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“There are more important things in life than boys” The greatest pearls of life wisdom from Christmas films

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Katie O'Malley
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Congregating around the television to watch a Christmas film is a time-honoured tradition - a sacred moment to cuddle up on the sofa, cocooned in fluffy blankets with an endless supply of spiced mulled wine and M&S mince pies within reaching distance.

Whether it’s singing along to Jingle Bell Rock from Mean Girls, quoting Elf word-for-word (“Son of a nutcracker!”) or trying to hit the top note in The Snowman (seriously, Aled, how?), there’s something magical about a Christmas jingle and the sight of a reindeer on screen that makes us feel all fuzzy inside. 

But, while the remote control is the holy grail of Christmas frivolity, not everyone is so lucky to be surrounded with loved ones, eagerly anticipating parents, a festive feast or a night of Radio Times entertainment.  

So, to remind ourselves of the value of family, charity and kindness this winter, we've rounded up the best snippets of wisdom from our favourite Christmas films that are sure to stick with you long after the credits roll. 

On the intangible…

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

The Conductor: "Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see." (The Polar Express, 2004)

Prime Minister David: “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” (Love Actually, 2003)

Jack Skellington: “Just because I cannot see it, doesn't mean I can't believe it!” (The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993)

Grandfather: “To understand, one only has to listen.”(Gremlins, 1984)

On Christmas cheer…

Love Actually

Love Actually, 2003

Frank Cross: "It's Christmas Eve. It's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year we are the people that we always hoped we would be." (Scrooged, 1988)

Ebenezer Scrooge: “What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.” Fred: “What reason have to be so dismal? You’re rich enough.” (A Christmas Carol, 2009)

Buddy: “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favourite.” (Elf, 2003)

Kate McCallister “This is Christmas – the season of perpetual hope.” (Home Alone, 1990).

On relationships…

The Holiday, 2006

The Holiday, 2006

Rose Smith: “My dear, when you get to be my age, you’ll find out there are more important things in life than boys.” (Meet Me In St Louis, 1944) 

Amanda: “Sex makes everything more complicated. Even not having it, because the not having it... makes it complicated.” (The Holiday, 2006).

Judy Haynes: “Last night, she couldn’t sleep; today, she won’t eat. She’s in love!” (White Christmas, 1954)

On presents…

The Grinch

The Grinch, 2000

Lucy Van Pelt: “I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that.” Charlie Brown: “What is it you want?” Lucy Van Pelt: “Real estate.” (A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965)

The Grinch: “One man's toxic sludge is another man's potpourri.” (The Grinch, 2000)

On age…

Meet Me In St Louis

Meet Me In St Louis, 1944

Marley: “You can be too old for a lot of things, but you’re never too old to be afraid.” (Home Alone, 1990)

Dudley: “The only people who grow old were born old to begin with.” (The Bishop’s Wife, 1947)

On the magic of Christmas…

Home Alone, 1990

Home Alone, 1990

Narrator: “As any child can tell you, there's a certain magic that comes with the very first snow, especially when it falls on the day before Christmas. For when the first snow is also a Christmas snow… Well, something wonderful is bound to happen.” (Frosty the Snowman, 1969)

Kelly Finch: "That's what Christmas memories are made from, they're not planned, they're not scheduled, nobody puts them in their Blackberry, they just happen." (Deck the Halls, 2006)

Kris Kringle: “Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind.” (Miracle on 24th Street, 1994).

Santa Claus: “Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.” (The Polar Express, 2004).

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Katie O'Malley

Katie O’Malley is the editorial assistant at Stylist magazine. When she’s not writing features about everything, from Suffragettes to fashion designers’ desks, she writes the Elsewhere page and contributes to Scoop and 5 Minute Philosopher. She also has a weakness for cheese, monochrome everything and films…all films.

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