The Sixth Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Preamble

James Proclaims (6)

For much of 2022 I have been absent from this blog. This has predominantly been due to the fact that I became a dad for the second time in April and I have spent most of this year feeling pretty tired. It turns out that having two children is a bit more work than having just the one. Ironically though, having two children has also given me much more to blog about. And quite a lot has happened in the world in 2023 which also seems blogworthy. So it is a tad frustrating that I haven’t written a word about any of it but I have, for the most part, genuinely been too busy being a dad (and doing other boring stuff like earning a living) to take advantage of the plethora of blog fodder that has been out there.

It may seem strange then, that I’m about to return to the blogosphere for the first 24 days of December, to produce what is undeniably the least popular thing that I do on these pages, which is my annual festive countdown of movies that are not really Christmas films but are arguably a bit Christmas(ish).

However, this anomaly in my blogging abstention can be attributed to the fact that, so committed was I to producing this annual folly after my first foray in 2017, that I started writing the posts quite far in advance of December for subsequent years. And indeed, I got so carried away that I’d completed this year’s list long before taking my recent extended paternity leave. In actual fact, I’ve written most of the posts for December 2023 too, so irrespective of whether I actually manage to return to some kind of regular and coherent blogging schedule in the New Year, I will continue to produce posts about movies with a tenuous link to Christmas every December.

I am not really sure why I do this.

However, in the unlikely event that you are someone who enjoys reading badly written reviews of movies that are a little bit Christmas(ish), then prior to the unveiling of this year’s collection, you can revisit all of the previous entries in my Christmas(ish) catalogue below:


Door 1 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Door 2 – Iron Man 3
Door 3 – Lethal Weapon
Door 4 – Reindeer Games
Door 5 – Ghostbusters 2
Door 6 – Batman Returns
Door 7 – LA Confidential
Door 8 – The Long Kiss Goodnight
Door 9 – The Last Boy Scout
Door 10 – The Ice Harvest
Door 11 – The Nice Guys
Door 12 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Door 13 – Gremlins
Door 14 – The Bourne Identity
Door 15 – In Bruges
Door 16 – Trading Places
Door 17 – Eyes Wide Shut
Door 18 – Prometheus
Door 19 – Rocky IV
Door 20 – First Blood
Door 21 – Enemy of the State
Door 22 – 12 Monkeys
Door 23 – Brazil
Door 24 – Die Hard


Door 1 – Submarine
Door 2 – Catch Me If You Can
Door 3 – The Life Of Brian
Door 4 – King Kong
Door 5 – When Harry Met Sally
Door 6 – Hook
Door 7 – Go
Door 8 – Behind Enemy Lines
Door 9 – The Ref
Door 10 – Jaws The Revenge
Door 11 – Jurassic World
Door 12 – The Hateful Eight
Door 13 – Red
Door 14 – The French Connection
Door 15 – The Lion In Winter
Door 16 – Stalag 17
Door 17 – The Royal Tenenbaums
Door 18 – Last Action Hero
Door 19 – Eastern Promises
Door 20 – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Door 21 – The Apartment
Door 22 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Door 23 – Ronin
Door 24 – Die Hard 2


Door 1 – Three Days of the Condor
Door 2 – Rent
Door 3 – Tangerine
Door 4 – Filth
Door 5 – 2012
Door 6 – Cold Pursuit
Door 7 – Less than Zero
Door 8 – Just Friends
Door 9 – Shaft
Door 10 – The Rules of Attraction
Door 11 – About a Boy
Door 12 – A Long Way Down
Door 13 – Psycho
Door 14 – The Time Machine
Door 15 – American Psycho
Door 16 – Love Actually
Door 17 – The Boat That Rocked
Door 18 – Edward Scissorhands
Door 19 – Soldier
Door 20 – Better Off Dead
Door 21 – Diner
Door 22 – Run All Night
Door 23 – Crash
Door 24 – Shazam


Door 1 – Vice Versa
Door 2 – Goodfellas
Door 3 – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Door 4 – David Brent: Life on the Road
Door 5 – Hot Tub Time Machine
Door 6 – Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Door 7 – Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Door 8 – Fantastic Mr Fox
Door 9 – The Waterboy
Door 10 – Jumanji
Door 11 – This is Spinal Tap
Door 12 – Young Sherlock Holmes
Door 13 – Deadpool
Door 14 – Mean Girls
Door 15 – Bridget Jones’s Diary
Door 16 – Olympus Has Fallen
Door 17 – The Truman Show
Door 18 – Grudge Match
Door 19 – Children of Men
Door 20 – Donnie Brasco
Door 21 – The Equalizer 2
Door 22 – Rocky 
Door 23 – The Karate Kid
Door 24 – The Princess Bride


Door 1 – Rocky V
Door 2 – Daddy’s Home
Door 3 – Man On Fire
Door 4 – The 2nd
Door 5 – Babe
Door 6 – Four Brothers
Door 7 – La La Land
Door 8 – Silver Linings Playbook
Door 9 – Lady and the Tramp
Door 10 – Peppermint
Door 11 – Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
Door 12 – Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Door 13 – Cast Away
Door 14 – 101 Dalmatians
Door 15 – The Wife
Door 16 – Phantom Thread
Door 17 – I Give It A Year
Door 18 – Green Book
Door 19 – While You Were Sleeping
Door 20 – Poseidon
Door 21 – The Addams Family
Door 22 –  Meet Me in St. Louis
Door 23 – The Thin Man
Door 24 – The Godfather

  14 comments for “The Sixth Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Preamble

  1. November 30, 2022 at 8:28 am

    Welcome back, father of two. I sympathise, my daughter and her husband are getting by(?) on a couple of hours sleep with their one, so two is twice as knackering, no doubt.
    I see your first review was ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.’ There’s a cult movie in the making if it’s not one already. May I also suggest ‘Serendipity?’ Its a chickfl- sorry, romcom, but its sweetly good, not saccharinely bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 3, 2022 at 11:14 am

      All recommendations welcome. It’ll probably make the cut for 2024’s list!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. November 30, 2022 at 9:50 am

    Absence makes the heart grow…. about the same.
    Two kids, double the joys double the pains, therefore on average….. about the same.
    Therefore, everything is about the same. Its as if you haven’t been away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 3, 2022 at 11:16 am

      I’m glad the status quo has been maintained irrespective of my actions. It’s quite reassuring.


  3. November 30, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    “…to produce what is undeniably the least popular thing that I do on these pages…” Even compared to when you did May the Fourth for a whole month? lol.
    I’m happy to see you back. I stop by frequently to check.
    I hope we will hear some about Little Proclaims and her interactions with Littlest Proclaims.

    Liked by 2 people

    • December 3, 2022 at 11:19 am

      The May the Fourth thing was over two years ago and the trauma still persists for those that lived through it. But yes that probably was the lowest point of the blog and yet an endeavour I remain strangely proud of. The adventures of the two smallest Proclaims is highly likely to be the main content of the blog for 2023 given that I now have nothing else going on in my life…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. November 30, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    I was told you’d gone into politics and were busy cocking up the country but, apparently, that was another James. Good to see you back. I was getting a bit concerned that I would be without an advent calendar this year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • December 3, 2022 at 11:21 am

      I’m quietly confident I would cock up the country were I to go into politics but not as Cleverly as those already there…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brumph
    November 30, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    Nice to know there are still some predictable things in the world, the things that stay the same every year… me deleting blogs and changing names about three times, human civilisation is on the edge of collapsing, and James is doing another December of Christmas(ish) film reviews.
    Makes me feel all warm inside, which is handy as we can’t afford electricity any more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • December 3, 2022 at 11:25 am

      As soon as I return to blogging properly I’ll be sure to check out your new site. Assuming it’s still there of course…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. November 30, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Welcome back, James. Congrats on child #2. I just returned to WP after a long absence, and was hoping you’d sign back on down the road…and here you are. I have enjoyed your work in the past and look forward to more posts going forward. Best, Bruce aka WOTC (used to be Sportsattitudes).

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 3, 2022 at 11:26 am

      Thanks for your kind words. I hope I manage to produce something that is worthy of them in 2023.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. November 30, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    Congratulations. It’s good to have you back my friend – even if you’re not really there at all…

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 3, 2022 at 11:27 am

      I’m both here and not here. A bit like Father Christmas. Except not at all like Father Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

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