25 Days of Christmas 2018 – Advent For Families

Now that it’s December, we’re finally allowed to start watching some Christmas films! Hooray! So to help you decide what festive classic to stick on over the next 25 days, here’s my guide of what films are on TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky Cinema and NowTV, over the different streaming services this month (December 2018).

I’ve tried to keep this guide family friendly, but there just aren’t enough decent Christmas films out there (let alone being aired on TV or available to stream online), so I have also made a separate guide for toddlers and younger families as some of the films below have some adult comedy. But here’s the best of the bunch, from children’s animations to family comedies and a few Christmas classics, all aimed to get you in the festive mood with your loved ones.

1st December – Deck The Halls

Watch it on:
• Channel 5 at 12:35pm
• Netflix

There’s no better way to kick off December than with a film about putting up the Christmas lights. It’s a shame that we in the UK don’t go so over the top with our decorations as Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito do in this comedy, but there’s no better way to celebrate Christmas with the bright lights and Christmas songs that dominate this film.

2nd December – Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

Watch it on:
• Film 4 at 1:25pm

A remake of the 1947 classic, this family drama stars Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle and Matilda’s Mara Wilson as a six-year-old girl who wishes for a family at Christmas. It tells a lovely story about what it takes to believe in magic and the leaps of faith that we all have to make in life, showing us all that dreams really can come true. Full of Christmas spirit, it will make anyone believe!

3rd December – Angela’s Christmas

Watch it on:
• Netflix

A short film and Netflix Original about an Irish family at Christmas which teaches children about doing the right thing and looking out for others at Christmas. The story is heartwarming and the animation is stunning. This could have very easily have been a Christmas advert because of its lovely sentimental message and beautiful characters and backgrounds. It’s only 30 minutes long so definitely worth a watch!

4th December – The Man Who Invented Christmas

Watch it on:
• Netflix
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

With Dan Stevens starring as Charles Dickens, the film tells the real-life story that influenced the creation of Dickens’ classic story, “A Christmas Carol”. A magical story into the story behind the story, The Man Who Invented Christmas shows the pressure Dickens was put under, as we see the characters of A Christmas Carol come to life in his mind as he ultimately creates the greatest Christmas story of all time.

5th December – Nativity!

Watch it on:
• Netflix

The first film in a now four-film franchise, this first Nativity film is a partially improvised comedy starring Martin Freeman as a teacher who once had ambitions of being successful as an actor, producer or director, who is now tasked with running the school nativity play. This film is great for younger audiences who will laugh from start to end at the hilarious children involved.

6th December – Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger

Watch it on:
• Netflix

The second instalment sees David Tennant take the lead as the new teacher at St. Bernadette’s primary school as they go on a road trip to enter in a competition called “A Song for Christmas”. With more brilliant performances from the school children as they audition for the competition and even more hilarity from Marc Wootton’s Mr Poppy, the fun continues for audiences of all ages.

7th December – Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?

Watch it on:
• Amazon Prime

Now with Martin Clunes as the teacher in charge, the children have to help Mr Shepherd regain his memory after he is hit in the forehead by Mr Poppy’s pet donkey, Alfie. With no memory of anything that happened before, it’s up to the children to save the day and reunite him with his fiancée in New York. This year, the children get out their moves in the auditions for a flash mob.

8th December – Jack Frost

Watch it on:
• ITV2 at 2.20pm
• Netflix
• Amazon Prime

A fun family film starring Michael Keaton as a father who can’t keep his promises, who dies in a car accident. A year later, he returns as a snowman and is given a final chance to put things right. To younger audiences, it comes across as a heartwarming story about the importance of family. And there’s a fun talking snowman, so it’s not all that tragic.

9th December – How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Watch it on:
• ITV at 4.05pm

Comedy classic starring Jim Carrey as one of our favourite Christmas humbugs, The Grinch. Based on Dr. Seuss’ incredibly fun story, the revenge-seeking Grinch plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of Whoville. But a little girl might just be the person to get him in the Christmas mood. This is a film that needs watching for Carrey’s performance alone; he will have everyone laughing!

10th December – Bob’s Broken Sleigh

Watch it on:
• Netflix

Another Netflix Original which follows a young magic-less elf named Bob, who finds himself on a wild sleigh ride after being ambushed by the evil puffin Fishface. This is the kind of family film that will make your children laugh and feel slightly mischievous, but it’s not so fun for the parents. Still, they will definitely enjoy this crazy adventure and you could always get some wrapping done in the meantime.

11th December – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

You know what to expect with a National Lampoon film. For some, it will be a tradition of their own. For others, it will be painful to watch all of the cringy situations that could possibly go wrong on one of the best days of the year. You’re either a fan of Chevy Chase or you’re not, but children will likely find it hilarious. Let’s just hope they don’t start climbing up the Christmas tree afterwards.

12th December – Christmas Chronicles

Watch it on:
• Netflix

When you hear that they’re making a new Christmas film, you can only hope that they will cast somebody as legendary as Kurt Russell. And that’s all that you need to know to get super excited for this one! Released on Netflix a few weeks ago, The Christmas Chronicles has got to be one of the best Christmas films of recent years, and one that families can get together and have an immensely fun night watching.

13th December – Fred Claus

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

Some of the humour in this one is certainly more for adults than for children, but there’s still a lot that younger audiences can enjoy about this Christmas comedy. Paul Giamatti makes a great Santa Claus but it’s more about John Michael Higgins as Willie the elf. There’s a lot of great comedy in this, the setting of the North Pole is definitely something for younger viewers to enjoy, and it may even get you singing along.

14th December – Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

A somewhat scarier retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic as this is more of a ghost story than the other versions around, courtesy of the spookily mysterious Christmas apparitions that Scrooge is faced with, but it is a brilliant adaptation and therefore a great way to introduce older children to the story. There’s a great voice cast – including Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, and Colin Firth – and the animation is pretty mesmerising, too.

15th December – Frozen

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

Not technically a Christmas film but there needed to be more musicals in this list and everybody loves Frozen! A retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Frozen follows a story about how the legendary Snow Queen came into her powers and own isolation. Not only is the story charming, the settings and animations are also beautiful as the themes of snow and ice make a stunning backdrop. There’s also the introduction of some new Disney characters including a snowman, a reindeer, and some trolls.

16th December – Elf

Watch it on:
• ITV at 6pm
• Amazon Prime

My personal favourite Christmas film and it is finally being aired on TV again! This is what I look forward to every year – the one film that will really put me in the Christmas mood. This is definitely Will Ferrell at his best, but it’s also a great role for Zooey Deschanel. The script is absolutely fantastic as I find myself quoting most of it throughout. I could watch this every day throughout December.

17th December- The Santa Clause

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

Another one of my favourite Christmas films. Who wouldn’t be excited about the prospect of their Dad becoming Santa Claus? Scott Calvin is an ordinary man, who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve and is knocked unconscious. It may have dated quite badly, but Tim Allen is absolutely great in the role. The story is charming and fun and is one that I watch every year.

18th December – The Santa Clause 2

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

Finding out there’s an obscure clause in his contract which requires him to take on a wife, Scott has to leave the North Pole to fulfil his obligations, or else he’ll be forced to give up his job as Santa Claus. Still full to the brim with holiday cheer, this sequel may not be a must-watch like its predecessor, but it’s a joyful film which introduces us to some other legendary characters.

19th December – The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

Trouble comes to the North Pole when the evil Jack Frost is looking to take over the holiday! Launching a plan to sabotage the toy factory, he compels Scott to invoke the little-known Escape Clause and wish he’d never become Santa in the first place. It’s definitely the worst film of the trilogy, but it nicely ties the story up and is still an enjoyable holiday film to watch with the family.

20th December – Nightmare Before Christmas

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

More of a Halloween film than a Christmas film so it might be a little too scary for younger viewers, but it explores both holidays brilliantly as Jack Skellington, tired of scaring humans every October 31 with the same old bag of tricks, kidnaps Santa Claus and plans to deliver shrunken heads and other ghoulish gifts to children on Christmas morning. A beautiful animation with some great musical numbers, this is a wonderfully dark film.

21st December – The Polar Express

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

A family favourite for many but I actually find this scary, threatening, and even quite angry. I just constantly feel on edge and sorry for all of the characters and worried that something’s going to constantly go terribly wrong, and it doesn’t fill me with any joy or Christmas spirit whatsoever. But my boy loves “Choo choos” so I will be stuck watching this for years to come, I think. Children will definitely see the adventure within it.

22nd December – Arthur Christmas

Watch it on:
• Netflix

A really fun Christmas story that is great for the whole family, which is especially fun to watch with younger relatives as it explains the logistics behind Santa’s work. The animation is good and the voice cast is excellent, too. James McAvoy’s excitement shines through as Santa’s misfit son who executes an unauthorized rookie mission to get the last present halfway around the globe before dawn on Christmas morning.

23rd December – Home Alone 2: Lost In New York

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

One of the rare occasions where the sequel is better than its predecessor, Home Alone 2 is a film that you have to watch every single year as it really gets you excited for Christmas Day!. Very funny and heart-warming at the same time as being mischievous and exciting, children will love following the naughty adventures of Macaulay Culkin. Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!

24th December – It’s A Wonderful Life

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

This is a new family tradition for me, watching It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. Younger viewers may not be able to stick it out for a few years to come, but it has such a wonderful message that I can’t wait to see my boy fall in love with it more every year. It’s A Wonderful Life captures everything that Christmas is really about – the company of family and friends, coming together in times of need, and spending time with the people you love, doing what makes you happiest in the world for a short period of undisturbed time before it’s back to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

25th December – The Muppet Christmas Carol

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

Christmas morning needs a musical on as you unwrap the presents! The way the classic Dickens’ story is told with the Muppet cast and their musical numbers will fill you with joy. Michael Caine is fantastic as Scrooge, too, with his performance likely to bring a tear to your eye. What a way to end the Christmas season!

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