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Five Films to Get You into the Christmas Spirit

It's the most wonderful time of the year… at least, for someone like me, who loves the holidays. However, for us students, it can sometimes be stressful; we have deadlines, and exams, and essays to write. This means that it can be hard to really get into the holiday spirit while you’re still trying to finish up the semester, but a film is the perfect way to do so (in my humble opinion). It can be a great way to relax after a long day of writing or revising, and a simple form of self-care during a stressful time. Everyone likes something different, so whether you’re a lover of all things Hallmark or a ‘Die Hard is a Christmas movie!’ kind of person, there’ll be something on this list for you.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Personally, I would consider this to be the greatest Christmas movie of all time. My family watches it every year before we watch any other holiday films (and we are a family that simply can’t agree on what movie to watch, ever). If you haven’t seen it, I’m recommending that you drop everything and watch it immediately — it’s just that good. Filmed in the late 1980s, the movie revolves around Clark Griswold hosting his extended family for a Christmas season. Despite wanting to be a true family man and make everything perfect, everything goes completely wrong. This is a great film to watch if you’re in need of a good laugh, and it has so many one-liners that ultimately make it an incredibly quotable film.

Love Actually

This is one of those movies that follows multiple characters through different scenarios, which means that there is something for everyone. Love Actually is a bittersweet one—there are some happy endings and some less-than-happy endings, but it’s a great film to watch if you want to cry a little and laugh a little too. With an all-star cast including Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, and Liam Neeson (to name a few), this is a modern classic that will give you all of the early 2000’s Christmas vibes.

Home Alone

A film for the whole family, no matter what age, Home Alone will never not be a holiday classic. Centering around eight-year-old Kevin, who has been accidentally left home alone (see what I did there?) over the holidays by his family, this movie is a light-hearted way to spend your evening. Between the two dim-witted robbers attempting to steal from Kevin’s house, and all the creative ways Kevin deters them, this is a great choice if you want something light, easy, and funny.

The Holiday

If you’re just in the mood for a feel-good romance, look no further. The Holiday is about two women (one from a small English village in Surrey, the other from L.A.) who decide to swap places for the holidays, and both coincidentally find love in the opposite’s town! If you ever wish you could leave your life, swap it for someone else’s, and fall in love, this one’s for you. This film will give you all of the cosy Christmas vibes, especially the parts that take place in the small English town that Iris (Kate Winslet) is from.

A Bad Moms Christmas

A more raunchy style of comedy, this movie is a great one to watch if the holidays—and dealing with family—stress you out. Although this is a sequel to the original movie, Bad Moms, in my opinion you don’t need to have seen the original to enjoy this movie as well. When three moms have to deal with their moms visiting for Christmas (all of whom they have strained relationships with), they begin to realise that they are the way they are because of the women who raised them. Maybe even consider watching this one virtually with a couple friends, over a service like Teleparty!

No matter what kind of movies you like to watch, or whether you even enjoy holiday films, make sure to take care of yourselves during finals season. Watching a movie is something you can do alone or with other people, and it’s a great way to take a break from working for a couple hours and escape from your life a little. Happy holidays!

Emily Childress

St Andrews '22

Emily Childress is a third year at St Andrews and is from Haymarket, VA, USA. She is also an English major in the Joint Degree Programme with the College of William & Mary. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, telling any dog she sees how cute they are, trying out different coffee shops, and looking contemplatively out over the North Sea as she pretends to be in a Brontë novel.
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