by Janis / 2 comments - Orginally published:1st December 2020

Festive films to get you in the Yuletide mood

Is there any better feeling when it’s cold and dark outside, and you’re in the warm, knowing that a mug of velvety hot chocolate awaits you? Along with a comfy sofa and a heartwarming Christmas movie, ahhh heaven.

Yes, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, as Michael Bublé once said.

So, which is your favourite Christmas movie? Do you like the old classics like ‘A Wonderful Life’ or do you enjoy the captivating animation movies like ‘Polar Express’? Personally, I struggle to have a favourite. However, the film that I will always seek out is the Chevy Chase classic, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. A good old-fashioned Griswold family Christmas.

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Our 10 Christmas Movies

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Ahh, there’s no better place to begin than the good old classic ‘White Christmas’. This is always my go-to movie when I’m wrapping Christmas presents, it just gets me in the festive mood.
A river running through New England during the fall with a mix of golden foliage on the river banks
The scenery in Vermont

The wonderful dulcet tones of Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney serenading me while my parcels are being wrapped and a cheeky glass of glühwein being enjoyed.
It may be a little cheesy in places and obviously predictable, but hey, that’s why this 1954 movie has lasted the test of time.

Shaws General Store, a traditional wooden store in Stowe, Vermont
Shaws General Store in Stowe
It doesn’t matter on how many occasions I’ve seen it; I just adore the final scene when the Major General is reunited with his old colleagues. Then the snow begins to fall across the fir-tree mountains of Vermont, and the boy finally gets his girl.

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Another classic Yuletide movie is Scrooge, which is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel ‘A Christmas Carol’.

My preferred version of Scrooge has to be the 1970 production starring the incredible actors Albert Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge and Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley.

The 16th-century Old Curiosity shop in London tucked away in a side street.
Dickensian London

Set in Dickensian London, on Christmas Eve. Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who frighten the miserly old bank manager into seeing the error of his ways.
There have been some delightful variations on this timeless novel and all giving their own little twist.

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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has been a family favourite of ours since it hit our screens in 1989. This Griswold family movie keeps on giving, just like the annual subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club.
A mass of fairy lights decorating fictional homes at the MGM studios in Florida
Illuminated homes at Osborne Family Christmas, MGM Studios

Clark Griswold takes exterior illumination to another level when he invites his family and his in-laws over for Christmas. Surely a recipe for disaster.

I love the opening scene when they head off into the countryside to unearth their very own Christmas tree. Then followed with the conflict between the neighbours and one of the best characters of all, ‘Cousin Eddie’ played by Randy Quaid.

A fictional town hall at the MGM studios in Florida illuminated with fairy lights as part of the Osborne Family Christmas
The Osborne Family Christmas at MGM Studios
If it’s a hilarious Christmas movie you are after, then this will always be my go-to film.


I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only started watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in recent years. It’s such an iconic Yuletide movie, but one that seemed to have passed me by.

That has since changed as this black and white 1946 feel-good movie has truly won me over. James Stewart as George Bailey puts his own dreams and aspirations on hold to help out the good people of Bedford Falls.

A close-up of a flying red fairy Christmas decoration on our tree
Our Angel decoration
However, life cannot always be plain sailing, even in the movies. When his Uncle Billy loses the cash from George’s loan company, the local nasty town businessman comes hovering.   With the prayers of his loved ones being answered, Clarence the angel is sent to earth to assist George.   Yes, it’s true, “every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings”.


If you fancy watching a Christmas movie that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, then the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street, is for you.
An inflatable blue muppet, against the backdrop of skyscrappers, as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York
An inflatable at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

The delightful performances by Richard Attenborough playing Kris Kringle and Mara Wilson as the little girl, whose heart needs convincing that Father Christmas is real, is a gem.
As you can imagine the challenge of being Santa Claus and leading out Coles Christmas parade, through the streets of New York doesn’t always run smoothly.

The Macy's Train float heading down Broadway in New York as park of the Thanksgiving Day parade
The Macy's Train at the Thanksgiving Day parade

A couple of schemers are on the tail of Santa and are out to discredit him. Surely, the truth will out, and Kris Kringle will prove all the non-believers wrong.

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I have to admit there are so many wonderful Christmas movies and the 2004 Robert Zemeckis animation film The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks is another of our favourites.

Indeed, it’s every child’s dream to visit the North Pole and meet Santa. What better way to do it than on a magical steam train on Christmas Eve?

A white china cup full of foaming hot chocolate with a Lindt chocolate on the side.
Luxury Hot Chocolate

Soaring across the snowy countryside and icy lakes, fending off a herd of Caribou in search of the tiniest proof that Father Christmas does exist.

Every time I think if The Polar Express film, I can see the waiters dancing through the train carriage singing ‘hot, hot, hot chocolate’.


I can’t believe that this film was released in 1992, boy I’m showing my age.

Based on the classic Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol, this entertaining movie has quite a few laughs, considering the main characters are the Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat.

A sepia-toned image of Eastgate House in Rochester, which has a very Dickensian feel to it, akin to an image you'll expect in a Christmas Carol
A Very Dickensian feel

Scrooge is played by the incredible actor Michael Caine and as most of you may know Scrooge is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

The three spirits all try to reveal to Ebenezer the error of his ways, and how with a little compassion, all is not lost.

Ahh good old Ebenezer!!

London Movies

Take a peek at our Movies filmed on the streets of London Part 1 and Part 2. So often we stumble upon film crews when we are strolling around London.


Love Actually is probably one of the first Christmas movies I watch each yuletide. I love the intertwining stories of all the characters and how Richard Curtis weaves his magic throughout the film.

The list of renowned actors in Love Actually speaks for itself. I mean any movie starring Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth and Alan Rickman together, will always be a hit for me.

A Christmas tree in front of an illuminated Tower Bridge.
A Christmas tree in front of Tower Bridge

Hugh Grant plays a great role as the hip Prime Minister, wooing Martine McCutcheon. The heart-warming love story between Colin Firth and Lúcia Moniz always gets me at the end.

If you’re one of the few that hasn’t seen Love Actually yet, then I urge you to curl up on the sofa and truly enjoy it.


This 1994 hit, 'The Santa Clause', starring the Santa disbeliever Tim Allen, will certainly bring a smile to your face. In the effort to try and convince his son that Father Christmas doesn’t exist, Tim Allen inadvertently takes on the role of Santa Claus.
An illuminated Santa, his sleigh, and reindeers
Santa & his reindeer

He’s convinced it’s a dream and as Christmas Eve looms, Tim Allen begins to unexpectedly gain weight and is unable to abate the growth of his grey whiskers.
All the while, he wants to hide this transformation as he is the bah-humbug of the family.


Another fantastic movie to wrap presents to is Elf, Will Ferrell’s character Buddy, is just loveable.

Buddy was an orphan and one Christmas when he was tiny, he stowed away in Santa’s bundle of presents. He headed to the North Pole and was raised by Elves, although it soon became apparent that Buddy wasn’t an Elf. Not that Buddy was initially convinced.

A German wooden Christmas decoration of Santa on his sleigh on our mantlepiece.
Christmas decorations hand crafted by Elves
Will Ferrell heads off to the Big Apple in search of his father, played by James Caan. Buddy tries to convince his father that he is his son, and with his unblemished heart, the storyline weaves its way through embarrassment to love.

So that’s a wrap!

Please share with us your favourite Christmas movies, there may be one we haven’t discovered yet. Just drop a comment below.

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  1. Great list of Christmas movies, Janis! There’s only one movie that DEFINES Christmas for me and it sits on your list at number 3 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!! One of my absolute favourites! It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve watched it, it never fails to make me laugh out loud

    Wonderful list of Christmas movies, very festive and all definitely worth watching this December

    1. Thanks Russell, we do love a Christmas movie. I’m inclined to agree with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, everytime I watch this with my dad he laughs out loud, it’s as if he is watching it for the first time. My other favourite is Miracle on 34th Street, it never fails to touch my heartstrings.

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