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5 Christmas Films to Bring Out Your Holiday Spirit

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For many Christmas is a time of over-indulgence, be it food, presents, alcohol or sleeping in. Like any holiday, when we’re relaxing we all have our favourite films to rely on, like Halloween and Scream during Halloween, and Christmas isn’t any different. There are hundreds of Christmas films to watch, and most of them are absolutely dreadful cash grabs with no redeeming qualities, but thankfully this is our picks for the best Christmas films to watch.

Die Hard

Christmas film
McClane looking for another Christmas film that matches up to Die Hard.

“Hoping to spend Christmas with his estranged wife, detective John McClane arrives in LA. However, he learns about a hostage situation in an office building and his wife is one of the hostages.”

It is absolutely a Christmas film before you try and say otherwise. Die Hard is also the best Christmas film. There, I said it. The film that catapulted Bruce Willis into the mainstream and gave us one of the best action heroes in cinema history, Die Hard features Willis as the NYPD cop who has flown into Los Angeles to try and mend bridges with his separated wife. Unfortunately the Christmas party she’s at just so happens to be in the very building a group of thieves are attempting to rob.

Related: ‘That’s awful, prayers and love to his family’: Hollywood Mourns as Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis’ Co-Star Clarence Gilyard Jr Passes Away at 66

Thankfully Willis’ McClane quickly springs into action, and throughout the film kills the group of thieves/terrorists in increasingly creative and bloody ways, all whilst shouting one quip after another. Absolutely a must-watch every Christmas, because again, Die Hard is a Christmas film, and a bloody, explosive one at that.

Home Alone (1990)

Christmas film

“Eight-year-old Kevin is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for France. At first, he is happy to be in charge, but when thieves try to break into his home, he tries to put up a fight.”

Another quintessential Christmas film for the masses, Home Alone features a young Macauley Culkin as he spends Christmas alone. After an argument with his mother Culkin’s Kevin wakes up to find he’s been accidentally left behind from the family holiday to Paris, and after the initial excitement of his predicament wears off, he quickly realises his now empty house is the target of two opportunist thieves in Harry and Marv, the Wet Bandits.

Opportunistic they may be, but they quickly find themselves no match for Kevin and his creative and ingenious traps around the house. Body comedy at its finest, it never gets boring watching any of the many injuries the duo suffer at the hands of an eight year old determined to protect himself and his family house.

Jingle All the Way (1996)

Christmas film


“Howard, a haggard salesman, promises his son a Turbo Man toy for Christmas. He is forced to fight every parent and travel all over town to get the toy after he forgets to buy it.”

Deep into the run of Arnie’s children-friendly films, Jingle All the Way is a Christmas movie through and through. An overworked father who doesn’t make enough time for his wife or family attempts to right his wrongs by getting the present he promised his son for Christmas… which is the equivalent of a PS5, a nightmare to get and therefore the risk of disappointment is high.

The whole film follows one calamitous event after another, between Arnie’s character Howard having to fight Santa’s to disturbing a city parade with yet another fight between Howard and Sinbad’s Myron.

Thankfully after many attempts Howard gets his hands on one of the evasive toys, and Christmas is saved for Howard and his family. Plus, Turboman is everyone’s ideal present, even now, nearly three decades on.

Elf (2003)

Christmas film

“Buddy, a human, is raised amongst elves at the North Pole. When he discovers that he is not an elf, he travels to New York to search for his biological father.”

Arguably Will Ferrell’s most famous film besides AnchormanElf features Buddy, played by Ferrell, as a naive, lovable and far too trusting Buddy, a human who mistakenly believes he’s one of Santa’s elves. Finding out this isn’t the case he jets off to New York in search of his real father.

Related: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review: Marvel Christmas Magic

The film couldn’t be more about Christmas if it tried, and aside from Ferrell’s typical comedy, it also has a lot of good qualities to it, from teaching the important lesson about family coming first, to accepting others for who they are. It’s also a genuinely funny film made to be watched after a large Christmas dinner and an alcoholic beverage in hand.

Bad Santa

Christmas film

“Rather than spreading good cheer, Willie, a swindler dressed up as Santa, and his elf partner Marcus try to rob a mall. Their motive fails when the thief befriends an eight-year-old boy.”

From a feel good film to a Christmas film that couldn’t be any more different, Bad Santa uses Christmas as a backdrop for a story that makes a mockery of the consumerist holiday as much as it is a redemption story for a jaded and cynical man who has long since forgotten nicer side.

Every year Billy Bob Thornton’s Willie Soke spends his Christmas casing up a new mall and planning a robbery, all whilst dressed as the mall Santa. Spending his time drinking, fighting and seducing the local women, everything starts to go wrong when a particularly tenacious, if a little gullible young boy takes a liking to him. By the end Thornton’s character is still cynical, jaded and now shot a few times to boot.

So there’s our picks for the best Christmas films to watch this coming holiday, but what others would make your list?

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Written by Luke Addison

Luke Addison is a writer for Fandomwire. He's an avid consumer of all things movie, TV, comics and gaming, especially Marvel.

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