One of my favourite things about December is spending the dark evenings watching Christmas films with a mulled wine. So, as I’m already well and truly in the festive mix, I thought I’d dedicate today to my top five favourite Christmas films and what each of them taught me along the way…
5) Father Christmas
Father Christmas comes in in fifth place purely for nostalgic reasons. As a kid I thought it was a hilarious and interesting insight into Father Christmas’s love of alcohol, gambling and Vegas showgirls. It was written by Raymond Briggs a few years after his first hit “The Snowman”, so it also gave crucial evidence that the boy manages to re-make his snowman (2 mins 25) – thus easing the excruciating emotional pain that I suffered as a kid when Briggs killed off our magical hero so heartlessly the first time.
Also, while we’re on the subject, who knew the little boy from The Snowman was, in fact, David Bowie…
4) It’s a Wonderful Life
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is the best Christmas film to watch if you want to become an emotional wreck. If you haven’t seen it, basically main character, George Bailey, is visited by his guardian angel to get a short view of how terrible the world would be if he had never been born. As you can imagine, it gives you all the feels.
The only downside is that it invariably leaves you wondering whether you’ve really had as much of a positive impact on the world as George Bailey did – but, if you want my advice, grab another glass of mulled wine and let’s save that can of worms for another time.
3) Miracle of 34th Street
SPOILER ALERT: This is essentially a film about an elderly gentleman with serious mental health issues who believes without a shadow of a doubt that he is the real Father Christmas – and in turn is taken pity on by a New York courtroom.
In fact, if there was a sequel to this film the opening sequence would probably be a birds-eye shot of “Chris Cringle” rocking violently in cell after being arrested on several counts of theft and being a danger to himself and others. But who doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy when those bags of letters to Santa are dragged in front of the judge?
2) Home Alone 1 / Home Alone 2 (not three, never three.)
The problem with society today, is that this little gem would never be commissioned for production now, because apparently the kids of today can’t differentiate between fantasy and real life.
That said, on re-watching them as an adult it’s clear that Kevin is a sadistic and highly troubled young boy who, rather than ringing the police immediately for assistance, decides to conduct a series of painful, and lengthy torture methods on a couple of petty thieves.
While we’re on the subject, it also teaches young children a confusing message about mortality and how many bricks one human can take to the face without dying. Just watch this compilation and see how many times Marv would be dead or at least require medical attention – I’m thinking of making it into a drinking game this year.
1) The Muppets Christmas Carol
This is not only the best adaptation of Dickens’ classic that’s ever been made, but my all-time favourite Christmas film! After all, if there was ever a film that teaches kids that muppet pigs, talking vegetables and humans can live together in harmony, this is it.
So let me leave you with probably the most heartwarming Christmas song of all-time… ‘Tis The Season – Tiny Tim
Until next time… x