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Christmas Movies


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all! In the spirit of the season, here are 16 Christmas movies for the whole family to enjoy (plus an additional three movies that are slightly less child-appropriate).

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

  • This movie is an animated classic that explains how and why Santa began giving presents to the children of the world.
  • It includes how Santa met Mrs.Claus and the elves.
  • It also displays how Santa saved a poor, toyless town from boredom.
  • The film is narrated by a postman delivering letters from the children to Santa.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

  • This 25-minute holiday short is a light-hearted Christmas classic that explains the true meaning of Christmas.
  • The short includes well-known, loveable characters such as Charlie Brown, Linus, and Snoopy.
  • It is also notably the first movie based on the comic strip Peanuts.

Frosty the Snowman

  • A magician’s hat brings the school children’s snowman (Frosty) to life on Christmas Eve.
  • Frosty and Karen (a little girl who helped to create Frosty) try to get to the North Pole before the town gets too hot and Frosty melts.
  • The journey to the North Pole gets complicated as Frosty and Karen are chased by Professor Hinkle (the magician) as he wants his hat back once he discovers it truly is magic.
  • Eventually, Santa must help Frosty get to the North Pole and Karen get home.


  • This Christmas comedy focuses on an orphan, Buddy, who was brought to the North Pole in Santa’s bag of toys. He was raised by elves, but eventually realizes he doesn’t belong there.
  • Once he realizes he’s human, Buddy goes to find his dad in New York.
  • The majority of the movie shows Buddy as he tries to navigate his new chaotic life in New York with his hesitant-to-embrace-him father, half-brother, and girlfriend.

A Christmas Story

  • This Christmas classic tells the story of young Ralphie and his struggles through the Christmas season. From bullies to an easily-angered father, Ralphie must navigate the troublesome waters of his life to make the best of his Christmas.

The Christmas Chronicles

  • This fairly new movie follows two kids as they plan to capture Santa; however, their plan quickly goes awry.
  • Eventually, the two kids must join forces with Santa — and the elves — to save Christmas for all the children of the world.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

  • Based on the children’s book by Dr.Seuss, this loveable, heartwarming, comedic Christmas movie is perfect to watch each year during the Christmas season. 
  • After being mistreated by his classmates as a child, the Grinch decides to ruin Christmas for all the children of Whoville.
  • Once the Grinch meets a little Who-girl (named Cindy-Lou), his plans to ruin Christmas gradually become less important to him.
  • Although the film is meant for children, there are many adult jokes that most parents and other adults will find hilarious.

Home Alone 1 

  • Kevin and his family planned to spend Christmas together in Paris, but on the morning of their flight, Kevin’s family seemingly forgot him. 
  • Kevin finds himself home alone when bandits try to break into and steal from his house; however, Kevin has a plan of his own, as he sets a series of traps to stop them.
  • At the end of the movie, Kevin’s family returns, unaware of all of his heroic actions.

Home Alone 2

  • Once again, Kevin finds himself alone, but this time he’s in a strange city. While at the airport, Kevin gets separated from his family and gets on the wrong plane. Rather than going to Florida with his family, he ends up in New York alone.
  • While in New York, he happens to run into the bandits from the first movie (who recently escaped prison). The bandits try to rob a toy store on Christmas Eve, but once again, Kevin sets a series of traps, foiling the bandits’ plans.
  • Both Home Alone 1 and Home Alone 2 are hilarious Christmas comedies that the entire family can enjoy year after year.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, Twice Upon a Christmas, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and Disney’s A Christmas Carol

  • Each of these Disney films are heartwarming and must-watch movies for the entire family to enjoy during the Christmas season. 

The Polar Express

  • This controversially animated film, based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, is a light-hearted Christmas classic that teaches all children that “seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see”.
  • A boy, who is doubtful of Santa, is visited by a train traveling to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. He gets on the train, has adventures with his newfound friends, and begins to believe in Santa again.
  • An added cool bonus to this film is that Hero Boy (the main character who is never given a name) and Billy (the lonely child) are both from Michigan. Shoutout to all the Michiganders out there!

Barbie Nutcracker

  • This beautiful, animated retelling of the classic tale, with Barbie as Clara, is perfect to teach the children the classic story The Nutcracker.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

  • This classic film teaches children the importance of not judging others for being different and why it is important to not hide who you are.
  • It tells the tale of how Rudolph became the legend that he is known to be in the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

The Santa Clause 1

  • After divorced father Scott accidentally scares Santa off of his roof, he must accept his rightful position as the new Santa Clause, despite his doubts and disbelief.
  • Eventually, with the help of his son and the elves, Scott learns to accept and get used to his new position as Santa Clause.

The Santa Clause 2 and 3

  • The Santa Clause 2 and 3 follow Scott as he struggles to do his best as both Santa and a father in the years following the original movie.
  • New characters, such as Jack Frost, raise all kinds of trouble for Santa while he prepares for Christmas Eve, while other new characters introduce romance into the trilogy as Santa must marry before Christmas Eve or he will lose his position as Santa Clause.

The following are somewhat less-child-appropriate Christmas movies, but they’re still classics!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

  • Clark Griswold wants to have a perfect family Christmas, but his plans quickly unravel as more family arrives for the holidays in this comedic Christmas movie.

It’s a Wonderful Life

  • George Bailey contemplates life and death on Christmas until an angel guides George through flashbacks of his life and teaches him why his life is important.

Die Hard

  • John McClane, an NYC cop, goes to his estranged wife’s Christmas party on Christmas Eve. While at the party, terrorists secretly attack the building, and John McClane realizes he is the only one who can free the hostages and defeat the terrorists. 
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About the Contributor
Reagan Carpenter
Reagan Carpenter, Staff Writer
Reagan Carpenter is a first-year writer for the Hawk Herald and a senior at Forest Hills Eastern High School. She participates in the National Honor Society, Kids Food Basket, Volunteer Club, FHPS Shared Voices Committee, and is a leader for Project ChARLIE. She has also played on the Varsity soccer team since her freshman year and has loved every moment of that experience. Outside of school she enjoys spending time with her friends and family; you can often find her  watching a good movie or tv show in her free time.
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