The world’s first Christmas movie dates back to 1898, an age well before even popular silent films shown in movie houses.

Directed by George Albert Smith, a British pioneer of film making, this wonderful bit of film was considered a technological wonder of the time and to this day remains a cherished look back at Christmas in time:

While it is a first among Christmas films it is also a first in special effects. Smith links the shots in terms of both space and time, by placing the new image over the space previously occupied by a fireplace, and continuing to show the children sleeping throughout (their bed occupies the left-hand side of the screen throughout the entire film). Santa then emerges from where the fireplace used to be, distributes the presents, and disappears via another jump cut.

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