From life-affirming dramas to animated charmers, we can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas Eve than snuggled up with a big-screen classic, such as these festive favourites.
Our Christmas checklist goes a little something like this: light a Winter candle, create the perfect festive menu, and host a fireside film night. Whether it’s a low-key affair, or an all-day family marathon, it never truly feels like Christmas until we’ve watched James Stewart careering through snowy streets at least once (see: number 4).
First, create your very own festive fort with the plumpest pillows and as many blankets as you can carry – our Markham throw is particularly snuggle-worthy – dim the lights and light a Christmas candle. Once you’ve set a suitably festive mood, it’s time for the main event. Here’s a few to get you started.
1.The cosy comedy
There are very few films that will delight toddlers and grandparents alike, but Elf succeeds where so many have failed – largely due to Will Ferrell’s irresistible performance as Buddy, an adult-sized elf let loose in New York in search of his biological father.
More family favourites: Home Alone and Gremlins.
2.The festive fantasy
We defy even the biggest Christmas cynic to resist 3D classic The Polar Express, with its cockle-warming combination of reindeers, a snowy adventure and Tom Hanks as the narrator, conductor, and Santa Claus. Truly magical, it’s sure to keep little ones entranced for an afternoon – leaving you free for last-minute Christmas prep.
Little ones will also love: The Snowman and A Muppet’s Christmas Carol.
3.The romantic choice
For an evening of pure escapism, you simply can’t beat Love Actually and The Holiday, thanks to their beautiful ensemble casts, stunning scenery, and heartstring-tugging plotlines. With just the right amount of wit interspersed with romantic turmoil, they’re best watched with your closest girlfriends (and plenty of champagne).
More weep-worthy classics: While You Were Sleeping and Serendipity.
4.The Christmas classic
Frank Capra’s finest moment, It’s a Wonderful Life simply is Christmas. It stars James Stewart as the suicidal George, who has all but given up on his dreams, and Henry Travers as his intervening guardian angel, who shows him the impact he has had on all those around him – and how different life would have been if he hadn’t existed. One for Christmas Eve, with mulled wine and your cosiest pyjamas.
More Hollywood classics to try: Meet Me In St Louis and White Christmas.