Christmas season is upon us and one of the best ways to spend cold nights with your kiddos is to snuggle up with some popcorn and watch a festive movie! There are hundreds of movies to choose from (thousands if you are a Hallmark or Lifetime fan), but there are a few that I make sure to squeeze in before the season is complete.
There is a lot of debate about which movies to include or exclude from a list of the best Christmas movies and this is by no means an exhaustive list. However, the following movies are family-friendly, classic, life-lesson options that are sure to grab the attention of your kids (and you too)!
Miracle on 34th Street (The 90’s Version)
Miracle on 34th Street is a classic movie dating back to the 1940’s. I’m sure there are many who would choose the original version as the winner, but as a 90’s kid, I am a huge fan of the 90’s version and I think your kids will be too!
The Santa Clause
I will almost stand on this movie as the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Again, maybe it’s my 90’s kid mentality, but Tim Allen cannot be beat in this one. Though they don’t compare to the original, The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3 would turn this into a movie marathon for your family that your kids would love.
Jingle All the Way
Not only will your kids love the action and adventure, but you will also totally relate with the dedication of the parents in this movie. How movie makers in 1996 knew that the Black Friday craze and determination to find a specific toy (Nintendo Switch, anyone?) in the year 2020 would exist is beyond me.
If you’re looking for a movie that will tug at the heart strings and depict childlike belief, Prancer is a great choice! Your kids will love the idea of hiding a reindeer, nursing him back to health, and devising a plan to get him back to Santa in time for Christmas. This storyline, though full of fantasy, is a little more serious and emotional, so it may not be a good choice for toddlers.
I feel like I really shouldn’t even have to explain this one. Kevin McCallister. Marv. Harry. Elaborate escape schemes. This one rivals best movie (Christmas or otherwise) of all time. Don’t @ me.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
There’s a wide debate (probably only among millennials) about which one is better–Home Alone 1 or 2. I really cannot even enter this debate because they run so close in my book. Many times sequels don’t even come close to the original, but this is a different story. Do not let the Christmas season go by without introducing your kids to this adventure.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Though my other choices show my partiality to the 90’s, I do actually enjoy Christmas movies from other decades. It’s a Wonderful Life is an incredible story full of life lessons that would be perfect for your older children. You can’t help but fall in love with the Bailey family and be reminded of what really matters in life. Don’t let the fact that it was made in 1946 stop you–just watch it!
I tend to not be a big fan of newer Christmas movies (I’m sure you haven’t been able to tell), but this one is a favorite in our house if only because it makes my kids laugh so hard. This would be a perfect movie to bring in some silly, sugary snacks that your kids aren’t used to having!
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
No matter how old your kids are, I highly suggest Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas! Disney’s depiction of Christmas lessons is beautifully and simply done, creating many opportunities for meaningful conversations with your family. And who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse??
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Is that enough to justify this one? And all the 90’s moms said, “Amen!”
Maybe I’m a little biased. Maybe the majority of my choices come from the 90’s. Are there hundreds of other Christmas movie options? Sure. But do they all rank as high as these? I think not.