These are the beautifully nostalgic movies and TV shows that we can’t wait to watch this Christmas

Whether it’s a time-old family tradition or just something you need to plug into to reach peak levels of Christmas cheer, most of us have those go-to movies and television shows we need to watch at this time of the year. Here are Team Stylist’s top picks for the season.

One of the best things about Christmas is the amount of festive-themed television we get to watch. For many of us, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without sticking on that specific movie when decorating the tree or watching the same old re-runs with our cousin every year.

Christmas traditions are all part of the magic of December and whether it’s yet another watch of Love Actually or giggling over The Vicar Of Dibley, we all have our own way of ringing in the big day. What’s universal though, is the way rewatching many of these things really does signal the start of the festivities and smacks us in the face with a big, warming hit of nostalgia.

So if you’re looking to add something to your own list of nostalgic Christmas TV and film hits, keep reading on for some inspiration. You may just find your new festive favourite film. 

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The Muppet Christmas Carol 

The Muppet Christmas Carol was released in 1992 and stars Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge.

“Every Christmas Eve my family and I watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. Besides knowing all the lines and every word to every song, it’s feeling like a kid again that my adult siblings and I particularly enjoy. Having lost our dad in 2010, it’s our way to feel connected to those we used to laugh and sing with, too. A 30+ year tradition, it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.”

Morgan Fargo, Senior Beauty Writer 

The Vicar Of Dibley 

“Every year, my sister and I will watch the re-runs of the Vicar Of Dibley on Christmas Eve. It’s easy watching, it’s predictable (because we’ve watched it that much) and it always bring a little festive cheer. Sometimes we’ll just pick our favourite episodes or clips to bring us a bit of joy – the classic festive special where she eats three Christmas dinners, and of course, the episode with *that* puddle scene.”

Ellie Edwards, Freelance Social Media Assistant 

The Sound Of Music 

The Sound Of Music was made in 1965 and stars Julie Andrews as Maria.

“I don’t know exactly when it became a tradition but somehow my sister and I always found ourselves sitting down to watch The Sound Of Music right before Christmas. Maybe it’s something about those alpine settings that makes us feel all cosy, or maybe the singing, but while it’s not necessarily the most festive movie to stick on, it’ll definitely leave you with a smile on your face – and that’s what Christmas is all about, right?”

Morgan Cormack, Digital Entertainment Writer 

About A Boy 

“I saw it for the first time on the day I broke up for Christmas in year seven and then I got given the book as a present that year – and it ends with the kind of Christmas celebration I always dreamt of (basically loads of random people coming together to cook and get drunk). It takes you through the torment of being alone and concludes with the thing we all come to realise around the festive season – that no (wo)man is an island.”

Miranda Larbi, Fitness Editor 

MTV’s “Best Christmas Music Videos Of All Time” 

“When I was much younger and living at home, we’d always watch those really cheesy MTV “Best Christmas Music Videos Of All Time” round-ups as we put up the tree. For some reason, watching Mariah running around in a snowsuit, George Michael in his log cabin or Wizzard with their long beards and glittery eyeshadow always put me in even more of a Christmassy mood than just hearing their songs. 

“Even now, I still find YouTube compilations to watch and remind me of being 10 and charged with the tinsel. Most of the videos are of hilariously bad quality and low production value, but they win on nostalgia every time.”

Amy Beecham, Digital Writer 

Love Actually 

The iconic Love Actually stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Keira Knightley.

“All Richard Curtis films feel like a warm hug at the end of a hard day, but none more so than Love Actually, which has reached the heady heights of cult status for good reason. Chiwetel Ejiofor! Emma Thompson! Hugh Grant! It’s a big festive sandwich of the crème de la crème of the British acting world performing one of the most heartwarming scripts ever written. 

“All you need to accompany watching it is a cup of warm mulled wine, a mince pie, and you’re just about ready for the festivities to begin. As Mark says in the film: “At Christmas, you tell the truth,” and the truth is that Love Actually is the most faultless festive film of all.”

Naomi May, Digital Fashion Writer 

The Muppet Christmas Carol 

The Muppet’s Christmas Carol was released the year that I was born and I played on repeat during all of my Christmas growing up. I’ve been able to recite the words to every song (and most of the script) since I was knee-high. One year I wore out the VHS tape because I’d watched it so many times. I still watch it every Christmas (sometimes I’ll even put it on out of season for a cheery boost) and would go as far as to say it’s not only my favourite Christmas film ever made, but one of THE best films ever made. 

“It has everything: brilliant songs, an impeccable script, magical sets, astounding puppetry, skating penguins, singing food… the list goes on. Michael Caine has also ruined the role of Scrooge for anyone else in my eyes. As we get older Christmas loses its magic a little, but hearing the chimes of One More Sleep ‘Till Christmas or Kermit the Frog’s scat song with Tiny Tim (the frog version) makes me feel like a child again.”

Alex Sims, Acting Commissioning Editor Digital 

Best Man Holiday 

Best Man Holiday is the perfect amount of cheese, laugh-out-loud humour and Christmas spirit wrapped into one – complete with a decent soundtrack too.”

Leah Sinclair, Senior Digital Writer 

Elf 

Elf stars Will Ferrell as the ever-hilarious Buddy.

“I watched Elf in the cinema when I was very young and my older sister and I cried laughing at jokes we definitely didn’t understand. Now, we get in the Christmas spirit by simply saying stupid one-liners to each other, but ideally, we’ll watch it with a big box of chocolate on Christmas Eve while shouting lines at each other across the living room.”

Chloe Gray, Senior Fitness Writer 

Marvel films 

Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame

“For the last however many years, it’s become tradition for us to watch a few Marvel films on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I’d love to give you a more exciting reason but it’s literally because it’s the only category of film that we can all get on board with. Call it an action-packed crowd pleaser. 

“Also, because there are so many films in the Marvel Universe, there’s always a new one to watch before we backtrack and try to find easter eggs in the older ones.”

Jazmin Kopotsha, Acting Executive Editor Digital 

The Polar Express 

“Every year, my sister and I insist on sitting down in front of The Polar Express. The animations may be a little creepy, but there’s also something incredibly magic about it that just screams Christmas. A year doesn’t go by when I don’t look forward to donning my fuzziest Christmas PJs and curling up with this film.”

Lauren Geall, Digital Writer 

Agatha Christie adaptations

John Malkovich stars as Hercule Poirot in BBC’s The ABC Murders.

“I like to think I’m not the type of person who shushes people when the TV is on but I have been known to hush a parent or talkative sibling when I’m ensconced in my annual Agatha Christie TV binge. Nothing says Christmas to me like curling up in front of the TV for a masterclass in the whodunnit, perfected so artfully by Christie. 

“While the classic movies have dated a little, I adore the recent adaptations like And Then There Were None, The Witness for the Prosecution, Ordeal by Innocence, and The ABC Murders (which provoked a full on family fight over whether John Malkovich could fill David Suchet’s shoes). It’s incredible to think Christie was born in 1890, but her brilliant detective stories still stand the test of time.”

Katy Harrington, Acting Deputy Digital Editor 

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York 

Home Alone stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister.

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York is my ultimate Christmas film. My family and I watch it every year (sometimes even in the middle of the year) because it brings back great memories for us: of Christmas time and being together.”

Amber Sunner, Freelance Writer 

Frasier’s Miracle On Third Or Fourth Street episode

Frasier stars Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce as Frasier and Niles Crane.

“We don’t acknowledge Christmas in our flat until we’ve watched Miracle On Third Or Fourth Street, the holiday episode from the first season of Frasier. It’s the perfect combination of wry and uplifting as Frasier’s elaborate festive plans fall apart. Ending up in the local diner with others who are down on their luck, he realises he’s forgotten his wallet, so his fellow diners – assuming he simply can’t afford his meal – club together to help him out. 

“It’s heart-warming but the pathos is brilliantly cut through with a final twist: after all, who else would leave the keys to their BMW on the counter?”

Steven Cowan, Digital Subeditor

Image: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock

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