One of the best ways to get in the Christmas spirit is by watching films that bring you joy. That's why we've created this list of 5 films which you should definitely watch at this time of year, all of which are in some way related to cars or road trips...


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) may not be set at Christmas, but its focus on toys and inventions is certainly in keeping with the season. This musical film focuses on the Potts family - inventor Caratacus Potts and his two children, Jeremy and Jemima. After Caratacus’ father is kidnapped and taken to Vulgaria, the Potts family and their new friend Truly Scrumptious are delighted to discover that their car - named Chitty Chitty Bang Bang after the noises it makes - has sprouted wings and gained the power of flight. With Chitty’s help, the family must work together to find Grandpa and return to England safely. 

It’s not hard to see why Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has become a festive favourite. The musical numbers, the triumph of good over evil, and the upbeat enthusiasm of all involved make for ideal viewing on a Christmas evening. The film is loosely based on a children's book of the same name by Ian Fleming, if you want to fully immerse yourself in this world. 


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

As the title would suggest, there is plenty of travelling in next movie on our list. Starring Steve Martin and John Candy as two strangers that meet at the airport in advance of Thanksgiving, if you’ve ever felt the stress of getting home for the holidays, then Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) is the film for you. 

Whilst highly-strung Neal initially finds Del’s persistent chatter irritating, the two end up sharing a great deal of time with one another as Neal attempts to make it home for the holiday. Together, the pair embark on a journey - both physical and emotional - that sees them take all kinds of transportation in an effort to get home to New York. Despite a series of arguments and misunderstandings, ultimately, the film is about an unlikely friendship, and the importance of empathy. The heartfelt ending and snowy backdrop of the US is sure to get you in the holiday spirit - even though this one’s not exactly a Christmas film. 


When Harry Met Sally…

Given that the film is predominantly set in the final months of the year, when better to watch When Harry Met Sally… (1989) than December? During an uncomfortable road trip from Chicago to New York, Harry and Sally’s personalities clash and the pair make no plans to ever see each other again. Fate has other ideas, of course, and brings the two together repeatedly over the course of several years - from 1977 to 1988.

After bumping into one another in a bookstore, Harry and Sally decide to air their grievances and become unexpectedly close friends. The question of whether or not men and women can ever just be friends is central to the movie. Thanks to the magic combination of writer Nora Ephron and director Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally… has truly stood the test of time, and several scenes and lines of dialogue may already be familiar to you.

The seasons change with the plot - from the beauty of Autumn in New York, right through to the romance of New Year’s Eve. Even though Harry and Sally aren’t on speaking terms around Christmas, you will absolutely get caught up in the charm of New York City, the incredible Harry Connick Jr. soundtrack, and Ephron's witty dialogue.


Die Hard

For the purposes of this article - and in this writer’s opinion - Die Hard (1988) is totally a Christmas movie. In the opening scene of the film, New York City police detective John McClane is driven to Los Angeles in a limousine by an ex-cab driver named Argyle. The pair listen to and discuss Christmas music during the journey, before things take a more sinister turn. 

When John’s estranged wife, Holly, is taken hostage by terrorists at Nakatomi Plaza during a work Christmas party, John must act quickly to save himself, Holly, and all those trapped in the skyscraper. Fighting against villain Hans Gruber and his henchmen, this is no easy feat. Whilst much of the action of the film takes place inside Nakatomi Plaza, both Argyle and his limousine have a crucial part to play in helping John. Die Hard is a great choice for action movie fans, or those wishing to avoid the schmaltz of traditional Christmas films. 


It’s a Wonderful Life

No list would be complete without the quintessential Christmas film. If you still haven’t seen Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), maybe this is the year you finally should. When a once-happy George Bailey considers ending his own life on Christmas Eve, an angel named Clarence appears, and shows George what life would have been like had he never been born. 

It is only by seeing how the world would change without him that George can truly appreciate his position in life. Over the course of the film, George learns to love his life just as it is  - even if it isn’t the life he had imagined for himself as a young man.

The value that George holds for the town of Bedford Falls and his family is clear - without him, the course of events for those around him would have been entirely different, and the town itself would be negatively impacted by his absence. George drives a 1919 Dodge Brothers touring car, which he crashes into a tree moments before the most pivotal scene in the film takes place.

It’s a Wonderful Life teaches us the importance of perseverance, and is a lovely reminder that we all have worth in this life. The kindness of George is repaid by the townspeople towards the end of the film, making it a touching and heartwarming addition to close this list. 


We hope that you have a wonderful festive season, and that these films can entertain you over the holidays.