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12 Christmas Movies Where Santa Isn’t the Main Man!

Deck the halls with boughs of holly … fa la la la la la la la la …

It’s that time of year again. We can’t click onto a single TV channel here in the UK without Santa’s ruddy face peeking out from under his fluffy red and white hat. My children have their lists for Santa, we have planned a visit to the big guy himself, and at work there are daily discussions on who will wear the red suit to hand out the secret Santa gifts this year …

Needless to say it’s only December 1st, and I’m already a little tired of all things St. Nicholas.

No, I’m not bah humbug! I just like all the other festive stuff too: the mulled wine, the candy canes, the snowy weather, the holly wreaths. You guys in the states I believe call it “tree trimming,” whereas over here, we just call it “decorating the tree.” Whatever, I love untangling the yards of twisted fairylights and hanging up all the glittery baubles and sparkly crackers with my family. For me, that is the moment that Christmas comes to life.

Plus, there are all the great movies — mostly family fun — that don’t have to have the main man in them to be festive.

So, if you want to get into the holiday season spirit, click on all the fantastic Christmas movies below. How many have you seen? My favorite? Number 2!

  • Gremlins 1 of 12
    new gremlins

    There are but three rules if you own a Mogwai: never expose it to bright light (especially sunlight, which will kill it); never get it wet (which will make it multiply); and, most importantly of all: never, ever feed it after midnight. Poor Charlie doesn't know what he is getting into when his Dad gives him a special Christmas present. Suddenly he doesn't just have Gizmo, but has 5 more Mogwai to look after ... and when he accidentally feeds them after midnight ... horror ensues ... 

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • It’s a Wonderful Life 2 of 12
    life

    This is my favorite Christmas film — ever. It is Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls, and George Bailey is an unhappy man. About to lose everything he has spent his life working for due to his Uncle misplacing $8,000, George is on the verge of killing himself. Seeing a drowning man in the river, he dives in to save him — as always putting others before himself. The man is Clarence, an angel sent down to help George in order to earn his angel wings. George sees how life in Bedford Falls would have been if he had never been alive ... and in doing so, sees that he has indeed got a wonderful life. Ahhhhhhhh....

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas 3 of 12
    nightmare

    Tim Burton's gothic tale is of the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington, who accidentally opens a portal to "Christmas Town" and hears about the residents' plans for Christmas. Jack becomes obsessed with the festive season and orders the kidnap of Santa. Then he takes to the skies to deliver presents to children around the world, but the gifts (shrunken heads, Christmas tree-eating snakes, etc.) only terrify the recipients. Jack regrets what he has done, but will he have time to make things right? Will the world have Christmas as they know it? 

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • Home Alone 2 4 of 12
    home alone 2

    Kevin McCallister's family is headed to Florida for a hot Christmas, but a mix up at the airport means that Kevin ends up in New York City all alone. He runs into his old enemies, the Wet Bandit criminals Harry and Marv, and he finds out that they plan to rob Mr. Duncan's toy store that evening. Kevin works to thwart their plans and boobytraps his Uncle's vacant renovated town house. Can Kevin save the day?

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 5 of 12
    lampoon

    Good ol' Clark Griswold hopes to give his family a Christmas they will never forget! But in true Griswold fashion, things don't exactly go to plan. Will Clark get his bonus? Will the turkey cook? Will Clark's amazing light display actually light up? And what about the all important tree? This film is festive fun for everyone, as everything that could possibly go wrong ... does. 

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • Love Actually 6 of 12
    love actually

    Richard Curtis' romantic Christmas film encompasses a variety of stories, all in the run up to December 25. As aging Billy Mack tries to reach the elusive Christmas number 1 spot with his holiday single, there are tales of unrequited love, adultery, friendship, lust and grief. Will they all get their happy ending in time for Christmas? Indeed, love is all around.... 

     

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • Scrooged 7 of 12
    scrooged

    Frank Cross played by Bill Murray is a ruthless TV executive, having found success by stepping over others and treating people badly. It has cost him the one great love of his life, Claire, but what does he care when he has wealth and status? So what if no one likes him and he is alone at Christmas? The decomposing corpse of his mentor, media mogul Lew Hayward, comes to tell him the error of his ways and reveals that he will be visited by three ghosts before daybreak. Ultimately, this is a re-worked version of Dicken's A Christmas Carol with Frank as a modern-day Scrooge. Will he see sense before it is too late? 

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • Lethal Weapon 8 of 12
    weapon

    L.A.P.D. Narcotics Sergeant Martin Riggs, played by Mel Gibson, is suicidal, following the recent death of his wife in a traffic accident. He is paired with Homicide Sergeant Roger Murtaugh, who has recently turned 50. The movie ends with a family all around a tree on Christmas day, with both sergeants learning valuable lessons. Riggs learns the value of life over suicide and Murtaugh learns not to judge cops by appearance. I love the wonderful bonding moment when Riggs gives Murtaugh the bullet he had intended to use to kill himself. It is the thought that counts, after all. 

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas 9 of 12
    grinch 2

    Dr. Seuss's wonderful Christmas tale is brought to magnificent life with Jim Carrey as the wicked Grinch. Fed up with being excluded and mocked by the inhabitants of Whoville, the mean old Grinch steals all the goodies and treats from the entire town. But those cheery Whos don't need gifts to feel Christmas-y, so his plan backfires. What is Christmas without the green one? 

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon

  • Four Christmases 10 of 12
    four christmases

    Brad and Kate avoid ever having to spend Christmas with their respective families. But one year, when fog causes their flight to be cancelled, they are forced to visit their loved ones: Brad's Dad, Kate's Mum, then Brad's Mum and Kate's Dad — four Christmases in one day. Will their relationship survive all the revelations that come to light?

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon

  • Elf 11 of 12
    elf 2

    THE top Christmas film in our house. Laugh-out-loud hilarious, super cute and with more heart than Santa himself, this tale of Buddy the Elf who leaves the North pole to find his Dad in New York city is a Christmas must. Buddy finds joy in seemingly the most mundane activities and can fashion a Christmas decoration out of anything. The scene where Buddy encounters a store Santa is possibly one of the funniest scenes in any film, of all time. 

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • The Family Stone 12 of 12
    the family stone

    Ahhh there is nothing quite like the holiday season for getting the family all together. With all that love and festive cheer, what can go wrong? Meredith Morton, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, is a successful executive who is a little uptight and goes with her boyfriend Everett, played by Dermot Mulroney, to his family's home for Christmas, but discovers that she doesn't exactly fit in ...

     

    Photo Credit: Amazon

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