• Kelly Bishop

Non-Christmas, Christmas films

Christmas Day is less than a day away! For some, it's time to deck the halls and wrap those presents. For others, it's a time to bury heads in the sand and wait till it's all over. This list of films is for those in-between people, the ones who want to feel festive but aren't quite the Christmas nuts that others can be.

Paddington and Paddington 2


Paddington is a story of found family and exceeding all expectation in the face of adversity. With an entirely British cast, (bar Nicole Kidman in the first film) these films show the Britain children read about in storybooks, full of whimsy and delight. As with any film, there's mild peril and general threat, but they're an easy enough watch for December viewing. Hugh Grant is a stand out in Paddington 2 as Phoenix Buchanan, with him admitting: "It's the best film I've ever been in."


Mary Poppins


Another typically stereotypical British portrayal here, this time from Disney. Mary Poppins is a classic tale, one I'm sure most people know. Julie Andrews portrayal of the titular nanny is second to none, with Emily Blunt's performance a close second in the sequel. The sheer magic of Mary Poppins is what makes it perfect for the Christmas period. It's about a family coming back together and finding joy in something as simple as flying a kite.


Let's face it, there's something so wintery about Mary Poppins ensuring the Banks children are ready for their walk-in coats, scarves and hats.


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


What better to stir that Christmassy feeling than a tour around a magical chocolate factory, and seeing ungrateful children get their just desserts? This cinematic classic, featuring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, is another magical adventure wherein things become more and more miraculous as the film continues. From the chocolate river, the chewing gum, shrinking to fit into the television and the great glass elevator, there's always something in this film to catch the eye.


It also echoes Santa's message: only good children get gifts.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


For many, this film had a lot to live up to. The Harry Potter books had been and still are to an extent, a great success, with many looking to the film to capture the same magic. Philosopher's Stone gives the same sense of awe and wonder as coming downstairs on Christmas morning. When Professor McGonagall opens the doors to the great hall for the first time, it is the first time we see inside Hogwarts, and we get caught up in all the same emotions of our characters. Pure magic, and a pure Christmassy feeling.


Not to mention the fact this spans a whole school year, therefore giving us a wonderful look at Hogwarts at the festive period, including a snowy filled castle and great hall.


The Sound of Music


Sitting down on Christmas Day in the afternoon to watch The Sound of Music is such a vivid memory of my own childhood. However, I don't think it should be considered a Christmas film. There's no content even remotely related to Christmas, but much like Mary Poppins, it has this wonderful theme of togetherness which makes it perfect for the festive season. Once again featuring Julie Andrews as a nanny, The Sound of Music is a musical to its core, inviting you in to be enveloped in the lives of the Von Trapp family.


These are just to name a few favourites. I've not even touched on Disney's animated classics such as Frozen or Tangled, or even Pixar's Up or Ratatouille.


For anyone wondering why films such as Die Hard or Bridget Jones' Diary aren't mentioned here. It's because they're Christmas films through and through. No argument about it.


Have a wonderful Christmas, and a very happy new year, filled with festive and feel-good films alike!


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