Precious Gems and Lumps of Coal: The Best and Worst Christmas Movies

Christmas movies have become as much a part of the holiday season as turkey and Christmas pudding. No Christmas day would be complete without the family all relaxing for a few hours in front of the television to watch some movies and eat an unhealthy amount of chocolate. This can be a glorious time of the day, with everyone laughing away to a hilarious Christmas tale, and coming away from it with a warm feeling of Christmas spirit.

Unfortunately sometimes the complete opposite can happen, thanks to the few truly awful Christmas movies out there. When you unwrap the presents under the tree, and find a new DVD among your presents, don’t be so hasty to play it straight away. You could ruin Christmas for everyone. Consult this short round up of the best, and the worst, Christmas movies out there, to avoid a catastrophe and keep everyone brimming with holiday happiness.

Avoid: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Just the title should put you off ever putting yourself through the torture of watching this movie. This 1964 film is so bad it actually has become something of a cult classic, with showings on some comedy cable channels, but don’t let that even tempt you to watch it. The plot centres on Martians kidnapping Santa Claus because there is no-one on Mars to give the kids presents. Everything about this movie is bad, from the acting to the special effects. It’s a ridiculously stupid film should never in any circumstances be watched on Christmas day, and will only leave you irritated and longing for the wasted hour and a half back if you do dare to watch it.

Watch: The Nightmare Before Christmas

A fantastic tale that will entertain the kids, grandparents, and everybody in between, The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the great Christmas movies of all time. Dark and funny, this story can be scary in parts, but there is no denying viewer’s come away feeling uplifted. The animation is flawless, and the songs and characters are fantastically entertaining. Definitely one movie that the whole family to curl up on the sofas and loveseats to enjoy.

Avoid: The Star Wars Holiday Special

A complete travesty that plagues the world of Star Wars, The Star Wars Holiday Special was a freak that was shot and buried soon after it was made. Aired once on television around the time it was made in 1978, George Lucas has despised the movie ever since. He was actually quoted saying that if he had the time, he would personally smash every existing copy of the movie. Harsh words you may think, but you would probably agree if you have ever had the displeasure of watching this monstrosity. The plot revolves around Chewbacca and his family, as he tries to get back to his home planet for Life Day, the yearly celebration when all the family come together. Amazingly some of the original Star Wars actors grace the screen, if only fleetingly, but that doesn’t make it any better. Avoid at all costs.

Watch: It’s a Wonderful Life

Arguably the greatest Christmas movie of all time, no one can deny that It’s a Wonderful Life is a perfect movie to watch on Christmas day. The tale of a compassionate businessman called George Bailey, who is suffering from bad luck just before Christmas. The film shows how he helps the community no thanks to a rich skinflint that wants to see him fail, and embodies the Christmas spirit in such a way that other films have tried so hard to achieve. Heartfelt and warming throughout, this film has been known to bring a tear to the eye of grown men.

Avoid: Deck the Halls

This weak comedy will leave you closer to crying than laughing, and will probably result in you throwing ornaments at your tv if you watch it. Starring Danny DeVito and Mathew Broderick, their two characters seem to have to outdo each other throughout this film, culminating in a battle to see who can cover their house in more Christmas lights. It’s a tragic film you will undoubtedly find in the discount bins of supermarkets if anywhere. So if it does appear under the Christmas tree, make an excuse not to watch it or prepare to be bored silly.

Don’t Let Christmas be Ruined

Ok, so there are plenty more bad Christmas movies out there and a whole bunch of good ones too, but with this list you can avoid a total catastrophe. When it’s a toss-up between Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and It’s a Wonderful Life, you can argue with conviction what you should watch!