The advent calendars are open, the Christmas lights are up and mince pies are staples in our diet – and its only the 4th December! To help us get even more into the festive spirit, we’ve put together our top 5 Christmas films to help the family embrace all things red, green and gold. Settle on the sofa, grab a hot drink and a mince pie (or a whole plate full) and indulge in a Sunday afternoon of heart-warming festive films.
1) Miracle on 34th Street.
Featuring everyone’s favourite child actor, Mara Wilson, and in a remake of the 1947 classic, Miracle on 34th Street features a Thanksgiving Parade, a drunk Father Christmas and a young girl who just wants a dad, a house and a baby brother for Christmas. Starring Richard Attenborough, who plays a very believable Father Christmas, the film is definitely a holiday classic and never gets old!
2) It’s a Wonderful Life.
What’s more heart-warming on a chilly afternoon than a black and white classic? It’s a Wonderful Life is traditional viewing over the festive season and is based on the 1945 short story, The Greatest Gift written by Philip Van Doren Stern. Starring James Stewart as the lead, it tells the tale of life in the community of Bedford Falls had he not been born. With intervention from his guardian angel, Christmas Eve is portrayed as slightly different this year for the frustrated businessman, Stewart, and his family. With humour and affection aplenty, sentimentality and optimism wrap up the film into a bundle of joy and the film’s popularity continues to reign every year.
3) Home Alone
It wouldn’t be festive film round up without mentioning Home Alone. Both the original Home Alone and Home Alone: Lost in New York are Christmas crackers to watch in the run up to the big day. When a very young Macaulay Culkin is accidently left at home by his family over Christmas, he ends up protecting his home from a pair of notorious burglars through various tricks in order to defeat them. A truly funny festive comedy, it’s perfect for all the family – just remember to warn the children not to try any of the tricks at home!
4) The Snowman
Originally published as a children’s book without words by British author, Raymond Briggs in 1978, the book was adapted into a 26 minute animated television special in 1982. Told through pictures and music, The Snowman is wordless just like the book except for the classic song “Walking in the Air.” Featuring a friendship between a young boy and the snowman he builds, the snowman comes to life each night at the stroke of 12 and they take on various adventures throughout the night. It has since become exceptionally popular in British culture and remains a firm family favourite in households across the country.
A more modern addition to the festive film round up, Elf is a laugh a minute film guaranteed to brighten up anyone’s day. Funnyman, Will Ferrell, plays a giant elf called Buddy who has been sent back to New York City after causing havoc amongst the elfs in the North Pole. In search of his true identity and family, Buddy spreads Christmas cheer along the way, even melting the hearts of the hardest cynics. Elf is an amusing, sweet film that’s great for comedy value and has a truly happy ending to keep all members of the family happy.