12 Movie Recommendations for 12 Days of Christmas

best christmas movies

If you’re anything like me and get excited about Christmas the minute it hits December 1st (or even before then), then Christmas movies will be a pivotal part of your annual festivities.

Every year I look forward to my Christmas movie marathon in the lead up to the big day. Here are my top 12 favourite picks for the ultimate holiday marathon:

12. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

I know, technically this isn’t a Christmas movie, but Danny Elfman’s soundtrack to the amazing Tim Burton film has always cast a spell over me during the holidays (so much so, that I bought it on vinyl). Plus, you’ve also got Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder together being cuties, and who doesn’t love that? It’s definitely my favourite Tim Burton film. How beautiful is this scene!?

11. The Holiday (2006)

This movie was actually a very late find for me, but I fell in love with it the first time I watched it. Two complete strangers, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) swap houses for the holidays and change their lives at the same time. Iris is a lovelorn character that every girl can relate to at one point in their lives, and then you’ve got Jude Law and Jack Black in the mix for comical value. It’s a rom-com but it’s a goodie! This scene perfectly depicts 99.5% of people whenever they hear Mr. Brightside:

10. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

This remake of the 1947 classic was one of those movies that you’d watch every year on TV at Christmas time without a doubt. Richard Attenborough became my favourite depiction of Santa because of this movie, and remains so to this day.


9. It’s A Wonderful Life (1947)

I often stumbled across this title when trawling the internet for new movies to add to my list, and I overlooked it for so long due to its age. I was very wrong about it. Produced in 1947, this movie has stood the test of time. It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s a movie I believe everyone should watch at least once in their lives.

8. A Christmas Carol (2009)

Based on the novella by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol is another one of those movies (see It’s a Wonderful Life) that really makes you stop and be grateful for what, and who you have in your life. The Walt Disney adaption stars Jim Carrey as the voice of Ebenezer Scrooge and an array of other characters, and is a heart-warming tale that’s perfect for this time of year.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

What’s this!? How can you have a Christmas movie marathon without this classic! Another Tim Burton flick, The Nightmare Before Christmas follows the king of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, as he attempts to bring Christmas to his town, causing controversy and confusion among the residents. Again, the soundtrack (and Jack Skellington’s voice) is by Danny Elfman, so you know there’s going to be some tunes involved. You can’t miss this one.

6. The Santa Clause (1994)

Another one of my favourites as a child. After accidentally killing a man in a Santa suit (who happens to be the real Santa), Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is forced to take his place before the next Christmas arrives. Hilarity ensues as Scott quickly realises he’s not dreaming and slowly begins the transformation into St. Nick, in this holiday comedy (the whole movie is even on YouTube).


5. Jingle All The Way (1996)

Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger did a string of family-comedies following Terminator? Yeah, me too, and this movie is one of those gems. Workaholic dad Howard (Schwarzenegger) is desperate for a way to make amends with his son after work gets in the way of his family commitments. When he realises he’s forgotten to buy the Christmas present his son had asked for months earlier, Howard is sent on a wild goose chase trying to locate the most popular children’s toy on Christmas Eve. Check out this scene for some top-notch Arnie acting:

4. Home Alone 1 & 2 (1990-1992)

Chris Columbus directs these 90’s classic films that follow Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) as he accidentally gets left behind (not once, but twice) on the family’s annual Christmas trips. In the process, he manages to outwit two conmen who are trying to break into his house/pull off a robbery on Christmas Eve by using booby traps and household objects. Another staple family-comedy for the holiday season. Here’s the iconic ‘Merry Christmas You Filthy Animal’ scene from Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992):

3. Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually is one of my favourite Christmas movies to watch, for so many reasons. It features nine intertwined stories about Christmas and love, in all its different forms. With a star-studded cast and awesome soundtrack, what’s not to love!? If you’re a fan of movies like Valentine’s Day (2010) and New Year’s Eve (2011), then this is the movie that started it all. Plus, this scene featuring Hugh Grant is a reason in itself to watch it:

2. Elf (2003)

A very close second place, Elf (starring Will Ferrell) follows Buddy the Elf who travels to New York from the North Pole in search of his biological father, after he discovers he doesn’t quite fit in with Santa’s helpers. Buddy is the perfect depiction of every Christmas fanatic at Christmas and I absolutely adore this movie; and if this isn’t me at Christmas time, then I don’t know what is:

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

I always save this one until last because it’s my all-time favourite. This movie has it all: Dr. Seuss, a cute doggo and an absolutely hilarious Jim Carrey who stars as the Grinch. If you have never quoted/retweeted/reposted/re-grammed a screencap from this movie then you’re a liar and I don’t believe you. It’s the best Christmas movie of all time (you can fight me on that).

What’s your favourite Christmas movie? Let us know in the comments! Merry Christmas!

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About author
Writer, dog lover, tea enthusiast and amateur photographer. Tries too hard to throw LOTR quotes into every day speech. Deserted Island Movie Collection: All of the Jurassic Park movies. Best Movie Snack: Popcorn, duh!


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