Our family loves to watch movies together, especially at Christmas time. We’ve had over two decades to acquire a list of Holiday movies that are a “must watch” for us every year. Our favorite movies have come from the recommendation of other people, so we thought we would share the joy and pass on to you the ones we have found truly enjoyable!
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All I Want for Christmas– A very sweet movie about two kids whose parents are recently divorced. They desperately want them back together and, in fact, are sure they BELONG together, so they come with an idea to try and encourage that to happen. Funny. Very sweet. Great ending.
While You Were Sleeping– This is truly a classic and one of my all-time favorite movies. Lucy, a subway worker, falls in love with a handsome stranger. When she saves him from getting mugged, he ends up in a coma with his family believing that she is, indeed, his fiancee. She is so lonely for a family that she just cannot bring herself to tell them the truth.
Jingle All The Way– This movie is about a dad who is trying to make up for the fact that he’s not really “there” for his son, by making sure that he gets the toy that his son really wants for Christmas. However, this ends up being WAY harder than the dad expects because he has waited too long to buy his gift. He sets out on a hilarious adventure…I’ll give you a hint: Sinbad co-stars and that guy is FUNNY!
Little Women– Not strictly a Christmas movie, but definitely puts you in the mood. It’s about a houseful of daughters who love their parents, but whose dad is off fighting in the war. These girls are varied in personality, just like any family and their relationships grow as they mature. The old classic version is great too! This stars Elizabeth Taylor as a young girl. It’s worth it just to see that! Both movies have wonderful costumes and settings. There is an even older version from 1933 starring Katherine Hepburn as a young girl!
The Santa Claus– Another story of a dad “not present” who ends up being the next Santa Claus. The problem is he is NOT excited about it and is in denial until he can’t resist it anymore.
Miracle on 34th Street– An incredibly adorable little girl is the daughter of a single (and very serious) mom. When Santa Claus becomes part of their lives, he has a big job convincing them that he is the REAL thing. There is also a classic version of this.
Home Alone– The story of a kid who accidentally gets left at home when his family left on vacation. He ends up fighting off a couple of bad guys who want to steal stuff while most of the people in the neighborhood are gone for the holidays. The only part I have never cared for is how mouthy he is to his parents, but in the end, he seems to have mended his ways and learned to appreciate his family much more! My husband and kids howl in laughter every time they watch this.
Elf– I didn’t watch this movie the first time my family did because I thought it would be really stupid. I ended up watching at another time and laughed my guts out. It’s a completely unrealistic movie, but pretty good at making you realize how much the “kid” in us can get lost in being a grown-up.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas– Another classic “bah-humbug” story of the Grinch, who hated Christmas so much, he tried to steal it. Lots of cute rhyming and some great lines to walk away with.
Muppet Christmas Carol– A twist on the original Charles Dickens story starring the epic Muppets. Very cute, awesome one-liners and great innuendos! Also, not quite as scary for kids as the original story.
Christmas with the Kranks– LOVE LOVE this movie! It’s Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis who star as the Kranks who decide to “skip Christmas” because their only child just left home and they just don’t see the point. They become hated by their neighbors and the whole town for that matter, who can’t imagine WHY anyone would want to skip Christmas!
White Christmas– My husband and I have watched this movie every single year since we got married. 30 years. I’m not a fan of musicals, but I love this one. It’s just a great story about a couple of guys who get out of the army after WW II and go on to make their way in show business. When they find out their old commander owns an inn that is struggling to stay afloat, they decide to use their fame to draw a big crowd to the inn and revive it. The costumes are amazing and the sets are very cozy. Filmed back in the 40’s. Stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
Holiday Inn– This is another of Bing Crosby’s movies with amazing sets and costumes and a very charming storyline. A former singer/dancer buys a large home intending just to settle down, away from show business, but he can’t help himself and ends up putting on a show for every holiday of the year. Some (clean) romance, some humor, and great musical entertainment!
Christmas Lodge– This was one of those accidental finds that I ran across last year and we LOVED it! Really clean, some romance, good humor good storyline. It’s about a gal who is engaged, but to someone who is not really a good fit for her. She and he take a hike through the woods (not his cup of tea) and happen across a lodge that her grandparents used to own. It is being renovated by a young widower with a young daughter, but he doesn’t really have the money to finish it. She happens to be in the business of finding funds for such situations. Long story short, they fall in love, but with a lot of hesitation on her part. As they work on this project together, he gently woos her and she soon realizes how much she really cares for him.
Christmas Classics– Oh, how I remember watching these at Christmas all through my childhood! Just your good, clean claymation type movies that kids seem to still love!!
Eloise at Christmas– A very cute movie starring a gregarious six-year-old who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. She spends most of her time about the Plaza bringing her version of Christmas to those who are staying there. She tries to be helpful but often finds herself in trouble that her “nanny” rescues her from. Julie Andrews plays the nanny and the two of them are charming together.
The Christmas Choir– This is about a workaholic who has overlooked Christmas, friends and even his fiancee for too long. Then his life starts to fall apart. He has a chance encounter with a homeless man named Bob and this changes everything and inspires Peter to start a choir that eventually goes on to enormous success. Based on a true story.
Christmas with a Capitol “C-– A little on the corny side, but definitely worth the watch. It’s a heartwarming story about a small town that faces having their 50-year tradition of putting up a manger scene in the middle of town, stopped by a former native who is bitter. The town has a choice as to how they will treat this man who is bringing a lawsuit against them. They soon find that a “soft answer turns away wrath”.
Christmas in Connecticut– What can I say? I am a fan of old movies…GOOD ones. This is a fun one made in the 40’s. It’s about a “Martha Stewart” wannabe who is a writer for a ladies magazine. She writes as though she is living this extremely domestic life on a beautiful estate in Connecticut, when, in reality, she is single and lives in an apt. The editor of the magazine she writes for (her boss) decides to spend Christmas with her at her Connecticut home and the attempt at faking the whole thing ensues.
The Bells of St. Mary‘s– Another wonderful old classic! Bing Crosby stars as a parish priest who is sent to aid an ailing parochial school. He himself is very laid back, but finds himself at odds with a no-nonsense sister on how to educate the children. A miserly businessman who owns the property next door is determined to have St. Mary’s condemned so he can build a parking lot for his employees. Only a miracle can save St. Mary’s now!
Annabelle’s Wish– I don’t even remember how we ended up with this precious gem, but our 19-year-old son reminded me to put this on the list, which means it must be pretty special to our kids too! A wonderful story about a calf (yes, as in bovine) who is the best friend of a little boy who cannot speak. When it’s time to make her Christmas wish, Annabelle gives of herself to give Billy his voice back.
So there you have it! I’m sure there are other great movies out there, but these are the ones we know of and recommend! I hope somewhere in this post you find a new treasure and tradition!