The holiday season brings with it ample opportunities to squeeze in some extra family time! The perfect way celebrate the season as a family is to snuggle up under the blankets, pop some popcorn, and enjoy a holiday movie together. With classics galore and newer gems popping up every year, there are so many movies to choose from that pretty much guarantee a happy family movie night. Check out our picks for seven of the best holiday movies to watch with your kids.
1 - Elf (2003)
If you want to share a movie with your children that is guaranteed to enchant both them and you, this quotable classic is sure to please. Buddy the Elf is a lovable, cheerful, spirited elf who learns he’s not actually an elf. Having spent his whole life with Santa and the other elves at the North Pole, he’s not quite sure what it actually means to be an adult human. Buddy sets off to find his father in New York City and hopes to become part of his family. As Buddy navigates life in the real world and figures out where exactly he fits in, he forms relationships with his family and teaches the world to fall in love with the magic of Christmas by reminding them that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” This entertaining flick keeps the laughs coming and ends on a note that reinforces the beauty of the holiday season.
2 - Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (2009)
Everyone’s favorite monkey is back for a Christmas-themed adventure with his best friend, the Man in the Yellow Hat. George learns all about holiday traditions as he celebrates Christmas for the first time. A heartfelt tale unfolds as George and the Man in the Yellow Hat struggle to come up with just the perfect gifts to give each other. Well-meaning George finds himself in plenty of wacky situations that will bring laughs and holiday cheer to your own little ones. Everyone has experienced the feeling of not knowing what gift will make their loved one the happiest, and this will remind your family that love, appreciation, and spending time with each other is more important than presents.
3 - Prancer (1989)
An underrated classic, Prancer is the story of what happens to a small town when a little girl rescues what she thinks is one of Santa’s lost reindeer. This sweet, simple story takes more of a serious approach to the holidays, but it is full of so much magic that your kids will fall in love with it from the very beginning. Jessica has so much holiday spirit that when she finds an injured deer in the woods one day, she is convinced it’s Prancer and nurses him back to health. When the secret comes out that she’s been hiding a reindeer in her father’s barn, the town paper publishes Jessica’s heartfelt plea to Santa to come pick up Prancer in time for Christmas. Prancer examines family relationships, the spirit of Christmas, and the fact that children can teach us a lot about what it means to believe in something. Watching Prancer with your kids will give you those warm and fuzzy holiday feelings we all know and love.
4 - The Polar Express (2004)
What kid wouldn’t love the chance to see what the North Pole is really like? When a young boy begins to doubt the existence of Santa Claus, he’s given the opportunity to board a train called the Polar Express, which will take him, along with other curious children, to the North Pole. Along the way, the boy learns about himself and what it means to believe. With a peek inside what Santa’s workshop and the North Pole look like, this movie will bring about a new sense of wonder. A charming and beautifully animated tale, The Polar Express will take your children on a journey of a lifetime and instill them with enough holiday spirit to last all year.
5 - The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
A classic story, a cast of puppets, and an evening of enjoyment with your children. What could be better than that? While there have been dozens and dozens of retellings of the Charles Dickens tale, there is something special about The Muppet Christmas Carol. This version takes everything we know and love about Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and adds in some extra magic in the form of kid-friendly humor and Muppets acting out our favorite familiar scenes in a whole new way. You will laugh right along with your kids, and the best part is that beyond the humor, there will be lessons in the importance of kindness and empathy that will stick with your children for years to come.
6 - Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
When a department store Santa Claus claims to be the actual Santa Claus, Doris and her daughter Susan just can’t believe him. Doris is a no-nonsense woman and her daughter follows suit, but Kris Kringle is determined to have them, and everyone else, believe him when he says he is truly who he says he is. This classic holiday film is an important reminder that “Christmas isn’t just a day; it’s a frame of mind.” Watch Miracle on 34th Street with your family and prepare to be filled with endless amounts of Christmas spirit.
7. Arthur Christmas (2011)
Have your kids ever wondered how exactly Santa is able to deliver presents to every single child on Christmas Eve? This incredibly fun and charming animated tale pulls back the curtains on the logistics of delivering presents. Despite the streamlined Christmas present delivery system put in place, one present is forgotten this year. Arthur, Santa’s son, is determined to deliver this present before Christmas morning so the little girl will continue to believe. You and your family will get caught up in the adventure of this exciting race against time that’s full of holiday fun.