As much as I like to eulogise about spending time with the family, disconnected from all the gadgets and tech, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the Thompson family tradition of watching films on the box.
Especially after a crippling Christmas dinner where one resigns to a horizontal state, utterly enveloped by the couch or beanbag for an indeterminable amount of time.
I've etched out a list of most Christmassy films I like to watch every year and have done year on year for as far back as I can remember. Leave comment in the section below if you have a favourite.
Home Alone 1&2
This has a disturbing brilliance. It magically encapsulates everything that I felt as a ten year old growing up watching this. How we strived for independence, freedom to anything we wanted without restraint. The director Chris Columbus has a wonderful, inimitable sensibility for the importance of family, as he demonstrates here, the sequel and in other films such as Mrs Doubtfire.
'He's coming here? I know him!'
It's one of the most highly quotable Christmas films. Also, Elf is showing at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, if you fancy an afternoon of unbridled belly laughs. Who can beat Will Farrell is a comic-weapon in this disarmingly funny holiday comedy.
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Does the spirit of Christmas goes much deeper than tinsel and toys? Jim Carrey swamped in make-up is hacked off and miserable as The Grinch, but gives a lithesome and typically hyperactive performance. It's smartly stylized and truly crowd pleasing.
We all know what it’s like when you have to family swap at Christmas between partners. It's not easy to be apart but sacrifices sometimes have to be made. The Holiday taps into that sentiment as each agrees to spend the Christmas holiday at the other's home.
Ok so it might be something of a chick-flick, but I'm a self-confessed voracious consumer of chick media. If you're looking for a bit of corny in your life, you've come to the right place.
Genuinely one of my favourite films of all time. Not just for Xmas. When that dude starts singing Christmas Carols behind Hugh Grant, just has me in stitches every time.
It's Bill Nighy's uproarious turn as an over-the-hill rocker promoting a novelty record that really delivers the laughs.
A Christmas Carol
This is the Muppets' finest film. In fact when I've been chasing brands for payments recently I've started my emails with 'Tiny Tim stocking is looking a little slim-jim'. People can relate to that. Its mashup of slapstick, songs and literary adaptation is suitably anarchic and no party is as joyous as a Muppet celebration.
Amazing to think this film has no dialogue. The 1982 Snowman gently relates, via expert pantomime and orchestral score, a young lad's overnight adventure with his brought-to-life pal. Magical, beautiful and even has David Bowie in it. (Introducing it in bonus versions).
Miracle on 34th St
Oh Dicky, the late Dicky. Somehow this feels like the role he was born to play right? This film feels like a warm fire at night. Admittedly I've not seen the original, but this one is a satisfying big-screen event for holiday family viewing
The Santa Claus
Hard to believe that this was Tim Allen's movie debut. There's an effortless quality to his humour that easily translates from the US to the UK mainstream. Despite him being roasted by Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes some years back, I've always found him funny and this is a hoot.
The Harry Potter films
Look these films might not scream Christmas, but they're so much fun and the whole family can watch them. Unlike Die Hard, which is a more enjoyable watch but often lost on the under 10 year olds.
The wonderful Alan Rickman however, features in both and we should all just take a minute to remember those that won't be with us this Christmas.