During the year, families often resolve to spend more time together, but with the endless round of doctor’s appointments, school trips, sporting matches, interstate work conferences, mountains of homework and myriad other mundane but necessary rituals of daily life it can be difficult to schedule in a few hours to relax and connect with your loved ones.
Is it any wonder then that most of us finish the year feeling harangued and stressed, and worn out from juggling all our responsibilities and commitments? The Christmas holidays present an invaluable and rare opportunity to spend quality time with close friends, family members and partners, and what better way to bond than by enjoying a favourite Christmas movie? Nothing says Christmas like the spirit of giving, so we’ve put together a list of the best top 10 films to watch with your loved ones at Christmas.
From heart-warming classics to adorable comedies, it’s time to crack a few cold ones, pass around a box of Tim-Tams and reconnect with the ones you love through the perennial pleasure of cinema!
- It’s a Wonderful Life
In this 1946 classic Christmas favourite, an angel is sent to earth to save a suicidal man by showing him the impact he’s had on the lives of those around him. If you’re looking for a heart-warming family favourite that will make you beam with affection for your loved ones, this movie has stood the test of time and become a Christmas favourite all over the world.
2. Love Actually
Featuring an ensemble cast, this hilarious but poignantly moving Christmas comedy follows many individual stories dealing with both romantic and platonic love and friendship. Sparkling performances by Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant, among others, make this an unforgettably funny and uplifting choice for family Christmas movie night.
3. Home Alone
It would be remiss of us not to include this charming family favourite about a young boy called Kevin whose large family goes on holiday and forgets to pack him! When Kevin overhears two burglers planning to take advantage of his parents' absence, the eight year old is left with no choice but to set a maze of booby traps and defend the family home mimself.
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This lovable tale of the friendship between a little girl and a furry green creature called the Grinch is adapted from the Dr Seuss story and is a firm favourite with children and parents alike due to the heartwarming message it imparts about being accepting of difference and not judging others based on their appearance.
5. The Polar Express
This visually gorgeous animated Tom Hanks' film tells the story of a young boy who catches a train to the North Pole on Christmas eve to meet Santa, on the way befriending a lonely boy from his village and a fiesty and proactive young girl. This is a great one for parents looking to capture the selfless magic of Christmas as it emphasises the importance of reaching out to others at this time of year.
6. Miracle on 34th Street
Released in 1947, this charming Christmas classic takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day in New York. It tells the story of a department store Santa who tells people he's the real Santa, and it popularised the term 'Kris Kringle' in the context of Secret Santa style office gift-swaps.
7. A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is his usual captivating self in this adaption of Charles Dickens' famous play, in which he acts the roles of both Scrooge and the three ghosts.
This 2003 Christmas comedy starring Will Ferrell is the charming story of a human who is adopted by one of Santa's elves, and grows up believing he too is an elf. On discovering his human identity, he travels to meet his real father, a man who happens to be on Santa's naughty list!
9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Part of the hilarious National Lampoon's Vacations series, this has become a cult film due to its relatability for families everywhere and impeccable comedic timing! A great one for the older kids to laugh along with, and parents to fondly remember doing the same thing when it was first released in 1989!
10. The Holiday
A sweet romantic comedy that definitely leans more to towards the comedy, this endearing movie details the story of two women who've recently been unlucky in love - and decide to swap homes over the Christmas period! Featuring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black, this is a good one for those who want to get into the sentimental Christmas spirit!