You've battled through the crowds at the supermarket, wrapped your Christmas presents and now it's time to put your feet up and relax. 

Here are some of our favourite festive films that make for essential Christmas viewing. 

Home Alone

Can you believe this film is 26 years old? The film which made Macauley Culkin famous tops the list of must-sees for many at Christmas time and reminds us just how important family is at this time of year.

Muppet Christmas Carol

While not the most critically acclaimed film from Michael Caine, this is definitely our favourite version of Charles Dickens', A Christmas Carol. It's got all the Muppets, Gonzo narrates it, and there are catchy songs - what more do we need to say?


Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) is oversize and causing chaos at the North Pole. He is sent to New York - perfect Christmas setting - to find his birth father. Everyone, young and old, love this film. It's got a real family feel to it - and a happy ending.

It's a Wonderful Life

Sometimes the label 'classic film' is banded around too much. But where this film is concerned, it's a perfect fit. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed star in the 1946 tale about the rotten luck of George Bailey and a near tragedy avoided only by the intervention of Clarence the Angel. Heartwarming, entrancing and spine-tinglingly good. An absolute must.

White Christmas

You can't beat a snowy scene, Bing Crosby and a classic love story all wrapped up with a big Christmas bow. Beautiful.

Die Hard

Slightly less beautiful than the previous pick, Die Hard may not be a typical festive movie, but it's inclusion in Christmas film lists sparks a debate every year. It's set in an office Christmas party, need we say more? We'll leave it for you to debate.

The Holiday

Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black aren't going to win any Oscars with this, but it's a cosy, comforting watch, with some lovely moments and idyllic English Christmas scenes. Who wouldn't want to live in that country cottage?

The Snowman

Recently revived with the addition of a Snow Dog, this story from Raymond Briggs tugs at the heart strings with its beautiful soundtrack and haunting song 'Walking in the Air'. We defy you not to feel choked when the snowman melts. It's been shown every year since 1982 on Channel Four, making it a favourite from generation to generation.

Love Actually

Richard Curtis weaves his magic, bringing a stellar cast together for this modern-day classic. Following the love lives of eight very different couples, all loosely interrelated, this tale of the build-up to Christmas in London, has yet to grow old.

Miracle on 34th Street

Whether you prefer the black and white version from 1947, or the more recent adaptation from 1994 starring Richard Attenborough, Miracle on 34th Street is enchanting. It's about believing, and the fight to prove that Santa is real.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's, The Nightmare Before Christmas, is the story of Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town. He discovers Christmas Town, but doesn't quite understand the concept.

Polar Express

A lovely film to watch with the kids. The 2004 animation features the vocal talents of Tom Hanks who plays no less than six characters. It's even listed in the Guinness World Book of Records in 2006 as the first all-digital capture film.

We know there are many others, let us know your favourite in the comments below.