• Tanya Louise

Film: Can you take the Christmas Movie Challenge?






Now it's December, we're well and truly on the run up to Christmas.  

I've put together a list of my favourite Christmas movies, with a challenge of one per day, to take you right up to the big day and you well ad truly in the mood for the festive season. 1st December - The Man who invented Christmas  In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate for a hit, Dickens relies on real-life inspiration and his vivid imagination to bring Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters to life in "A Christmas Carol," forever changing the holiday season into the celebration known today. 2nd December - The Grinch who stole Christmas In this live-action adaptation of the beloved children's tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who 3rd December - The Holiday Two women troubled with man-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love. 4th December - Home Alone When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) misbehaves the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine O'Hara) makes him sleep in the attic. After the McCallisters mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he awakens to an empty house and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. But his excitement sours when he realises that two con men plan to rob the McCallister residence, and that he alone must protect the family home. 5th December - Love Actually Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are David (Hugh Grant), the handsome newly elected British prime minister who falls for a young junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon), Sarah, a graphic designer whose devotion to her mentally ill brother complicates her love life, and Harry (Alan Rickman), a married man tempted by his attractive new secretary. 6th December - Nativity A primary school teacher, who was once a failed actor in a former career, is given the task of directing the school's Nativity play, which doesn't have a positive track record. Attitudes change however, when it transpires that a Hollywood producer is coming to film the play. 7th December  - Bad Santa In this dark comedy, the crotchety Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner reunite once a year for a holiday con. Posing as a mall Santa and his elf, they rip off shopping outlets on Christmas Eve. This year, however, Willie is falling apart. He's depressed and alcoholic, and his erratic behavior draws the suspicion of a mall security. But when befriending a small boy brings out his kinder side, Willie begins to wonder if there is still some hope for him.

8th December - Arthur Christmas Everyone knows that, each Christmas, Santa Claus delivers presents to every last child on Earth. What everyone doesn't know is that Santa accomplishes the feat with a very high-tech operation beneath the North Pole. But when the unthinkable happens, and Santa misses one child out of hundreds of millions, someone has to save the day. It's up to Arthur (James McAvoy), Santa's youngest son, to deliver a present to the forgotten tyke before Christmas morning dawns 9th December - The Snowman

One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling. He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose... just like the snowman from his favourite story. That night, something magical happens- the Snowman comes to life! He and James take to the skies on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special.


10th - Its a Wonderful Life An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. 11th December -  Scrooged In this modern take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive whose cold ambition and curmudgeonly nature has driven away the love of his life, Claire. But after firing a staff member on Christmas Eve, Frank is visited by a series of ghosts who give him a chance to re-evaluate his actions and right the wrongs of his past. 12th December - Elf It's Elf on the twelfth. Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn't fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs, a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results. 13th December - Jingle All the Way High powered businessman Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger), is hard at work taking last-minute orders from customers to whom he just can't say no, including his son, Jamie, who asked for the hottest action figure of the season -- Turbo Man! Unfortunately, Howard is facing one BIG problem. It's Christmas Eve and Turbo Man has been sold out since Thanksgiving! Howard's down-to-the-wire trek to find Turbo Man quickly turns into an odyssey wilder than he could have ever imagined. In the course of his seemingly endless Yuletide misadventures, he finds himself in a no-holds-barred fight-to-the-finish with a crazed postman, who is out to claim the last Turbo Man for his kid. It's enough to scare away even the bravest of men. But to Howard, this is war -- and he's determined to win...no matter what! 14th December - Deck the Halls Steve (Matthew Broderick), suburban dad and Christmas enthusiast, finds a wrinkle in his well-ordered existence with the arrival of his new neighbor Danny (Danny DeVito). Danny has big dreams and plans to illuminate his house with enough holiday lights to make it visible from space. Not to be outdone, Steve declares a war of one-upmanship with Danny that threatens to drag the Christmas spirit through the slush. 15th December - The Santa Claus When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place. 16th December - White Christmas Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into Gen. Waverly , the boys' commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So what's the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that's sure to put Waverly and his business in the black! 17th December - Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge (Albert Finney) is the definition of a miser. He is rich, but completely stingy with his money, and he exploits the good nature of his employee Bob Cratchit. On Christmas Eve, however, Scrooge is in store for a rude awakening when he is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley (Alec Guinness), who informs him that he is going to be visited by three ghosts, including the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present.


18th December - Miracle on 34th Street In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he is soon appearing regularly at the chain's main store in midtown Manhattan. When Kringle surprises customers and employees alike by claiming that he really is Santa Claus, it leads to a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly, his authenticity. 19th December - Santa Claus the Movie The legend of Santa Claus is put in jeopardy when an unscrupulous toy manufacturer attempts to take over Christmas. 20th December - The Christmas Chronicles  Siblings Kate and Teddy Pierce hatch a scheme to capture Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. When the plan goes awry, the kids join forces with a somewhat jolly Saint Nick and his loyal elves to save the holiday before it's too late 21st December - National Lampoons Christmas Vacation As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife, Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), and children, as he tries to make sure everything is in line, including the tree and house decorations. However, things go awry quickly. His hick cousin, Eddie (Randy Quaid), and his family show up unplanned and start living in their camper on the Griswold property. Even worse, Clark's employers renege on the holiday bonus he needs. 22nd December - Muppets Christmas Carol The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). Other Muppets -- Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Eagle -- weave in and out of the story, while Scrooge receives visits from spirits of three Christmases -- past, present and future. They show him the error of his self-serving ways, but the miserable old man seems to be past any hope of redemption and happiness. 24th December - Polar Express Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump"; "Cast Away") reunite for "Polar Express," an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. See how many you can watch.  I'd be interested to know which are your favourites and if there are any I've missed off the list which are a tradition in your house?

Love T xx

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