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The Christmas Movie Converter: From the Grinch to It's a Wonderful Life

January 16th 2022

Everyone has their own unique way of celebrating the Christmas season with film. For my family, we have a Christmas eve ‘screening’ (attendance is compulsory) with a selection of what my dad considers to be essential Christmas viewing. These include the best picks of Christmas adverts from the last decade (the bear and the hare M&S advert with Lily Allen’s Somewhere Only We Know, is still decidedly the family favourite. So much so in fact that the year the advert came out my dad bought the Lily Allen single and played it in his car on repeat for at least 6 months). Other essentials are The Gruffalo, Stick Man, and some of the best of Simon’s Cat winter episodes. Every year I think that I will be bored of these shorts and yet every year without fail I am equally amused by an animated cat having trouble with sellotape. From this I can only conclude that we are really very simple creatures.

Although the Christmas eve shorts are the only Christmas films set in stone for our viewing, we are of course also no strangers to the classic christmas films. The only one that really has a hold on my heart is the utterly unparalleled Love Actually. Anyone who claims not to cry everytime Emma Thompson as Karen tells her good-for-nothing-cheating husband (played by the endlessly wonderful Alan Rickman) that ‘it was Joni Mitchell who taught your cold-hearted British wife to feel’, is quite simply lying.

Although I have a deep and enduring love of Love Actually I have some reservations about other popular Christmas movies. I recently attempted to watch The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, and this scene between Jude Law and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday perfectly encapsulates why I will not be making that mistake again:

Jude Law: “How do you feel about foreplay?”

Cameron Diaz: “I think it’s overrated. Significantly overrated.”

Jude Law: “You are quickly becoming one of the most interesting girls I've ever met.”

So much wrong here. So much to unpack.

However, despite Jude Law’s crimes against cunnilingus, the hold of the Christmas movie remains a powerful annual force. So, from a selection of your favourite Christmas movies we have calculated what your top book for this season will be.

If your favourite Christmas film is The Holiday then perhaps The

Literary Review will be best able to direct you to your book of the year:

If you, like me, are forever and eternally tied to Love Actually, then Miranda Cowley-Heller’s The Paper Palace is the entangled tale of love and lies for you.


If you can’t get enough of the Christmas joy and wonder of the slightly too large ‘elf’ played by a Will Ferrell, then you will love S J Bennett’s witty imagining of the Queen as detective in The Windsor Knot.

It’s a Wonderful Life

As a Christmas movie that has truly stood the test of time, if this classic movie is your top December pick then you will love Amor Towles American epic, The Lincoln Highway

The Grinch

The Grinch is undoubtedly a masterpiece. If this is your favourite christmas film you clearly have excellent taste, or perhaps you are yourself a grinch. Raynor Winn’s beautiful travel writing will tap right into grinch-like core of seeking solitude and peace.

Happy Christmas watching and reading!

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