Our Favourite Christmas Films, From 1946 to 2000.

As University of Leeds’s gigantic Christmas tree went up in Beech Grove Plaza a few days ago, it was almost impossible to ignore the smell of hot chocolate and Bratwurst sausages drifting over from the local Christmas markets, as well as the general festive buzz in the air… We are so close to catching those trains back to our hometowns for the Christmas break! Therefore, it is only fair that I devise a list of my favourite Christmas films to watch this holiday season. (Please note: all suggestions are best served with a cup of tea, a box of Heroes, and your duvet brought down to your sofa.)

It’s A Wonderful Life

Image Credit: IMDb

Yes, everyone loves this, so it comes across as a very basic favourite- but it’s a classic! Very few films can capture the Christmas spirit in the way that Frank Capra’s 1946 fantasy, starring Jimmy Stewart, does. Following George Bailey, who is on the verge of committing suicide, the film illustrates the true meaning of Christmas, as well as highlighting what is essential in life, by having its protagonist rescue his guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George what his town would have looked like if it hadn’t been for all his good deeds over the years, and luckily Christmas is saved. Heart-warming, festive, and comical in all of the right places, this film is made up of beautiful storytelling; the holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without it.

Home Alone

Image Credit: IMDb

Watching Macaulay Culkin being forgotten by his family is now such a nostalgic moment for me. Wrapped up in blankets, in my living room, with chocolate smeared across my face, my siblings and I would giggle at Kevin’s battles against his dimwit thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) for hours on end. Even though it isn’t on the top of my list for the standard of film or acting, Home Alone still makes it up there for sheer festive enjoyment, and the reminder of the childish, innocent Christmases with my family.

Love Actually

Image Credit: IMDb

Love Actually is a star-studded romantic comedy, that has undoubtedly stood the test of time. The plot follows eight couples, based in London, who are trying to deal with their relationships in different ways over the Christmas period. Although this is perhaps quite a controversial pick, I am a sucker for this kind of film at Christmas, and as the years go by, I only ever get angrier at Alan Rickman for buying a gold necklace for the girl he fancied at work, and not Emma Thompson. Sorry, but I’m not sure when I’ll get over it.

The Snowman

Image Credit: IMDb

This film does not get even half of the recognition that it deserves! A young boy starts to make a snowman on Christmas Eve, and the next day it magically comes to life. The boy’s new beloved companion takes him on a journey across the world (to Walking In The Air by Aled Jones), and they both meet Santa Claus. I’m pretty sure that even if I watched this film during a week away in Croatia on summer holiday, this film would still manage to get me into the Christmas spirit and in the mood for wrapping presents! A forgotten, misunderstood, festive gem!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Image Credit: IMDb

If you’re a fan of Jim Carrey’s crazy, improvised, and sometimes disgusting (if you have seen the cheese scene in this film then you totally know what I am talking about!) humour, then this film is for you. As 00’s Christmas favourite, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is pretty well-loved by the younger generations. However, in true Carrey style, The Grinch makes plenty of jokes that are suitable for adults too. The perfect family favourite!

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