Your Christmas season memories probably include lots of food and family time. That family time may also include watching holiday classics and newer movies together. Here are ten family-friendly movies to watch this Christmas season with your family (in alphabetical order):
Who knew operations at the North Pole were so high tech, run with the precision of a military exercise? Santa is getting ready for retirement, so his son Steve plans his father’s final gift delivery. After the Christmas Eve operation is completed, the cleaning elves discover an undelivered gift. Santa’s kind and generous younger son Arthur joins a covert rescue mission with his Grandsanta and a gift-wrapping elf to get the pink bicycle with training wheels to its rightful owner in England.
Charlie Brown is depressed about the commercialized Christmas season, but cheers up when he’s offered the opportunity to direct the holiday pageant. However, bossy Lucy doesn’t allow him to do much directing and sends Charlie off to buy an aluminum Christmas tree. Instead, he’s selects a sad little fir tree which everyone ridicules. After a heartfelt and touching speech by Linus, the Peanuts gang makes over the little tree with beautiful decorations, and the gang celebrates a merry Christmas.
In this classic Christmas Story, nine-year-old Ralphie really wants a Red Ryder Range 200-Shot BB gun. When he mentions it to his parents, his mother’s immediate reaction is that he’ll put his eye out. He uses his gift wish as a topic for a school report, but his teacher’s reaction matches his mother’s.
This is a fun movie for all kids, especially boys, but pay particular attention to the language and make sure the movie is age appropriate for your kids.
When a lonely foster child discovers an injured rabbit on Christmas Eve, she becomes friends with an eccentric woman who helps her nurse the bunny back to health.
Julia’s foster family is dealing with their own financial troubles and they along with Julia must learn to have faith in God and themselves that their luck will improve.
This is a heavy-hearted movie full of deep emotion. It really upset my ten-year-old son when he saw how little Julia had, how dreary her life had been, and that the bunny was injured (his favorite stuffed animal is a rabbit). If your children are very young or sensitive, this movie might be disturbing to them. For my kids, it was a very good reminder of how much we have to be thankful for not just during the Christmas season, but every day of the year.
When a magic hat lands on the head of an average snowman, it brings him to life. He’s a jolly, happy soul who enchants the local kids. The magic hat belongs to wicked magician who pledges to get it back even if it means that Frosty will no longer exist.
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (old & new)
Dr. Seuss’ classic Christmas story is about a Grinch who hates Christmas and tries to steal Christmas from all the Whos in Whoville. After he steals their presents and decorations, he realizes that Christmas is in their hearts, not under their trees.
In It’s a Wonderful Life, a man realizes the value of his own life. George Bailey wishes he were never born, but an angel shows him the tremendous impact he has had on his community.
This faith-based drama covers a two-year period of Mary and Joseph’s life and culminates in their leaving Nazareth and journeying 100 miles to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
Choose this movie for teens (13+) as it includes references to stoning, rape, and the slaughter of innocent people.
A boy, beginning to doubt Santa, worries he won’t hear anything on Christmas Eve. He runs outside after hearing noises to see a locomotive pull up in front of his house. The conductor invites him to board and the train heads for the North Pole. The boy and the friends he meets have an adventurous evening and discover the answer to their questions about Santa.
A talking snowman narrates the tale of a Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. When Santa finds out how useful Rudolph’s light-bulb nose will be to guide the sleigh during a terrible snowstorm on Christmas Eve, then Rudolph is finally appreciated by his peers and parents.
You know the song? Then you know the story. Rudolph’s story has a great message about nonconformity and being yourself. There will always be support from other friends who feel the same way about not fitting in.