And so we reach December, the month when it becomes acceptable once more to put a giant tree in your living room, hang up those stockings, and settle in for a Christmas movie, to warm you up and guard against the cold winter chill. So what better time than now to dust off the old Christmas movie favourites?
Everyone has them. Those Christmas movies that must be watched in the festive period at all costs. For if they were to be missed the world as we know it would end. Christmas would be cancelled, presents burnt, turkeys disposed of and chimneys blocked. Call the family, tell them to turn around and go home, it’s no longer going to be Christmas so quite frankly they just aren’t welcome. They are the movies that you watch that just make it feel like Christmas, and without them, Crimbo is all wrong, wrong, wrong.
You might scoff at the idea of watching these films from January through to November, but if someone were to suggest skipping them in December because you’ve “seen them a thousand times”, well then they can just be struck off the nice list. Irrationally, in spite of any flaws, these films may have (according to less obsessed family and friends), your unfaltering, unblinking opinion that these are faultless masterpieces never fails.
For me, there are three. Three glorious, spectacular, undeniably perfect Christmas films. If I miss these, it’s game over I’m afraid. Santa will be informed and you can write Christmas off.
*Warning, this list may contain Christmas induced hyperbole.*
3) Elf (2003):
Will Ferrell! Zooey Deschanel! A giant man-elf! What more could anyone possibly need? Oh, and this:
What an incredible piece of cinema – Spielberg, Hitchcock, Welles – you wish you had Elf in your filmography!
2) Home Alone (1990):
“Keep the change, you filthy animal.”
Brutal, hard-hitting, blood-curdling – three ways in which Home Alone has never been described until now. But despite this, the tale of Kevin McCallister’s attempt to keep his home safe from fumbling, dummy crooks is surprisingly violent (in a slapstick kind of way). Which is probably why I loved watching it so much as a young child, gathered around the TV with the folks, envious of Kevin managing to “wish away” his family.
In reality, however, whilst my family are pretty awesome, Kevin’s are just terrible human beings. Particularly his mother. I don’t care how many children you have, you don’t forget one of them, and you certainly don’t make him share a room with wet the bed Fuller! Thank God that his parents were so awful though, as otherwise, well, there wouldn’t be much of a movie (it would just be called Home, I guess), and we wouldn’t get to see the most spectacular failed heist ever.
Kevin is an everyman – relatable and likeable. He’s also a full on gangster. When the Wet Bandits come knocking, the film cranks up to eleven, shit gets real, and Home Alone cements its place in my heart as a must watch Christmas movie every single time. A true timeless festive classic.
Sidenote: I stumbled upon this incredible theory on Kevin that, to be honest, has blown my mind. Take a look (you should probably continue reading first though!).
1) The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992):
I say this without any reservations: there is literally nothing not to like here. It’s The Muppets doing Dickens. Need I say more?! OK, I will. Kermit the Frog is an absolute legend, it has Michael Caine in it, as well as some pretty boss tunes:
The three ghosts that haunt Scrooge are in turn upsetting, hilarious and finally terrifying; this is a tour de force of emotions, so you best crack out the tissues. Ebenezer Scrooge is, of course, a very naughty boy, and he is taught a lesson in the worst way…through musical numbers. Whilst he may not be enjoying the musical journey through past, present and future, myself and without a doubt everyone who has ever watched the film certainly is.
Caine’s showing is Oscar worthy and Robin the Frog as Tiny Tim puts on the greatest performance from a child Muppet in history. If this doesn’t both get in you in the mood for Christmas and teach you some valuable life lessons at the same time, then I would have some serious concerns as to whether you have a soul. Drop everything and everyone, and go and watch The Muppets Christmas Carol immediately.
So what are your Christmas must watch movies? Leave a comment below, Merry Christmas one and all!