15 Christmas Films That Are Perfect For All The Family

The holiday season is a time for gathering with loved ones, sharing laughter and joy, and indulging in heartwarming traditions. One such tradition that transcends generations is watching Christmas movies that capture the spirit of the season. These films have a magical quality that enchants both young and old alike, making them a cherished part of our holiday celebrations. In this article, we’ll explore 15 Christmas movies that are not only great for family viewing but also bring a holly and jolly touch to your festivities. So, grab some hot cocoa, cozy up by the fire, and let’s dive into the world of Christmas classics and modern gems.

Elf (2003)

Kicking off our festive journey is “Elf,” a 2003 family movie directed by Jon Favreau. This film remains fantastic and weirdly timeless even after two decades. It introduces us to Buddy the Elf, played by the incomparable Will Ferrell, who embarks on a journey from the North Pole to the bustling streets of New York City. His mission? To find his long-lost father, a grumpy executive at a children’s book company who has lost touch with the Christmas spirit. “Elf” is a delightful blend of outrageous comedy, syrupy spaghetti dinners, and a whole lot of heart. It’s the perfect way to kick off the 12 days of Christmas with your family, and Bob Newhart’s presence is just the icing on the gingerbread house.

Home Alone (1990)

No list of Christmas movies would be complete without the iconic “Home Alone.” Released in 1990, this classic film has become synonymous with the holiday season. It tells the story of Kevin McAllister, played by the talented Macaulay Culkin, who finds himself accidentally left behind by his family during Christmas vacation. What follows is a series of hilarious and inventive traps set by Kevin to thwart a pair of bumbling burglars, the Wet Bandits. While the slapstick humor and ingenious booby traps make “Home Alone” endlessly entertaining, it’s the touching mother-son relationship that adds a heartwarming layer to the film. Watching the Wet Bandits get their comeuppance in a holiday setting turns this movie into a cherished tradition for families everywhere.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Every year, the question arises: “How do I watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’?” This beloved 1965 holiday special has a unique streaming home, as it’s available exclusively for those with an Apple TV+ subscription. In this timeless treasure, we follow the young and blockheaded director of the annual Christmas pageant, Charlie Brown, as he embarks on a quest to discover the true meaning of the season. This short and sweet special, with its unforgettable music, has earned a permanent place in our hearts and holiday playlists.

A Christmas Story (1983)

Directed by Bob Clark, “A Christmas Story” takes a different approach to the holiday season, providing a family-friendly masterpiece that has stood the test of time since its release in 1983. The film centers on young Ralphie Parker, portrayed by Peter Billingsley, who is determined to obtain a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Ralphie’s quest leads to hilariously memorable moments, from writing an essay at school to begging a mall Santa. With its iconic vignettes and quotable lines, “A Christmas Story” has become a beloved tradition, with 24-hour cable marathons ensuring that it remains a cherished part of the holiday season.

The Santa Clause (1994)

Before it became a franchise and a Disney+ streaming sequel series, “The Santa Clause” started as a heartwarming family-friendly movie. Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a toy marketing executive who inadvertently becomes Santa Claus after a fateful encounter with the jolly old man himself on Christmas Eve. Despite Scott’s initial resistance, he is thrust into the role of Santa and must save Christmas for children and non-believers worldwide. Tim Allen’s portrayal of Santa Claus, complete with his signature “Ho Ho Ho,” adds a special charm to this holiday classic.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

“Some would say ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ is the best Christmas special of all time,” and it’s hard to argue with that sentiment. This 1966 cartoon adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s book is a mere 30 minutes of pure charm and cheer. The story revolves around the Grinch, who, after stealing all the Whos’ Christmas decorations, discovers the true meaning of the season. Chuck Jones’ timeless animation and Boris Karloff’s unforgettable narration make this adaptation a must-watch. It’s a heartwarming reminder that the spirit of Christmas can transform even the grinchiest of hearts.

8-Bit Christmas (2021)

“8-Bit Christmas” is a recent addition to the Christmas movie pantheon, and it’s quickly become one of the best holiday films of the past decade. Directed by Michael Dowse, this stellar comedy follows Jake Doyle, played by Winslow Fegley in his youth and Neil Patrick Harris in adulthood. Jake’s quest to acquire the then-new Nintendo Entertainment System in the late ’80s takes him on an adventure from the safety of the suburbs to the bustling streets of Chicago. While “8-Bit Christmas” offers plenty of silly and raucous moments, it also delivers a poignant emotional punch that lingers in your heart long after the credits roll.

The Polar Express (2004)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, “The Polar Express” is an animated adventure that takes viewers on a magical journey aboard a train bound for the North Pole. The film centers on a group of young children as they visit Santa Claus while he prepares for his annual Christmas Eve trip around the world. Despite the uncanny valley of its visual style, the movie is an enjoyable exploration of the joy and wonder of Christmas. Its sentimental themes and enchanting storytelling make it an annual treat for audiences of all ages.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

While Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has seen numerous adaptations, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” stands out as one of the best versions for family enjoyment. Directed by Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, the film casts Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taken on a transformative journey through his past, present, and future by Muppet characters. This rendition offers a fun and lighter take on the classic tale, making it a perfect option for family viewing during the holiday season.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” may have its share of amusing quirks, but it undeniably holds a special place in the annals of holiday specials. Originally airing on NBC in 1964, this stop-motion animated gem from Rankin/Bass Productions tells the heartwarming tale of Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer who becomes an unexpected hero on a perilous journey filled with new friends and challenges. Its classic songs, unforgettable characters, and nostalgic appeal make it a must-watch for Christmas.

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

For a blend of action, comedy, and holiday cheer, “The Christmas Chronicles” delivers in spades. Directed by Clay Kaytis, this 2018 Netflix original movie stars Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. When Santa encounters a pair of stowaways who inadvertently cause him to crash and nearly ruin Christmas, a race against time ensues. The trio must find a way to deliver presents to the right children before it’s too late. With a ticking clock and a mission that could spell disaster for children around the world, “The Christmas Chronicles” offers thrilling holiday entertainment for the whole family.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” holds a unique place in the world of holiday movies. Released in 1993 and directed by Henry Selick from a story by Tim Burton, this stop-motion masterpiece has become both a Halloween and Christmas favorite. It follows Jack Skellington, voiced by Chris Sarandon, as he attempts to take over Christmas Town, leading to unexpected challenges and moments of joy. The film’s timeless soundtrack and the enduring popularity of characters like Jack and Sally make it a holiday classic that bridges two beloved seasons.

The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

“The Preacher’s Wife” is a Christmas movie that features a predominantly black cast and remains amazing year after year. Directed by Penny Marshall, the film follows Reverend Henry Biggs, played by Courtney B. Vance, and his wife Julia, portrayed by the incomparable Whitney Houston. Their lives take a transformative turn when they are visited by Dudley, an angel played by Denzel Washington. Amidst crises of faith and Christmas pageants, the movie weaves a tale of rediscovery and love, with Whitney Houston’s outstanding singing voice adding to its charm.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

Directed by David E. Talbert, “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is a Netflix musical fantasy film released in 2020. The story centers on Jeronicus, played by Forest Whitaker, a once joyful inventor and toymaker who finds renewed purpose when his granddaughter, Journey, portrayed by Madalen Mills, arrives. The film dazzles with fantastical sets, enchanting songs, and standout performances from the cast, offering a fresh and magical holiday experience for those seeking something new and delightful.

The Princess Switch (2018)

“The Princess Switch” is one of the best Christmas movies available on Netflix. Released in 2018, it follows the Duchess of Montenaro and a Chicago baker, both portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens, who discover they are practically identical to each other. Embracing the whimsy of the situation, the two decide to switch places for a couple of days, setting the stage for major life changes. With its delightful premise and feel-good charm, “The Princess Switch” offers a delightful dose of holiday cheer.

Well, there you have it, 15 Christmas movies and holiday specials that are sure to add a dose of merriment to your festivities. As we celebrate the season of giving, these films remind us of the joy of family, the magic of Christmas, and the enduring power of tradition. Whether you’re revisiting beloved classics or discovering new favorites, these movies are the perfect way to create cherished memories with your loved ones. Here’s to the hope that more modern classics will continue to grace our screens in the years to come, keeping the spirit of Christmas alive for generations to come. Merry Christmas and happy viewing!

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Holli Greaves
Meet Holly, our versatile freelance journalist and featuers writer who has a passion for dissecting the ever-evolving landscape of business and technology. Your guide to understanding the forces driving our digital age with insightful perspectives and in-depth storytelling.

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