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What Is A “Christmas Movie”?

Christmas Eve, no better time to be sieving through the draws of DVDs, scrolling through the menus of Sky Anytime, browsing the pages of the TV guide, or if you’re feeling daring, buying a film from Box Office, in order to compile that perfect playlist of films for 25 December.

Christmas Day is a special day for family, giving thanks, and of course, watching films. There is tense anticipation, speculation as to what will feature on the box. But whether it is a classic like The Wizard of Oz or a cheesy romcom like Love Actually, everyone finds something to feast their eyes on, even after eating a dozen mince pies.

But what kind of movies are “Christmas movies”?

To start with the clichés, those films that couldn’t be more Christmassy even if they hit you in the head with a Christmas tree. How The Grinch Stole Christmas slips easily into this category, it has even got Christmas in the title. Definitely a funny seasonal comedy based on the famous Dr Seuss poem, with Jim Carrey playing the green Grinch. And I’m sure with minimal effort at all, one can recite a litany of Christmas based films.

A few golden oldies always make an appearance on the Christmas film list, but we aren’t complaining following the yellow brick road, or seeing the legendary James Stewart conquer his trials in It’s A Wonderful Life. It gives us that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

At this time of year, we definitely cannot forget the genre that girls love, and guys pretend to hate, the romcom, films that strike a jingle bell note with everyone. A taste of British always goes down well as Hugh Grant is the man to turn to for a large helping of cheese in Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill. Even comedies that lend themselves to the sillier side of the genre such as Knocked Up or The 40 Year-Old Virgin are a delightful addition to any Christmas list.

Moving past the obvious seasonal flicks, is there space for other films even if they have nothing to do with Christmas? Do the likes of Scarface or Saw have a place on the prized playlist?

The answer is quite simply, yes. The choice of film is one thing, but the experience counts even more. Christmas is one of the few times a year in this rapidly moving world of ours, where the family come together, and film watching plays a significant part in that. After indulging in some Christmas cuisine and making your way to the sofa in a booze induced stumble, the classic Christmas movies may not be everyone’s cup of mulled wine. Perhaps the latest film on Box Office or DVD tickles your fancy. Maybe you want to attempt a Lord of the Rings marathon with the extended editions. Whatever your choice, the film doesn’t have to be even remotely related to Christmas, just as long as it is a film you all enjoy.

When your back end touches the sofa and you are sat around the TV with your loved ones, soak up the vibe, and let the Christmas spirit run through you, even if the battle for Middle Earth is occurring as you do so.

What are your favourite Christmas movies?