The best Christmas films to get you in the festive spirit

From Home Alone to It’s A Wonderful Life, we round up the best Christmas films to snuggle down to.

Christmas films

by Bryony Firth-bernard |

One of the best ways to get into the festive spirit is snuggling down and watching a great Christmas film. From heartwarming tales, to romantic comedies and good old classics, the choice is endless. But it’s not just the holiday spirit these Christmas films help us get into, as many of their stories hold important messages too.

Whether you’re after a Christmas film that makes you laugh, cry, something new or modern, we’ve rounded up the best ones to get your Christmas movie marathon started.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Frank Capra’s iconic Christmas film was nominated for six academy awards. It tells the story of George Bailey, a businessman who runs into financial difficulty and becomes suicidal, until an angel is sent down from God and shows George what life would have been like if he hadn’t been born.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

If you’ve ever struggled with having in-laws over at Christmas, this film will make you feel a whole lot better. It’s a real Christmas cracker and Chevy Chase is hilarious!

The Holiday (2002)

Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet play two women who swap houses for the holidays while finding love in the process, with Jack Black and Jude Law. If you want a film that has a festive feel but isn’t too in your face Christmassey, then it’s a great choice.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Jim Carrey stars as the green Grinch, who hates people and Christmas, until six-year-old Cindy Lou makes it her mission to make him see the real meaning of the holiday season.

Home Alone (1990)

This was the second highest grossing Christmas film to be made, just after The Grinch. We’ll never get bored of watching eight-year-old Kevin McCalister carry out his genius booby traps to protect his home from two burglars, after he’s left there alone. The second film Lost In New York, is equally as brilliant.

Love Actually (2003)

Arguably the cheesiest Christmas movie that hits our screens every year, but alas we love it still, especially when there’s such a cracking cast with Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightly, Alan Rickman and many more.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

There’s been so many remakes of a Christmas Carol, but this animated version from Disney really offers a unique twist on this well-known tale, with Jim Carrey as Scrooge. It’s a must-watch if you have the whole family over.

Jack Frost (1998)

Make sure a box of tissues are close by for this Christmas movie, which tells the tale of a boy who loses his dad on Christmas day and then returns in the form of a snowman so they can make up for lost time together.

The Polar Express (2004)

This festive fantasy film is great for the grandkids and is all about a young boy who journeys on the train, The Polar Express, to the North Pole, where he meets Santa Claus and special friends along the way.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Another great take on Charles Dickens' classic novel. The music in this really pulls on the heartstrings and features all your favourite muppets, so if you’re a fan of Jim Henson you’ll definitely enjoy it. Not to mention the brilliant Michael Caine stars as Scrooge.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Another award-winning Christmas film (this time for an Oscar). When Kris Kringle steps in to be Santa at a department store in New York, he claims to be the real deal. His sanity is soon questioned and he’s taken to court, but a kind-hearted lawyer steps in to defend him.

The Snowman (1982)

If you haven’t watched it you’ve probably read the book all about the young boy who’s snowman comes to life and whisks him off on a magical adventure to meet Santa Claus.

Last Christmas (2019)

One of the newer Christmas films to be released, starring Emila Clarke and Emma Thompson. It’s about a young girl who works as an elf in a Christmas shop, and is pretty self-destructive, until one day she meets a man who makes her start to believe in life again.

Elf (2004)

Imagine being raised by elves to realise that you’re actually a human, well that’s what life is like for Buddy, who then travels to New York to find his real father. Hilarious, heartwarming and a great all round family film.

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