The Unofficial Top Ten Family Christmas Movie List

If your family is anything like mine, you all enjoy gathering in front of the TV to watch family friendly movies, especially during the Christmas season! I’ve enlisted the help of some friends to make up a Top Ten Family Friendly Christmas Movie List, and wanted to share it with you!  There is absolutely nothing even remotely scientifically statistical about our list; it’s purely done in fun– and is completely opinionated!  But, nonetheless, I bring to you:

Lisa’s Family Friendly Christmas Movie Top Ten List!

#10  Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is an old classic with Burl Ives as narrator, and it has made a recent come-back. The show uses innovative puppetry and stop-motion animation to tell the story of an outcast reindeer, an aspiring-dentist elf, and an island of misfit toys who help Santa save Christmas.  Great for all ages!

#9  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

This is the version starring Jim Carrey. It’s an adaptation of the famous Christmas tale by Dr. Seuss. This film is a big treat for the whole family. With the antics of Carrey and the imagination of director Ron Howard, you will feel like you’ve been really swept away to Whoville

#8  VeggieTales’ St. Nicholas (2009)

A Story of Joyful Giving! Find out as the Veggies discover the true joy of giving to others — at Christmas time and throughout the year! Laura Carrot’s Christmas stocking might be empty this year because her dad is in danger of losing his job. While Larry thinks a letter to the North Pole should fix the problem, Bob knows what will really help … and tells the story of a little boy named Nicholas who made a discovery in Bethlehem that changed Christmas forever. But what did Nick learn and how can it possibly help Laura and her family?!  There’s an added bonus to this DVD, and that is the Matthew West / Amy Grant music video for the song, “Give This Christmas Away”. I LOVE this song!! VeggieTales continues their partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child, and Matthew’s song nicely ties into that theme of “giving”. This movie is great for ALL ages!

#7  A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Charlie Brown is out to find the true meaning of Christmas.  Everyone seems to care more about gifts and activities than the actual holiday.  The defining moment comes when Charlie Brown takes pity on the homeliest Christmas tree on the lot, and takes it back to his very unimpressed friends.  Great for ALL ages!

 

 

 

#6  A Christmas Snow (2010)

(This is a new film, by Trost Moving Pictures.  It has been critically acclaimed throughout the Christian film market!) Kathleen has carried around the unwanted memory of her father abandoning her and her mother on Christmas Eve. For the past 30 years, she has blamed her mother for that night and refuses to celebrate Christmas in any fashion.  Although she has tried to forget her past, it has not forgotten her, and in the days leading up to Christmas she finds herself stuck in her own home with two strangers, because of an unforgiving blizzard.  As the storm brings her face to face with the hurts of her past, she will have to choose one path; letting go and grabbing hold of a life changing forgiveness or continuing to carry her pain and bitterness with her.

#5  The Polar Express

A doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. This is one of my all time favorite movies, and I’ll watch it throughout the year! I think it’s great for all ages!

#4  Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Another adaptation of the Dickens’ classic, told Muppet style! The Muppets add their special and musical touch while staying true to the story.  With Michael Caine as Scrooge, Kermit the Frog as his poor employee Cratchit, and a host of other fun, loveable Muppets, The Muppet Christmas Carol is both funny and heartwarming! Great for all ages!!

#3  Elf (2003)

A little human baby finds his way into Santa’s bag.  Thus begins the life of our friend, Buddy the elf. The “man-elf” decides to look for his father in New York City.  It turns out Dad is a workaholic business man who has no time for family.  Buddy finds himself in many outrageous situations including the “pre-chewed gum” scene!  This is a movie I would recommend for older kids and adults, since the humor is geared to a more mature audience than the preschool set.  (One of my absolute favs!)

#2  A Christmas Story (1983)

The king of all holiday flicks!!  All Ralphie wants is a Red Ryder BB gun.  After asking, begging, and pleading, will he get it?  This is more than just an “I want this for Christmas” movie – it deals with bullies, family relationships, and being misunderstood.  This classic movie will appeal to kids and adults alike who will sympathize with Ralphie – and his parents who are afraid he’ll shoot his eye out!!  The magic of Christmas comes in a funny, irreverent, and heart-warming package!  I would say it’s fine for all ages! — But I leave this up to your discretion.

 

 

 

 

#1  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

My favorite Christmas movie of all time!!  The story is simple, but told in such a pointiest way!  We can all use a little reminder that God has a plan for our lives, and how one life truly does affect so many others. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. An angel arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born.

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13 comments
Momof6
Momof6

We love White Christmas w/ Bing Crosby, and my favorite version of A Christmas Carol is with George C. Scott (although Disney's version...albeit a bit scary...follows the book better). We also like the old Disney classic Christmas shorts. And I tend to agree with the others on Elf & A Christmas Story. I really don't need anything else to give my boys "ideas." Home Alone is bad enough...and we fast-forward through the bad language. :- We also love watching the Nutcracker...almost any version. But a Christmas "must" is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I know Christmas is a minor part of the story, but we love it. (And I will admit...we watch the Veggie tales Christmas DVD's all year. There's just something about Buzz-saw Louie. :-) )

Sarah
Sarah

Okay, so I'm with you...up until your #2. That's like, on my list of "worst movies ever". lol! To make that list my own, I would: DELETE #2. ADD: Mickey's Christmas Carol, The Nativity Story ADD: in a not-so-Christmasy-but-still-love-to-watch-at-Christmastime way I'd add While You Were Sleeping, because that family is crazy and reminds me of my own. ;)

Aimee S
Aimee S

I would have to agree that Elf and Christmas Story have humor that goes to the lowest common denominator. Instead I would have put something like The Christmas Toy or Miracle on 34th Street. I also like the Jim Carry’s Christmas Carol, as well as the Scott version and the Albert Finney version of “Scrooge” was a must watch in my house growing up, mostly because it was a musical and Finney went from being a good looking young man to a grumpy old man well. Plus you get to see that they did a good job aging him when you compare this movie from the 70's to "Amazing Grace" when he played John Newton. And I’ll always stop and watch White Christmas anytime it is on television.

Tori R2
Tori R2

I read the House without a Christmas Tree, but have not seen the movie. I'm going to look for American Christmas Carol...it sounds good. My husband plays Scrooge about every other year (amatuer stage) and we sort of "collect" versions and adaptations of CC.

Claude Z
Claude Z

Ok, I'm going to likely be the only one to have this on their list and certainly the only one to have it 1st, but "An American Christmas Carol" starring Arthur Fonz...I mean Henry Winkler. I'm sure much, if not most of it is growing up with it, but I find it's setting (depression era New England) and the characters to move me far more than the adaptations of the original CC. I always end up wiping tears. It's OOP at the moment (I snagged mine & bought for friends several years ago) but is on YT. Also, llloved Noelle, an excellent independent film from 2007. and yes, I cry at this one too.:) It's A Wonderful Life & A Charlie Brown Christmas are also in my top 5. As far as the message of the 1st Christmas goes, ACBC can't be beat (IMO.) I've never even remotely gotten into A Christmas Story, found Elf passable and do rather like Polar Express. Does anyone remember The House Without A Christmas Tree? Probably just me again..:)

Tori R2
Tori R2

I also love The Preacher's Wife.

rj
rj

great list I would have added white christmass

Heather @ Creative Family Moments
Heather @ Creative Family Moments

Great list! We'd put Pixar's Prep and Landing on our list. I love those Pixar people. I'd never heard of Christmas Snow-- I'll have to check that out! Thanks!

Lisa S.
Lisa S.

I did have an honorable mention list that didn't make it through the edit room. :) The Santa Clause trilogy, all the VeggieTales' Christmas movies and Home Alone trilogy were on it, as was The Nativity Story. I'd love to hear more about the movies that you LOVE watching at Christmas, and why!!

Angela H.
Angela H.

I'm very disappointed in this list. We are a family that don't celebrate Santa, and instead choose to focus on the true meaning of christmas. The Nativity Story (2006 release) would have been a far better choice then Elf or The Christmas Story!

Michelle
Michelle

A good list, to be sure, but I'm surprised that none of the "Santa Claus" movies made it into the list. I find that in the first of that series, there was a big lesson in learning how to live for something other than yourself. And that point was reiterated in the third movie. Just IMO. I won't watch Elf. Sorry, but Will Farrell is off my list. After the travesty he was a part of, "Talladega Nights," I refuse to see any movie that has him in person on the screen. I have never been that angered by a movie in my entire life. Almost wrote the NASCAR officials to ask them why they participated in such junk. but I ramble.... sorry... I love the George C. Scott version of "A Christmas Carol" but the Muppet one is just so cute, and the kids have been a fan of Kermit for a long time. Everyone has their own tastes. Would love to hear Buck's list! Do you think he would allow an interview for such?

bruce donker
bruce donker

humor in elf and christmas story is not something accepted in our home. We'd add the Toy that saved Christmas, The Christmas Carol - either the 1930's version or the one with George C Scott, and the santa clause movies...

Lisa S.
Lisa S.

Um... to all those who wondered why I said "It's a Wonderful Life" was "pointiest"... just thank spell check. :) It should read "POIGNANT". **Although "pointiest" is a lot more funny!