One of the debates that comes around at this time of year, is that of top Christmas films, and it is a discussion of which I will probably never tire. There are plenty of discussions to be had around what is and is not – Die Hard, anyone – a Christmas film. Whether the aforementioned is better than The Muppets’ Christmas Carol, and of course which film should hold the coveted title of Best Christmas Film. The discussions will never be settled, and nor should they be; what matters is enjoying them all, or at least, as many as possible. To that end we have decided to take the advent calendar approach, lining up 25 films to see us into Christmas Day. What follows is our order and though some date/film combinations are flexible for us, others e.g. The Polar Express, is immovable from its Christmas Eve slot.
Dec. 1st – Christmas in Connecticut: new to some, perhaps, but a frothy, not to mention bonkers, start to December.
Dec 2nd – Home Alone: enough said.
Dec 3rd – The Bishop’s Wife: Cary Grant and David Niven: two classic gents of the silver screen for the price of one in a simply charming film.
Dec 4th – The Man Who Invented Christmas: The story about most people’s favourite Christmas story.
Dec 5th – How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Jim Carrey in green fur. Good fun, though perhaps more for the kids.
Dec 6th – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: chaos descends, in the shape of Chevy Chase, on a family Christmas vacation.
Dec 7th – Narnia: snowy, frozen landscapes, ice queens and talking wolves and lions. Proper fairytale charm.
Dec 8th – Joyeux Noël: the story of the Christmas truce football match in 1914. Sombre, but worth it, and a reminder to be thankful for what you have.
Dec 9th – Bridget Jones’ Diary: you know, Colin Firth in a Christmas jumper.
Dec 10th – Die Hard: for some the best Christmas film ever, if indeed it is a Christmas film.
Dec 11th – Scrooge: for my money the actual best Christmas film ever, with Alastair Sim – a much underrated actor – in a definitive portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Dec 12th – Miracle on 34th Street: pick your version – the black and white one for me – and enjoy a fine example of the “child reminding the adults what Christmas is all about” trope.
Dec 13th – The Nightmare before Christmas: the folks behind Halloween try to do Christmas for a change. Brilliant animated musical.
Dec 14th – It’s a Wonderful Life: Jimmy Stewart nearly loses it all, before Clarence comes to his rescue and earns his wings. “Atta boy, Clarence!”
Dec 15th – Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: a sequel that is nearly up to the standard of the original. Excellent fun.
Dec 16th – The Santa Clause: Tim Allen reluctantly and haplessly becomes Santa Clause after doing in the old one.
Dec 17th – Elf: sometimes cringeworthy, but sometimes utterly hilarious. Something for everyone.
Dec 18th – Die Hard 2: the same stuff (well, not “stuff”, but you know what I mean) happening to the same guy twice – in an airport.
Dec 19th – Love Actually: complete with dancing Hugh Grant and a nativity lobster.
Dec 20th – Trading Places: riches-to-rags-to-riches/rags-to-riches classic. And of course, the Mozart overture is unmistakable.
Dec 21st – The Snowman: only half an hour or so, but such a wonderful story, with Aled Jones doing his stuff.
Dec 22nd – The Muppets’ Christmas Carol: Miss Piggy reins it in as Mrs Bob Cratchit, and the rest of the muppets cast are perfect too. Beautifully judged take on the Christmas story.
Dec 23rd – The Holiday: unashamedly romantic with a nice side order of cinema nostalgia.
Dec 24th – The Polar Express: get home from the carol service, get a cuppa, get cosy, and get ready for Christmas: that’s our routine.
Dec 25th – White Christmas: (after a re-watch of Home Alone, if our household is anything to go by): a remake that is more famous than its original and contains a couple of Christmas classics.