12 Holiday Movies for the Family

We’re in the last two weeks of 2016. A lot of people are traveling to spend time with their family for the holidays and to ring in 2017.

Ranked in no particular order, let’s take a look at 12 holiday movies, old and new, that you can watch as you spend time with your family during this wonderful time of year.

1. Elf (2003). This cute movie stars Will Ferrell as an overgrown elf living with Santa at the North Pool. He gets lost and ends up in the city where people don’t truly believe in the Santa fairy tale. Watch as he tries to adjust to normal human life when he truly believes he is an elf with a child-like spirit.

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947). This story takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas in New York City that involves a department store Santa Claus who believes that he is the real Santa. Faith of a child is questioned, there’s an actual legal matter on the validity of Santa which ends when 21 mailbags addressed to Santa are delivered to the courtroom and adults question their own beliefs in Santa. Watch what happens in this classic Christmas story.

3. Bright Eyes (1934). The oldest on this list, this movie stars the legendary actress Shirley Temple. In this movie, best known for the musical dance number “On The Good Ship Lollipop”, her parents pass away and she is adopted by her aviator godfather. One of the most famous child stars of all time, use this movie to introduce your children or grandchildren to this timeless actress and the magic of movies before computer technology.

4. A Christmas Story (1983). No holiday movie list is complete without mention of Ralphie and his wish to Santa for a Red Ryder BB gun. This holiday classic, set in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s, is available on DVD. And….as tradition, plays for 24 hours on TBS starting on Christmas Eve.

Also, in case you didn’t know, there was a sequel to the original A Christmas Story. In the sequel, released in 2012, is Ralphie as a teenager who has his eyes on a special girl at school as well as a vintage automobile.

5. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988). This goofy movie starring Jim Varney has Ernest saving Christmas by attempting to return Santa’s magic sack after it is mistakenly left in his taxi cab. With the kind heart and comedy that Jim Varney has perfected with the Ernest character, Christmas is saved and he is given the opportunity to drive Santa’s sleigh.

6. Gremlins (1985). Not your traditional holiday movie of a parent giving a child a new pet for Christmas. Watch what happens when a father obtains a special pet from a mysterious shop and his child is told to specifically not get the animal wet and don’t feed it after midnight. Unlike all of us pet owners who often slip up and give our pets a treat, this one comes with some comical but yet negative consequences.

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). Oh Charlie Brown, you mean well but your good intentions are always taken the wrong way. From disagreements on the Christmas play to his choice of Christmas tree. Ultimately, the Peanuts™ gang bond and work together to put on their Christmas play and take Charlie Brown’s tree and spruce it up.

It’s a heart-warming movie about being a child and coming together with your friends by putting your differences aside to enjoy the holiday festivities.

8. How the Grinch Stole ChristmasDr. Seuss’ cartoon original from 1964 or the 2000 release produced by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carey, we have the Grinch who doesn’t like much of anything, especially Christmas. He’s a loner and he prefers it that way. To ruin Christmas for everyone, he literally tries to steal Christmas. After he meets a little girl who mistakes him for Santa, watch how his mind changes and his conscious kicks in.

As told by Dr. Seuss, watch how the Grinch’s heart grew three times its size and restores his Christmas spirit.

9. Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2 (1992). For two Christmases, Kevin McCallister manages to get separated from his family for the Christmas holiday. Mischief, mayhem and comedy ensue as Kevin’s family tries desperately to reconnect with him which reminds us the importance of family and togetherness.

10. The Polar Express (2004). Adapted from the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, this movie is a 3D animated musical fantasy filled with adventure and wonder. Starring Tom Hanks as the train’s conductor, the train picks up children and takes them on a wonderful but crazy adventure to the North Pole to visit Santa.

11. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). This movie is a Jim Henson’s Muppet adaptation of the original classic by Charles Dickens. The Muppet gang retells the Christmas Carol story of rich proprietor Ebenezer Scrooge, who despises Christmas, and the Cratchit family who is just trying to get by. The story of the Christmas Carol reminds us that there are more important things in life than money like spending time with your family and being charitable to others in need.

12. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). While this story starts out on the sad side, it quickly gives us a few inspirational life lessons on loving and supporting those around us…most importantly, never give up. Watch this movie to get all the holiday feels and to see what happens whenever a bell rings.

Whether you like heart-warming, comedy or drama, there’s so many holiday movies out there for everyone in the family.

What are your favorite holiday movies? Are they listed here? Tell us about your favorite holiday movies in the comments!