8 classic Christmas films to watch this holiday season

·5-min read

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!... The “most wonderful time” of the year is upon us once more, and since this remains a Christmas where we need to practise social distancing and can’t throw big parties (*cue murderous scowl at COVID-19*), many of us might just be celebrating relatively quietly at home. If that’s true for you, it’s nice to just set the mood by watching a classic holiday movie with a small group of family or friends.

To help you with what to put on the telly, we asked around for our colleagues’ picks of their favourite Christmas movies and, frankly, we were surprised to receive a pretty diverse mix of choices. There’s action, rom-coms, drama, fantasy, comedy, and animated films – something for everyone. Here’s presenting Yahoo Life SEA’s round-up of our most cherished Christmas flicks.

Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone (1990).
Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone (1990).

Home Alone

“Home Alone (1990) spawned a whole movie franchise but the first one will always be the classic. It made Macaulay Culkin famous in his role as Kevin McAllister, a boy who's left home alone when his family somehow forgets about him and leaves him behind when they fly off to Paris for a holiday. Kevin concocts ingenious booby traps to fend off two bumbling burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Memorable for Culkin's adorable and precocious character, as well as great comedic performances from Pesci and Stern.” — Teng Yong Ping, Yahoo Life Editor

Rise Of The Guardians (2012).
Rise Of The Guardians (2012).

Rise Of The Guardians

“I'm not sure why I watched Rise Of The Guardians because it's not the usual fare I'd pick for a movie night out, but I do remember being surprised at all the feels it gave me in the cinema. This animated feature is about Jack Frost, a fairy tale character who is supposedly responsible for frost, ice, snow, patterns on a cold window pane and, well, winter. It turned out to be a well-paced movie with an engaging storyline and surprising emotional impact. I believe he could have been the more popular Magical Being With Cold Powers if he had an intro song to belt instead. Bonus: A macho Santa in the film is going to give a very different meaning to Father Christmas.” — Stephanie Zheng, Yahoo Lifestyle Editor

Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Love Actually (2003).
Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Love Actually (2003).

Love Actually

“My favourite Christmas movie is Love Actually. Aside from the great chemistry and stellar performance by the ensemble cast of big names like Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth (Mr Darcy!), Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, and more, it reminds us that despite all our differences, we're all capable – and deserving – of love. And that life isn't – and shouldn't be – lived in black and white; we should revel in all its many shades.” — Esther Au Yong, Yahoo News Editor-in-Chief

Philemon Chambers and Michael Urie in Single All The Way. (Photo: Netflix)
Philemon Chambers and Michael Urie in Single All The Way. (Photo: Netflix)

Single All The Way

"Netflix has become the home of romantic comedies since Marvel Studios began dominating the cinema box office, and now, it's introducing queer diversity to rom-coms as well with Single All The Way, which stars Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers. After all, why should rom-coms just be for straight folks? 2020's big gay holiday rom-com was Happiest Season, but frankly, it's not as entertaining and feel-good as Single All The Way. Plus, Single stars camp icon Jennifer Coolidge. What more can gays ask for from a Christmas rom-com?" — Teng Yong Ping, Yahoo Life Editor

The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

"Tim Burton’s movies never fail to wow me. In Burton’s 1993 animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington’s obsession with Father Christmas leads him to doing the most unthinkable thing – he kidnaps the poor Santa and ends up becoming a disgraced imposter to 'set Christmas right'. If you follow Skellington’s story closely, you can see that he’s teaching us mere mortals the values of acceptance and love. Despite his haphazard failures and mistakes, he took an opportunity and turned it to an exciting new path. No longer seen as just a raggedy doll, he was also welcomed by his family in Halloween Town with open arms. Definitely a must-watch with your family!" — Reta Lee, Yahoo Life SEA Editor-in-Chief

On the set of Gremlins, directed by Joe Dante. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Amblin E/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
On the set of Gremlins, directed by Joe Dante. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Amblin E/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Gremlins

“Gremlins (1984) is my pick for best Christmas movie. Watching little monsters cause chaos in a small town is the perfect antidote if you're feeling overdosed on mindless jingles and endless shopping. Of course the good guys still win in the end but the movie proves that a bit of dark humour can spice up the season with a bit of wicked fun.” — Dhany Osman, Yahoo News Editor

Masahiro Motoki and Tsutomu Yamazaki in Departures (Okuribito).
Masahiro Motoki and Tsutomu Yamazaki in Departures (Okuribito).

Departures

Departures (Okuribito in Japanese) won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars in 2009. In the movie, a newly unemployed cellist Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes pride in his work as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living. As Yahoo TV Producer Bruce Lim said: “I watched Departures and cried my eyes dry.” ’Nuff said.

Bruce Willis running with automatic weapon in a scene from the film 'Die Hard', 1988. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)
Bruce Willis running with automatic weapon in a scene from the film 'Die Hard', 1988. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)

Die Hard

“Hands down, Die Hard (1988) is the best action thriller to revolve around a Christmas office party. Great lead (Bruce Willis), great villain (Alan Rickman) and great set pieces throughout. A feel-good ending to give you the warm holiday feeling at the end. Grade-A entertainment!” — Chia Han Keong, Yahoo News Editor

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