Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Best Christmas Movies for the Entire Family’s Enjoyment

You may be searching for holiday movies that the entire family can enjoy. If so, then I would like to share some of my personal favorites for your consideration.

Of course, when it comes to quality Christmas movies for family viewing, there are actually quite a lot, far more in fact than I could possibly address in this blog posting. Then again, there are some that are consistently rated more highly than others for their entertainment value, and while a few are classics, others are of more recent vintage; however, whether old or new these movies all share certain characteristics:

  • They do not contain violence, profanity, or nudity. 
  • They are immensely entertaining. 
  • They contain characters about whom you can care.
  • The storyline actually has "meaning."
  • They are guaranteed to fill you with the true spirit of the Christmas season. 
Classic Christmas Movies for Family Viewing

Granted, some children might consider older movies passé or even “boring,” but the stories told in the following movies are timeless and remain as heartwarming today as when the films were first released. So, with this in mind, after viewing these movies, children might develop an appreciation for the oldies but goodies. 

Google Images (2014)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947): Considered “one of Hollywood’s most delightful fantasies” (Martin & Porter), t››his movie stars Natalie Wood as a child who has stopped believing in Santa Claus but has her faith restored when she meets a department store Santa, played by Edmund Gwenn, who claims to be the real thing; and whether he is or he isn’t is left for the viewer to decide in this heartwarming classic. 

Google Images (2014)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1948): Starring legendary Hollywood actors as James Steward, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, and Henry Travers, this film relates the story of a good man who begins to question whether life has passed him by and to wonder what it would have been like for others had he never been born. Would they be better off for never having known him? Of course, he learns the answer, which is the premise for this “heartbreaking, humorous, and ultimately heartwarming” tale (Martin & Porter).

Google Images (2014)
A Christmas Carol (1951): This version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale is considered by many film critics to be the best adaptation of the story. It stars Alistair Simms as Ebenezer Scrooge, the meanest miser in all of London, and is guaranteed to “bring a tear to your eye and joy to your heart” (Martin & Porter).

More Recent Christmas Movies for Family Viewing

In recent years Hollywood has produced several delightful holiday movies that are appropriate for all ages, including very young children. A few are especially noteworthy, including the following:

Google Images (2014)
Charlie Brown Christmas (1965): Although by some standards an “oldie,” this animated tale remains “young at heart,” perhaps because it stars the entire cast of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts and is considered by some film critics to be “required viewing for anybody concerned with losing the Christmas spirit” (Martin & Porter).

Google Images (2014)
A Christmas Story (1983): Set in the 1940’s, this movie stars Bill Billingsley as a boy who dreams of receiving the ultimate Christmas gift—a Red Ryder air rifle. His parents, however, played by Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin, don’t think he’s yet old enough to handle a rifle. At times both heartwarming and hilarious, this film is a viewing delight for both young and old.

Google Images (2014)
The Santa Clause (1994): The star of this film is Tim Allen, a father who finds himself obligated to become Santa Claus after frightening the Jolly Elf and causing him to plunge from the roof, thanks to a little thing called “The Santa Clause.” So Allen dons Santa’s suit, and from this moment on, the story becomes magical entertainment.

Google Images (2014)
Elf (2003): Starring Will Ferrell, this enjoyable holiday film tells the story of a man who was raised by Santa’s elves at the North Pole but then learns of his human origins, which explains why he towers over his elfin kin, and wishes to return to the real world in order to locate his biological father.

The Polar Express (2004): This animated film is based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg and was nominated for an Academy Award, for obvious reasons. The story of a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus but then boards a magical train headed for the North Pole, this extraordinary film stars Eddie Deezen and Tom Hanks (at least their voices) and is a must-see Christmas film for all ages. 

In summary, these delightful, entertaining, and wholesome Christmas movies will provide hours of fun for the entire family. Moreover, they are guaranteed to fill everyone, children and adults alike,  with the true spirit of the Yule Tide season.


Martin, M. & Porter, M. (1994) Video Movie Guide, New York: Ballantine Books

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