Struggling to get in the festive spirit this year? One of the best ways to get that Christmassy feeling is to grab some snacks, flop down on the sofa and watch some suitably cheesy films! That’s what we’ll be doing as soon as our out of office goes on.
So, what are we watching? From your classic Christmas tales to sweet (and sometimes sickly) rom-coms, here’s eight fabulously festive flicks to watch with the family this December:
1. Re-watch Home Alone for clever yet childish antics
This is a great pick for all the family to enjoy (and will definitely give you some great prank inspiration!). If you’ve never seen it before, Home Alone sees a young boy named Kevin accidentally left at home after his family set off on a Christmas break to Paris. Believing the house to be empty, two burglars plot to break in and all hell breaks loose…
But we know you’ve seen it before. It’s Home Alone. At Christmas. What’s not to love!
Anyway, while most of the film is set in Kevin’s home in Chicago, some of it is in Paris. Why not take the holiday to France’s capital which Kevin missed out on? What could be more Christmassy than doing some Christmas shopping down the decorated Champs-Élysées and then heading out to Versailles to view the palace’s beautiful gardens covered in a layer of festive frost?
2. Reckon Christmas is the most romantic time of the year? Watch The Holiday
If you haven’t already seen The Holiday, where have you been for the last 14 years?! It’s a classic Christmas rom-com with a stellar cast and a story which takes you from sunny L.A. all the way to a charming English village.
If you can’t get enough of Jude Law and Cameron Diaz’s onscreen chemistry (we know we can’t)
Why not visit the very village where sparks fly between them? Plenty of the scenes were filmed in Godalming in Surrey. And it looks just like it does in the film! It’s filled with cute cottages and cosy pubs and it’s also right on the doorstep of some gorgeous countryside. Now that’s festive.
3. For a dose of wizarding magic, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone won’t disappoint
Christmas movies not your thing? Why not get into a festive mood with a fantasy flick instead? Binge watching all eight Harry Potter films is definitely recommended. Although if you only have time for one, start with the first.
Snowy scenery, ugly Christmas jumpers and poltergeists singing rude carols are what you’ll have to look forward to in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And a lot of the movie’s most iconic scenes were filmed in Scotland.
Why not take a Christmas road trip up to the West Coast to ride across the Glenfinnan Viaduct just like Harry does on his way to Hogwarts? Alternatively, Edinburgh’s medieval streets are thought to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley. Just don’t forget your wand. You’re a wizard now Harry – that’s how it goes isn’t it?
4. If you want to score brownie points with your partner, put on Love Actually
Do you watch Love Actually every Christmas without fail? We don’t blame you! We know you know what happens, but just in case you’ve never seen it (honestly how could you not?), here’s a little recap. The feel-good rom-com follows eight different couples in London as they deal with love, loss and family drama. Got it? Honestly, it’s a pretty easy concept.
Ready for a Love Actually moment in the Big Smoke? It’s super-simple. Just head to Somerset House, Southbank, Selfridges, St Paul’s Cathedral and, of course, Heathrow Airport.
Venturing to the South of France this winter? Some of Colin Firth’s final scenes were filmed in Marseille, including at Bar de le Marine in the Old Port where his character, Jamie, proposes to Aurelia.
No, you’re crying.
5. Elf is a no-brainer for non-stop giggles
Whether you love or you hate Will Ferrell, it’s undeniable that Elf is one of the funniest Christmas films out there! It follows Buddy (one of Santa’s elves) who leaves Santa Claus and his fellow elves in the North Pole to reunite with his father in New York.
Fancy following in Buddy’s excitable footsteps around the Big Apple? It’s easy at locations like Central Park, the Rockefeller Center and Macy’s. But you could also recreate his North Pole experience with a snowy getaway in Latvia, Norway or Iceland. You might even see Santa himself.
6. Big romantic at heart? Turn on A Christmas Prince
Is your Christmas film fest never complete without a fairy tale ending? This is the movie for you. The cheesy storyline sees Amber (an American journalist) travel to enchanting Aldovia to cover a story on the country’s playboy prince who’s set to inherit the throne.
Sounds believable! Where is Aldovia anyway?
Yes you guessed it. Aldovia (and its handsome future king) may be entirely fictional. Shame, but you can still enjoy a storybook experience in loads of European countries. Germany’s home to a whopping 20,000+ castles, while France’s Loire Valley is brimming with regal chateaux. There might not be any princes though. But there could be?
7. Swap snow for safari parks with a screening of Holiday in the Wild
Never heard of it? Here’s what you need to know. It is a relative newbie to the Christmas movie scene, after all. Holiday in the Wild stars Kristin Davis as an unhappily married woman who goes on her second honeymoon to Zambia alone during the Christmas holidays.
While in Africa, she discovers a passion for animals and a brand-new love interest in the form of a hunky Rob Lowe. And what a hunk he is!
Ready to steer clear of chillier climes for Christmas? Or are planning to in the future? You’ll find many of the gorgeous wildlife scenes in this film were shot in Lusaka, Zambia and the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa.
8. Always wanted a luxurious getaway for Christmas? Last Holiday has a wanderlust-worthy setting
This festive rom-com takes viewers from a bustling department store in New Orleans all the way to the mountains of the Czech Republic. Sounds festive. So, what’s it all about? It stars Queen Latifah as Georgia Byrd. She sets off on her dream holiday at Christmas after being told she only has a short time left to live. We can feel the tears brewing up already!
So, where are we heading to next then? The luxurious hotel Georgia heads for is located in the picture-perfect spa town of Karlovy Vary. That’s less than two hours by road from Prague! Why not watch the movie and then plan a getaway to the Czech Republic? Don’t worry, Last Holiday isn’t as tear-jerking as it sounds AND there’s a Christmas miracle towards the end…
Want some inspiration on other destinations around the world which are ideal for a Christmas break? Check out our guide to the most festive places in Europe.