Everyone has a favourite Christmas movie, one that makes you go misty-eyed.
Maybe it's the black and white charm of 'Miracle on 34th Street' or a modern one like 'Santa Claus the Movie'. Here are some of my families all-time favourites; some are classic movies, some are new stories, and all of them suitable for the whole family.
This is my list of absolute must-see Christmas movies, the ones my family love to watch every year and which always get us all into the festive spirit!
So grab a cup of hot chocolate and a mince pie and settle down for the perfect Christmas family movie night. Is your favourite here?
The Polar Express is based on the beloved book by Chris Van Allsburg. A child's belief in Father Christmas begins to waiver so to persuade him of the old man's existence, he is taken on as magical train ride to the North Pole. Featuring the voice of Tom Hanks, this one has already become a Christmas classic.
This is the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street, the tale of Kris Kringle - who may or may not be the real Father Christmas - and a little girl (played by a very young Natalie Wood) who contrives to find her mother happiness.
I'm a sucker for this original version from watching it on TV as a child with my mother who remembers it from her childhood.
Once voted the best Christmas movie of all time by families in the UK, Home Alone is the story of ten-year-old Kevin who is inadvertently left home alone by his family when they go on vacation. Banished to his room for misbehaving, when he wakes the following morning he discovers he is alone and must cope with the threat of two persistent, albeit incompetent, burglars.
The movie also spawned the John Williams penned song Somewhere In My Memory which is a staple of kids choirs everywhere.
The most filmed Christmas story ever got the full Muppet treatment inThe Muppet Christmas Carol. This hilarious version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol starring Michael Caine as Scrooge and Kermit as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit, Fozzie Bear as Fozziewig and The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens. Great Family Fun.
Raymond Briggs' classic story The Snowman tells of a boy who befriends a snowman who takes him on a magical journey. Beautiful animation and lovely music makes this film a joy from start to finish. At over 35 years old it never looked better and never fails to bring a tear to the eye of a soppy old thing like me.
So we all know about Father and Mother Christmas, but what about their son? Arthur Christmas is the cute tale of how the magic of Christmas must never die. British written and part made by Aardman Animations and with voices including James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent and Imelda Staunton (and that is just a small selection of the British acting talent in this movie), this is a sweet and funny movie.
Possibly the best known secular Christmas song in the world forms the basis of this fluffy Christmas film starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye. White Christmas has great songs and a smaltzy plot that makes this perfect festive viewing. Another one that I watched on TV as a kid, this time with my Dad.
It's A Wonderful Life is the great classic and American TV Christmas favourite. The tear-jerking story of a man who is saved by a drunken angel who shows him what a very different place the world would have been if he had not been born. Feel-good movie is an overused expression but this truly deserved the name. I only discovered this as an adult, wondering what all the fuss was about. I get it.
Festive silliness with Dudley Moore as the litttle elf who has to save Christmas from the evil toy tycoon who plans to distribute dangerous toys. A truly heartwarming story.
The original from 1964 with the voice of Burl Ives, this is the story of how Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer really gained the respect of his fellow reindeers. Saving Christmas from the cluches of an evil toytaker, helped by a wanabee dentist elf, he rescues unwanted toys from the Island of Misfit Toys.
I had never heard of this movie until my husband bought the DVD for the kids - it was a favourite of his. This version has some groan-worthy jokes and an edge that is missing from the 2001 remake.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!