My Five Favourite Christmas Films

Author: Jack Regan

Picture: MPN Texan, Flickr

My Five Favourite Christmas Films

Many of us spend a lot of time watching films in Advent and the Christmas season. Jack Regan shares his top five Christmas films.

One of the many things we associate with Christmas is the catalogue of movies that have been made to mark the season.

For movie studios, it is a simple equation: come up with a Christmas classic and people will continue to be entertained year on year and money will keep rolling in.

For the rest of us, it is a way to bring the joy and values of Christmas into an area of our lives that is so often corrupted.

There are plenty of Christmas movies to choose from. Some of them get to the heart of Christmas and the coming of Christ, whilst others do not.

If you are looking for some wholesome family entertainment with a good Christian message, here are a few suggestions.

Whilst these movies do not give us the whole Gospel – or even try to –each one reveals an important aspect of the message Jesus came to bring.

1. It's A Wonderful Life(1946) 

I am not generally a fan of old black and white movies likeCitizen Kane. Yet the story of George Bailey and Clarence the Angel, with its simple message that what we do matters, is impossible to ignore. It is about Christmas, Guardian angels, community, family, and choices. It was also the first mainstream movie to offer the What If?/ Alternative Reality perspective. Here is a scene from the film:

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

If, unlike me, you are actually an old black and white movie fan, you might want to check out George Seaton’s 1947 original. For the rest of us, watching Richard Attenborough in the 1994 remake is heart-warming enough. The movie focuses Christmas on Santa rather than Jesus, but while that may mean parents watching it with their children might need to unpick a few things afterwards, it is still, at its heart, a movie about faith and hope – and a brilliant one at that! Here is the trailer:

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Dickens’ classic tale is the story of repentance. It is the story of evil turning to good, and of a hopeless situation being redeemed. There are not many overtly secular tales that say so much about the incarnation. This is not the first film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic by any means, but it is easily the most fun. Michael Caine, Muppets, humour, and dancing. What more can I say? A great family movie, especially if you have younger children. Watch Scrooge sing "Thankful Heart":

4. Nativity! (2009)

Pretty much all of us have experienced the school nativity play. The home-made costumes, the endless rehearsals, and the joy of parents watching their children perform with their classmates. Nativity! is a movie that brings all of that to life, and reminds us that there is actually an important story behind all the tinsel. It is also nice to see Martin Freeman (who I generally like) redeeming his Christmas movie street cred after his somewhat bizarre contribution to Love Actually. Watch "One Night, One Moment" from the film:

5.Joyeux Noël (2005)

Another thing we probably all remember from school is learning about the 1914 Christmas Truce. During the first Christmas of the Great War, the warring parties put their differences aside for one night to celebrate together, play football, and swap mementos. The film tells the story from a few different perspectives – French, German, and British – and goes on to look at the aftermath when each of the parties were dealt with by their less-than-sympathetic superiors. A brilliant look at the effect Christmas should and could have on so many other difficult situations in the world. 

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