Top Ten: Kid-Friendly (and Parent-Friendly) Christmas Movies We Watch Every Year
Watching holiday movies together is a favorite evening activity in our house, not to mention it’s getting kids ready for Christmas and bedtime in one fell swoop! We watch (a lot) more than this throughout the season, but this list is of our hands-down favorites.
1. Elf: An instant classic, Will Ferrell is at his best here. Something for all ages to enjoy, we have watched this multiple times every holiday season and still laugh hard. The NYC setting makes it extra fun for the kids (and us!).
2. A Christmas Carol (Jim Carrey version): Not to be outdone, Jim Carrey is also at his prime as Scrooge in this remake. The graphics are gorgeous (think Polar Express but even better) and the story stays true to the Dickens classic, often word for word, yet still remains accessible to young children. The ghosts can get a little scary, but our kids love a good spooky story with a happy ending.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (both versions) We read the book and own the original movie, but the newer Jim Carrey version is pretty good too. Very simple bad-turns-good Christmas spirit theme for young children while reminding adults to enjoy the holiday and stop grumbling about the noise noise noise noise!
4. The Polar Express: Tom Hanks, snowy train rides, hot chocolate dances and beautiful images have entranced my entire family (including my husband, who has a man-crush on Hanks).
5. Christmas Eve On Sesame Street: Made even better with some great original songs, I can’t help but tear up every time I hear “True Blue Miracle.” Yes, it’s Sesame Street, but I’m pretty sure that I’m the reason we watch this one more than once every season. And my kids LOVE Oscar on the stairs (you’ll have to watch to find out what I’m talking about!)
6. Miracle on 34th Street (1994 edition) Mara Wilson is adorable as always in this one, but the kids really enjoyed all of the NYC references, especially since we have all seen the balloons being inflated for the Macy’s day parade (an opening scene in the movie).
7. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (stop-motion): the kids love the characters – Hermey the Misfit Elf, the Abominable Snoman, Yukon Cornelious, and of course, Rudolph. I love the message of “celebrating one’s unique talents”on more than one level.
8. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (stop-motion) explains how Santa came to be (and he’s a redhead, which my daughter finds incredible)! Yes, it’s obvious that it is from 1970, but 41 years later it still makes an annual appearance on TV which puts it right up there with Charlie Brown.
9. Charlie Brown Christmas – though this one seems like an obvious choice, I think it made it onto the Top Ten purely on a nostalgic basis. Honestly, the kids in this movie are pretty mean to each other (especially Charlie Brown!) which seems to fly in the face of Christmas spirit (something my husband and I didn’t notice until our toddler watched it and started calling people “blockheads.”) But, my husband still cries at the Linus verse every time, earning it a spot on the favorite Christmas movie list.
10. Home Alone 2: Lost In New York - We just tried the Home Alone series (1 an 2) out for the first time this year and if belly laughs are any indicator I can assure you my children will be requesting it in years to come. I was worried the bad guys might be too scary but the slapstick does the trick and my toddlers absolutely love that the “boy tricks the bad guys with traffic (traffic = traps).” They also think it is too funny that the boy flew in an airplane and rode in a taxi without mom or dad, and excitedly pointed out the NYC landmarks scattered throughout the movie.
I’d love to hear from you – what movies have we been missing?