The Ultimate Advent Christmas Movie Marathon


Call us traditionalists (or humbugs), but we reckon the earliest date to start binging Christmas flicks is 1st December.

Sure, Channel 5 may think differently (anyone else feel like they’ve been streaming festive favourites since summer?) but we’re sticking to our guns and saying that Christmas movies should only be wheeled out when November’s all wrapped up.

All of this got us thinking: if you were to watch a Christmas classic every day during Advent, which would be your best? And perhaps more importantly, in what order should you watch them to maximise that festive factor?

Couple Watching A Movie On Christmas Eve In Bed

To begin answering these essential questions, the Banc elves got busy in their digital workshop, gathering a list of Christmas movies and ranking them by audience rating.

And as sure as Santa’s beard, our analytical know-how paid off, giving us 24 seasonal films that are guaranteed to have you decking the halls this December.

Keen to find out which movies made it behind the coveted doors of our Christmas Movie Marathon Advent Calendar? Sneak a peek, ‘ya filthy animal.

The Advent Christmas Movie Marathon

December is here, so what are you watching first? Elf? Home Alone? Joyeux Noel? Don’t leave it to chance. Get your festive fill from now ‘til the big day with our ultimate Christmas movie marathon.

From It’s a Wonderful Life to Elf, this is no bargain bin Advent Calendar. Naughty and nice are all accounted for, whisking you from December 1st to Christmas Day amid a sea of festive cheer and swirly-twirly gum drops.

Kick things off in the company of George Bailey and co. as you journey to Bedford Falls for the stone-cold Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Loosely based on A Christmas Carol (aren’t they all?) this 1946 fable continues to leave lumps in throats, with one reviewer claiming that “no movie ever made has influenced me more than this classic”.

Day two of Advent means it’s time to break out the yippee-ki-yays. Yep, no debate necessary – John McClane delivers the Christmas cheer as readily as Kris Kringle and Buddy the Elf, shoes or no shoes, with Die Hard receiving an indisputable audience review score of 89/100.

As December draws on, take your seat for favourites like White Christmas, Trading Places and Miracle on 34th Street, not to mention capers including National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. And to hammer home our point about good old Dickens, variants of A Christmas Carol pop up a total of four times on our calendar – not bad for a story that’s nearly 180 years old!

Christmas Eve calls for an all-out festive romp, so what better than Elf? Even among the most cynical of seasonal Scrooges, Will Ferrell’s turn as the lovable Christmas helper never fails to raise a chuckle or two – even if he does cram 11 cookies into the VCR.

And that’s it, done and dusted. Agree with our list or think we’re all cotton-headed ninny muggins? Have your say or argue your case over on our Facebook page.

Still hungry for more? As well as working out which films should make your festive movie marathon, we also took a look back at Christmas favourites through the decades – for nostalgia’s sake.

Without further ado, explore which oldie-but-goodie seasonal flicks are worth a second look this December below.

The 90s sure delivered on the festive front, with tons of iconic Christmas capers hitting our screens throughout the decade. Just look at that list – talk about great stock fillers.

From Miracle on 34th Street to The Muppet Christmas Carol (a personal favourite of your present reporter), the 90s proved a vintage decade for now-familiar festive hits. It gave us everything, including the best-ranked The Nightmare Before Christmas, a film one reviewer described as “one of the most memorable holiday classics of all time. A visual masterpiece”.

After the 90s, the 00s had their work cut out to bring the festive cheer. And in some ways, they succeeded, bringing us rom-com favourites like The Holiday and Love Actually, as well as grown-up Christmas moments like Joyeux Noel and Bad Santa.

Of course, one film that is sure to go down as the pinnacle of noughties festiveness is the aforementioned Elf, which hit the silver screen in 2003. Funny and heartfelt in equal measure, one IMDB reviewer said it best with “wonderful holiday spirit film – never gets old”.

A lot of parents probably curse the 2010s for giving us two enchanting but no less irritating seasonal releases, Frozen and Frozen II. With Anna, Elsa and Olaf’s set-to-music adventure taking the world by storm in 2013, Christmases have never been as peaceful since.

Still, the 10s did deliver on other fronts, including Netflix caper The Christmas Chronicles and the much underrated The Man Who Invented Christmas. Then, of course, there’s Klaus, which came out as the decade’s best Christmas flick, with one reviewer calling it “wholesome and original”.

It’s fair to say that the 2020s haven’t hit their stride when it comes to Christmas movies, with woeful showings and below-average audience scores thus far. Still, there’s plenty of time for the decade to redeem itself, so we won’t go full humbug on it just yet.

So far in the 20s, Love Hard has been the best Christmas film according to review scores, while one reviewer described 2021’s Boxing Day as “fun and fresh”. We happen to like A Boy Called Christmas for its original take on the origins of Little Saint Nick.

The Top 10 Christmas Movies Under 90 Minutes

Don’t have all December to devote to binging Christmas films? The good news is that many seasonal classics keep it brief, with plenty of top-10-worthy favourites coming in under the 90-minute mark.

See for yourself right here…

From Holiday Affair to A Christmas Carol, Serendipity to A Nightmare Before Christmas, you don’t have to look far to find a Christmas film with a sub-90-minute runtime. And with high-scoring favourites like 1951’s Scrooge making the list, it’s perhaps proof that good things really do come in small packages.

Well, that was fun. We hope our Ultimate Advent Christmas Movie Marathon serves you well this December and beyond. And despite what you might be thinking, we do work hard and put our digital know-how to good use, so get in touch to find what Banc’s little helpers can do for you.

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Jonathan Tuplin