Question for non-Americans - Christmas movies?

In the USA favorite Christmas movies are like:

Christmas Vacation
It’s a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street

In other countries what are some favorite Christmas movies?

Moderator Action

Movies are best discussed in Cafe Society, so let’s move this there (from GQ).

For Spain:

It’s a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th street
The Home Alone series
In recent decades, Biblic peplums, which used to be more of an Easter thing.
La gran familia (The Great/Huge Family; about a two-jobs father, SAHM, fifteen children and grandpa… and one of the kids gets lost on Christmas Eve. Oh, and at the end of the movie “uh, btw, uh, honey…?”)
La familia y uno más (part two of La gran familia, now with 16 kids)

My own favourites are A Christmas Story and Bad Santa. I can’t speak for other Canadians.

In my experience, more than theatrical releases, our repeating standards tend to be Hallmark-type of Christmas-Related TV Movies. Mostly American, some German (Who do a ridiculous lot of TV Movies, don’t ask me why)

I think most of the English speaking world is going to have the same Christmas films due to American hegemony in popular culture.

Anyway, in the UK, in addition to the type of films you mentioned, I can add countless retellings of A Christmas Carol. In the month or so before the big day you’d probably be able to find a version playing on some TV channel whenever you look.

On a personal note I always associate both The Wizard of Oz and James Bond films with Christmas. Back when I was a kid, when we only had three broadcast TV channels, these were always on at Christmas.


Hell, one of the ways to tell you’re watching the current season of an American show is that you get the pumpkin episode around Christmas, turkey on the Epiphany and tinsel for Carnavales…

One of the standard sitcom tropes in the UK is the one where the central character ends up in a series of misunderstandings culminating in spending the day having to eat Christmas lunch/dinner in three separate homes.

I have only ever seen that plot point once, (on an American show Dharma&Greg and I’ve watched a lot of British Christmas specials.

In the UK we usually get a lot of Dickens stories and the favourite at this time of year is A Christmas Carol that gave us the Christmas ghost story. That and daft Richard Curtis films like Love Actually and Bridget Jones. However the Hollywood classic ‘Its a Wonderful Life’ is certainly up there. There is no shortage of sentimental slush, kids films and Christmas special versions of regular shows. The whole family sitting down to watch a Christmas film is really a thing of the past in this media saturated world. It is a little sad.

I can honestly say that It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and the original Miracle on 34th Street have never been a thing in South Africa. I’ve never seen them, we’ve never had marathon showings of them. I have access to them now through Netflix, but I have no inclination to watch them.

Christmas movies for me are things like various iterations of A Christmas Carol (incl. *Scrooged *and the Muppets one), A Charlie Brown Christmas, and 80s/90s comedy films like Trading Places, Home Alone, Gremlins, and You’ve Got Mail

I think the reason why It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story are both popular marathons has nothing to do with their overall popularity, but rather because they’re both very episodic. You can tune in either one during the 20 minutes between putting the ham in the oven and starting the mashed potatoes, or whatever else you’re running around doing on a busy day, and see something entertaining without feeling like you’re missing something.


I was hoping to hear about some different Christmas movies in different countries.

kids stuff aside (Wallace and Gromit, etc) Love Actually is developing into a bit of a tv network perennial.

Tidy. Try Gavin and Stacey.

I know that for many years, Canadian TV would show “The Sound of Music” at Xmas time. And I believe that Britain has/had a similar tradition with “The Great Escape”.

Over the last 50 years in the UK, I’ve seen these a lot of times (they’re not necessarily Xmas-themed movies):

  • The Great Escape
  • Sound of Music
  • James Bond (various)
  • Wallace and Gromit (various)
  • Harry Potter (various)
  • White Christmas
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Guys and Dolls (Sit down, you’re rocking the boat!

In grad school, a bunch of German students invited me to their Christmas party. We ate stollen and watched a German Christmas classic, Feuerzangenbowle, then lit our own feuerzangenbowle on fire.

i thought brits spent all of Christmas waiting for the annual Dr Who episode.

assumably by watching the mr bean Christmas ep.

Sorry, we don’t really have homegrown ones.

Like many European countries, we save all our festive excitement for New Year’s Eve.