Getting snowed in: Christmas movies for the whole family to enjoy
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget to take time for yourself and your family to just sit down and relax. We know, there’s so much to do! Between family gatherings, office parties, shopping and holiday choir concerts—it’s probably a good idea to plan some time for your family to pull up the comfiest chairs in the living room, brew nice big mugs of hot chocolate and watch one or two of your favorite Christmas movies. Need some ideas? Check out this handy-dandy list of holiday movies sure to get you (and your family) into the holiday spirit.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Is it truly Christmastime until you’ve watched Charlie Brown and the gang discover the true meaning of Christmas? This classic Peanuts film has been delighting us since 1965. Despite the holiday cheer surrounding him, Charlie has the Yuletide blues. Watch to find out how he (and his little Christmas tree) weave holiday magic into the hearts of his friends and neighbors.
The Polar Express
Another great animated film to get you in the swing of the holidays (and maybe even holiday travel!), The Polar Express is the story of a boy who takes an adventurous journey to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express, where he learns all about friendship and bravery.
If you think your kids are picky eaters…wait until you meet Buddy the elf and his ravenous appetite for spaghetti covered in maple syrup! In this fun feature film, Will Ferrell stars as an honorary (see also: adopted) elf at the North Pole, where he decides one day to venture to New York City to try to find his real dad during the holidays.
The Santa Clause
Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a suburban dad who accidentally knocks Santa off his roof on Christmas Eve—After he and his son, Charlie, finish the deliveries that night Scott discovers that he is destined to become the new Santa. For more fun, follow up with the rest of the trilogy by watching The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.
Miracle on 34th Street
Filmed in 1947, Miracle on 3th Street is a movie your parents (and grandparents!) probably grew up watching every year around the holidays. When Macy’s supervisor Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) hires an elderly man to be the store Santa Claus, she quickly realizes he thinks he is the real Santa, which lands him in dire trouble. Things only get more complicated when her daughter (Natalie Wood) and young lawyer Fred (John Payne) take it to court to prove he is, indeed, Santa Claus. There is also a fantastic remake of this film from 1994 starring Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott and Mara Wilson.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Every time a bell rings…an angel gets what? If you don’t know the answer…then you should watch this classic film immediately! When George Bailey (played by James Stewart), a frustrated and depressed businessman, decides on Christmas Eve that the world would be better off without him—an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) comes down to show him what the world would be like had he never been born. This is an uplifting holiday film to watch about the importance of gratitude, family and the power of prayer.
When he accidentally gets left behind when his family leaves for a Christmas vacation in Paris, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) must protect the family home from a couple of fumbling burglars (Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci) by setting clever traps and outsmarting them in ways only a clever 8-year-old could.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Whether you’re in the mood for the original animated depiction of the Dr. Seuss classic from 1966 or the live-action version from 2000 starring Jim Carrey, this is one of the top crowd-pleasers for Christmas. On the outskirts of Whoville lives a mean, green Grinch who plots to ruin Christmas for the entire town. Will he and his tiny heart succeed? Watch to find out!
Muppets Christmas Carol
There have been many depictions of the classic Charles Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his “bah! Humbug!” feelings towards Christmas, but perhaps the most fun is the 1992 version featuring some of our favorite Sesame Street characters. There’s also a great animated version of the tale from 2009 starring Jim Carrey (man, he’s really good at starring in Christmas movies!).
Christmas Classics Collection
Feel like having a marathon? Check out this collection of classic animated and stop motion films from the 1960s that have been in our hearts, classrooms, and homes for generations—from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer learning about the importance of resilience, to Frosty the Snowman trying not to melt, to the Little Drummer Boy playing songs to baby Jesus—these films are guaranteed to make you and your family feel like rejoicing in the Christmas spirit.
These are just a few of the Christmas films to enjoy with your family this holiday season. Whether your go-to Christmas film is animated or live-action, there’s no shortage of old and new films to enjoy—and who knows, maybe there’s a new film to go see with your kids that will be a classic for generations to come. So grab the kids, the popcorn, and the apple cider for a fun night of hanging with Frosty and the gang.