Sometimes it’s hard to recreate that sense of magic which used to come, without fail, every year from 1 December. Expecting untouched snow and cosy winter nights spent with friends, yet being landed with dismal rain and fighting with your flatmates over a spot on the sofa every time you have an evening in together. Perhaps Christmas is beginning to lack that inherent, dreamlike charm that arrived so effortlessly when you were seven.
However, we can easily relive these times when Christmas seemed a lot more exciting, and it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. All you need is a few good mates, an evening to spare, some snacks and a TV. Here’s your guide to the best films to watch to get you excited for Christmas all over again:
The Christmas Nativity back in school was one of either two things. It was something you fully embraced, dressed to the nines in gold tinsel, ready to deliver your one line as Angel No.3 and beam directly down the lens of your mum’s camcorder as you did so. Or, in the more likely case, standing back stage, quivering in your dad’s old dressing gown, a tea-towel strapped down to your head as the teacher tells you off for losing your shepherd’s staff five minutes before showtime. Whoever you were, Nativity perfectly captures the all-too dramatic rise and the fall of primary students as they try their best to make it all the way to Hollywood.
Two separate women desperate to escape their everyday lives end up finding everything they’ve been looking for when they swap houses over the Christmas holidays. Ranging from the glamour of LA to a quaint, traditional English village, The Holiday shows how two people from completely different worlds can help solve one another’s problems. Led by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, this is the perfect night-in Christmas film. Goes best with a bottle of wine and a box of Lindor's.
What begins as every child’s dream; having the run of the house with absolutely no parents around to tell you otherwise, turns into a nightmare for young Macaulay Culkin. The villains which used to terrify you when you were younger are now laughable, and you realise how much of a pain in the – ahem - kids can be, despite having previously been jealous of Kevin’s independence. Even so, Home Alone will have you looking forward to Christmas, even if yours doesn’t involve elaborate booby traps and the relentless threat of dopey burglars.
Elf is possibly the most magical Christmas film in every way. Will Ferrell’s portrayal of Buddy, the human raised as an elf, has an attitude towards Christmas like no other. His overt child-like wonder towards the season brings back a sense of joy to his long-lost family who’ve lost their Christmas spirit. This film really marks the beginning of the season, and watching it is usually followed by competitions on department shop escalators to see who can do the biggest splits (followed by disaster and public embarrassment…)
1. Love, Actually
Probably your mum’s favourite when you were growing up, Love, Actually is an all-time classic. The perfect mix of heart-warming and heart-wrenching, Love, Actually explores not only the highs of this time of year, but the lows, too. The string of connecting storylines brings us iconic characters, from Bill Knightley’s eccentric musician, to Hugh Grant’s inspiring Prime Minister (who also happens to hold the best solo dance parties in all of London). This Christmas film is a British classic with an all-star cast, which just cannot be missed.
Freya Wille is a student of the University, studying BA(Hons) Film and Television Production