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The BEST Family Christmas Movies To Watch This Year

When it gets dark early and it’s too cold to enjoy spending time outside, it’s time to pull out your favorite family Christmas movies! I made a list of the BEST Christmas movies to watch with family – and there’s something here everyone will LOVE.

It’s one of my favorite times of the year: the holidays! I love the time with family, the yummy food, the relaxed pace of life, and the memorable Movie nights by a cozy fire.

We have a few holiday traditions that we do every year as a family. The Elf On The Shelf makes his appearance (ours is named Beezy). If you have a family Christmas elf that comes to visit, welcome him in style!

And here are some clever ideas that busy moms can do with the Elf on the Shelf.

Back to our favorite holiday traditions

We make TWO kinds of potatoes, stuffing, and eggnog for the holiday meal.

I go just a little crazy by making too many different kinds of cookies.

We watch The Polar Express on Christmas Eve and make a huge batch of hot chocolate to go with it.

And each of the kids does an act of kindness for their siblings. Sometimes it’s buying or making a gift. Sometimes it’s doing their chore for them. Or sometimes it’s something completely different of their choosing.

And every Christmas day, we watch A Christmas Story. Seriously, does it get any more classic than that?

Make Family Christmas Movies Part Of Your Holiday Traditions

We love sitting down as a family and watching movies together! Sometimes we light a fire. Sometimes we have hot chocolate.

But we always enjoy snuggling up with blankets, and the dog, and the cat, and the time together on a break from our normal busy schedule.

I thought I would share a list of the BEST family Christmas movies to watch this year. There are PLENTY of Christmas movies out there, but some of them are just not worth the time.

Not this list! Everything on it is a classic – or a new classic, approved by every picky member in our family!

The BEST Family Christmas Movies To Watch This Year

We don’t watch every single one of these movies every year. But we definitely have favorites that we have to watch or the holiday season wouldn’t feel complete.

Here are our favorite AMAZING Family Christmas Movies to watch this year!

The Polar Express

The Polar Express is an enchanting holiday tale of a young boy who doubts that Santa Claus truly exists. On one special Christmas Eve, a magical train appears outside his home and the conductor invites him aboard. What lies ahead is an extraordinary adventure through which the young boy learns that for those who believe, the wonders of life never fade. 

This movie is full of wonder, terrific graphics, and one of my favorite actors (Tom Hanks), all wrapped up in a wonderful story.

A Christmas Story

Does it get any more classic than this movie? It’s got it all: drama, laughter, warm fuzzies, and more. No Christmas holiday season is complete without this movie being on YOUR list of the best family Christmas movies!


This is Will Ferrell at his best! This movie is the story of a human man who was raised by the elves in the North Pole. He believes he’s a large elf until he’s told that he was adopted and his dad lives in New York City. What follows is the hilarious story of Buddy the elf traveling to New York City to find his dad.

It’s about keeping that childlike delight of Christmas your entire life. It’s funny, touching, and just plain awesome which is why it’s one of our favorite family Christmas movies.

Miracle on 34th Street

A true classic that takes us back to a simpler time. This is the story of a young girl who was raised to not believe in Santa. When the handsome man across the hall is hired to play Santa, all sorts of things happen to try to find out whether this is the REAL Santa.

And through it all, a gentle, kind man reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas, while making us believe that Santa IS real!

NOTE: this movie was originally in black and white, so make sure to check the product description to see if you’re buying the black and white version or the color version (whichever you prefer).

Home Alone

When we want a laugh, we always turn to either Elf or Home Alone. The kids LOVE the tricks and pranks in this movie, and we always get a good chuckle in this very kid and family-friendly Christmas movie!

Home Alone 2 is great too!

The Santa Clause

Christmas gets a little crazier when Scott Calvin inherits the role of being the legendary St. Nick – yep, Santa Claus himself. His ordinary life snowballs into a hysterical series of outrageous events in this trilogy as he fills out his Santa suit, meets the future Mrs. Claus, and faces his ultimate test against the mischievous Jack Frost.

A list of the best family Christmas movies wouldn’t be complete without these titles. These three movies will provides hours of hilarious entertainment for the whole family!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown Christmas is such a keeper for all times. How can anyone NOT love this movie? I’ve watched this movie every year since I was old enough to watch it.

The innocence of this movie is so uncommon in today’s movie climate. It’s a wonderful throwback that kids everywhere need to see at least once.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

This is one of my personal favorite Christmas movies, so it definitely had to go on the list of the best family Christmas movies! I’ve watched this ever since I was a little kid, and my kids love it too. The story, the music, all of it – your family will love it too!

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

Starring the voice talents of Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Rooney, Danny Thomas, Burl Ives, and many more, these favorites also feature some of the most beloved songs of the season and are sure to entertain audiences of all ages for generations to come!

After being discovered by a family of elves, baby Claus is raised by the Kringles and grows up to become a toymaker. Wanting to share his toys with the children of Sombertown, Kris must overcome the Winter Warlock and the Burgermeister Meisterburger along with some help from Miss Jessica and Topper.

Based on the timeless song, this movie is pure magic in the best way!

Also check out: Frosty the Snowman

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Whether you love the classic version or the new version, this Christmas story is classic as the Grinch works to learn the true meaning of Christmas.

The Grinch is a grouchy guy who lives at the top of the mountain and wants to make Christmas miserable for the entire town of Whoville. That is, until Cindy Lou Who takes matters into her own hands and saves Christmas for everyone – including the Grinch.

Once you watch this heartwarming tale, your heart may just grow 3 sizes as the Grinch’s did!

The Man Who Invented Christmas

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer – one of my favs), Tiny Tim, and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol.

Amazing actors help this movie tell the story of how Charles Dickens came up with the story of The Christmas Carol.

I recommend making sure you have read the story or watched the movie so that you understand the references in this movie. This one is probably more for older kids and adults rather than young children who won’t understand what’s going on. But, if you need a new Christmas movie to watch, it’s worth it!

Christmas With The Kranks

This funny holiday story has a couple whose adult daughter is leaving for the peace corps and won’t be home for Christmas. The mom loves celebrating Christmas and feels sad that her only child won’t be home this year. Dad gets the idea to “skip” Christmas and take a sunny warm cruise instead.

There are obviously a few twists and turns, but this lighthearted story delivers if you want something new to watch this holiday season. 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswold is a man whose heart is in the right place, but he’s not perfect. He spends money he doesn’t have, but he really wants to do right by his family in his own nostalgia-driven, nutty way.

This movie takes holiday truths to the extreme, ranges in humor from groaning to out loud laughing, and is a keeper (and for us) a tradition.

A Christmas Carol

We love the Robert Zemeckis version (he’s the same director who did The Polar Express). We’ve watched other versions including the George C Scott and the Patrick Stewart ones. But this one is our all-time favorite!

It’s a Wonderful Life

This is a movie I grew watching and it’s just as good now as it was the day it was released. The late Jimmy Stewart was just incredible and so relatable as the small-town man who yearns to leave the insular town of his birth. But helps out his father to make a success of the family business.

Then when Stewart’s character experiences a huge crisis he comes to the point of seriously wanting to take his own life. Enter then Clarence a guardian Angel.

The following journey is like no other.


Scrooged is a present-day twist on Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’ High-spirited high jinks on Christmas Eve put Frank Cross in a ghostly time warp. He made a meteoric rise from the depths of the mailroom to the TV network president, but he’s mean, nasty, unforgiving, and uncaring.

Before the night is over, he’ll be visited by a maniacal New York cab driver from the past, a present-day fairy who’s into pratfalls and, finally, a ghoulish, seven-foot headless messenger from the future.

Fred Clause

We love this fun, star-studded take on sibling rivalry. It’s so relatable which is why it’s one of my favorite family Christmas movies.

Of the two Claus brothers, Fred is the troublemaker and polar opposite of his saintly sibling, Nicholas. When Fred’s criminal ways finally land him in big trouble, Nicholas bails him out and brings him to the North Pole to work off the debt by making toys. The headaches mount for St. Nick, who not only must deal with his troublemaking brother, but also a problem at the North Pole.

This movie was good-hearted and quite funny, especially the scene where Vince Vaughan’s character visits a support group for the non-famous brothers of celebrities.

Try Watching Family Christmas Movies This Year

If you love the idea of spending quality time with your kids this holiday season, check out these family Christmas movies. We love to laugh at and remember these movies throughout the year!

More Christmas Family Fun

If you love these family Christmas movies ideas, you’ll love these other great holiday ideas too!

  • Grinch Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Horse Gifts For Kids: The Ultimate List
  • 3-Ingredient Grinch Punch Mocktail
  • Homemade Non-Alcoholic Eggnog
  • Elf On The Shelf Arrival Letter: Free Printable
  • Christmas Charcuterie Board
  • DIY Christmas Tree Craft: Paper Straw Ornament
  • Holiday DIY Soap Bar: Sparkling Snowflake Soap Gift Idea

The post The BEST Family Christmas Movies To Watch This Year appeared first on Made In A Pinch.

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The BEST Family Christmas Movies To Watch This Year


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