• Alexandra Venkova

Christmas Spirit All the Way

I don't usually write this kind of festive posts, but today... I felt like sharing some of my favourite Christmas movies, that get me into the spirit. And this year once again, I need an extra sprinkle of cheese lines and Santa's laughter to get me in the mood. This year I will be celebrating the holidays in an equatorial climate, and as someone who genuinely loves a snowy December, I obviously need some extra help. Now is the time to thank my dear new best friend-the aircon, which has been blasting freezing air for the past I don't know how many weeks.


Why Christmas movies you ask? Because they are the best! But honestly, I love them, and after a quick and much needed 'catch up' with one of my friends yesterday, I though why not spread some joy and perhaps even inspiration. You probably have already seen most of these movies as they are considered classics (if you have, high five), but if you haven't, I hope this post introduces something new for you or proposes a suggestion of something snuggly and cosy to watch with your loved ones.


It's a Wonderful Life


In the true spirit of Christmas, this is a movie about, love, hope, second chances, friendship and kindness. The film is over 70 years old and has been voted Britain's favourite Christmas movie.

I love the powerful message, the general atmosphere and the beautiful costumes, and I am sure this timeless classic will leave anyone with a smile on their face.


Home Alone 1 and 2


This is the movie! And while I know, it's probably the most popular movie on this list, it was brought to my attention that some of my students here in Malaysia had never watched it. Therefore, I would like to use the opportunity to remind them to watch it because if not, I don't know what you're doing with your life...


It's funny, it's stupid, it's funny again. There are a lot of questionable things about the plot, but it's simply the best mood booster. Plus Christmassy Chicago and New York from the 90-s... Home alone is an absolute must-watch for young and old. I usually watch it together with my dad (in the family we are the ones that specifically enjoy seeing idiotic robbers being beaten up by kids - we are a lovely family, I promise!)


The Holiday


Christmas or not I watch this movie a minimum of two times a year. Not sure if it's the picturesque Cotswolds or just Jude Lowe, but I feel the need to re-watch the cheesy, totally unrelatable but dreamy love story.


Serendipity


"You don't have to understand, you just have to have faith"

"Faith in what?"

"Destiny"


An enchanting romantic comedy for anyone that believes in "fortunate accidents". Truly special, I simply love the movie, and I honestly wish the universe works in the way they present it...


The Irony of Faith


Or Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром! in Russian. This short series has a very very special place in my heart. The film is an absolute favourite of my parents, and I think of the whole Russian population for that matter. Since I can remember every 31st of December has been spent watching and re-watching it. The key subplot is the drab uniformity of Brezhnev-era public architecture. As a result, the identical, functional but unimaginative multistory apartment buildings found their way into every city, town, and suburb across the former Soviet Union. These buildings are completely uniform in every detail including the door key of each apartment and that naturally brings the main characters into a comic unexpected situation that changes their lives forever.


Truth is, I never liked the film when I was younger. I found it tedious to re-watch the same thing over and over again. I didn't understand it. The first time I actually watched it from start to finish was in the plane on the way back to England after the Christmas holidays. I guess I just needed to grow a little to comprehend the complex human relationships, portrayed. I loved it! It's a heartwarming story accompanied by beautiful music. one that I get to finally share with my family.

Highly highly recommend it!

P.S. I love You


Not really a Christmas movie, but yet another one I watch over and over again at this time of the year. The plot wraps around relationships, love, loss, family and personal growth. Also, there's quite a bit of beautiful green Ireland!


Last Christmas


Last Christmas is a Netflix original movie, that was released last year. Not gonna lie, the fact that it starred Emilia Clarke got me curious, plus there's a lot of festive London, especially my favourite spot in the city-Covent Garden. The movie is another romantic comedy/drama — funny, quirky and with a major plot twist at the end, that left me shedding a few tears.


Miracle on 34th Street


Both the original (1947) and the 1994 adaptation are classic Christmas gem. I personally prefer the modern version, partly because of the actress that plays the young girl Susan (the same actress that played Matilda-if you haven't watched Matilda you should!). Another fantasy film that would surely bring up the levels of Christmas spirit. and add some festive cheer.


Klaus


A Netflix original, this animated movie tells the story of a postman who befriends a reclusive toymaker named Klaus. Beautifully drawn and with a bit of child-friendly humour, Klaus will leave you feeling the holiday magic.


The Santa Clause


Another movie that I so enjoyed watching when I was younger. There's a sequence too, however, the original movie is really the special one. Fun family comedy, that introduces the 'new' Santa Clause-there's plenty of the north pole, withy elves, hot chocolate and tons of magic.


The man who invented Christmas


This one is for everyone that likes a dreamy period drama. The biographical drama film follows the life of Charles Dickens as he conceives and writes one of his most famous creation - A Christmas Carol.


While You Were Sleeping


The plot tells the story of a lonely girl, working at a train station, that has a crush on a handsome commuter she happens to see every day. On Christmas Day, she rescues him from the oncoming train after a group of muggers push him onto the tracks. He falls into a coma, and then some strange yet funny things happen. Classic American rom-com. Totally worth the cheesiness.


I feel like there are so many other movies that should be added in this list. Take Disney's "Anastasia", the new Netflix series "Dash and Lily", any "Little women" adaptation, Harry Potter of course (although for me he's more of an autumnal movie), Love actually, Carol and of course Downton Abbey's Christmas specials. Which are your favourites?

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