10 Favorite Family Christmas Movies (with Bonus Holiday Snack Recipes)
The Christmas season is here! It’s the perfect time for gathering with family, friends, and loved ones to celebrate the joy of the holidays. For many of us, the celebration just isn’t complete without a bowl of popcorn, a steaming mug of hot cocoa, and some favorite Christmas movies. Whether they’re timeless classics or newer features, these films have a unique power to inspire and delight us while helping us to remember what’s most important at this time of the year.
Here, we present 10 favorite family Christmas movies to celebrate the true spirit of the season. (Bonus: look below for a few fun, easy popcorn and hot cocoa recipes to add some extra holiday cheer!)
1. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)
Frank Capra's classic exploration of the impact one person can have on the lives of others is a perennial favorite for a reason. With its themes of redemption, love, and community, "It's a Wonderful Life" is a must-watch for families during the Christmas season.
2. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965)
Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts gang comes to life in this animated classic. Follow Charlie Brown and his friends as they discover the true meaning of Christmas – and the value of friendship, generosity, and simplicity in the midst of the holiday season bustle.
3. "The Star" (2017)
This animated film imagines the story of the first Christmas from the perspective of the animals who accompanied Mary and Joseph and witnessed Jesus’ birth. Families with younger children will enjoy this humorous, musical twist to the traditional nativity narrative.
4. “Olive the Other Reindeer” (2007)
Based on the book by author and artist team Vivian and J. Otto Seibold, this cartoon tells the story of Olive, a Christmas-loving little dog. When Santa cancels his annual flight due to a reindeer injury, Olive knows she can help get his sleigh back into the air to save Christmas.
5. “The Very First Noel” (2006)
Follow the journey of the three Wise Men to find the newborn King Jesus. Young and old will delight in the gentle humor, music, and rhyming narration of this short, animated feature.
6. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947)
This beloved holiday classic, directed by George Seaton, presents the story of a department store Santa who claims to be the real Kris Kringle. It captures the magic of Christmas and the importance of faith, kindness, and the belief in the unseen.
7. "The Bishop's Wife" (1947)
Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven, this black and white film tells the tale of an angel sent to help a struggling bishop rediscover the joy and meaning of Christmas. With its charming characters and uplifting message, this classic is another great option for the whole family.
8. "Elf" (2003)
Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, who embarks on a journey to find his real father in New York City. This modern classic celebrates the importance of family, love, and Christmas cheer.
9. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966)
This short cartoon about a green Grinch who is determined to stop Christmas was the first (and according to many, the best) of many film adaptations based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s book. It endures as a powerful reminder that it isn’t the lights, the presents, or the food that make Christmas special.
10. "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992)
The Muppets put their unique spin on Charles Dickens' classic tale, creating a musical and whimsical adaptation that is perfect for families. The film strikes a delightful balance between humor and heartfelt moments, while preserving the lessons about compassion and redemption that make the original story so memorable.
And what’s a Christmas movie without hot cocoa and popcorn? Give one of these holiday recipes a try!
Homemade Hot Cocoa
This holiday season, gather your loved ones, prep some festive snacks, and continue a cherished tradition (or start a new one!) with some favorite Christmas movies for families.
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