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Interesting that in this age of cultural unification, there are still christmas movies which are entirely German and not international. Some of the movies on your list are well known here as well and are being shown on TV during christmas time.
But my top favourite movies aren't on the list, despite the fact, that one of them is actually an English one.

So Number One hands down: Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel (the original Tzech/German coproduction from the 1970s, not the Norwegian version from 2021). Never translated into English :( Although apparently the Czech DVD has English subtitles. There is a huge fan club for this film and it even has its own website. https://www.dreihaselnuessefueraschenbroedel.de/3hfa-international/

Number Two: Litte Lord Fauntleroy, the Alec Guinness version.

Number Three: The Sissi films, a series of three films about Elisabeth of Austria from the 1950s. These are the films that catapulted Romy Schneider into the movie business.

I don't watch a lot of TV, so number three may or may not make it on the watchlist this year. But christmas without the other two is almost unthinkable.


Well, Christmas movies...Christmas Vacation is our yearly watch after the Christmas Eve dinner is done, the presents are opened and everyone is ready to relax. There are a few must watch Christmas movies for me every year, all of the various Christmas Carol ones though the Alistair Sim version is still my favorite by far. If you can get your hands on a copy of, or find it online, the Susan Lucci one is really good! Home Alone, Die Hard. Scrooged. One Magic Christmas! Must see that one!

A few of the Hallmark movies have been good enough for me to re-watch; Crown for Christmas with Rupert Penry-Jones, A Castle for Christmas with Brooke Shields and Carey Elwes took a few liberties but it was so refreshing to see non-20 year olds as the leads. A Royal Christmas was very cute and even my husband liked it. A couple others, but I'll stop.

For the record? I hated Love Actually. Hated it. I've watched it once and never again.

Christina Courtenay

Thank you, Katja, that is very interesting! There are Swedish Christmas films that don't get translated either so each country clearly has their own favourites. Let's hope your number one gets translated at some point. I had forgotten about Little Lord Fauntleroy - a lovely story!

Christina Courtenay

Oh I'm glad it's not just us - Christmas Vacation comes out every year in our family as well! And thank you for some of your other suggestions, will check them out. I did see A Castle for Christmas and it was indeed refreshing to have an older couple, not to mention that gorgeous setting!

Elaine Fearnley

I love The Holiday, and Love Actually, and so many others! Santa Claus the movie, because I used to watch it with my children (now 40 and 37) and we loved it! We still watch it now, usually on Christmas Eve. Home Alone is another favourite, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation comes out every year, and still makes us laugh. The Snowman still makes my daughter cry at the end when he melts, just as it did when she was a little girl. My own favourite, though not strictly a Christmas film, is Little Women with June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor. I love everything everything about it - the snow, the singing, and it is so innocent. What do I want from a Christmas film? I want snow, snowmen, Christmas trees ,sparkles, cosy fireside’s, happy, friendly people, waggy dogs and chilled out cats, Christmas magic, friendship, and love, lots of it.

Mary T

I had never heard of THE REF but it sounds like a movie I would really enjoy. I love to laugh. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Christmas is my favorite time of year and there are so many good movies and TV shows, it's hard to pick favorites. CHRISTMAS VACATION is one of my all time favorites. Love MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS because I love the era the movies is set in. But my all time favorite is A CHRISTMAS STORY. I had only ever seen Darren McGavin in serious roles but he had me laughing out loud as the father in this movie. But mostly I love it because it reminds me of my own childhood. From the black smoke coming out of the chimney, to the younger brother wrapped up in his snow suit, to the box of Oxydal setting on the kitchen sink - it all looks so familiar to me.

I read a lot of Christmas short stories around this time of year - way too many to mention.

Fun post Christina.

Nicola Cornick

I love the sound of The Ref - exactly the sort of Christmas film I love. I'll look out for that. I also prefer The Holiday to Love, Actually which feels a bit dated now. Elf is my favourite Christmas film but I also love Trading Places.

Christina Courtenay

That sounds absolutely perfect, Elaine! Our choices seem to be very similar, apart from The Snowman - I can't handle any sadness at Christmas even if it's fictional. Christmas magic, friendship and love though - absolutely!

Christina Courtenay

Thank you, Mary, I'll have to look for that one, it sounds great! I think you'd like The Ref, but don't forget it might be called Hostile Hostages - not sure why it's different in different countries. I too read a lot of Christmas stories, it's the perfect time for it, isn't it!

Christina Courtenay

Oh yes, Trading Places! Haven't watched that in years but remember loving it. You'll definitely like The Ref so I hope you can find a copy. It's crazy in a good way!

Minna Puustinen

One of my favourites is Scrooged. And I wonder if one the lastest versions of Scrooge, Spirited, is worth watching.


Mary Jo Putney

Christina, THE HOLIDAY is probably our favorite, watch every Christmas Fish-Out-of-Water movie. A Christmas Carol--the George C. Scott version. I think of Die Hard as a thriller set at Christmas rather than a true Christmas movie, but it's very entertaining. I haven't much tolerance for the standard Hallmark plot, though. Life it too short

Kate Baird

I'm very into classic films that feature Christmas, and head of the list is, and will always be, White Christmas. A close second is Holiday Inn, although it's problematic, with a blackface number celebrating Lincoln's birthday; well-meaning back in the day. This film introduced the world to the song, "White Christmas" and it's never been sung better. Also must-sees annually are Christmas In Connecticut with the wonderful Barbara Stanwyck (and another Stanwyck film with a dramatic Christmas Eve finale is Meet John Doe), and The Man Who Came to Dinner, with Bette Davis. And the classics The Bishop's Wife and Miracle on 34th Street are on my list, too. Then there's Meet Me in St. Louis, which gave the world the iconic song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas), made more poignant given the film's release during WWII. And to cap it all off, a film that celebrates New Year's Eve, and new beginnings, Holiday, with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Happy Holidays to all, and Happy Viewing!

Christina Courtenay

Oh that looks good, Minna, thank you! I love Ryan Reynolds :-)

Christina Courtenay

I'm glad you love The Holiday as well, it's such a wonderful feel-good film! And so many great actors too. Will check out A Christmas Carol as I can't remember if I've seen that version - thank you!

Christina Courtenay

Thank you so much, Kate, I do love classic movies! There's something very special about them so I'll check out your selection. Happy holidays to you too!

Minna Puustinen

Die Hard is a Christmas movie:


I watch very few movies (or any visual media), but my husband has a few he watches every Christmas season. Like @Mary Jo, he watches A Christmas Carol, the George C. Scott version. Like @Mary T, he watches A CHRISTMAS STORY. The third movie he watches is the animated movie, The Snowman. It features a lovely song, Walking In The Air, which you can hear here:

Minna Puustinen

Cinema Therapy: Die Hard:

Honest Trailers - Home Alone

Honest Trailers - Die Hard

Christina Courtenay

Yes I love that one!

Christina Courtenay

Yes that’s so beautiful, Kareni, thank you!

Janice J.

I sometimes turn off the sound and watch a bit of a Hallmark Christmas movie just for the over the top decorations. It does seem that all the Hallmark shops (the choice of retirement businesses) have closed down, driven out by high rents and a change in culture, and I do miss them and their orns, cards and tchotchkes.

I too have some favorite Christmas movies. I love any version of A Christmas Carol, but my favorite versions are the ones with Alistair Sim, Gene Owen, Bill Murray, George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart. The only one I haven't liked much is the horror version with Guy Pearce that turned up on TV a couple of years ago.

One movie I've not seen mentioned yet is This Christmas with Idris Elba. It's the usual thing about the splintered family that reunites at mom's house for Christmas, but everybody in it is terrific. Delroy Lindo plays Mom's boyfriend and Loretta Devine plays Mom. It's a wonderful (and very accurate) story of the power of family relationships.

Die Hard is not to me a Christmas movie because I'll watch it any time it comes on. I happen to live in the area so every time I pass the Fox Tower, in my head I see the fireworks go off at Nakatomi Towers the night they were filming. And there's Alan Rickman; I think that was the first movie I noticed him in.

The other non-Christmas Christmas movie I am fond of is Lady in the Lake with Robert Montgomery and Audrey Totter. It is based on the Raymond Chandler novel and it's unusual in that because the musicians' union was then on strike, it doesn't have the customary orchestral score; they used a vocal chorus. That makes the movie at once Christmasy and a little spooky.

Christina Courtenay

Thank you Janice, I’ll definitely look up that Idris Elba film, sounds great! And wow, how cool to live next to that tower! Thank you also for your other recommendations.

Mary M.

A Christmas Story is #1 in my book (or rather, on my memory screen), but my favorite grown-ups' Christmas film is The Last Holiday. Per the movie's Wikipedia page, "The film stars Queen Latifah as Georgia, a humble department store assistant who is told that she has a rare brain condition and only has a few weeks to live. She promptly decides to spend her remaining funds on a luxury holiday in Europe before she dies." Needless to say, the storyline wanders, and there are humor, complications, and a gorgeous winter setting. If you didn't see it in the theater (and you probably didn't, since it underperformed when it came out in 2006),it's well worth scouting out for this holiday season.


I don't go out of my way to watch Christmas movies, but if I stumble across certain movies, like the original Dickens Christmas Carol, the one in black and white with Alastair Sim, I'll watch. It's a classic! I also enjoy Miracle on 34th St.

Faith Freewoman

I discovered a fun one this week! It stars two new-to-me super-attractive and talented actors, a sweet, cheerful Australian Shepherd, and a wonderfully thoughtful and sentimental story….The Noel Diary, on Netflix in the US. And I’ll be sure to check out that Idris Elba film!


Christina Courtenay

Thank you, Mary, it sounds like a beautiful film! I'm not sure I can handle the sadness (if indeed she dies and there isn't a Christmas miracle to cure her?), but perhaps one day I'll be able to watch it.

Christina Courtenay

Sometimes you can be lucky and turn on the TV at just the right time, can't you - I love when that happens! And as I said above, I do love classic movies. There's something very special about them.

Christina Courtenay

Oh, thank you for the recommendation, Faith! I've got Netflix UK so hopefully that film will be on here too - I'll go and check it out.

Karen S. Clift

Kate Baird listed many of my top favorites: Christmas in Connecticut w Barbara Stanwyck (avoid at all costs the one that AHnold S. directed with Dyan Cannon & Kris Kristofferson--absolutely pitiful! admittedly IMHO), Bishop's Wife, Holiday Inn & White Christmas & then try to figure out which songs were reused & where in White Christmas and the Man who Came to Dinner which always has me laughing, plus Holiday, Last Holiday, and Love Actually--but I can't get the dvd for that one so have to catch it when broadcasted--and usually with one certain relationship edited out. My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is with Patrick Stewart--I love his laugh when he's dancing at his nephew's house. Yes, Die Hard is where I first met Alan Rickman & fell in love with his voice. So sorry that he's gone! And then yeah, some days I do well with the Hallmark movies and we now have 3 other channels showing Christmas movies. I'm not doing well with Great American channel so far--little too clean? for me but Lifetime is giving Hallmark a good run!

Christina, don't worry about Last Holiday's ending. It's a good one because it's got to be happy--I don't like unhappy endings in romances, books or movies! And I love her shopping trip! "Make me...continental."

Karen S. Clift

And how did I forget to include A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Thank heavens I have them on dvd because they get run on television before Thanksgiving! Ouch! Many old family memories with these two! Mom loved Max and always felt sorry for him; Snoopy & the Red Baron & then we'd dig out the record with the Christmas song about those two. Yeah--lots of fun.

Teresa Broderick

Most of the films you've mentioned I've seen. The Holiday is one of my favourites too. I love it! One I do like also is Miracle on 34th Street with Richard Attenborough. A heart warming story that gets to me every time. I only watched it last weekend.
I don't watch a whole lot of tv, I do prefer to read.

Christina Courtenay

Thank you, Karin, that's really good to know! I'll go and look for that then. And yes, Alan Rickman was brilliant in Die Hard - I think that was the first time I noticed him too. Or no, maybe it was in Robin Hood as the Sheriff of Nottingham? Either way, great actor.

Christina Courtenay

Oh yes, I adore Snoopy! Little Woodstock is my favourite character but it's all great so thank you for reminding me!

Christina Courtenay

Thank you, Teresa - I normally prefer to read so I don't know why I get the urge to watch so many films this time of year! So glad you too love The Holiday. I've got the DVD so will be watching it this week.

Christina Courtenay

If anyone is still following this thread, I watched a lovely Christmas movie last night on Amazon Prime - "Christmas at Yours or Mine?". It's funny and heart-warming, and very British, so if that's your cup of tea I'd recommend it!

Here's the trailer:-

Linda S

Has anyone mentioned It’s a Wonderful Life? It’s one of my favorites, set on Christmas Eve, as a suicidal man named George Bailey is shown by his guardian angel just how much good he has done in his life without realizing it. (But I must say I don’t like the fate assigned to George’s wife, had he not been around to marry her - “You won’t like this, George. She’s the town librarian!”)
Our family also likes A Christmas Story. Ralphie‘s determination to get the present that he really, really wants is very funny and heartwarming. Jean Shepard was a wonderful writer, and the movie makers did a good job of incorporating several of his stories into this movie.

Christina Courtenay

Thank you for the recommendations, Linda! I don't think I've seen those but will go and have a look.

Marianne McA

In our house, we love the Hallmark-type Christmas movie. Ideally we like a Prince, a wildly over-decorated castle - Christmas tree in every room, a wreath on each curtain, and inevitably a ball.
It's a fine balance, because a bad one is no fun, but if the actors are good, or - much more occasionally - the script is solid, you can have great fun just snarking along. (I think the last one we watched together was 'One Royal Holiday' where we feared there would be no ball, because the town had an annual pyjama party instead, but it all worked out in the end...)
Also, not actually Christmas, but with the soul of a Christmas movie, 'Once Upon a Prince' just to see the set department given some lengths of fake wisteria and a couple of hundred plastic tulips and doing their level best to make a succession of beautiful gardens when they are clearly filming in winter.

Mary M.

Spoiler: The ending is happy, of course—it's a Christmas movie!

Christina Courtenay

Oh excellent! Thank you so much for letting me know :-)

Christina Courtenay

That sounds lovely, Marianne! I haven't caught any of the movies featuring a prince yet but will definitely go and look for one now, thank you!

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