5. Bridget Jones' Diary. Okay, so it's only partially set around the holidays, but it begins with Colin Firth in a reindeer jumper and ends with him and Renee Z kissing in the snow, so I'm not sure what else you could ask for.
4. The Holiday. Basically this is two movies and one is good, and one is very boring. When the Cameron Diaz/Jude Law storyline is on I just look at the picturesque shots of England in the snow. The adorable Kate Winslet and a seriously cute Jack Black more than make up for things in their story, which involves Kate Winslet's character striking up an unusual friendship with a retired Hollywood screenwriter.
3. Home Alone. A long-standing classic from my childhood, and for a good reason. I'm so glad my family has never been quite as bad as the McAllisters.
2. Love Actually. Even though the storyline makes no sense and I find more and more to annoy me with each viewing. It's now my go-to Christmas film.
1. The Santa Clause. Yes, so help me, I love this film so damn much, and eagerly look forward to its annual television airing. I'm not sure why. There's just something about Scott Calvin's transition from cynic to believer, and that tantalising possibility that Santa Claus might be real after all.
Yes, I'm missing so many, like Miracle on 34th Street, or any version of A Christmas Carol, but this is just what I've been watching over the past couple of weeks.
What is not a good Christmas movie: Surviving Christmas, a truly terrible film 'starring' Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate. Channel 7 is airing it tonight, which they did at exactly this time last year. I know because I watched it with my Grandpa a few days before he died. I hope this is not some new annual tradition at Channel 7, because this movie is not some kind of modern classic, nor is it so-bad-it's-good. I would rather not have to deal with it reminding me of my loss every year.
I went to Carols in the Domain on Saturday, and for all the kerfuffle of arriving early and getting a good spot and then having a family of brats arrive late and elbow into our spot and braving all the queues for the toilets and feeling hemmed in by the crowds and blah blah blah, it was worth it in the end to hear so many voices uplifted in songs of joy. I am excited by the news that there is another Mary to celebrate this Christmas, as Blessed Mary MacKillop is close to official canonisation. According to the newspaper that came with my carols goodie bag, 68% of Australians believe in God or some kind of universal spirit. Mary MacKillop worked so hard to spread her faith and establish an educational foundation in nineteenth-century Australia.
Here are photos of my Christmas tree, with and without lights. Strangely, the candy canes have all but disappeared – perhaps the elves have eaten them? I shall have to take the tree down before Christmas as I won't be here, but it has been worth it for the simple joy I gain in gazing at it with the lights on. That's really all it takes to keep me content at Christmas -- tree lights, a candy cane, and a Colin Firth movie.