Lately, I’ve been blasting Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, while snacking on a fruit minced pie or two and binging my favourite festive season movies. The snow-topped houses, sparkling lights and green trees just seem to do it for me!
Here are some Christmas classics and their production locations.
The Holiday (2006)
The Holiday would have to be my all-time favourite Christmas movie. Every time I watch it, I am filled with a warm, fuzzy feeling, similar to that of a hot chocolate on a rainy winter afternoon.
The plot takes audiences on the journey of two women from opposite sides of the world, who arrange a home swap over Christmas to escape their heartbreak.
With a talented cast, including Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz as the leading ladies, Jude Law and Jack Black as the male stars, coupled with gorgeous landscapes, the film is perfect for a movie night.
The Location Production of the 2006 romance comedy begun in Los Angeles, and then moved to England, before finishing up in California.
My favourite landscapes are the picture-perfect, snow-sprinkled villages of Godalming and Shere in Surrey, where the UK section of the film was shot. It’s enough to have me packing and buying a flight to explore the England countryside.
The production team had sourced a genuine cottage but it was too far from the crew’s base in London, so instead they built one in a field adjacent to St James’s Church in Shere.
It’s a Christmas classic, celebrated and adored by both young and old.
The plotline of the American comedy film centres on Buddy, a human raised by elves after he crawled into Santa’s sack on Christmas Eve, and was mistakenly ferried back to the North Pole. When Buddy learns about his origins, he journeys to New York City on a quest to meet his biological father
The Location The hilarious holiday hit, starring Will Ferrell was set in New York City, with many scenes featuring the “City that Never Sleeps”, as well as Vancouver and the Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
With dialogue like: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” and “Son of a nutcracker,” the film will have the whole family laughing.
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
It’s romantic, cheesy and downright adorable, so there’s no wonder as to why You’ve Got Mail is one of the most loved romcom’s of all time
The film tells the tale of two people who meet in an “over 30s” online chatroom and spark up a romance, blissfully unaware they are business rivals.
The Location Set in New York City, filmed entirely on the Upper West Side.
Protagonist Kathleen Kelly’s — played by Meg Ryan — bookstore was also based on Manhattan’s Books of Wonder, in Chelsea on 18th Street, where Meg worked on the counter for a day in preparation for the role.
Café Lalo is the place where Kathleen waits for Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) to turn up. The café is located between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue at 201 West 83rd Street.
Love Actually (2003)
The plot of Love Actually depicts the intertwined stories of eight London couples and their complicated relationships in the frenzied month before Christmas. The characters fall in and out of love, some with the right people and others with the wrong ones.
The all-star cast features Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Rowan Atkinson.
The Location Most of the movie was filmed on location in London, with iconic destinations including Trafalgar Square, the central court of Somerset House in the Strand, Canary Wharf, Marble Arch, Heathrow Airport, St Lukes Mews in Notting Hill, Grosvenor Chapel, the Millennium Bridge, Selfridges department store on Oxford Street, Chelsea Bridge and much more.
Home Alone (1990)
The 90s American comedy film, directed by Chris Columbus illustrates the story of Kevin McCallister, — played by Macaulay Culkin — an eight-year-old boy who is accidently left behind by his family on their Christmas vacation to Paris. Kevin is forced to defend his home from ruthless and conniving burglars.
On release, the film was showered with positive reviews for its cast, humour and music, grossing over $476 million worldwide, blowing its $18 million budget out of the water.
The Location Most of the film was shot 35km from Chicago in Winnetka, Illinois. The house exterior scenes were filmed on location at a three-storey house located at 671 Lincoln Avenue in the North Shore village of Winnetka, Illinois. This was where producer John Hughes’ previous films, including Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles were also shot.
The main staircase, basement, attic and first floor were the only interiors of the house used for filming, the other interiors were duplicated on a sound stage to ensure enough space for equipment and crew.
Other film locations include Hubbard Woods Park in Winnetka and Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette, Illinois.
These Christmas films ooze infinite travel inspiration, with the destinations complementing my ever-growing bucket list. Be sure to give them a watch this silly season!