It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means it’s time to indulge in some favourite Christmas films to get into the festive spirit.
Everyone loves a good Christmas movie, and so many of them seem to have one thing in common – a beautiful house at the centre of the story.
Here we look at the best homes from popular Christmas movies.
We’re all familiar with the first installment of Home Alone where young Kevin McAllister is accidentally left at home alone over Christmas when his family fly to Paris without him. While initially thrilled to have run of the home, he is soon forced to defend the home from burglars doing the rounds on empty houses over the Christmas holidays. And what a house it is!
The red brick Georgian style home was built in the 1920s. With 4,250 square feet, it contains four ensuite bathrooms, an attic bedroom and a four room master suite that takes up the entire west wing of the home. It last sold for $1.585 million (USD) in 2012.
Understandably, the scenes where Kevin thwarts the burgling duo with a series of booby traps couldn’t be filmed in the house due to the potential (and likelihood) for damage.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Another Christmas classic, another beautiful American home.
This grand house is the main setting for the cult Christmas hit, where Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold invites the family to stay at his Chicago home for the Christmas period. Far from the perfect holiday he had meticulously planned, things go haywire very quickly. He also becomes obsessed with decorating the house in Christmas lights – 25,000 light bulbs to be precise.
This home has been used for several other TV shows and movies and is actually located on a Warner Bros lot in California.
Despite the chaos that ensues, the Griswold’s undeniably have one of the most charming houses to spend Christmas in.
While most Aussies embrace a summer Christmas, it’s easy to understand the appeal of a cold winter Christmas – especially if you could be rugged up in a cute little English cottage like this one belonging to Iris (Kate Winslet) in The Holiday.
Located in Surrey, this stone cottage is picture perfect down to the blue window shutters and puffing twin chimneys.
Although it didn’t appeal to Cameron Diaz’s character Amanda until she met the charming Graham played by Jude Law, it would surely be a dream to spend a white Christmas in Rosehill Cottage. Just imagine cozying up under a blanket, watching a film in front of a crackling fire and sipping on some mulled wine while snow gently falls outside. Bliss!
The Santa Clause
Why do American Christmas movies always have such beautiful mansions?
Example three is the former house of divorcee Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) in The Santa Clause. In the movie his former wife Laura lives there with her new partner Neal and son Charlie. It is fictionally located in Lakeside, Illinois.
This movie – in which Scott accidentally kills Santa and must step into his shoes as the new Saint Nick – was shot on location at a home in Oakville, a town in the Greater Toronto Area. Many of the town locals got to play extras in the film, and several shops and buildings in the town made an on-screen appearance.
The fairy light decorated pine trees out the front are the cherry on top of a perfect Christmas movie home.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
While not technically a Christmas movie and not a typical home per se (but it was home to Harry, so who are we to argue?), you just can’t overlook Christmas at Hogwarts.
While most Hogwarts students go home for the holiday that doesn’t stop the Great Hall being transformed into a Christmas wonderland. With snowflakes falling from the enchanted ceiling, enormous Christmas trees, massive wreaths, open fires and the best spread of food imaginable, there’s no denying the magic of Hogwarts at Christmas.
The good news for fans is that you actually can spend Christmas at Hogwarts. If you pay a visit to the Harry Potter studios in London throughout December, they have the great hall dressed up to the nines for Christmas, so you’ll feel like you’re stepping straight into the movie or the pages of the book.
Miracle on 34th street
While the 1994 remake of this Christmas classic got mixed reviews, there’s no denying that the pale yellow farmhouse in this film is a stand out.
Non-believer Susan Walker asks the Santa at Cole’s (the fictional counterpart of department store Macy’s) for this house for Christmas, alongside a father and a baby brother.
In the movie, this home stars in the Cole’s catalogue each year. Young Susan rips out and carries with her a picture of the house from the catalogue. Her Christmas dream comes true when she moves in to the house at the end of the movie with her new dad and pregnant mother.
In reality the home has five bedrooms, six full and two partial bathrooms and a wood-panelled library with a cosy fireplace.
It was on the market for $3.4 million (USD) last year.
While the apartment of Buddy the Elf’s real father Walter Hobbs isn’t quite up there with some of these other houses, it deserves a special mention, mainly because of Buddy’s overly enthusiastic decorating work to it.
Everyone’s favourite elf transforms the Upper West Side Manhattan apartment from a wealthy but cold residence to one filled with paper snowflake chains and hilarious Christmas cheer.
If you’re looking for a new home over the festive season, begin your search here.