The Christmas films you should be watching instead of revising

Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins

Even as an (kind of) adult, Christmas films are a rite of passage in the weeks leading up to Christmas in order to get you into the festive spirit but the question is, which one’s the best?

Here’s a list of some favourites (WARNING: SPOLIERS) that you should watch before the big event next week to help you feel all Christmassy and forget about essays, exams and the fact that 2017 is two weeks away.

A Christmas Carol

Despite being a cartoon, and rated U, this film is actually pretty scary (the Bob Marley doorknob gets me every time). With Jim Carrey playing Scrooge, it’s hard not to love the bah’humbugging old miser and the fact that Sirius Black is Bob Cratchett is the cherry on top.

After being visited by the ghosts of Christmas’ past, present and future, Scrooge wakes up a new man. His new year, new me attitude is inspiring and if this film doesn’t make you feel all warm and Christmassy inside then you’re going to end up like Bob Marley.

8/10 (too scary)

Home Alone

You’d be lying if you said that, as a kid, you didn’t wish to be home alone at least once. Seeing a badass Kevin Macallister show the wet bandits what’s what definitely convinced me that I’d survive if two bumbling burglars tried to rob my family home.

There’s something liberating about seeing people falling over and in pain, as opposed to it being you on a drunken night out in hive, and Old Man Murphy saving the day is a nice ending to the film, proving that looking scary af doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not a nice person.

Keep the change, ya filthy animal.

9/10 (it’s a classic)

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Despite having a suspiciously similar plot to its predecessor, the second Home Alone film manages not to disappoint. Although it’s highly convenient that the Harry and Marv happen to bump into Kevin again in the massive city of New York, the change in scenery and different tricks means that we can forgive the plot from being fundamentally the same.

The pigeon lady telling Kevin that she has no friends gets us in the feels every time and the blundering hotel staff provide us with some cringe-worthy laughs (we love you too Tim Curry).

8/10 (not quite as good as the original)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Let’s face it, the Grinch is everyone’s spirit animal in one way or another. Whether you’re a fan of wallowing in self-pity, amusing yourself at the expense of others or have to try on a million outfits before deciding you don’t want to go out, we can all relate.

Watching it now we can appreciate the more adult jokes that went over our heads as kids (like the swingers’ party in the flashback, for example) and the film itself is visually impressive too. It’s impossible to watch the film without your heart growing three sizes and wanting to sing along to the song at the end, which no one knows the words to.

10/10 (It leaves us feeling toasty inside and leaking from our eyes)

The Polar Express

The fact that none of the characters (except Santa) are named makes this film stand out from the rest. Without knowing their names we’re able to follow their journey on the elusive Polar Express right to the North Pole and the big man himself.

This is the perfect film to watch when you’re older as it still manages to capture the magic of Christmas as you felt it as a kid. When the boy opens his present to find the bell on Christmas morning, it’s hard not to feel a pang of nostalgia and shed a tear (or two).

8/10 (would be 7 but Tom Hanks)

Arthur Christmas

One of the more recent Christmas films, Arthur Christmas offers a more modern perspective on the actions of Father Christmas on Christmas eve.

The storyline is very clever, meaning that it’s a good watch for all ages, and it’s hard not to sympathise with Arthur who, despite his best efforts, seems a very unlikely hero and it overlooked in favour of his older brother. Arthur’s clumsiness and his commitment to the little girl whose present was overlooked is endearing and makes the film a firm favourite.

8/10 (the elves are really cool)

Love Actually

This film is difficult to dislike as it has everything; swearing, naked Bill Nighy, a cameo from Mr Bean, dancing Hugh Grant and Colin Firth (once again) jumping into a lake.

While some storylines are completely ridiculous – see Colin’s trip to America – it’s hard not to see the film as the timeless classic that it is. The amazing cast is an added bonus to the feel-good soundtrack and it’s not possible to watch it without feeling all merry and bright.

9/10 (RIP Alan Rickman)

Die Hard

While the link to the Christmassy element of Die Hard is somewhat tenuous, it is set at Christmas time which is apparently enough to classify it as a festive classic.

Hans Grüber is one of the best action bad guys that you love to hate and it’s hard not to watch the film and wish you had Bruce Willis coming to save you. The action is non-stop so if you want something a bit more exciting to watch over the Christmas period, this one is definitely for you.

8/10 (extra points for Bruce’s biceps)

The Muppet’s Christmas Carol

Following the same storyline as the Christmas Carol above, this film is very similar except the cast is made up of the Muppets and Michael Caine.

Although this seems to be a strange combination, it works, with Gonzo acting as the narrator and despite being relatively old, the film’s effects aren’t bad and the songs are incredibly catchy.

7/10 (not quite as good as the other one)

Jingle All the Way

Where to even start with this one? Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a dad in competition with another dad on Christmas eve to get their sons a Turbo Man action figure that has sold out everywhere.

This film is just as bizarre as you can imagine and the acting is as cringey as it gets. Arnold needs to stick to playing robots and being the Governor of California because in this he shows that his slapstick acting is not his forte.

5/10 (on the list purely because of how hilarious the acting is)

The Snowman

No matter how old you are, the snowman melting at the end of this film is utterly heart-breaking. As a kid, you’d want nothing more than your snowman to come alive and take you on a flying adventure through the sky to the North Pole to meet Santa on Christmas Eve and this film helps you to live vicariously through the little boy who does just that.

The music is unreal, almost guaranteed to induce goose bumps, and is perfect to accompany the stunning half an hour animation. This is a definite classic and will undoubtedly get you in the Christmas spirit.

8/10 (too heart-breaking to watch more than once per Christmas)


Arguably the best Christmas film all time, Elf is a nostalgic reminder of what it’s like when you first come to uni. Filled with enthusiasm about life, you wander through the tunnel away from home and into the real world where chaos ensues and nothing is what you think it will be like.

Will Ferrell is perfect as Buddy and it’s hard not to laugh out loud at his escapades, to name a few, shoving cookies into the VCR, buying lingerie for his dad and exposing/fighting a mall Santa in front of a group of kids. If this isn’t one of your favourites then you’re a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

10/10 (the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear)