Some things have the power to get you in the Christmas spirit more than anything else – putting up the pine tree, baking gingerbread men, shopping in decorated malls – and watching Christmas movies.
We’ve selected five of our favourite Christmas films to kickstart your holiday excitement.
Whether you’ve watched Nancy Meyer’s 2006 romantic comedy The Holiday a dozen times before or never seen it, this film is bound to charm. Starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black, the film follows the adventures of Winslet and Diaz’s characters as they swap houses – and countries – for Christmas. Both women escape the stresses of their everyday lives and become romantically involved with local men (played by Law and Black). The result is a heart-warming and hilarious story played across two very different festive landscapes. You won’t regret watching this one.
This 1942 classic musical showcases Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire at their very best. Commonly deemed one of the best Christmas movies ever, Holiday Inn introduced the world to the classic Christmas song White Christmas, which won the 1942 Academy Award for Best Original Song. When Jim’s (Crosby) girlfriend leaves him for Ted (Astaire), Jim turns his inn into a holidays-only live music venue. He quickly falls in love with one of the performers, Linda (Marjorie Reynolds), who Ted soon turns his sights to.
For laughter, tears and plenty of Christmas cheer, Love Actually should be your go-to festive film. Following a number of different character stories that are all intertwined in some way, the film celebrates the joy of Christmas in London while exploring various complicated and diverse relationships. Love Actually stars a huge range of celebrities, including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley. The Christmas-themed soundtrack will get you in the spirit like nothing else.
The Polar Express
Don’t be fooled by its cartoon appearance – The Polar Express is just as much a film for adults as it is for children. Set in 1956, the story follows a young boy who journeys on a magical train to the North Pole to see if Santa is really real. A simple concept, the film explores feel-good themes of friendship and bravery, while delving into the spirit of Christmas. With Tom Hanks voicing six of the characters, this is the perfect Christmas film for the whole family.
Starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, Serendipity is a romance set against the backdrop of Christmas. When Jonathon (Cusack) and Sara (Beckinsale) meet in New York during the festive season, they are instantly attracted to one another despite both being in relationships. Believing fate will bring them together if it is meant to be, they say goodbye. The film follows their separate paths and culminates back in New York for Christmas.