Christmas movies are part of most families festival traditions. My family included. Every year ‘Father Christmas’ leaves a movie for us to watch, along with some snacks for Christmas Eve. But we also spend the weeks leading up to Christmas watching both our favourites and trying out some new films.
Here’s my 10 films that we’ll be watching this year:
1. Elf – this will always be my favourite Christmas film. It’s daft, it’s funny, it’s uplifting and makes children and adults laugh. The film follows Buddy a human elf on his journey to bond with his human father.
2. Home Alone – the timeless movie about a little boy who gets accidentally gets left behind whilst his family go on Christmas vacation. Oh, and to make things even worse, he has to defend the family home from two burglars. Great film for nostalgia. [DISNEY+ & AMAZON PRIME RENTAL]
3. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey – a new film for 2020 which is based around an inventor who is betrayed someone he trusted. All hope and spirit leaves the inventor until his Granddaughter comes to stay. A fab film with great musical scenes and amazing dancing. [NETFLIX]
4. The Christmas Star – this is an old film and is much darker than most Christmas films. I would take a look at this without the children first to see what you think. A convict escapes prison by dressing as St Nick himself. When he is found by a young brother and sister, full of Christmas hope, he sees an opportunity to get the money he is searching for. However, he soon finds something more important than money. [DISNEY+]
5. Dash and Lily – ok so this is technically a mini series, not a film. BUT I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a romcom which would be ideal for preteen and teen families. Younger children would probably find it a bit ‘mature’ so I watched this when my boys were in bed. It’s very much got a ‘Nick and Norah’ vibe to it. [NETFLIX]
6. Arthur Christmas – Great movie where the underdog has his day. This animated movie shows just how high tech and well planned Father Christmas and his team have to be each year. But even the North Pole team can make mistakes.
7. Disney shorts eg: Olaf Frozen Adventure or Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas – These are great if your children are fans of the original films as it’s the same cast but a new story. They’re child friendly like the originals but with a Christmas twist to make you feel festive. They’re also shorter than a full film so it’s great for younger kiddies who may not be ready for full on films. [DISNEY+]
8. Jingle All The Way – this is one from my childhood. I like sharing films from when I Was younger, to share a bit about ‘me’ with my children. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a busy Dad who forgets until last minute to get his sons Christmas present (which so happens to be the MUST HAVE toy of the year…good luck with that). This movie has an uplifting ending where the Dad is reminded of just what matters in life…family.
9. The Snowman – this musical classic is a hauntingly beautiful Christmas mini movie. There’s a range of emotions and my poor family have to put up with me singing EVERY YEAR. Great film for snuggling up together under a blanket with a warm drink [usually on TV at some point]
10. Angela’s Christmas – this is a lovely animated mini film with a more spiritual Christian Christmas feel too it. We follow Angela as she tries to keep baby Jesus warm…but what’s even warmer is the fuzzy family feels [NETFLIX]
11. Storybot – This unusual Christmas short was a hit with my 5 year old son. It’s silly, it’s funny and about how Christmas presents that are thoughtful and with love are always the best. [NETFLIX]
I also asked some friends of mine what they’ll be watching this year…
Muppets Christmas Carol – chosen by Emma from Mrs Shep Unplugged who says they watch this every Christmas Eve as part of their Christmas tradition. They have cheese and cracker board, treat drinks and their fave PJ’s and watch it over and over.
Grinch – selected by Kaz from The 3am Diary. She says she’s going to curl up with her daughter Lily and watch together for the first time this year. She says Lily hasn’t seen it yet but she’s heard about Grinch from her friends so they’re going to give it a go.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New Years – Amy from Life with the Werdekkers prefers the sequel to Home Alone for her families Christmas. She says it’s a childhood memory of hers to watch it with her parents and she wants to share those memories with her 3 children too.
Christmas Chronicles 2 – Selected by Kayleigh from Maker of Miracles is watching the sequel after her two girls enjoying the first Christmas Chronicles last year.
Polar Express – this classic is chosen by Sarah over at Tired But Crafty Mummy. She says she’ll be watching it with her boys – especially Rowan who is obsessed with trains. Polar Express is also the movie of choice for Hannah and the Twiglets who watch it every year and says “it’s just soooo lovely”.
Adaptions of stories such as Snail and The Whale, The Tiger Who Came to Tea – this shorter films are selected by Cass from Crazy Cat Lady Cass who doesn’t her son doesn’t really do films so they go for the shorter films for family time. These are great as children often know these books so it’s extra special for them.
Nativity (1, 2 and 3) – are the favourites of Cloe at Macklan and Mum. She likes them as they are full of British humour and she feels she can relate to them. They are family friendly and she thinks all the actors (the lovely little children) play the parts really well – part of the first one was actually improvised!
My husband also insisted on adding Gremlins. This may not be appropriate for younger children but for those with older children, this movie is a Christmas Horror Story. But if you have children who are fed up of the feel good Disney Christmas then this may be one they’d come off their iphones to watch with you. The story is basically one where a children gets a new pet but forgets the rules of how to care for them…with disasterous consequences. How does this link to Christmas? Well it’s set at Christmas…Gizmo evens wears a Santa hat. What more do you need?
For us, the point of Christmas movies is to have time together as a family, and to get the happy, festive feels. So, get your movie list together, make up some snacks and snuggle in your PJ’s and Christmas blankets and enjoy your time together.