome. It’s funny. It’s got Zooey Deschanel singing. What’s not to love? Elf is one of those films that makes you feel Christmassy just by hearing the word. My favourite scene is definitely the scene where they do a duet of ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’. I’d even go as far as saying that it’s the best cover of the song!
Home Alone – Ahhh, another classic. I grew up watching Home Alone and it’s subsequent films. I loved it as a kid, finding joy and adventure amongst Kevin’s antics. I think it’s the film that made me truly fall in love with New York! I still love watching this every year, and it warms my heart to know that my little brothers love the film too. It’s a film that truly never gets old, no matter the generation. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!
Serendipity – So technically not a Christmas movie… but there are bits in it that happened during the season so I’ll allow it. Remember when I said I fell in love with NYC from watching Home Alone? Well, watching Serendipity truly deepened that love. It’s romantic and the meet cute is literally so magical that I dare you not to smile while watching this!
Jingle All The Way – As much as I loved Home Alone as a kid, it wasn’t my go-to film to feel Christmassy when I was growing up. Jingle All The Way is the Arnold Schwarzenegger family comedy classic that is jam-packed with action (of course) and family and all of the feel good feelings. This is number one on my list to watch this season and I think it’s on Netflix!
Christmas With The Kranks – I think I’ve appreciated this film more as an adult because I finally can understand why the parents chose to skip Christmas that year! And when that inevitable plot point hits, I really enjoy watching them run around trying to organise Christmas as such short notice. It reminds me of Auckland malls on the 24th of December and honestly there’s nothing more festive to me than being in a busy place filled with last minute gift shoppers and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” blasting on repeat at mall speakers.
Why Him? – This one is a bit more current as it was released in 2016 but I consider this a classic already as I’ve watched it every year since then. It’s just so darn funny! It’s got a bit of everything – family drama, rich hot eccentric boyfriend, real life rockstars, and snow. I mean, come on? What’s not to love?
The Holiday – You didn’t think I’d forget about this, did you? The Holiday is pretty up there with Love, Actually when you hear the word ‘Christmas’. I like watching this around the time where life gets really hectic – deadlines at work are looming while you try and get everything done before you go on break, party season in full swing, and then there’s Christmas food and gift prep. The Holiday is the perfect film to get into! You’ll be dreaming of your own holiday after it, guaranteed.
Last Christmas – Another newbie! This film is still out in theatres, I believe. People have built it up as this generation’s Love, Actually, and I feel like that’s unfair. There can never be another Love, Actually, and to reduce Last Christmas as that is doing it a disservice because this film deserves to stand on its own. Starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, this film is inspired by the music of George Michael and is as quirky, heartwarming, and magical as you can imagine. Go see it in your local cinema now!
How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Okay, so The Grinch is a totally relatable character in hindsight. I know this is based off a cartoon, but the Jim Carey version holds a special place in my heart. To this day, I still associate Christmas with that green Grinch face thanks to this film.
What are your favourite Christmas films?