In the run-up to Christmas we're looking at the best seasonal movies decade by decade.

Some of these Christmas movies you'll know well while others you may not have seen or heard of. In either case, we'll be giving you tons of suggestions for what to watch over the coming weeks.

Admittedly the 1960s and 70s weren't the best decade of Christmas movies - hence our inclusion of three made-for-TV movies. Still, we managed to find five flicks that will definitely get you into the spirit.


'The Apartment'

As much a New Year's Eve movie as it is a Christmas movie, 'The Apartment' comes from the brilliant mind behind 'Some Like it Hot', Billy Wilder. Wilder reunites with Jack Lemmon in the picture. The actor plays Baxter, a man trying to give his career a boost by letting the executives of the company he works in use his apartment for affairs. His character falls for Shirley MacLaine's Fran, an elevator operator hung up on a married man. 'The Apartment' makes for excellent re-watching and if you've never seen it, get on it! You'll alternately laugh and cry your way to its iconic finale.


'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'

The longest continuously running Christmas TV special in history first aired in 1964. Its titular character is an outsider excluded from reindeer games, until he ventures to an island of misfit toys and befriends Yukon Cornelius and wannabe dentist elf Hermey. When Santa Claus is forced to cancel Christmas gift-delivery as the result of a harsh blizzard, Rudolph saves the day with his brilliant, red-glowing nose. As with 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas', 'Rudolph' airs several times during the Christmas and holiday season on American television.


'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

Based on Charles M. Schulz's beloved 'Peanuts' comic, this TV movie follows lead character Charlie Brown, who is depressed despite the cheerfulness of the holidays. Lucy suggests he direct a local Christmas play, but his peers make fun of him. Another classmate, Linus, tells Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas. He cheers up and the Peanuts gang celebrate. As with 'Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!', you know 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' is a pop culture phenomenon because it's been parodied by 'The Simpsons.' Most importantly, it's a short, sweet and touching watch for all the family.



It's looking likely that we'll have an 'A Christmas Carol' adaptation in all our decade-by-decade picks. Previously, we had the 1951 adaptation in our favourite 1940s-50s Christmas movies, and we're certainly not excluding 'A Muppet Christmas Carol' from our 90s picks. Still the classic tale of a cranky, miserly man being redeemed after he is visited by the ghosts of past, present and future is a timeless one that has touched many. As with the Muppets version, this one is a musical take of Charles Dickens' novella (not unlike 'Oliver!', tonally). Albert Finney makes a fantastic Ebenezer Scrooge.


'Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!'

Before Jim Carrey got in the green, hairy get-up, and before Benedict Cumberbatch lent his voice to the character, 'Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' came to life on the telly. The children's classic follows the Grinch, a lonely, surly character who hates the holiday season more than anything. He decides to steal Christmas from the town of Whoville, but then his own heart is stolen instead. You've likely seen the Carrey version - and should check out the new 3D animated one too - but the original 26-minute long adaptation is magic in its own right.


Honourable mentions: 'Black Christmas', 'Babes in Toyland', 'Star Wars Holiday Special'