There’s something about old fashioned Christmas films, the kind that are satisfyingly full of cheesy goodwill. Perfect around this time of year, so let me share six of my feel-good festive favorites!
Meet Me In St.Louis (1944)
Christmas with the Smith family. I cannot think of anything more welcoming and charming than their grand old house with its glowing oil lamps, and gaggle of family members clattering merrily around.
It follows the life of the family through the seasons of a single year, each dripping in thick toffee-like nostalgia. However, I think I can confidently claim it as perfect Christmas watching as it gives us Judy Garland’s heart-wrenchingly beautiful “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.
This film is everything you could ever want from a big-budget musical extravaganza from the heyday of big-budget musical extravaganzas!
The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
Did you know “You’ve Got Mail” is a remake? Well, this is the OG. It’s one of the few instances where both classic and modern(ish..hehe) versions both work beautifully in their own right. They are perfect feel-good masterpieces, except the older one is set in a lovely tinsel-y Christmas setting.
Like the 90s version, it is filled with quickfire wit and banter; James Stewart is a perfectly charming goofball, and Margaret Sullavan an utterly loveable kook. They make such a great pair! Also how I would love to browse the Christmas displays in these old-timey department stores. ‘May I interest you in a singing sweet box?’
White Christmas (1954)
Snow..snow..snnnoowwww!!! White Christmas is just the ticket for a sleepy day, a perfect dose of fun and fluff to sit down with a large mug of hot chocolate.
With many a lark and frolic, this film is of the classic “Let’s put on a show!” variety, and all in aid of their kindly aging war buddy, bringing that Christmassy feeling of goodwill to the mix.
The golden voices of Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby accompanied by Vera Ellen’s electric dances and Dany Kaye’s comic timing, make them the perfect team for easy viewing.
Little Women (1933 & 1949 & 1994 & 2019)
This is a little cheat from my general classic film theme. It would be impossible to pick a single adaptation of little women to include as they each bring something so special to the story of the March sisters. And is it possible to see too many versions of sweet Beth receiving a piano for Christmas? I think not.
While I would of course recommend a week-long nerdy Little Women fest, where you read the novel then go through each adaptation of the film in chronological order (an annual holiday tradition); if I had to pick one for optimal Christmassy vibes, it’s got to be the 1994 version. Just a stellar showing of cosy Christmas aesthetics, frolics in the snow, and night time carols by candlelight! ( also Christian Bale as Laurie..swoon)
Bachelor Mother (1939)
Perhaps one of my favorite romantic comedies at any time of the year. This little known gem is a proper situational comedy that had me in stitches the first time I saw it.
It’s perfect for that period between Christmas and New Year. The story follows Polly Parish (Ginger Rogers) a sales clerk at a department store at the height of the Christmas shopping season. Through a series of unexpected misunderstandings, she’s landed with quite a life-changing Christmas present.
With a fabulous New Year’s Eve party scene, this film is fun, light, and very festive.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
I’ve saved my favorite for last. Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life stands the tests of time as an iconic Christmas classic for a reason.
You can’t help but feel all of George Bailey’s joys and sorrow (beautifully played by James Stewart). It’s filled with well-crafted sentiment and goodwill. The ending never fails to leave me teary eyed in the very best way.
So there you have it, a beautiful round up of vintage classic Christmas movies.
More festive fun coming very soon!