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12 Must-Have Holiday Movies for a Cosy Night In

Christmas is not the only time of year to sit down, unwind and watch some of the greatest films ever produced! Holiday movies are the ideal way to switch off and spend a relaxing evening at home. Whether you are simply looking for a cosy night in or a family activity that adds a little magic to the Christmas season, one of our all-time favourite movies will surely tickle your fancy.

Ranging from romantic comedy to animated flicks, from uplifting tales to sentimental classics, these films will make you feel happy and cheerful – and not just in the run up to the most wonderful time of the year. So, get your favourite blanket, mug of hot chocolate, and grab a bowl of popcorn, and let’s start watching these 12 must-see holiday films.

1. Home Alone: 1990

  • What better way to spend a rainy day with the kids than watching this well-known Christmas favourite that chronicles little Kevin McCallister’s exploits as he protects his home from clueless robbers?
  • Did you realize? Up until “The Hangover Part II” overtook “Home Alone” in 2011, “Home Alone” held the record for highest-grossing comedy of all time.

2. Love Actually: 2003

  • Eleven intertwined love stories are featured in this wonderful ensemble romantic comedy that is set in London over the holiday season.
  • The famous “All I Want for Christmas Is You” moment from the movie was not initially planned. The directors decided to include the sequence after hearing actress Olivia Olson perform the song.

3. Elf: 2003

  • In this funny comedy, Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, who sets out to find his biological father in New York City.
  • Fun fact: A David Sedaris sketch for Saturday Night Live served as the basis for the movie “Elf.”

4. The Polar Express: 2004

  • An animated adventure movie based on the well-known children’s book about a small boy who boards a magical train and travels to the North Pole.
  • Did you realize? Motion-capture technology was employed in the movie to record the actors’ performances and turn them into animated creatures.

5. It’s a Wonderful Life: 1946

  • In this timeless classic, George Bailey, a man on the verge of despair, encounters an angel who shows him the effect he has had on other people’s lives.
  • Fun fact: Although the movie’s original reviews were unfavourable, it has subsequently grown to be one of the most cherished Christmas films ever made.

6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: 1989

  • In this comedy, viewers follow the Griswold family as they get ready for a sizable family Christmas, replete with eccentric in-laws, shoddy décor, and lots of laughter.
  • Fun Fact: Juliette Lewis, Beverly D’Angelo, and other well-known actors are among the cast members of the movie.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas: 1993

  • Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of HalloweenTown, learns about Christmas and wants to bring it to his creepy hometown in this original mashup of Halloween and Christmas
  • Did you realize? Tim Burton, who also developed the screenplay for the movie, produced it under Henry Selick’s direction.

8. A Christmas Carol: 2009

  • Jim Carrey voices Ebenezer Scrooge in this aesthetically gorgeous rendition of Charles Dickens’ timeless story in which Scrooge is a miserly old man who discovers the real meaning of Christmas.
  • Fun fact: The characters in the movie were animated using motion capture technology.

woman eating popcorn9. Miracle on 34th Street: 1947

  • Follow the uplifting tale of a young child who makes friends with a department store Santa Claus and tries to establish his veracity.
  • Did you realize? Three Academy Awards were given to the movie, with Edmund Gwenn, who played Kris Kringle, winning one for Best Supporting Actor.

10. The Holiday: 2006

  • Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet play two ladies who trade houses  during the festive period, each hoping their single holidays will help them get over a man, just to discover unexpected love in this romantic comedy.
  • Fun fact: Legendary filmmaker Eli Wallach makes a spectacular guest appearance in the movie.

11. Die Hard: 1988

  • Although there is some disagreement as to whether “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie, it has become a seasonal favourite for many. John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, is an NYPD cop who defeats a bunch of terrorists by himself at a Los Angeles Christmas party.
  • Fun fact: “Die Hard” was inspired by Roderick Thorp’s book “Nothing Lasts Forever.”

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: 2000

  • In this live-action production of Dr. Seuss’ well-known tale, Jim Carrey plays the cranky Grinch who attempts to spoil Christmas for the joyful inhabitants of Whoville.
  • Did you realize? Jim Carrey had to wear a lot of makeup and prosthetics in the movie to become the Grinch.

kids watching movie

We hope that some of our 12 must-see holiday movies take your fancy for a relaxing evening at home. These films, which include delightful Christmas classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and funny comedies like “Elf,” perfectly encapsulate the enchantment and excitement of the holiday season but are equally enjoyable at any time of year when you want to spend a quiet night in. So, cuddle up with your loved ones, enjoy some seasonal delicacies, and let these films take you to a world filled with winter bliss.

And whilst we are talking Christmas in the middle of June, if you are still searching for a Christmas party Birmingham private hire venue for 2023, check out the unique party themes offered across the city.

About the author:

Single Parents on Holiday is the number 1 tour operator for single parent holidays abroad. Established in 2005, we have gone from strength to strength and are now offering family holidays for single mums and dads as well as solo holidays for our single parent empty nesters as well as any other solos 40+ travelling without kids. Whether you are single with kids or without, we have the holiday for you!

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