Ok guys, I need help. I admit it.
I’m addicted to great family-friendly Christmas movies! And I want to build my list.
Here I’ve created a varied list of Christmas movies which I love watching with my kids. Some were favorites from my childhood, while some are newer to me, but all of them hold a special place in my heart for this special time of year.
With that, I’m asking for your suggestions. Comment and tell me your favorite family Christmas movie (sorry, Bad Santa) and why you love it. Let’s all expand our holiday movie-watching repertoire!
Here are the few I’m always more than ready to watch as soon as Thanksgiving is done:
- A Muppet Christmas Carol is the most clever, heartwarming, entertaining holiday movie! The music is great, Sir Michael Caine is great, and hey it’s the Muppets! One of my favorite teachers was the brother of one of the main puppeteers too, so I’ve had this movie around since I was in sixth grade.
- A Christmas Story is my other favorite Christmas movie, though I didn’t get introduced to it until my husband showed me when I was in my 20s. It’s brilliant, well-acted, and really gives you a warm fuzzy feeling about family at Christmas. Plus Ralphie’s mom is pretty much the best movie mom, ever.
- The Grinch (original cartoon) is a must-see. It talks about the feeling of Christmas without having to mention religion. And I bet you’ll have the theme stuck in your head for days! (I personally hate the Jim Carrey live-action Grinch, and I feel it’s inappropriate for this list.)
- Home Alone is the story of a young boy who is left behind on a family vacation. We’ve all seen it, we all love it, and the holidays don’t seem complete without it! KEVIN!
- The Santa Clause is a movie I’ve loved since I was a kid. There’s just something about it, despite the sarcasm and it being live-action, that always was endearing to me. I watched it earlier this week (my first time watching it since becoming a mother) and cried through the whole thing. Divorce is a side theme of this movie, so you might want to screen it if you think your children would get upset.
- The Polar Express – I’d be in big trouble with my 3 year old if I neglected this film on my list. The music is gorgeous and I actually like hearing 10 different Tom Hanks voices. The animation is a little unsettling, so just don’t focus too much on the faces… and enjoy the fantastic story of Christmas magic!
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a movie I couldn’t forget even if I tried! While it’s certainly a holiday movie from times past, there are still valuable lessons about being kind, generous, and accepting of others in our world. My kiddo loves Bumble!
- A Charlie Brown Christmas has to be on this list, even though my husband hates it and some of the dialogue and storyline feel like they were thrown together last-minute. If nothing else, it has a sweet message at the end about the Christian origins of Christmas, and the soundtrack (by composer/pianist Vince Guaraldi) is absolutely fantastic.
Additionally, I always taught a lesson to my younger elementary music classes about the Nutcracker. This is the movie-like ballet version which I used, which is the 1993 New York Ballet edition. You’ll probably see a familiar face or two, and the voice is Kevin Kline. I started showing it to my son this year, and he was entranced! (If you’d like tips into how to make this an actual lesson on music and/or culture, hit me up.)
Ok, now it’s your turn! Tell me about your favorite family-friendly holiday movies. I’d especially like to hear about any new entries, and any movies which teach a different holiday like Kwanzaa.