Back in October, I shared ten Halloween movies that aren’t found on the typical round-ups. Now that we are well into December and Christmas is approaching (only 6 more days), I’ve compiled a list of my favorite films to watch during the holiday season which do not have the words “Elf”, “Grinch”, “Miracle” or “Story” in the title…
We all know that Eloise is queen of all things fabulous. We follow Eloise through all of her holiday mischief at the Plaza, including her scheme to peek at the gifts her mother sent from Paris and her sword fight with Bill. I must also mention that, as I write this post, I am wearing pink striped pajamas nearly identical to Eloise’s.
2. Love Actually (2003)
STARRING: Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson
This movie is, I think, on its way to earning a spot on the Classic Christmas Movie list. I adore vignette-style films (my all-time favorite is Paris, Je T’aime), so it is no surprise that I watch this film every December. I have to say my favorite story lines belong to Hugh Grant, Thomas Sangster, Liam Neeson.
3. About a Boy (2002)
STARRING: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette
This is one of those movies I have watched one billion times yet still enjoy. Hugh Grant does what Hugh Grant does best, playing a mopey, brooding single guy who meets an adorable, sad moppet played by Nicholas Hoult (who, as you can see, was the most adorable child). It’s not exactly the most cheerful of movies, but it’s funny, endearing, and, again, what more do you need than Hugh Grant and an adorable child?
4. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
STARRING: Jimmy Stewart, Margaret Sullavan
This is the original film based on the Hungarian play which later inspired the film You’ve Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The story is set in Budapest, where two rival shop clerks who hate each other soon discover that they have been corresponding with one another by letter and are actually in love. Beautiful fur coats, perfect suits, a Budapest backdrop, newspaper rustling, and fabulous dialogue make for an ideal snow day movie.
5. Joyeux Noel (2005)
STARRING: Diane Kruger, Guillaume Canet
This historical film is about Christmas 1914, when French, Scottish, and German soldiers cease their fighting and spend Christmas getting to know one another. There’s snow, there are beautiful costumes, there is festive music, there is a showcase of true humanity.
6. The Family Stone (2005)
STARRING: Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson
When searching for a holiday film, I look for a few key things and this film has it all: dysfunctional families, sweaters, a beautiful home in New England, sumptuous dinner scenes, and lots and lots of snow.
7. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
STARRING: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan
This movie is about Elizabeth Lane, a food writer who has everyone believing she is the perfect housewife who lives on a farm and cooks gourmet when the truth is that she lives in a small Manhattan apartment and cannot cook at all. When her boss and friends ask to come to her farm for Christmas, Elizabeth must keep up her act and deliver the perfect, traditional Christmas meal. Also, I’ve heard rumors that a remake is in production with Jennifer Garner playing Elizabeth Lane.
8. The Nutcracker
For me, The Nutcracker is the ultimate, end-all-be-all, creme de la creme, absolute best Christmas watch. My personal favorite performance is by the Mariinsky Ballet, but Septime Weber’s production for the Washington Ballet is gorgeous, as well. Whichever company it may be, I urge every single reader to watch The Nutcracker this season!