With only two more days until Christmas Eve, it's time to think about Christmas movies and how you can count down the long hours until Christmas Eve (in Austria we open our presents on the night of the 24th).
There are hundreds and thousands of Christmas movies, but, sadly, good ones are a rather rare gem. Of course I have been watching Christmas movies ever since December started and list the best ones as well as other ones here for you to explore and, hopefully, watch.
First, I list the ones I deem to be best. They follow no hierarchical order and the short synopsis should give you an idea if it's a movie for you.
Secondly, I will give you a list of some other Christmas movies I watched this season, which aren't probably high movie level, but entertaining to watch nevertheless.
Finally, I have a short list of movies which aren't really Christmas movies, but still fit very well into the seasonal spirit.
I hope you enjoy the list and, of course, the movies. Happy watching!
The Best Christmas Movies
Love Actually is my favourite Christmas movie of all times. It not only ranges the creme de la creme of English actors, but it also tells the most wonderful Christmas stories. Entangling ten separate story lines, the movie talks about love, loneliness, grief and happiness as well as sadness, including all sorts of people from the Prime Minister to how a little boy falls in love with a girl shortly after his mother dies.
It's Christmas in London and everyone has different ways to celebrate the festive season. For famous singer Billy Mack it mainly means re-branding one of his hits and changing "Love" into "Christmas", for Sarah it means confessing her love to her long-time-crush Karl and for the Prime Minister it could mean a new love he finds in his assistant Natalie. Full of authentic and lovable characters, this movie sweeps you into the Christmas mood and won't ever let you go.
With Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Bill Neighy and Alan Rickman
The Holiday is about two women who need a getaway over Christmas, so they swap houses. Surrey-based Iris moves to Amanda's huge Hollywood house while Amanda retreats to Iris's cosy cottage where she meets Iris's brother, Graham, with whom she quickly falls in love.
Iris, in the meantime, enjoys her time in L.A., meeting old Arthur and helping him to walk again with any help, as well as Miles, a music composer, who turns out to be more than a friend.
A wonderful Christmas love story with a star cast including Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This classic Christmas story is a must-watch for Christmas. The story follows the Grinch - a hideous and mean creature who hates Christmas and sets out to destroy the feast at Whoville where the Whos reside. During the story, he realises that Christmas is not that bad and might even end up getting his own biggest wish fulfilled.
A Jim Carrey show through and through which induces laughter and emotion like-wise.
It’s a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life is probably the classic Christmas movie apart from A Christmas Carol. It is about George Bailey who considers committing suicide on Christmas Eve. To prevent him from doing the deed, Angel Clarence is sent to show him what life would have been if George had never been born.
A miraculous and wonderful Christmas story and definitely belongs to the old classics.
Miracle of 34rd Street (1994)
I have only seen the 1994 version with Mara Wilson and Richard Attenborough in the lead role and absolutely love it (even though Mara Wilson is a totally creepy child). The story is about Kris Kringle who works as the Santa Claus for Cole's Department Story and bears an eerie resemblance to the real Santa Claus.
Cole's event director Dorey is a single mother to daughter Susan who is painstakingly grown-up and doesn't believe in Santa Claus. Kris's mission is not only to convince Susan that he is the real Santa Claus, but the whole nation which even ends in court.
Some scenes are unbearably painful as Kris has to defeat himself at court, but it is a wonderful Christmas story and one of my favourites.
The Santa Clause
This is the ultimate Christmas movie for me. It is entertaining, funny but also has a deeper and more complex edge to it. Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a cynical businessman who, upon Christmas Eve with his son Charlie, becomes the new Santa Claus due to the Santa Clause. At first he struggles with it but soon grows with the role.
This animatic movie based on a short story by Dan Henderson is the cute story of the little calf Annabelle aspiring to become one of Santa's reindeer one day. She finds her best friend in Billy, the mute grandson of the farmer where she lives. Once a year, at Christmas, the farm animals can speak for one day and Billy hears Annabelle talk, but promises never to tell anyone. I won't tell you what Annabelle wishes for in the end, but this movie warms your heart and soul likewise.
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens's classic is, of course, a must for the festive season. I, personally, prefer the 1997 animated version of Jim Carrey's but I assume I don't have to give a synopsis of this one, as it more popular than any other story, I reckon.
Arthur Christmas is a great animated family movie about Arthur, the son of Santa Claus, who goes on the mission to deliver one present which hasn't made it to the respective child this year and who goes to great lengths to make sure the little girl gets it. One of my new favourites.
Christmas with the Kranks
Based on the short novel Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (yes, you read correctly), this story is about Luther and Nora Krank who, after their daughter decides to go to the Peace Corps and will not spend Christmas at home, decide they will skip Christmas and rather invest the money in a cruise. However, when Blair, the daughter, calls to surprise them at Christmas, the chaos is perfect as the Kranks have to set up a Christmas within hours to pretend to their daughter everything is as always.
With Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis
The Family Stone
This movie is one of my all-time favourites. The story is about uptight Meredith who visits her boyfriend's family for the first time at Christmas. The Stones, however, are a chaotic, open-minded, borderline vulgar bunch of friendly people who quickly decide their Everett cannot be serious about this person which culminates in Meredith calling her sister in to help her out. A classic family drama resulting in absolute chaos on Christmas Day, this movie is both emotional and hilarious.
With Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Claire Danes.
The Nutcracker (Ballet)
I love ballet and around Christmas The Nutcracker is a must for me. The story, I guess, is well-known and seeing it come to life with fantastic dancers is the top of my iceberg.
Royal Ballet London do a fantastic version which is my favourite.
Alright, these are my favourites for the festive season. I hope you like them and come back tomorrow to get the list of other Christmas movies and movies which aren't Christmas movies but great for the season nevertheless.
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