1. Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington hijacking Christmas may not be everyone’s idea of a feel-good Christmas movie, but it’s always first on my list of films to watch during the holidays. It’s dark humour is the perfect antidote to the more saccharine fare on offer.
2. The Muppet Christmas Carol
Nothing says Christmas like Dickens and no one does Dickens like the Muppets. Perfectly cast (Statler and Waldorf as the Marley Brothers!) and some great songs. Only the hardest hearts could fail to be moved when Robin the Frog delivers the immortal line “God bless us, every one.”
3. Die Hard
Yes, this is a Christmas movie. As in all other Christmas movies, the hero defeats the threat to Christmas and has a joyful reunion with his family. Also I like the bit where Hollie punches the reporter for harassing her kids.
4. The Wizard of Oz
There had to be some Judy Garland, and it probably should have been Meet Me in St Louis, but this is the first film I remember watching (aged 5) at Christmas. For some reason I found the Wizard more frightening than the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys. I re watch it, and sing along, most years.
Three simple rules: keep it out of sunlight, don’t get it wet, and NEVER feed it after midnight; it’s like a perfect guide to why pets are a terrible Christmas present. Funny, gross and cute all at once.