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Christmas Entertainment

The Twelve Days of Christmas Films

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There’s nothing like settling down to watch a Christmas film in the festive season. The tree sparkling in the corner, a house full of chocolate treats, and the wind howling outside while you’re huddled under a blanket. It all sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Living that cosy life is going to be a big part of Christmas this year. The parties are put on hold while we deal with coronavirus pandemic and we’ll all be at home more than we’d like. To get the Christmas vibes going, we’ve crunched the numbers, checked the data, and put together the definitive Twelve Days of Christmas Films Advent..

Nostalgic Christmas Films about dinosaurs. Perfect.

12. The Land Before Time

We can hear the cries of ‘That’s not a Christmas film’ from here, but hear us out. If you in the weird generational wasteland between Gen X and Millennials, there’s a good chance The Land Before Time has strong Christmas memories attached. Way back when the curtains hair style was stylish, this cute cartoon played every year around Christmas. School would be broken up for the holiday by the time Littlefoot and the rest of the plucky gang of dinosaurs set off in search of the Great Valley. There may not be a fairy light in sight but this wholesome film deserves its spot on our list on nostalgia alone. And it was created by George Lucas and Seven Spielberg, so you know it’s got to be quality.

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11. The Muppets Christmas Carol

There’s no arguing whether this one’s a Christmas film. The Muppets Christmas Carol is a certified festive classic that’s been a favourite since it’s release in 1992. The most impressive thing about the film is making a generation of kids go wild for a Dickens story. But this isn’t simply a tired adaptation of an old story. The familiar cast of Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzi Bear deliver the gags while Michael Cane produces a memorable performance as the original miser Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s all good fun and packed full of the themes that you expect without taking itself too seriously.

Tim Burton, Jonny Depp, and Christmas Films. It's always going to be good.

10. Edward Scissorhands

This is Christmas in true Tim Burton style, with Jonny Depp and more than a touch of the gothic. In Depp’s first Tim Burton film, he plays an unfinished humanoid living alone in a foreboding house that looks like it was dragged off the set of The Adams Family. That is until a kindly suburban lady takes him in and a fantasy romance ensues. This is a Christmas film that takes the traditional expectations and subverts them with goodwill disappearing at Christmas time. You never quite know where or when you’re are and that makes it quietly unsettling throughout, but It’s an uncanny film that combines genres to create a Christmas film that stands out in a sea of Santa suits and bland stories.

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9. Gremlins

This 80s classic is another one that will cause some debate. It was released in the summer of 84 which is an odd choice for a festive film, but the opening let’s you know in no uncertain terms what you are watching. It’s not your usual Christmas film though, there’s rule breaking that would get you knocked of the nice list, a horde of hideous monsters, and 14 inventive deaths that push the limits of a kid’s film. All that light horror is countered by seeing the cutest Christmas gift ever, Gizmo, in a Santa hat. It’s another nostalgia filled film that is a welcome break from saccharine cheer that takes over TV in the festive season.

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8. The Santa Clause

Tim Allen taking over the Santa job after accidently making the big guy fall off his roof, that’s a festive storyline for the ages. This is one of those movies that’s bad, but in a good way. The Starship Troopers of the Christmas film world if you will. It’s sufficiently cheesy with gags in all the right places and a heart-warming story that will you feeling warm and fuzzy in December. It’s definitely one to watch with the kids or on a Sunday afternoon when all you want to do is chill out with some Christmas viewing.

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7. The Nightmare Before Christmas

This is Tim Burtons second appearance on this list as a writer and it’s for arguably his most well-known film. Again, there’s some debate around this stop-motion classic. Is it a Christmas or Halloween film? With a spooky Halloween Town setting, ghoulish cast, and the whole kidnapping Santa thing make it a film you could easily watch during the spooky season. But at its heart this magical film has all the wonder of Christmas. Poor old Jack is having something of a mid-life crisis when he comes across the holidays, Christmas literally brightens up his life. This festive film for people that have a soft spot for Halloween and are still missing the tricks and treats.

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6. Love Actually

Love Actually was mad for the Christmas Day movie. The one that comes on about six o clock when everyone is stuffed and ready for the traditional Cava laced nap. The film follows 8 different couples through connected stories in the run up to Christmas as relationships begin and end. This is a Rom-Com that brings the same sparkling wit as Bridget Jones and if it feels like a spiritual successor to the unluck in love lass, that’s because they were both written by the ridiculously talented Richard Curtis. He is an expert at bringing together the funny and the feels that you expect in a Rom-Com, and it makes Love Actually one of the best Christmas films around.

Not all Christmas Films have a machine gun ho ho ho.

5. Die Hard

Don’t even ask, yes, it is. It’s set at a Christmas party on Christmas eve when people are running around the office doing things their bosses would frown upon. If that’s not enough for you, like Mary and Joseph, John McClane is a weary traveller just looking for a place to rest his head before Hans Grubber rocks up and the party takes a turn for the worse. Less merry and more kebab shop at 3am. Die hard deserves its place on this definitive Christmas film countdown because it has a bit of everything. Love, friendship, and giant explosions as someone jumps off building without shoes on. And who among us didn’t shed a tear when Sergeant Al Powell and McClane finally meet. That’s your Christmas feels right there.

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4. The Snowman

If Walking in the Air isn’t running through your head right now do you even like Christmas? With old fashioned animation, Howard Blakes famous score, and a dash magic, the film is about as quintessentially Christmassy as it gets. Based on the 1978 childrens book, this beloved cartoon has spawned a massive collection of toys, gifts, and merchandise that will rival most franchises. Not to mention a cute Snow Dog sequel. If you’ve got kids, this is essential festive viewing and it’s guaranteed to get everyone ready to sing carols in perfect harmony with matching PJs on.

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3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Top 3, things are getting as serious as a sleigh malfunction somewhere over the Himalayas now. How the Grinch Stole Christmas became an instant classic from its first showing in cinemas in the year 2000. Jim Carrey brings his usual high energy wackiness to the Dr Seus favourite and it creates one of the most loved Christmas characters ever. Add to that the moral fibre of Max the dog and an adorable little who girl that rivals that kid from Matilda for the award for most childhood innocence, and you’ve got the recipe for Christmas royalty on your hands. This is one of those films you’ll watch every year and there are so many fantastic lines they’ll find their way into your conversations all year round.

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2. Elf

Is there a more Christmassy story than a human raised by elves in the North Pole heading back to a snowy New York City to find his father? It couldn’t be more festive if Santa had written the thing and that’s why it’s one of the most popular films when the trees up. Will Ferrell has a habit of being hit or miss. Talladega Nights is one of the funniest films around, Blades of Glory, not so much. Elf certainly lands in the hit box and it’s got all the Christmas memes to prove it. This family fun film is practically etched into yule tide law and watching Elf on Christmas Eve is the best way to spread the cheer.

Christmas films don't come any better than this.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life

This is it, number 1 and objectively, the best Christmas ever made is It’s a Wonderful Life. James Stewart plays a businessman on the edge George Bailey. When he’s at his lowest an angel visits him to show him what life would have been like if he’d never existed. It’s kind of the anti-Scrooge and it’s got that unmistakable style of the of the 40s. But it’s also an uplifting story that will melt the frozen heart of coldest Christmas hater and leave them sobbing like they’re 5 again and someone’s stolen their stocking. The film is packed full of moments have gone down in film history with some of the most quotable dialogue you’ll see. Watch the ‘Lasso the Moon’ scene and tell us this film isn’t perfect.

It doesn’t matter what Christmas films make it onto your own film advent. It’s all about spending time with the people you love and the films that spark those memories of Christmas past. That’s what creating our list taught us. The films we love are the ones we grew up watching at Christmas so, give your little ones the same treasured memories. Add extra treats to your shop and upgrade the TV is the budgets there and your family could do with a treat. But most of all spend the time together to make your own traditions, even if that has to be over teams this year. Happy watching.

Suggested Movie Night Shopping:

Asda – https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/asda

Sainsburys – https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/sainsburys

AO.com – https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/ao

Now TV – https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/now-tv

Virgin Media – https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/virgin-media

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Ashley Bird

Ever since the birth of his first child, Ashley has been trying to squeeze a little more out of every penny. Three years and another child later, he's a dab hand at finding a deal and getting things done for less. Whether you need help planning a budget friendly family day out, or saving on all things home, he can help you out.

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