The British Film Institute has a YouTube channel that offers a lot of historic films. Here is “Santa Claus' by G. A. Smith in 1898. Apparently the special effects were quite a feat 110 years ago.

Update: I've removed my YouTube embeds because I don't want to set up consent notices for their trackers. Clicking the above screenshots will take you to the videos on their site. (June 2, 2024)

And a slightly longer film from 1941

For something longer and more in tune with this blog’s recurring theme of war and society, see “Christmas Under Fire” (1941), which looks at Britain at war on Christmas Eve. This film from the Ministry of Information has an American narrator for an American audience. It was made before Pearl Harbor, when the American public had no stomach for going to war in Europe.