Best Christmas movies for families for all ages — from funny holiday movies to Christmas Disney animation and more. These holiday season films are great for kids and adults alike for holiday family movie night or even 12 Days Of Christmas movie ideas.
Best Christmas Movies for Families
What is the best Christmas movie for a family?
What is a good Christmas movie to watch as a family?
- Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love
- Coat Of Many Colors
- Muppet Christmas
- Arthur Christmas
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol and Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
- White Christmas
- Thomas Kinkade’s Call Of Santa
- A Gift To Remember
- Christmas With The Kranks (one of our favorite comedy family Christmas movies!)
- Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer
- Charlie Brown Christmas
- Home Alone
- Polar Express
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The best part of this holiday movie list is that it includes both classics, newer releases, and animated Christmas movies for kids (and even some underrated Christmas movies!) — so there is something for everyone on this list!
(see the full Christmas movie title list with movie summary below)
FREEBIE TIP: We’ve included some great holiday films that are older on this list and may not be available to buy or stream online. However, you can check your local library! They often have older movies for loan for free.
Ideas for Christmas Sleepover Movies for Family and Kids
These are great family-oriented holiday movies great for a Christmas Eve sleepover or even a 12 Days Of Christmas movies family activity.
1. White Christmas (1954)
Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye & Rosemary Clooney, this movie tells the story about two WWII veterans who joined a show and performed in a beautiful ski resort called Pine Tree, where they have chance to meet two lovely ladies.
2. Home Alone (1990)
This is holiday classic comedy starring Macaulay Culkin tells the story about a boy called Kevin who was left behind in his house by himself due to some unfortunate happenings while his family goes on vacation. The plot is quite funny, but it also delivers lots of valuable lessons, such as family value & close relationship to each other.
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3. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Directed by Bill Melendez and starring Peter Robbins, Sally Dryer & Christopher Shea, this Christmas classic animated movie tells a story about a boy named Charlie Brown who is put in charge of organizing the Christmas play. However, he didn’t feel that the play fits his expectation and it makes him very sad.
Eventually, he found out that true meaning of Christmas was not about making own fantasies come true. This movie might be considered as traditional because it takes place on Christmas Eve.
The movie teaches great lesson to kids such as family values, true happiness and the real meaning of Christmas. One of the best Christmas cartoons!
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Directed by Henry Selick, this movie might not be considered as traditional because it takes place on Halloween night while Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King in Halloweentown accidentally wanders into Christmastown and decided to take over the holiday himself.
It tells a story about how he missed true meaning of Christmas and how his attempt to “improve” the holiday ended up ruining it.
WARNING: The plot is quite funny, however, this movie has some scary images that might be too freaky for kids under age 8 or 9 years old.
5. The Polar Express (2004)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this movie tells a story about a young 8-year old boy who travels to the North Pole on The Polar Express train.
6. Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
A couple decides to skip Christmas one year since they are fed up with Christmas traffic, costly obligations, and even festive neighbors. So, they plan a relaxing vacation in the Caribbean. They cancel Christmas … until their daughter surprises them with visit with her new fiancee. Now, the Kranks have to hurry to create a traditional Christmas before the guests arrive.
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Directed by Robert May, this movie tells a story about a reindeer who runs away, finds new friends along the way, and their struggle against creatures (such as Abominable Snowman).
The plot is quite funny and suitable for family viewing and the message of this movie is sweet, especially during the ending scene where Rudolph become Santa’s most trusted and relied-on reindeer as well as his best friend.
8. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1983)
Directed by George Schaefer, this movie tells a story about kids who are responsible for organizing the Christmas Pageant.
9. A Gift To Remember (2000)
Directed by David Anspaugh, this movie tells a story about how a woman was about to lose her job but an angel helped her get a Christmas gift for her husband.
10. The Family Channel’s: An Angel For Christmas (1998)
Directed by Robert Iscove, this movie tells a story about how a little girl named Mary Ellen had a troubled life and an angel helped her to find happiness on Christmas day.
11. Four Christmases (2008)
Directed by Seth Gordon, this movie tells a story about newlyweds who refuse to visit their parents for Christmas because they don’t want to face the disappointment and embarrassment of being with their families.
WARNING: Some adult humor and sexual innuendo make this movie best for ages 13+.
12. The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
Directed by Penny Marshall, this movie remake tells a story about an angel who helped a minister overcome his problems on Christmas day so he can concentrate on his family and church duties at the same time.
13. Scrooge (1951)
A Christmas classic movie directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, it tells a story about a mean old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by Marley’s ghost.
He was shown his past, present and future during the visit to see if he wants to change.
14. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)
Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., this movie tells a story about Heat Miser and Snow Miser who were fighting over whether it should be a hot or snowy Christmas.
This is one of my favorite old-school animated Christmas movies!
15. Prancer (1989)
Directed by John Hancock, this movie tells a story about a young girl who tries to restore her family’s Christmas spirit when she finds a reindeer that she believes in the real Prancer.
16. Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970)
Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., this movie tells a story about St. Nicholas who sacrifices his life to save a town from the evil capitalist Mr. Potter.
17. The Christmas Gift (2017)
Directed by Brett Sullivan, this touching movie tells a story about two kids who wanted to give gifts to their father on Christmas day.
18. The Santa Clause (1994)
Directed by John Pasquin, this movie tells a story about a man who is chosen to be the new Santa and the funny antics that follow along with it.
19. The Star (2017)
Directed by Timothy Reckart, this animated movie tells a story about a donkey called Bo who had to take care of his newborn chick and help his friends survive in a dangerous desert while following a star and become involved in the birth of Jesus.
20. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Directed by George Seaton, this Christmas classic movie tells a story about Kris Kringle who was hired as a store Santa, but believes he is really Santa.
(I actually like this remake better.)
21. Arthur Christmas (2011)
Directed by Sarah Smith and Barry Cook, this animated movie tells a story about Santa’s son named Arthur who did not want to follow his father’s career (and become Santa), so he decided to find a way to create a new system for delivering the Christmas presents. However things don’t go as planned for Arthur and his new job.
This is another one of my favorites and a fun holiday cartoon even adults will love!
22. Scrooged (1988)
Directed by Richard Donner, this updated version of the Classic Scrooge movie tells a story about a greedy man who was the president of an American television network. He had planned to cancel all Christmas programming on their channel, but he met three ghosts that shows him his life.
WARNING: Drinking, language, adult humor, and sexual innuendo probably make this movie best for ages 13+.
23. The Santa Incident (2010)
Directed by Michael Lembeck, this movie tells a story about a man who became Santa Claus in order to save his toy factory from bankruptcy.
24. The Search for Santa Paws (2010)
This cute movie is about a dog who believed that his owner was Santa Claus. He was forced to travel all over the world in search of his master after he got kidnapped.
25. Fred Claus (2007)
Directed by David Dobkin, this movie tells a story about an older brother who became Santa Claus after their father died. His brother Fred, who became an anti-Christmas cynic, came to visit him a week before Christmas and gets caught up in the festivities.
26. Frosty the Snowman
This animated holiday movie tells a story about a snowman named Frosty who came to life after donning a magic hat.
27. Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish (1998)
Directed by Donald Petrie, this movie tells a story about a young boy named Richie Rich who had many things in life ,but he wanted to have at least one true friend. He was going to get what he wished for when he traveled to Australia with his dog Cadbury.
28. Frosty Returns (1992)
Directed by Jahn Teuber, this movie tells a story about a snowman called Frosty and is a follow-up to the original Frosty movie.
29. Jack Frost (1998)
Directed by Michael Cooney and Keita Amemiya, this movie tells a story about Jack who was going to celebrate Christmas with his family on the night before. Unfortunately, he died in an accident and came back as a snowman after failing to get into heaven.
WARNING: Might be sad and intense for younger children.
30. Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure (2011)
Directed by Brian Levant, this movie tells a story about a young Saint Bernard named Beethoven who was going to spend Christmas with his family.
31. Sold Out (2013)
Directed by Matt Wiele, this movie tells a story about kids who wanted to buy gifts for their parents on Christmas day but they ran out of money and found themselves in trouble.
32. Thomas Kinkade’s Call Of Santa (2013)
Directed by Jordan Ornelas, this movie tells a story about a boy who wanted to help his dad and restore their Christmas spirit when they were going through financial difficulties.
33. Christmas Angel (2011)
Directed by Michael Landon Jr, this movie tells a story about a man who traveled to California every Christmas because it was his wife’s favorite place.
He made friends with an elderly resident called and they had fun during their trips until something bad happened to them.
34. Christmas Of Many Colors : Circle Of Love (2016)
Directed by Stephen Kloosterman, this movie tells a story about an Alabama minister who was going to spend Christmas with his family. He remembered how his father had taught him valuable lessons when he was younger and wanted to pass it on to his own children. Inspired by Dolly Parton’s life.
It is an annual tradition to watch this movie at our house every Christmas!
35. Coat of Many Colors (2015)
Directed by Sarah Thorp, this movie tells a story about an Appalachian family who was going to spend Christmas with their extended family members. Also inspired by Dolly Parton’s life.
If you’re looking for best Christmas movies for Christian families, definitely add Coat of Many Colors and Christmas of Many Colors. They will not disappoint!
This is one of our family favorites!
36. Elf (2003)
Directed by Jon Favreau, this movie follows Elf, who is a human. After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.
Seriously one of the best funny Christmas movies for families! We watch this one every year and still laugh!
37. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
The Whos of Whoville love Christmas a lot and it shows. But one day, their happiness is taken away when a mean creature called the Grinch decides to steal all of their decorations, food and presents so no one will have a very merry Christmas… or will he?
38. Mickey’s Christmas Carol/Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas (1983-2000)
Three Christmas themed tales are dramatized featuring Disney characters Mickey Mouse in “Christmas Carol”, Huey, Dewey and Louie in “Toy Tinkers” and Donald Duck in “Tea For Two Hundred”.
39. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
A retelling of the classic story featuring Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as his wife and a very special guest appearance by Scrooge himself.
These are some of our favorite Christmas movies, but obviously we can’t include everything on one list — there are just too many great options out there! So, be sure to share your favorite holiday movies with us as well.
MORE HOLIDAY FUN: How To Have a Christmas Tree Sleepover