The turkey’s been devoured, the Christmas pudding is nothing but a scant-crumbed reminder of what once was, the family passed out on the sofa and a simple game of Monopoly has evolved into a real-world legal dispute. It’s time for a festive movie or two.
Slip into your onesie, pop som’o’that corn and cosy down in front of the television for a good old family film. Here are our favourites…
“I made my family disappear!” After wishing they’d do just that, Kevin McAllister (a very young Macaulay Culkin) awakens one morning to realise his family has left him behind while they jet off overseas for the festive season. As opportunistic burglars strike expecting an empty household to loot, forcing Kevin to hatch a genius plan and defend his home.
Watch it for: All the iconic one-liners.
Christmas without this joyful piece of cinema isn’t Christmas at all. After being turfed out of the North Pole as he’s too human-sized, Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) attempts to find his father in the bustling New York City. When his dad isn’t overly keen, Buddy attempts to adjust to a new life with hilarious results.
Watch it for: Buddy’s delighted scream of “SANTAAA! I know him!” when he hears that a familiar friend will be dropping by.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s black and white heart-warming tale is more than 70 years old, but a definite holiday classic. The fantasy drama follows George Bailey, who has fallen on tough times and is about to end it all on Christmas Eve. Then guardian angel shows George just how much worse life would be without him.
Watch it for: The sing-a-long at the end – you’ll definitely shed a tear.
For the romantic at heart, cuddle up with Richard Curtis’ British rom-com Love, Actually. With ten love stories to follow, from young and old to unrequited, this sap-fest is funny, warm and bittersweet. And best of all, Mr Bean – actually, actor Rowan Atkinson – is in it, along with an all-star cast that includes Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley and Martin Freeman.
Watch it for: The world’s greatest (or worst) reinterpretation of Wet Wet Wet’s ‘Love Is All Around’, and that scene where Hugh Grant shows off his dance moves to The Pointer Sisters’ ‘Jump (For My Love)’.
Bill Murray stars in this retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, where a miserly and cynical television exec gets a dose of reality on Christmas Eve from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. As he realises how many people he’s hurt and how his behaviour lost him the girl of his dreams, he makes a pledge to turn things around.
Watch it for: It’s Bill Murray in a Christmas movie – need we say more?
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
This one will warm the cockles of your heart and perhaps best captures the magic of Christmas. When a department store Santa starts claiming he’s the real deal, people think he’s crazy – except for one little girl, that is. As he battles to defend his identity in court, people start to notice he might just be telling the truth.
Watch it for: The purest of warm and fuzzy feelings
The Grinch list
Bah humbug! So you’re not into festive cheer? These picks will be right up your street…
A Christmas Eve office party goes awry when German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his band of minions hold everyone hostage, and it’s up to cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) to get everyone home to their families safely in time for Santa’s visit.
Watch it for: Possibly the worst impression of a German accent on screen…ever.
With Mogwai comes great responsibility. Spielberg’s murderous monster classic shows what happens when you don’t take care of your animals properly and they run amok. Remember: a pet is for life, not just for Christmas.
Watch it for: The scene where carol-singing gremlins attack a crazy cat lady. What could be more festive than that?
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s stop-motion classic tells the tale of Jack Skellington and his spooky friends in Halloween Town. After Jack gets lost in the forest and ends up over in Christmas Town, he gets a big idea to take over the holiday and kidnap Santa Claus, but it all goes horribly wrong.
Watch it for: The songs – we know you know all the words.