So it’s one week until Christmas, a time of giving, a time of eating and drinking to excess, and of course, a time for pulling those Christmas related movies from the back of the shelf and settling in for a massive session. These are my favourite Christmas movies, so a lot of your personal favourites may be missing. Don’t expect to see Elf (which I cannot stand) or The Santa Clause (which I don’t think anyone can stand) or Gremlins (which I do enjoy, but I much prefer the sequel). Dear Reader, these are the movies I think you should be watching over the Christmas period, in order of the year of release. These are best enjoyed with a drink in hand, and it may help getting through the list itself. And please leave a comment on your favourites, or anything you think that should be on this list. Without further ado, here we go.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Anything Peanuts related I’m gonna be all over anyway, and A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the best Peanuts stories around. Equal parts touching and biting (serving as a comment on the over-commercialisation of Christmas), this is an absolute must if you want that warm feeling in your heart.
Die Hard (1988)
While of course not being technically about Christmas, it’s set at Christmas time, so fuck you, it’s on the list. Still one of the greatest action movies ever made, with mind-blowing set pieces, lots of laughs, and amazing performances by Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. Yippee ki-yay, mother fucker!
There’s nothing like a good piece of black comedy. A modern re-telling of A Christmas Carol with Bill Murray playing an absolute arsehole, Scrooged is very funny. Looks like 1988 was a great year for Christmas movies.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Despite Chevy Chase’s recent fall from grace (his behaviour on the set of Community, for example), he is a gifted comedic actor, and Christmas Vacation remains one of his best films. It’s hard to get slapstick right, and a lot of the time it can come off as ridiculous at best, childish at worst. But this movie gets it just right.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
A modern day fable that tells the story of where Christmas snow comes from. A brilliant performance by Johnny Depp, and one of the last great movies that Tim Burton made before he started making the dreadful shit he makes now (except for Ed Wood in 1994). A very sweet and tragic story that is always great to revisit.
Jingle All The Way (1996)
OK, so Jingle All The Way isn’t a great movie. But Arnold Schwarzenegger yelling “PUT THAT COOKIE DOWN!” into a payphone will never get old, and a story about the struggle of dealing with all the other mother fuckers surrounding you at Christmas time when you’re just trying to get your shopping done is one we can all relate to.
Bad Santa (2003)
The final movie on the list, and my personal favourite on the list too. In fact, this remains one of my favourite movies of all time. Billy Bob Thornton plays a foul-mouthed, sex-crazed pig who poses as a mall Santa every year along with his partner in crime Marcus (played by Tony Cox) to steal from the mall. Funny as all fuck, endlessly quotable, with an amazing cast (especially John Ritter as Bob Chipeska) and one of Billy Bob’s absolute best performances (except for maybe The Man Who Wasn’t There), there’s no reason we shouldn’t all be watching Bad Santa every single Christmas.
So that’s it, Dear Reader. 7 days till Christmas, and 7 movies on this list. I think you know what to do. What will you be watching this Christmas?