My Essential Christmas Films

Every year I spend at least one day with my friends watching as many Christmas films as we can fit in. That day happened on Monday this year, and we could only fit in two, but they were both two I’ve never seen before (Scrooged and Home Alone), so I was pretty pleased with our efforts!

Today I thought I’d share some of my personal favourites when it comes to festive films.


Love Actually is one of my essentials, and I have actually already watched it this year. It genuinely makes me laugh each and every time I watch it, and I know that whilst a part of that is down to being able to quote it, I do think it’s really funny, with some great characters. My favourites are Billy Mack, and Harry (played by Alan Rickman), even if he is a bit of an idiot.


The Family Stone is another one that I watch every year. It’s a bit of an odd one, because it has me laughing out loud one moment, and then crying the next. It never fails to make me cry at the very end, but the scene in which Everett and Ben fight on Christmas morning is so hilarious. There are some great actors in this film, but Rachel McAdams and Luke Wilson play my favourite characters.


Would you believe that I only actually watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time last year? It was always one of those films that I meant to watch, and never got around to, but I finally watched it as part of our Christmas films weekend. I’m a big, big fan of James Stewart, and this is probably his most famous role, as George Bailey, the small town man who contemplates suicide. It’s such a heartwarming story!


People who know me might be a bit surprised to hear that I like a film like Bad Santa. I actually went to see this at the cinema with my friends Anna and Rob, and we loved it! It seems like a bit of an anti-festive film, because Billy Bob Thornton’s Santa Claus is just awful, and uses his position to rob various different department stores with his elfish sidekick. But, in the true spirit of a proper Christmas film, there’s plenty of feel-good fun to go along with the cynicism! A sequel has been mooted for years, but the word on the street seems to be that they may actually make it next year. I can’t wait!


My mum used to love White Christmas, so while I was growing up there wasn’t a Christmas that went without it being on at some point. Having said that, I don’t think I actually sat down and watched it all the way through until I was an adult. I just love it so much; Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are just perfection, and the music is wonderful. I’ve got to dig out my DVD of it in the next couple of days so I can watch it before the big day!

What are your favourite Christmas films?

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  • Reply Kel Loves (@kellovesclothes)

    Nothing lets me know it’s Christmas like Its A Wonderful Life, such an incredible film, I can’t wait to watch it this year!

    December 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm
  • Reply bevchen

    You had never seen home Alone? Whaaaat? How did you miss that one?!

    Umm, that said, I have to confess I’ve never seen Love Actually. Anything with Alan Rickman has to be good though, yes?

    Does Nightmare Before Christmas count as a Christmas film? If so, that’s on my list. Along with Gremlins.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm
    • Reply Janey

      You’re not the first person to express horror that I haven’t seen Home Alone! My mum wasn’t a fan of Macaulay Culkin so we were never encouraged to watch it!

      You should watch Love Actually, even if just to say you’ve seen it!

      And Nightmare Before Christmas definitely counts (even if I’ve never seen it, I think it counts!).

      December 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm
  • Reply shazzarob

    I have to say i still need to see Its A Womderful life. I love Love Actually, The Holiday and Bridget Jones has xmassy bits in it.BadSanta was great fun. My boyfriend loves A Muppet Christmas Carol.Ho! Ho!

    December 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm
    • Reply Janey

      I can’t believe I missed off A Muppet Christmas Carol! What a mistake to make!

      December 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Janet

    The Family Stone is an absolute favourite, and like you I will be sobbing one minute and laughing out loud the next. The scene where Diane Keaton’s pregnant daughter gets into bed with her makes me cry so much.

    Otherwise, I love A Muppet Christmas Carol, and Home Alone.

    December 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply Janey

      It’s the final scene, when they are all back round the Christmas tree the following year, that makes me sob!

      December 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Hurnae

    I LOVE The Grinch and Elf. I’ve been looking all over the house for Love Actually because I really like that. It’s a Wonderful Life and Santa Claus: The Movie are family Christmas classics in this house.

    December 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm
    • Reply Janey

      I like Elf but I’ve never watched The Grinch! And I haven’t watched Santa Clause: The Movie in years!

      December 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply charlene

    I’ve only seen Bad Santa out of your faves & love it! I’ve seen part of Love Actually but it wasn’t my type of film.
    My all time faves our Elf & Fred Clause.

    December 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply Louise Smith

    I’ve only seen the first one! Oops 😉

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

    December 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm
    • Reply Janey

      There are so many that I haven’t seen either!

      December 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Sophie

    Great post! I love christmas films Elf is my favourite.


    December 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm
    • Reply Janey

      I only watched Elf for the first time a couple of years ago, and considering I don’t like Will Ferrell, I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      December 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  • Reply Rachael (@hookstitch)

    I have to admit I prefer the original Holiday Inn to White Christmas I will be honest – prefer the plot, the songs and the actors in it.

    December 18, 2013 at 10:35 pm
    • Reply Janey

      I’ve never seen Holiday Inn, though I am a HUGE fan of Fred Astaire, so it’s probably worth a watch!

      December 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    I’m a total sucker for a Mupets Christmas Carol and Miracle on 34th Street. I have to admit I don’t think I’ve seen The Family Stone I’ll have to look it up 🙂 x

    December 19, 2013 at 1:24 am
    • Reply Janey

      I can’t believe I forgot those two films! I love them both, but haven’t watched them for a couple of years.

      You should definitely check out The Family Stone – it’s great!

      December 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Erika Holt

    I actually love anything Christmassy! My favourite Christmas film though is Die Hard. Ha, I know it isn’t really one of those conventional films, but I don’t think Christmas would be the same without it.

    December 19, 2013 at 6:27 am
  • Reply Jessica Dearnley

    I love White Christmas, never heard of the Family Stone though. My favourite is probably the Santa Claus.


    December 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm
    • Reply Janey

      It’s been years since I watched Santa Claus The Movie!

      December 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm
  • Reply My Thoughts On… Scrooged | Is That You Darling

    […] This is a bit of a vague post, simply because, although I enjoyed Scrooged a lot more than I expected to, I didn’t come away from it with any strong feelings. It was good, but it wasn’t spectacular. I own it on DVD, so I’m sure I’ll watch it again in the lead up to Christmas in the future, but it’s not going to become one of my essential Christmas films! […]

    December 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply Louisa

    Ooh it has to be The Nightmare Before Christmas, closely followed I think by Muppet Christmas Carol and Arthur Christmas! Have a fab Christmas! 🙂 x

    December 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm
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