In this post I share 15 of what I believe are among the best family-friendly Christmas movies.
When I was young my siblings and I would “sleep” in the same room and stay up late to watch Christmas movies and cartoons on Christmas eve. We’d feed off each other’s excitement all hours of the night.
We learned while young that a good Christmas story with music can bring the Christmas Spirit better than anything else.
And the movies on this list certainly do that.
Some also share important values in a memorable way. Sometimes powerfully so.
Others will make you totes LOL. 😀
Enjoy these movies as much as my family does, and may they help make your Christmas memorable and Spirit-filled.
We start with a BONUS!
BONUS! Studio C’s Christmas Comedy Sketches
Studio C is a family-friendly sketch comedy television show produced in Utah by BYUtv.
The show traces its roots to the BYU sketch comedy troupe Divine Comedy, of which all ten cast members are current or former members.
15. The Little Matchgirl
Experience Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale of an impoverished girl with a burning desire to find comfort and happiness.
Desperate to keep warm, the girl lights the matches she sells and envisions a very different life for herself in the fiery flames filled with images of loving relatives, bountiful food, and a place to call home.
14. The Shop Around the Corner
Two employees (James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan) at a Budapest gift shop can barely stand each other. Little do they know that they are falling in love through the mail as each other’s anonymous pen pal.
This film was inducted into the Library of Congress National Film Registry.
13. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Repelled by the commercialism he sees all around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.
This timeless special has the distinction of warming hearts young and old, and it has won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award.
As the gang tries to put on a holiday play, kids big and small will end up with a pretty decent dance party, a lesson for the ages, and some good old-fashioned fun. As for the tree … it’s amazing what a little love can do.
12. The Polar Express
A doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.
11. Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Ebenezer Scrooge is far too greedy to understand that Christmas is a time for kindness and generosity, but with the guidance of some new found friends, Scrooge learns to embrace the spirit of the season.
10. Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Inside a snowflake exists the magical land of Whoville where live the Whos.
All the Whos love Christmas, yet just outside of their beloved Whoville a grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas.
A small child named Cindy Lou Who decides to befriend the Grinch. Will she perform a Christmas miracle?
Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on Amazon (this specific Amazon video also has Horton Hears a Who!)
9. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
Mickey, Minnie, and their friends Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Pluto gather to reminisce about love, magic, and surprises in three wonder-filled stories of Christmas past.
Minnie and Mickey recall the year they both gave up what was most important to them for the sake of the other, making for an unforgettable Christmas.
Goofy and Max retell when they experienced a series of hilarious but season-shaking events until a visit from the real Santa made it a magical holiday.
Donald’s nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie remember their dream of having Christmas every day turning into a catastrophe, eventually teaching them what true holiday spirit is all about.
8. Nora’s Christmas Gift
Nora, a lonely elderly lady, is depressed when she faces blindness and hearing problems during the holidays. Will her friend come to her rescue in time for her to experience joy and remember the meaning of Christmas?
7. Miracle on 34th Street
The holiday season is in full swing when a cultured gentlemen with twinkling eyes, an ample belly, and a snowy beard is hired as Macy’s department store Santa.
He claims his name is Kris Kringle, and soon he fills everyone with Christmas spirit – except for his boss, Doris Walker, who’s raising her daughter Susan to not believe in Santa.
When Kris is declared insane and put on trial, everyone’s belief is put to the test as old and young alike face the age old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?
6. Mr. Krueger’s Christmas
An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.
When he meets new friends in unexpected ways, he has a chance to make an impact on a child. Or is it the child who makes an impact on him?
5. A Christmas Carol
Christmas elicits nothing more than “bah, humbug!” from Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser whose sole pursuit of financial success has left him a bitter and lonely man.
But a Christmas Eve visit from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future teaches him to open his heart to the spirit of Christmas and to the joys of friends and family.
4. The Coat
A young boy gives selflessly to another child in need.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
At Christmas time George Bailey has so many problems that he is thinking about taking his own life.
As George is about to jump from a bridge, he ends up rescuing his guardian angel, Clarence, from the cold, rushing water.
Clarence shows George what his town, friends, and family would have been like if it hadn’t been for all of his good deeds over the years.
Will Clarence be able to convince George to return to his family and embrace life?
2. The Gift
A 12-year-old boy who has very little money decides to get up early on Christmas morning to give his hard-working father a priceless Christmas gift.
1. The Nativity
Mary conceives by the power of the Holy Ghost and heavenly messengers herald the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
This is the reason for the season.