COUNTDOWN: Christmas comes but once a year

It is time to get into the holiday season and what there is no better way than to find a comfy chair, maybe grab some snacks and enjoy a movie which embodies the festive spirit. Merry Christmas!

HOME ALONE (series) - 1990-2012

The first movie is definitely the best. Christmas is hectic at the best of times which is why we can relate to the situation which befalls a young Kevin McCAllister. What he gets up to and how he deals with a range of situations is hilarious.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - 1946

One of the greatest movies of all time. On Christmas Eve a man is visited by an angel-in-training as his life hits rock-bottom - from there he is shown snippets of his current life as well as what life would be like if he had never been born. Sounds a bit dark but you will be reaching for the tissue box.

A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL - 1992

This movie is a take on the Christmas tale of Scrooge, a man who scoffs at sentiment and family ties. Starring Michael Caine and a host of Muppet favourites such as Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzie Bear. It is a film the entire family can enjoy.

THE SANTA CLAUSE (series) - 1994-2006

The first instalment of the series is the story of a divorced dad who takes the place of Santa after he accidentally causes the death of the real Kris Kringle. Go on a journey of fun, discovery and family values as one man learns to become a legend.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET - 1947 & 1994

What would you think if a department store Kris Kringle claims he is the real Santa Claus? For one little girl there is no question he is the real deal. It is up to a friendly lawyer and a determined six-year-old to prove that he really is the one and only Father Christmas.

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN - 1969

A magical hat is used as a prop for a snowman, bringing him to life. To keep Frosty alive he must travel to the North Pole where it is always cold but there is evil afoot when another craves the hat. Follow Frosty's adventures and discover how Santa brings him back from the brink.

DIE HARD - 1988

Christmas will never be the same for John McClane as he sets about to save his estranged wife and her colleagues from terrorists who are hell bent on stealing millions of dollars. All this takes place in a high-rise building, which of course, is where the action starts.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN - 1970

Mailman SD Kluger begins reading letters addressed to Santa after his mail truck breaks down and he is unable to make the delivery. He goes on to tell the story of Santa Claus and how he came to become the spirit of Christmas.

LOVE ACTUALLY - 2003

This British movie has quickly become a classic. The storytelling is unique as it focuses on a variety of stories which become intertwined during the countdown to Christmas. Good time to sit back, relax and chill with a friend.

JINGLE ALL THE WAY - 1996

This hilarious comedy pits two fathers on Christmas Eve fighting for that one special toy for their sons, which has apparently sold out in every store they visit. Their antics are hilarious as they seek to find the present which will is supposed to make things right in their worlds.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS - 1965

The Peanuts characters star in this Christmas special. Charlie Brown is moping around depressed, even though it is the holiday season. Follow his adventures as he tries to bring back the spark and how the true meaning of Christmas lights up his life.

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 2004

A young boy boards a train bound for the North Pole on Christmas Eve. On the way more children join the journey and this is where the story takes some wonderful twists and turns. The animation is wonderful and the storyline is heartwarming.

RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER - 1964

This oldie, but a goodie, was digitally remastered in 2005. Sam the Snowman narrates the story of a young reindeer called Rudolph, who was born with a glowing red nose. Mocked by his peers the young deer goes through some adventures before saving Christmas.

ELF - 2003

Buddy, is adopted and raised by Santa's elves after he accidentally arrives at the North Pole. As he gets older he decides to try and find his family while spreading Christmas cheer to all. His antics are funny and child-like but in the end people begin to believe.

JACK FROST -1998

A year after Charlie loses his father in a car accident he builds a snowman in the front yard and with the aid of a magic harmonica the character comes to life. It doesn't take long for Charlie to discover that it is his father reincarnated as the snowman and together they set out to reconnect.

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS - 2011

This animated movie tells the story of Arthur Claus, the son of Santa, who sets himself a mission when his father mistakenly leaves a present behind. Arthur is determined to get the missing gift to its rightful owner, even though there are many roadblocks along the way.

PRANCER - 2016

Jessica and her brother are raised by their widowed father, but times are tough and there are important decisions to be made. Meanwhile an encounter with a reindeer in the woods leads Jessica to believe she is caring for Prancer, one of Santa's special deer.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL - 2009

This adaptation of the Charles Dickens story tells of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly man who has no time for joy or merriment. His mind is changed after he is paid a visit by three ghosts - one of Christmas Past, one of Christmas Present and another of Christmas Yet to Come - with the old adage that you're never too old to change.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION -1989

It's time to discover what the Griswold family is doing for Christmas. From sourcing the biggest tree to putting up thousands of lights, visiting relatives during the festive season to kidnapping an employer, there is non-stop action as the family continues to blunder through the holidays.

THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS - 2000

Dr Seuss' Grinch comes alive on screen with Jim Carrey portraying the grumpy, eccentric and narcissistic character to a tee. It's a classic Christmas tale - a young girl doesn't give up on a misunderstood soul, who finally discovers it is better to love than loathe.

This story Movies to herald in Christmas first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.