12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
A countdown of our most-loved Christmas films


Nothing says Christmas like staying in on a cold winter's evening with your nearest and dearest and watching a good old fashioned family classic.

 

We at STUDIO like to mark the occasion with our own childhood faves, so if you're stuck for inspiration this holiday season, or just can't decide between the dozens on the telly, take your pick from our very own 12 Days Of Christmas films. Enjoy!

 

 

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1st DAY OF XMAS: Home Alone (1990)

Let's face it, there's a point on every December 25th where you just wish your family would go away. Home Alone has Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) getting that wish – his preoccupied family disappear one morning, going away for a festive break and mistakenly leaving him behind. While they panic in France, eight-year-old Kevin gets his chance to be the man of the house; doing the shopping, trying out aftershave, sledding down the stairs, and rather ingeniously protecting his kingdom from two hapless thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) who think they've got lucky with this "empty" house. Kevin's imaginative ways of ensuring the burglars are kept out are enough to stoke any child's imagination at Christmas, and I hate to think how many parents have cut their feet on tree ornaments thanks to it. But, the movie oozes Christmas in every way, until they're all finally reunited. Beth Squires

 

 

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2nd DAY OF XMAS: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

My absolute all time favourite Christmas film is one most people haven't seen nor heard of – a sorely underrated classic. The film begins with a childless couple becoming the new Mr and Mrs Claus. It follows them through the ages, until it gets to the most important age of all – 1985. Dudley Moore, a disgraced elf, flees to New York to make Santa proud, but instead ends up working for an evil Toy Manufacturer, who (crime of crimes) only cares about money, not the joy and spirit of Christmas. It's everything you need to snuggle up with at Christmas: cheesy elf-made puns, handmade wooden toys, eighties looking orphans and homeless kids, exploding candy canes, John Lithgow playing a purple-faced baddie with panache – what more could you want? Apart from mince pies and a glass of sherry, of course. Hattie Davis

 

 

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3rd DAY OF XMAS: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The festive season doesn't really begin for me until The Muppet Christmas Carol whirs loudly in my VCR player, the same copy I watched as a six-year-old. Despite never being a fan of the Muppets, even in childhood, this wonderful re-imagining of the Charles Dickens novel never fails to tug the heartstrings and rouse laughter from my cynical adult self – more "Bah, humbug!" than most come Christmas time. Michael Caine is an excellent Scrooge, and his emotional journey as he travels through his past, present and future is wonderful. The film contains moments of genuine sadness, horror, and memorable musical numbers, and despite the fact that the majority of the cast are gaudy puppets; the film loses none of the story's gravitas and charm. Natalie Peck

 

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4th DAY OF XMAS: Jingle All The Way (1996)

Jingle All The Way contains all the essential Christmas movie ingredients, such as love, hope, humour and Christmas spirit, in a heart-warming story about one father's pursuit of a Turbo Man action figure for his son. The comedy verges on slapstick at times, as Arnold Schwarzenegger clambers through a child's ball pit in a shopping mall to the horror of parents, who proceed to attack with handbags. The film strikes a chord with people of all ages and especially parents who have obsessed over a Christmas present for their child at some point. Jingle All The Way is a timeless addition to the television Christmas listings, and is a modern classic in it's own right. It makes you realise that your Dad is a real-life action hero, which is what Christmas is all about! Amy Briscoe

 

 

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5th DAY OF XMAS: Little Women (1994)

Director Gillian Armstrong's 1994 interpretation of Louisa May Alcott's timeless classic is as warming as a mulled wine at Christmas time. Set in 1860's New England, the March family struggle in the absence of their father during the Civil War. Aspiring author, Jo (Winona Rider) and her sisters Meg (Trini Alvarado), Beth (Claire Danes) and Amy (Kirsten Dunst/Samantha Mathis) navigate their way through the hardship with grace and dignity, creating some indelible memories in the process, and forming an important friendship in neighbour Laurie (Christian Bale). A stirring score by Thomas Newman sets the festive mood beautifully, and performances from a stellar cast – including an incredible turn from Danes as fragile Beth – are of the highest calibre. Family Christmas scenes featuring festive garlands adorned with red, velvet bows, open fires, carolling and "miraculous" food will make you nostalgic for Yuletides past, providing the perfect way to usher in the holiday season. Emma Champion

 

 

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6th DAY OF XMAS: The Snowman (1982)

The Snowman tells the touching story of a young boy who befriends a snowman, perfectly captures the unending desire of children (and indeed, all of us) to find evidence that something we imagined was, after all, real. The delight and awe with which so many of us marvelled at Christmas as children is brought back to us. I doubt I'm alone in feeling that a good party with some cheery snowmen would be a rather wonderful way to spend an evening. Amy Faulconbridge

 

 

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7th DAY OF XMAS: Bad Santa (2003)

Ah, Christmas, the most magical time of the year. But sometimes it can get a bit much, can't it? All hail Bad Santa – the curmudgeonly antidote to reindeer overkill. Billy Bob Thornton is resplendently awful as an alcoholic con man, who teams up with his dwarf friend (Tony Cox) to rob a department store after getting a job as Santa and an elf. Suffice to say, he's not exactly a natural – what follows is a tsunami of incontinence, dizzyingly foul language and bouts of frenzied anal sex that mean you'll never look at Father Christmas in the same way again – or at least you'll certainly never want to sit on his knee again. And yet, despite all this, there's a sweet centre hidden deep (very deep) under the layers of snot, misanthropy and excrement that reinforces the spirit of the season, cuts through the schmaltz and means all the more for it. Cynics and drunks of the world, raise a glass, this is the festive treat you'll want rammed up your stocking. Emma Johnston

 

 

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8th DAY OF XMAS: Scrooged (1988)

Charles Dickens classic novella A Christmas Carol is the most famous, and most recreated Christmas story of all time. In 1988 it got jazzed up, darkened down and moved far away from the cold streets of Victorian London to the modern world of the American television industry. With a little sprinkling of Christmas magic, Scrooged arrived on our television screens with a big, festive BANG! Scrooged was a super twist on what the young me considered to be a rather stuffy classic version that had been played over and over again each year on our screens, and had me and my siblings gripped instantly, with its fair share of vulgarity, some genuinely scary ghosts (to a six-year-old) and a vulgar TV executive played beautifully by Bill Murray, who at his comic best remains on full-throttle throughout. Scrooged cuts out all of the schmaltz that is often associated with A Christmas Carol without straying from the original story and replaces it with humour, whilst keeping alive the loving and warm seasonal message and good cheer in true keeping with Dickens' story. Elizabeth Gregory

 

 

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9th DAY OF XMAS: Babes In Toyland (1986)

This kid-tastic classic combines imagination, toys and two of my favourite actors: Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves! Eleven-year-old Lisa (Barrymore) doesn't have time to play with toys and has forgotten what being a kid truly means. But when a blizzard transports Lisa to Toyland, her belief in toys is restored. Carley Dale

 

 

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10th DAY OF XMAS: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

The eighties were a golden time for feel-good family movies and the National Lampoon films were gloriously funny examples of the genre. I remember as a tiny tot, my Dad roaring with laughter at the slapstick antics of Chevy Chase and the Christmas lights that just wouldn't switch on. It is film making from a more innocent time, when comedy wasn't self-referential and involved men falling over or somebody getting kicked in the crotch. Everyone has their ritual Christmas movie, but if you ask me, sitting around the glowing light of a roaring TV with a can of cider and falling over with giggles when Chevy's country bumpkin cousins show up with their trailer, is a riot that both old and young can appreciate. It's as Christmassy as a selection box. Amy McGrath

 

 

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11th DAY OF XMAS: The Santa Clause (1994)

Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a divorced father who takes on the role of jolly old Saint Nick after the big man himself stumbles off his roof. Now with some mighty boots to fill, Scott, with the help of his son Charlie, must continue the work of Santa and complete the arduous task of delivering gifts to children around the globe by Christmas morning. One of many brilliant Christmas films to come out of the nineties, The Santa Clause is a classic. Who could forget Scott's comical transformation from businessman to the famous head elf, or his arrival at the enchanting North Pole? I am immediately transported back to my childhood when I sit in front of my television once a year to not just watch, but also reminisce, about Christmas in the 1990s. Anita Bruce-Mills

 

 

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12th DAY OF XMAS: It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

My Christmas Eve isn't complete without a screening of It's A Wonderful Life. We have a tradition in my house where we go out as a family to see the Christmas lights, come in from the cold and huddle together to watch this genuine Christmas classic. As a child, I was dead against black and white films, but one Christmas Eve my dad insisted we all sit together and watch it and I became lost in the magic of movies and Christmas. Since then, it has become tradition. Watching George Bailey lose his self-belief and then realise, with the help of his guardian angel, Clarence, that the world really would be worse off without him, is great family viewing as it makes us appreciate everyone in our lives. Even if our grandparents do insist on buying us another pair of PJs for Christmas! Emma Farley

 

 

 

What do you think of our picks? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section, below.

“Everyone has their ritual Christmas movie.”
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