Exploring our iconic Christmas culture
Christmas time is all about indulging in guilty pleasures. Cheesy festive films? You betcha. Singing along to Christmas songs at the top of your voice? Absolutely. Super-indulgent drinks? Make mine an eggnog latte.
When it comes to our fun-filled Christmas culture, the first things that you probably think of are films, music, and food and drink. Christmas has put its own twist on these three staples so that, come December time, we know exactly how best to celebrate the season.
They’re iconic Christmas staples, and everyone has their favourite. Whether you prefer old-school, timeless classics, or funny modern reinventions, you can’t fail to be slightly biased, and have a particular soft spot for your festive favourite.
So, we’re dedicating this blog post to all-things-festive. In celebration of our brilliant Christmas culture, we’ve got the ultimate round-up of seasonal favourites. Not only will we be going through our top five Christmas films and songs, but the icing on the Christmas cake comes in the form of our recipe for a decadent eggnog latte. Christmas starts right here.
Our top 5 festive films
With those long Winter nights keeping us all indoors, what better source of evening entertainment than a Christmas film? These family favourites (since for some reason it’s not socially acceptable to watch them all year round) are the perfect addition to a cosy night in. Like us, you might have watched all of these films multiple times already and be here for the nostalgia, or, you might be a complete Christmas movie novice.
Either way, to help make sure that your Christmas viewing lives up to the hype, we’ve rounded up our top 5 favourite ever festive films. Grab your mince pies and your eggnog, and settle down for these ultimate fun-filled, light-hearted classics.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey absolutely blew us all away here. This film rendition of Dr. Seuss’ wonderful children’s book is much-loved amongst young and old alike. It’s a heartwarming tale that has us all grinning from ear to ear the whole way through. This fuzzy green grump is an absolutely iconic Christmas character, who we look forward to watching all over again every year.
Miracle on 34th Street
This quintessentially classic Christmas film has been a firm favourite for generations. In fact, back in 1947 it won three Academy Awards. Over 70 years later, it remains to be just as heart-warming,
We love that this wonderful film has remained an essential part of our family Christmas tradition ever since we were younger, and that now, today, it’s one that even Generation Z love to watch on December evenings in. Truly, it’s the very definition of timeless.
This hilarious family favourite has the whole family in stitches every year. Kevin McAllister setting up elaborate booby traps in his house never fails to make us laugh. It has truly stood the test of time (who would have believed that this little boy is a fully grown-up actor now), and has been a staple part of Christmas viewing for countless families.
It’s the absolute ultimate cheesy Christmas film - it’ll have you laughing and crying all at once. Even if you haven’t seen it already, you’ll have definitely seen the film quoted on social media. The laugh-out-loud reputation of this film precedes itself, and Will Ferrel plays the lead role absolutely fantastically. Who can help but share in Buddy’s enthusiasm for Christmas?
Few films evoke such an emotional response from us. Every single year we shed a little happy tear for this beautiful portrayal of love, friends and family at Christmas time. The ten highly-relatable stories that unfold over the course of the film, plus the star-studded cast of A-listers, makes this a film that has no real parallels. It continues to be something rather special, and call us soppy, but we look forward to watching it and having our hearts melted all over again every year.
Our top 5 Christmas tunes
Ok, so now that we’ve got the films sorted, it’s time to get the festive playlist sorted. Whether you’re heading out to a party, or you’ve just got a midweek night in planned, these absolute belters will get you singing along and in the Christmas spirit in no time at all.
There’s countless fantastic tracks to choose from, but we eventually whittled it down to our favourite 5. Reckon we’ve missed one out? Get in touch with us, we’d love to hear what songs you think should have made our list. It was a close call, but here is our list of the ultimate Christmas tunes.
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
An absolute sing-a-long classic.
‘Oh well I wish it could be Christmas everyday
When the kids start singing and the band begins to play
Oh I wish it could be Christmas everyday
Let the bells ring out for Christmas.’
And boy, can we relate to these lyrics. It’s a song that you can’t help but join in with. We all know the words, and it’s a tune that’s absolutely synonymous with Christmas.
Last Christmas - Wham!
We love the emotion of this tune, paired with the iconic instrumental tune.
‘(Merry Christmas!) I wrapped it up and sent it
With a note saying, "I love you, " I meant it
Now, I know what a fool I've been
But if you kissed me now
I know you'd fool me again.’
It’s your classic (ever so slightly cheesy) love song, sung in a quintessentially Christmas style.
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
The only thing more Christmassy than this song is the music video with Mariah sledding in that bright red outfit.
‘Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas Day
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you’
When we hear this song come on in the shops, that’s when we know it’s Christmas time.
Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
Showing us that Christmas songs come in all different styles, Eartha Kitt’s gorgeous, mellow and empowering festive tune is the perfect stylish addition to your playlist.
‘So hurry down the chimney tonight’.
Fairytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
How could we possibly leave this absolute classic off our list?
‘You scumbag you maggot you cheap lousy…’ you know the rest.
You just try and find someone who doesn’t adore this super sentimental, wintry tune.
Speaking of staple Christmas traditions, the festivities simply would not be complete without a mug of eggnog. We’ve added a little twist to this classic Christmas drink by adding a dash of espresso to the mixture, so that it forms a rich latte. So, for your dreamy winter evening, choose your favourite option from the list above, pless play, and settle down with a warming mug of eggnog latte.
Eggnog latte recipe
Eggnog, 120 ml
Milk, 60 ml
Espresso, 120 ml
A sprinkle of nutmeg, to garnish
- Combine the eggnog with the milk in a glass jug. Steam the mixture (if you don’t have a steamer, heat up the mixture in the microwave).
- Brew the espresso shots with your Smarter Coffee machine. Add the espresso to the steamed mixture and mix well.
- Pour the latte into your favourite mug. Sprinkle with nutmeg to decorate.
Sounds unbelievable, right? You can get eggnog from most supermarkets, or online. It’s the perfect treat to add to your must-try Xmas food and drink list this year.
While we’re on the subject of Christmas lists, have you paid any thought to your gift list? Rather than facing the stress of a last-minute panic buy, we’ve got the perfect gift for your favourite home cook. Have a browse through our website, and check out our brand new range of gift sets that we’ve launched especially for the Christmas period. Securing a Smart Xmas for you and your family has never been easier.
Written by Josephine Walbank