• Gracie Carmichael

8 Period Dramas to Watch this Holiday Season

Christmas is just around the bend with over a week to go! Kindle the fire, wrap up in a blanket with a steaming cup of cocoa, and settle in for eight of my must-watch period drama favorites to enjoy this holiday season!

From classic Christmas episodes from the top period drama adaptations, BBC serials, mini-series and family programs, there's something here for everyone in the house to enjoy!

Let's dive in! :)

Image: Columbia Pictures, 1994

1. Little Women

This timeless story of the four March sisters growing up in Concord during the Civil War is the epitome of classic Christmas period dramato me anyway! :) Follow Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March from childhood to womanhood, through life and death, sorrows and joys adapted from Louisa May Alcott's best-loved book. Looking to watch this one with the rest of the family? Be mindful that Little Women contains a few scenes involving familial death that may not be suited to very young or sensitive viewers.

Which version to watch, the 1994 or 2019?

Both are beautiful versions, but fans will always be divided about which adaptation is best. Personally, the 2019 film stole my book-purist heart, and I adore everything about it. While I can certainly recommend both versions, the choice remains yours! :)

Image: Sony, 2019

2. Victoria: Comfort and Joy

The Christmas Special of ITV / PBS Masterpiece's Victoria is sure to bring 'comfort and joy' to every period drama and royal family lover this holiday season! One of the standouts of the recent high-production-value period dramas, Victoria is a lavishly-costumed feast for the eyes, following the young Monarch and Prince Albert, plus several children, through the early years of their marriage. This Holiday special doubles as the series 2 finale, and follows the royal family through the Christmas of 1846.

Image: ITV, 2018

3. Anne of Green Gables (1985)

Truly one of the most heartwarming comfort-watches this season, the definitive Anne adaptation is the perfect annual Christmas indulgence. Based on L.M. Montgomery's beloved classic about orphaned Anne Shirley finding her forever home with Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert at Green Gables, there's something here for everyone in the family to enjoy, from young to old.

Image: Sullivan Entertainment

4. The Book Thief

Based on the bestselling novel by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief is a sensitive, enthrallingly beautiful film following young Liesel Meminger through Nazi Germany as she discovers a world of words and the power they hold to change lives around her. A gripping, though harrowing movie with poignancy and heart-aching depth, this is one to watch without younger viewers present.

Image: 20th Century Fox, 2013

5. Samantha: An American Girl Holiday

A personal childhood favorite of mine that lives on every year at Christmas, Samantha is a beautiful, touching look at life in 1904 for one open-hearted upper-class Victorian girl, who sees the class divide and questions the treatment of the poor, immigrants, orphans, child-laborers, and other key issues around her. The perfect film for the period drama lover to enjoy with the whole family!

Image: The WB, 2004

6. Eloise at Christmastime

A family favorite, as well as another of my own childhood picks, Eloise at Christmastime is a warm, light-hearted holiday story centered at the Plaza Hotel in the 1950s. Inspired by the original Eloise books by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight, the film brings to life all of six-year-old Eloise's lovable antics and Nanny (played by the beloved Julie Andrews)'s endearing struggles as her caretaker. Light, fun, and romantic, this one's a safe pick for the whole family to enjoy.

Image: Walt Disney Pictures, 2003

7. The Man Who Invented Christmas

This charming, sparklingly-cast film follows Charles Dickens in 1843 ahead of the publication of A Christmas Carol, and the inspired events that led up to the writing of one of the most beloved Christmas stories ever written -- from Scrooge to Tiny Tim and beyond. Full of wit and sweetness, this period piece is sure to become a new family tradition for the holidays.

Image: Bleeker Street, 2017

8. Hercule Poirot's Christmas

Follow our beloved Belgian detective on a Christmas Eve murder mystery as Poirot solves yet another case of mayhem with his "little grey cells"! This special movie-length adaptation of Agatha Christie's book of the same title is sure to bring chills and thrills (but never too dark, as a rule!) this holiday season. Not recommended for younger viewers! I'd say your over-13s will be quite fine, though. :)

Image: BBC, 1996

Those are my top eight period dramas to enjoy this holiday season! Perhaps you found some familiar favorites, and hopefully some new ones to give a go! :)

What's on your watchlist this Christmas season? Do leave a comment below if you fancy, and let me know!

May you have a Merry Christmas, and many blessings ahead in the new year!

Until next time,