Entertainment Ten movies to stick on the TV after Christmas lunch

Ten movies to stick on the TV after Christmas lunch

There's something great about a bit of screen time after lunch on Christmas Day. Photo: Getty
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It’s never easy deciding exactly when you get up from the Christmas lunch table after everyone has eaten, after those bonbons have been cracked and spilled and the kids are getting restless.

Timing is everything these days.

You have a window of three hours to watch or stream a show you’ve been saving, a piece of nostalgia from your childhood, or a re-run that brings in the laughs and then the tears and the true emotion of Christmas.

You could go for a Disney classic, America’s cheesiest film (there’s a few on our list), maybe a concert (and put on that new Bose headset), and remember, whatever it is, make it worth it.

For me, it’s hands down the Robbie Williams Live at Knebworth TV special from 2003.

It will bring back those memories of what a live concert truly was – 375,000 screaming, sweaty fans rejoicing freedom over three days – and at the time, it was the biggest music event in British history.

And when Williams sings Angels, it gets you every time: “No cell phones, no stick lights, no social media … just raised hands and thousands of singing souls”, echoed the sentiment of millions of fans.

So lock and load, people and, well, let me entertain you, and Merry Christmas!

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): The black-and-white Jimmy Stewart masterpiece is celebrating its 75th year on film, and I’ve heard it’s “the cliche film that every American watches” on Christmas Day. It’s been said that some Australians think it is the Holy Grail of Hollywood at Christmas.
  2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000): Jim Carrey should be congratulated over and over for playing this very difficult character, and the film won an Oscar for Best Make-up.
  3. Love Actually (2003): Yes, it’s polarising on many levels, but Christmas isn’t the time to unpack the subtext of this film. I have it on good authority that a few federal politicians consider it a must-see on Christmas Day.
  4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): Thank you, Tim Burton, thank you for Jack Skellington. I know it says before Christmas, but I am flexible. It’s enchanting, clever, and the kids will love you forever if you let them cuddle on the couch to watch a bit of scariness.
  5. Star Wars: Our family always goes for the original A New Hope with a young Luke Skywalker and Han Solo and Princess Leia and Chewy, but you’re at liberty to choose any moment in the galaxy that befits your post-lunch mood.
  6. Die Hard (1988): Bruce Willis will go down in Christmas history for saving us from terrorists. Nothing like a New York cop to do that.
  7. The Polar Express (2004): This will make you closer to Nana and Pop, and a musical fantasy really is what Christmas is all about.
  8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): Chevy Chase should have been a Ghostbuster, but wasn’t. This is corny and cringeworthy in many ways, but it’s someone’s favourite.
  9. Life of Brian (1979): Every bit of this film is now sacred (apologies to The Meaning of Life), even though it was considered blasphemous and irreverent 40 years ago. It went on to become a box office hit and made the Monty Python team rich.
  10. Gavin and Stacey Christmas specials (2008) and (2019): No one, and I mean, no one falls from the trust tree at Christmas time. James Corden is behind this delightful British series.

Oh, and lastly, Foxtel has curated the Christmas episodes of our favourite sitcoms, including South Park, The Simpsons and the one where Chandler dresses up as Santa in Friends.

There’s also 12 days of The Big Bang Theory kicking off on Christmas Eve and Disney+ is your go-to for Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back documentary.

See you on the other side!