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Top 12 Christmas Films – Jessica Redland

I was going to produce a Top 10 but struggled to narrow it down. Then I decided a Top 12 is so much better because of the 12 Days of Christmas and December being the twelfth month of the year. I know! I’m making excuses here!

So here’s my Top 12 with reasons why I love them. An honourable mention must go to Arthur Christmas and Elf which nearly made it onto the list and The Snowman and the Snow Dog for the beautiful animation.

And I have to mention Love Actually with which I have a love/hate relationship. I feel compelled to watch it whenever it is on, mainly because Bill Nighy is so wonderful and Hugh Grant is fabulous, but there are a couple of the mini storylines I don’t actually like so I can’t bring myself to add it to the list.

  1. Miracle on 34th Street – I confess I’ve never seen the original but absolutely love the 1994 remake starring the late Richard Attenborough. It’s the first Christmas film I watch each year while decorating the tree. Not a lot of decorating gets done. I still cry every time the signs appear around New York declaring ‘We Believe!’


  1. The Holiday – I absolutely adore this film and usually watch it several times each year, not just at Christmas, especially as it’s set over Christmas and New Year but isn’t stuffed with Christmas sentiments. Arthur’s astonished face when he walks into his tribute event? Just gorgeous!


  1. The Santa Clause – A family favourite. This is such a magical film. Love it. It tends to be the second Christmas film I watch while putting up the tree. Yes, I get through two full films and often move onto a third because, despite seeing them so many times, they have me captivated!


  1. Jack Frost – Okay, so the snowman special effects are a bit suspect but this is a lovely film. Makes me cry every time. This is my third film of choice if the tree still isn’t decorated after the first two.


  1. The Christmas Chronicles – I love this 2018 Netflix offering with Kurt Russell as Santa. The elves are hilarious.


  1. Frozen – I love an animated Disney film and one with two strong female leads who rescue each other is always going to be a winner for me. And, even though so many grew bored of it, I still think ‘Let It Go’ is a stunning song. My daughter likes the second film even better but I’ve only seen that once. I’ve promised her a Frozen double-bill this Christmas.

  1. A Christmas Carol – There are many variations of this – the ultimate Dickens Christmas tale – and I do enjoy the version by The Muppets but my favourite is the 2009 Jim Carrey version. It’s visually spectacular and ever so clever.


  1. Last Christmas – Out last year and featuring the songs of George Michael, this is a lovely, funny, and surprising film. I’m looking forward to watching it again this year.


  1. A Christmas Prince – One of Netflix’s first Christmas films and such a delight. The second one is enjoyable enough but I thought the third was a little disappointing so think I’ll stick with this first outing.


  1. The Princess Switch – Ooh, a life-swap film is always good fun and this 2018 Netflix one about a baker swapping with a soon-to-be-princess is a delight.


  1. A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish – Another 2019 release. I’m a sucker for variations on the Cinderella story and this one about an aspiring singer working as an elf doesn’t disappoint.


  1. Klaus – I can see this one moving up the list on a second watch. It’s a traditionally-animated release from last year and an origins story. I knew nothing about it and found it a little slow at first but suddenly it completely captured my heart and little things pulled together in such a stunning way. I was in tears by the end. Quite beautiful.


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