Christmas Vibes

Top 10 Christmas Films That Didn’t Start Out Being Festive

There are some festive films that we just have to watch every Christmas despite them not being very Christmassy. Sometimes we associate these films with Christmas because they are shown on TV every year. Other times it’s because they are set during the festive period. Whatever the reason, we bet you’ll be setting down to one of these top 10 Christmas films this December.

Die Hard (1988)


Many have claimed this as their favourite festive film, and it was voted the 8th British fave by Radio Times readers last year. It’s also made a gross profit of $112,767,956. Despite the festive holiday having very little to do with the plot, the story takes place when ex-cop John McClane visits his estranged wife and daughter in LA on Christmas Eve.

If you love action thrillers and Christmas you’ve hit the jackpot with this film. But it’s probably already one of your favourites anyway!

Harry Potter (all films)


The music, the floating candles and the snowy roof of the castle make these films mistakable for festive tales. In the first movie of the series, our hearts are warmed when Ron presents Harry with his first real Christmas gift – a homemade jumper. Let’s not forget about the Yule Ball, Harry spending Christmas with the Weasleys or the harrowing moment when Harry sees his parents’ grave at Godric’s Hollow on Christmas Eve, either.

The movies are laced with sprinklings of Christmas which, in our eyes, still qualifies them as perfect festive viewing material. If only we had a magic wand to whip up the Christmas dinner!

Related: 9 Romantic Christmas Films That Will Give You Warm Fuzzies

Batman Returns (1992)


Tim Burton has a penchant for putting a spooky spin on festive, so it’s no wonder they chose him to direct this superhero movie. Set at Christmastime, a snow-filled Gotham becomes the backdrop for drama, fighting and witty one-liners from a star-studded cast. Perfect for people who aren’t into full-on Christmas cheese but want to feel a bit festive.

Grossing a massive $186,822,354 and raking in $45,687,711 on its premiere weekend, this makes Batman Returns the 2nd most successful first weekend for Christmas films, beaten by The Grinch.

Lethal Weapon (1987)


If you can’t get enough of action films set at Christmas and Die Hard is already ticked off the list, turn your attention to Lethal Weapon. This good cop/ bad cop story follows the unlikely duo as they learn to work together and stop a gang of drug smugglers. It ends as all great Christmas films do – with self-realisations, new friendships and a good old Christmas dinner.

The Sound of Music (1965)


If you say you didn’t watch this during the festive period as a child, we don’t believe you! Just kidding… but if you didn’t you missed out.

Set in Austria, the film is about a family of regimented children and their new governess and convent girl, Maria. The Von-Trapp Family learn to have fun through singing and eventually their performance enables them to escape from the Nazis to safety and freedom in Switzerland.

This is the perfect family movie so get together and perform your own Von-Trapp renditions!

Edward Scissorhands (1990)


Another Tim Burton offering, Edward Scissorhands is a tale of a very unusual man. We start with a grandmother telling her grandchild of Edward’s story during which she reveals he’s the reason why it snows at Christmas. Again, the film is not immersed in Christmas, but there are some beautiful festive moments. The best one has to be when Edward carves an ice sculpture, and the shavings fall like snow.

It’s not the happiest of endings, and the whole thing (like most Tim Burton films) has a melancholy edge. But the Danny Elfman score will put you in the Christmas spirit any day of the year.

Read more: Small Budget Christmas Films That Surprised Us All

Wallace & Gromit (all films)


The cute and familiar theme tune to these films is enough to make anyone smile. We’ve spent many a Christmas morning following the adventures of this heart-warming duo. Whether it was seeing their trip to the moon or trying to stop a pair of mechanical trousers, they’ve entertained us and taken us on a wave of emotions.

While they are not strictly Christmas movies, we bet you’ll find them in your TV guide this December.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)


Strictly not for children, this film is Stanley Kubrick’s final offering, featuring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The fact that it’s set at during the Christmas season is about the only relevance the story has to Christmas. The movie shows a fateful night that a yuppie couple from New York attends a sordid party. It’s a tale of lust, morality and danger vs pleasure.

Earning a profit of $97,091,208, this film has proven very popular, Christmastime or not. If you love Kubrick’s other films, this will be the one for you.

Trading Places (1983)


Another unlikely duo takes place in the form of a street hustler and finance worker who team up to seek revenge on those who have set them up to fail. With the story spanning the whole festive period, it’s a Christmassy non-Christmas movie. Anything with Eddie Murphy in it is hilarious and this film is no different. Partnered with meek Dan Akroyd, it’s a prince-pauper pairing that makes for comedy genius.

Watch this with a gang of friends and plenty of festive cheer for a great night in this Christmas.

Rent (2005)


Beginning on Christmas Eve and ending a whole year later on Christmas Eve, this is a musical about living in New York City when you’re a struggling artist. The AIDS crisis is a running theme throughout the movie. This film lifts us up, tugs on our emotions and shows the true value of friendship. Plus, you’ll be singing the soundtrack for weeks afterwards.

Whatever your own top 10 Christmas festive films, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas!