To be honest, the films I can get away with watching in December are some of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Every year, once I finish finals, the week leading up to Christmas is full of bingeing all of the holiday films. A tradition I kept through all of high school and some of college was watching Notting Hill on the afternoon of my last final, and while I still usually end up watching it right before Christmas because Richard Curtis movies just make me feel all the feels, I wanted to share my favorite, solely holiday-themed films that I love to watch this time of year.
1) Eloise at Christmastime (2003)
In the years since this was released, it’s become a Christmas classic for my sisters and me. The original Eloise TV movie is fun, but I think I love this Christmas movie because it shows the excitement of Christmas in New York City. Sure, as a native Long Islander, I usually try to avoid the city during the Christmas craziness, but you need reminders that it’s a magical time to be there, and the montage of Eloise and Nanny Christmas shopping all over Manhattan is the greatest. The love story in this movie is also the cutest, and I like how the costumes look vintage, but it clearly takes place in present day.
2) Arthur’s Perfect Christmas (2000)
This is a total classic for anyone raised on PBS, and it isn’t Christmas unless I see this at least once leading up to the holidays. It’s a favorite for my siblings and me, so there were some years that it’d be on our TV more than once. The musical moments are perfect, from “Boogie Woogie Christmas” to “Baxter Day,” and I love how the special portrays different religious and secular holiday celebrations. It’s such a great balance of all of the characters, showing Arthur at its greatest, and definitely kicked off a strong era in the show’s history (we don’t talk about the current episodes, okay?).
3) The Holiday (2006)
I want Iris’s house from this movie. I would totally pull an Amanda and have a Mr. Brightside singalong in the living room all by myself. The Kate Winslet-Jack Black romance really isn’t necessary, but Cameron Diaz and Jude Law together totally makes up for it. This movie actually breezes over celebrating Christmas, but it’s warm, fluffy, and focuses on all of the coziness (and loneliness) the holiday season can entail.
4) Love Actually (2003)
I love British TV and film because not only are the actors incredible, you’ll often see the same people in nearly everything. Everyone in this movie is a legitimate talent, whether they were considered popular back then and still are today (pretty much everyone on this poster except Martine McCutcheon) or whether they’ve risen to a new level of fame since (Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor). Also, Richard Curtis, of course. Garry Marshall, I love you, but collaborating with Richard Curtis could’ve made Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve far better. Love Actually is like a cup of Christmas that is the perfect concoction. There are weird moments, of course, but since spending the Christmas season in London last year, films like these just warm my heart.
5) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
My family and I have a tradition of watching this every year on Christmas Eve, but even though I watch it only once a year, it’s undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite films. There’s not much else I can say about this film that hasn’t been said before, so there you go. Have I mentioned before that 1930s/40s Jimmy Stewart is like my number one celebrity crush?
I have a week left before finishing the semester, so the time is near to watch all of these again! What about you? What are your must-watch holiday films?