Movies are by far one of the best things about the holiday season. From Christmas themed comedies to old childhood favourites, here are five nostalgic Christmas movies I’d recommend for a cosy night in.
Love Actually is an annual tradition with my best friend, but it’s been a bit sad watching it since Alan Rickman died. Some people think it’s problematic, and I’d agree to an extent, but as I said its tradition. Overall, I think it has some really funny moments but also is really sweat and reminds us of how important love is.
It’s hard to even surmise Love Actually because there are so many different storylines but they’re all connected. In short: four separate love stories intertwine and come to fruition (or well… crash and burn) coming up to Christmas. The Christmas comedy has cameos from Mr Bean himself Rowan Atkinson, Ant & Dec. It also has a star-studded cast of Kiera Knightly, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, and Colin Firth.
Love Actually got a sequel for Red Nose Day in 2017 – but it’s only a few minutes long.
Out of the four Vacation movies, Christmas Vacation and National Lampoon’s Vacation are my favourite.
Christmas Vacation sees the Griswalds trying to avoid their holiday curse by staying home for Christmas. However, even in their own house, trouble finds them. From the hilarious cousin Eddie and his family uninvited to fighting in-laws and the tree catching fire; Christmas vacation is a comedy classic. Although the Vacation films are from the 1980s, which is in my opinion the best era for movies, it held up really well!
Fun fact: A young Leonard from the Big Bang Theory plays Rusty in this one.
The Vacation movies are where I first saw Chevy Chase, so seeing him old in Community took a little getting used to! Community always had really good Christmas (and Halloween) specials so I’d recommend checking them out!
I remember when Elf came out, and I’ve been watching it every Christmas since. I went to see the musical adaption one Christmas which was lovely. I’ve seen it so many times but it never gets old, since it’s come out, Buddy has become one of the faces of Christmas!
When a baby Buddy accidentally makes his way into Santa’s sleigh, he’s raised by elves for 30 years. He overhears elves in Santa’s workshop talking about how Buddy hasn’t realised he’s human yet, and is distraught. Buddy asks Papa Elf about it, and decides to go find his real dad in a magical land known as New York City.
New York really is the most magical place in the world around Christmas time, from the lights, the decorations, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The public entrance to the Empire State Building is where they filmed Buddy going to see his dad at work, so it was really cool seeing that in real life!
The Santa Claus trilogy
I love all 3 Santa Claus movies, but some people tend to just stick to the first one. I think it’s because a good few years passed between the first and second movie that a lot of fans of the original had grown up, so the sequels just didn’t feel nostalgic. As I was still a kid as these Christmas movies were coming out, I’m emotionally attached to them.
Scott Calvin had no time for Christmas or much of a relationship with his son until one fateful Christmas Eve. He accidentally becomes Santa Claus when Santa falls off his roof. Throughout the films we see Scott come to love his new life as Santa Claus, and his struggles of balancing his family life with his job at the North Pole.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
I adore the 1998 Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and not the 1965 one, even through it’s the original. I saw the ’98 film first. Having seen bits and pieces of the first Rudolf, I still prefer the ’98 film. Although it’s nowhere near as popular. It was actually a box office failure!
Rudolf runs away from home after being picked on by the other reindeer. He meets fellow runaway Slyly the fox, the two try to scam the benevolent polar bear, Leonard, out of his cave but leave as friends. Rudolf and his new friends have to save Rudolf’s crush Zoe, from the evil snow Queen Stormella, and then save Christmas itself.
We all know the tale of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer so in terms of the plot it didn’t do anything groundbreaking but I love it nonetheless. As a child I made sure to watch this every year, and remember the sparkly red box the video tape came in! (Yes, I’m that old)
The reason I watched it is actually kinda sad. As someone who too had a big bright red nose and was picked on in school, Rudolf was my hero. I’d watch it and tell myself I was also gonna do something great and they’d all be sorry. My birthmark has since faded to nearly skin colour, and no one’s called me names (too my face, at least) since I finished school. Rudolf as a character still means a lot to me. In fact, I wear a Rudolf watch for the whole Christmas season!
I couldn’t forget about the Nightmare Before Christmas, but I actually watch it on November 1st every year. It’s the bridging point between Halloween and Christmas! For me, it’s more of an in-between movie than a Christmas movie.
Last Christmas I rewatched the All Dogs go to Heaven version of A Christmas Carol for the first time in years! It surprisingly is still pretty watchable, and not as sad as the first two All Dogs films!
What are your favourite Christmas movies? Are there any you just have to watch every year?