Family-Friendly Christmas Movies for the Holidays!
The weather outside might be frightful, but inside it can be delightful! Grab some blankets, hot cocoa and snuggle up by the fire with your family as you enjoy the spectrum of Christmas movies that are perfect for this time of year! From classics to comedies to films geared towards the kids – we have gathered the best of the best Christmas movies for your family to enjoy this holiday season! PLUS – many of the Christmas movies listed have links to fun activities, games and more!
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In searching for the absolute BEST Christmas movies out there we sought help from the experts – YOU! We asked our loyal Dating Divas Facebook followers (are you following yet?!) for their absolute favorite Christmas movies and their responses poured in!
NOTE: Before you dive into this jam-packed list of fabulous films, remember that these films are a collection of suggestions and research. Ultimately, however, it is up to you to determine which movies you feel comfortable watching with your family. With over 50 ideas – you are bound to find several films that fit your family best!
If you are looking for more details on the content of any film you show your family, a great resource is Internet Movie Database website (aka: IMDB). Within this site, you can search any particular film and select “Parents Guide” to view content advisory. Most films list, in detail, content issues regarding language, violence/gore, profanity, sex & nudity, alcohol/drugs/smoking and even frightening/intense scenes!
Another great resource that my husband and I recently discovered is VidAngel. This is an amazing site that allows you to stream a movie for only $1 and most importantly, it allows you to have complete control in filtering content from the film. With a click of a few buttons, you have access to hundreds of films and the option of choosing filters for nudity, violence, language and more! Plus, the selection is so much better than Netflix! (Side note: if you want to protect your family on the internet, too, be sure to check out Circle.)
So, let’s get started! When choosing a Christmas film for family movie night, you may want to start with what type of film you are going for. Below we have links to all the film suggestions and a description (thank you IMDb.com!) for the following categories:
- Classic Christmas
- Christmas Comedies
- Christmas Movies For Kids
- Romantic Christmas Movies
- Christ-Centered Christmas Movies
Classic Christmas Movies
There are some films that will just forever be in our hearts! We all have our favorites that we can watch time and time again and here are just a few of our favorite Christmas movie classics!
1. A Christmas Story – In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.
2. Miracle on 34th Street – When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.
3. Christmas Carol (1951 Original) – An old, bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.
4. It’s a Wonderful Life – An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
5. White Christmas – A successful song-and-dance team becomes romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. For a fun date night based on this classic flick – try our White Christmas Date Night For Couples!
6. Holiday Inn – At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.
7. Christmas in Connecticut – A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.
8. The Bishop’s Wife – An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.
9. Smokey Mountain Christmas – A country/western singer on a trip through the Tennessee mountains runs into a reclusive backwoodsman–and a witch.
10. Bells of St. Mary’s – At a big city Catholic school, Father O’Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in a friendly rivalry and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building.
Christmas time gives us plenty to smile about, but here are a few movies that are sure to make you chuckle as well!
11. Elf – After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.
12. Deck the Halls – Two neighbors have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.
13. Jingle All the Way – A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas; however, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.
14. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.
15. Christmas with the Kranks – With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.
16. I’ll Be Home for Christmas – A college student experiences difficulty in getting home for Christmas after being hazed by his friends. While Struggling to get home in time for Christmas, he learns quite a bit about himself and the true meaning of the holiday.
17. Home Alone – An 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.
18. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – One year after Kevin was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself in New York City, and the same criminals are not far behind.
19. The Santa Clause – When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place. We love these movies (all three of them!) so much that we created a Santa Clause Movie Marathon Night! Now you can snuggle up for some Christmas fun AND have interesting activities to make it a fun family night!
20. The Santa Clause 2 – Scott Calvin has been a humble Santa Claus for nearly ten years, but it might come to an end if he doesn’t find a Mrs. Claus. These movies were so fun they even made a third one: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause – Santa, aka Scott Calvin, is faced with double-duty: how to keep his new family happy, and how to stop Jack Frost from taking over Christmas.
Christmas Movies For Kids
For those of you with little ones at home, there are many great, quality Christmas movies specifically gears towards kids. Some of these are classics from my childhood that I still love to watch today!
21. The Nightmare Before Christmas – Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.
22. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Live Action) – On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town.
23. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Cartoon) – A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. Whichever version of this movie you choose to watch (or both!) we have some fun ideas for a Grinch Dinner and a Movie that your family will love!
24. The Polar Express – A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure, he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas. This movie is totally one of our favorites. So much so that we created a fun family night with tickets for your own Polar Express family outing!
25. The Muppet Christmas Carol – The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve.
26. A Christmas Carol (Animated 2009 Version) – An animated retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.
27. A Charlie Brown Christmas – Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.
28. Frosty the Snowman – A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman’s magic hat.
29. Prancer – A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa’s, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.
30. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.
31. Mickey’s Christmas Carol – The classic Disney animated characters play the roles in this animated retelling of the Charles Dickens masterpiece.
32. Arthur Christmas – Santa’s clumsy son Arthur gets put on a mission with St. Nick’s father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours.
33. Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas – A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas.
34. Jack Frost (Live Action) – A father, who can’t keep his promises, dies in a car accident. One year later, he returns as a snowman, who has the final chance to put things right with his son before he is gone forever.
35. Jack Frost (Cartoon) – The Groundhog tells the story of how, for once, Jack Frost became human, and helped a knight win his lady love.
Romantic Christmas Movies
There is just something so romantic about the holidays! These movies are romantic to the core and would make perfect films for enjoying by the fire with your honey!
36. Let It Snow – An executive examines her company’s new property and prepares a presentation to transform the rustic lodge into a new hot spot.
37. The Christmas Card – A US soldier visits the town from where an inspirational Christmas card was sent to him by a church group that mails cards out to servicemen as a goodwill effort.
38. While You Were Sleeping – A hopeless romantic Chicago Transit Authority token collector is mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient. And if this movie alone were fabulous enough – we have a few ideas to go along with this film in our While You Were Sleeping Date!
39. The Holiday – Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love and, yes, we DO have ideas to accompany this film too! Our Holiday Date night includes activities to go along with the theme!
40. The Family Stone – An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family’s annual Christmas celebration and finds that she’s a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
41. Four Christmases – A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas.
42. The Christmas Lodge – Mary Tobin has wonderful memories of family gatherings at the Christmas Lodge. When she arrives for a weekend vacation, she quickly realizes that the lodge that she loves has fallen into serious disrepair. With a lack of funds and a looming deadline, she not only restores the Christmas lodge’s charm but finds love along the way.
43. Holiday in Handcuffs – A struggling artist working as waitress kidnaps one of her customers to bring home and meet her parents at Christmas.
44. 12 Dates of Christmas – A story that follows Kate, a young woman who after a horrible blind date on Christmas Eve, wakes up to find she is reliving that same day and date all over again.
45. Hitched for the Holidays – An attractive pair agrees to be each other’s supposed significant other throughout the holidays to keep their meddling families at bay.
Christ-Centered Christmas Movies
With all the hustle and commercialism in Christmas, it is nice to know there are good quality films to remind us (or teach us) the reason for the Christmas holiday – Christ. These films focus on Christ and his birth.
46. The Nativity Story – The story of Christ’s birth is turned into a full-length film in “The Nativity Story.” The movie can really help bring the beloved story to light for older children, but I recommend pre-screening it before showing it to younger children.
47. VeggieTales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection – The entire VeggieTales gang put on a Christmas movie marathon that also teaches Christian values. The collection includes: It’s a Meaningful Life, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, The Little Drummer Boy, The Toy that Saved Christmas, and The Star of Christmas.
48. What’s In The Bible? Buck Denver Asks…Why Do We Call it Christmas? – Join Buck Denver and his friends for a fun and unusual Christmas party. Everyone loves Christmas, but have you ever wondered why we celebrate the birth of Jesus by putting trees in our houses? Or hanging stockings by the fire? And how did Santa Clause become a big part of Jesus’ birthday party anyway?
49. Joy To The World – This movie is filled with wonderful scenes of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, and ministry, and accompanied by beautiful music performed by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
50. Mr. Krueger’s Christmas – Mr. Krueger is a lonely widower, played by Jimmy Stewart, who finds comfort through a group of carolers singing outside his window. His interaction with them places him in a fantasy where he imagines himself in the stable on the very first Christmas.
51. Silent Night – A touching re-telling of the true story behind one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time. Set in 1818 in a small Austrian town near Salzburg, it tells the story of Joseph Mohr, the new assistant priest who organizes a church choir, including outcasts from the local tavern.
52. The Perfect Gift – Max is a young girl who just happens to have her birthday on Christmas – and she does not like it. She also does not like her school assignment to write about Christmas. But Jes helps Max to see how important God’s perfect gift to us was.
53. Christmas with a Capital C – The mayor and citizens of Trapper Falls, a small Alaskan town, are in a legal battle to keep the spirit and traditions of Christmas alive. The movie explores the culture wars between secularism and Christianity and is a reminder of the real spirit of Christmas, peace on earth and goodwill to all. Even to this whose hearts seemed closed to Him.
54. The Fourth Wise Man – Based on the classic book, “The Other Wise Man,” this fictional story is set in Biblical times. It tells of a Magi named Artaban who sees the sign in the heavens and starts his journey to find the Messiah. With three precious gifts in hand, he seeks Jesus, only to keep missing him. After 33 years he finally finds him, on Easter Sunday.
55. Jacob’s Gift – Eager to participate in the construction of a new synagogue, a young boy works diligently to create a manger to convince his rabbi he is qualified for the job. But when a needy couple takes refuge in the stable behind his family’s inn, Jacob offers them a precious gift instead.
Hopefully, you found several films to watch this holiday season (I know I did!). In fact, you probably have enough for a full-blown Christmas movie marathon! Maybe you could make this one of your Family Christmas traditions!
If your family loves watching movies together, you should definitely check out our list of 101 Family-Friendly Movies that are perfect for any time of year!