The fairy lights are on, there’s hot chocolate in my mug, a tin of roses on the sofa and Lebkuchen sitting daintily on a Christmas plate – with breakfast sorted it’s time to turn on a Christmas movie.
Most of the year my early mornings take on a slightly different vibe, – walking the dog, a bit of yoga maybe (though to call it yoga might be stretching the point, more like lying on the floor waving my arms around.)
This time of the year is way more hardcore. I have a list. I’ve checked it twice and if I’m not gonna double up, I need to watch a Christmas movie a day. My own personal Advent Calendar.
I was going to ask if you watched Christmas movies but it’s such an insane question, I don’t even know why I would. You’re not a monster! Or one of those ‘Bah! Humbug! It’s only Christmas for 24 hours at the strike of midnight on the 24th December,’ weirdo’s. You are my people, so let’s assume you’re not crazy.
I have an order I like to watch them in, the Christmas movies. They start with the slightly festive, moving up to full-blown sentiment and tinsel as we get to the big day.
I start with the 1947 classic The Bishops Wife. Loretta Young, David Niven and the extremely patronising Cary Grant as the angel Dudley.
There is something about this understated Christmas movie that gets me snuggling under the covers, a hot chocolate moustache and cookie crumbs in my bra, it gets my season going, even if I want to sock Cary Grant in the mouth at least three times for being a dick.
Then I hit the more conventional.
The nightmare before Christmas
Home Alone 2 (accompanied by the annual conversation about what kind of bloody parents and where the hell are social services – to lose a child once is unfortunate, to lose a child twice is downright carelessness to paraphrase Oscar Wilde)
The Santa Clause 1, 2 and 3 – I’m scared to try the new Disney series as I don’t want to ruin the set. (Do not talk to me about the new Home Alone for this exact reason)
The Muppets Christmas Carol
Some of the classics can be problematic. I adore Holiday Inn with Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby – Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas for the movie and Bing Crosby’s crooning, still the best-selling Christmas song 75 years later, has me reaching for a mince pie like Pavlov’s dog. The movie is, however, racist, using blackface and racist themes, making it extremely uncomfortable viewing now. So no more Holiday Inn.
And speaking of uncomfortable viewing let’s talk about Love Actually, and the creepy stalky one with the signs, and the one who goes off to America and the lovely Alan Rickman being an all-around louse. It’s hard to see the Christmas cheer in this festive binge of fat jokes, , silent passive women, predatory men, and working-class stereotypes in this white, middle-class world. The only saving scene is the wonderful Emma Thompson in the bedroom, silently crying. I don’t mean to piss on your stollen, but this movie is definitely not one for me.
Christmas movies are all about the nostagia, thats why we love them. They’re all tied up in memeory of watching as kid or watching with your own kids curled up in your lap. That’s what makes them such a joy. But some have not faired the test of time well.
For me, the pinnacle of Christmas movies is It’s A Wonderful Life, always watched on my birthday.
I need to point out that I was watching this way before it was cool, Jimmy Stewart being my childhood perfect man (what can I say, I was a weird kid.)
Nowadays self-sacrificing George Bailey would have given it all up to find himself in a yoga retreat, followed his food dream to set up a juice truck and dumped the beautiful Donna Reed, the kids and that draughty old house.
I love him because he stayed.
And everyone helps him stay, and every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.
No Baileys required to get a shot of Christmas joy with this one (did you see what I did there – Baileys! George Bailey! Ok I’ll get my coat.)
Thinking of watching a Christmas movie with your breakfast today – can I suggest Nativity!?
Or Father Christmas
Whatever you choose to watch, I hope you have a hot chocolate, Christmas socks, warm mince pie, fairy lights and tinsel kind of day.
And no! Die Hard is not a Christmas movie!
My Christmas movie list – in no particular order.
The Bishops wife (1947)
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone 2 (1992)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas –(2000)
Nativity 2 (2012)
The Wizard of Oz (1939) – it is totally a Christmas movie! Always on at Christmas! Shush, stop arguing I’m trying to watch.
Meet me is St Louis (1949)
The Snowman (1982)
Father Christmas (1991)
The Santa Clause (1994)
The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
The Santa Clause 3 (2006)
The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
The Polar Express (2004)
Wallace and Gromit – The Wrong Trousers (1993)
Miracle in 34th Street (1947)
Some like it hot (1959)
Little women (1949)
Snowmageddon (2011) A classic !
6 thoughts on “Happy Holidays”
As I read I was thinking ‘Where’s the Wizard of Oz’ so I am glad it made your list. Also The Sound of Music always seemed to be on when I was a kid.
Nativity yes, we watch this and the Muppets obviously. I’m going to use your list to expand our repetoire. I know its a big gap in my movie viewing I’ve never watched Its a Wonderful Life. Maybe this is the year …
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas to you and yours!
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Of course The Sound of Music – doh! Love it! Its A Wonderful Life is just perfect – the right level of schmaltz and festive cheer. And Jimmy Stewart ❤️❤️❤️
A great list and some I’m not familiar with too. Will need to get into the Christmas spirit, I’m running late this year and haven’t even got the decs up yet. 🤦♀️
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I am putting up my tree RIGHT NOW! 🎄🎄🎄🎄☃️☃️☃️☃️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Ooh a few more here for my repertoire Maya! I do love the more recent Last Christmas .. mainly for the Wham songs! Santa Clause 1 last night and sometimes I throw in random ones from Netflix each year. “Your Christmas or Mine ” was quite amusing ! Babysitting Rowan tonight so will have to go for a suitable toddler christmas movie. ( I tried The Grinch but she was horrified) Any suggestions? xx
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Arthur Christmas is lovely or Wallace and Gromit on Iplayer. I don’t need a grandchild to watch them 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎉🎉🎉🎉