The best holiday movies? Tough question. Ask 10 people, get 10 different answers. So how about instead I just throw at you 10 favorites that always bring a smile, a laugh, a tear, and some good cheer at the Youngblood house. Here you go – ten of the best holiday family movies in no particular order. I hope you kick back and relax and enjoy watching movies with your family this holiday!
BEST CLASSIC HOLIDAY FAMILY MOVIES
Meet Me In St. Louis
This 1940s musical comedy is a winner year after year, starring Hollywood legends, Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien, it’s about four sisters in the days before the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Your kids will love the throwback songs and costumes.
Miracle on 34th Street
Starring Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood, this popular holiday film combines the lure of New York City, the beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and a man named Kris Kringle, who claims to be the real Santa Claus. A “can’t miss” classic.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Every time I say “Merry Christmas Mr. Potter,” in my Jimmy Stewart voice, my son looks at me like I’m nuts! Oh well… holiday audiences love this classic for the inspiring story about the dejected George Bailey and his guardian angel, who shows him that life is worth living after all.
A Christmas Story
This beloved Christmas film is such a classic that TBS plays it for 24 hours straight during the holiday season. From Ralphie’s obsession with owning a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle to chants of “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” there is just so much to love!
This 1954 holiday standard stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney (just tell the kids she is related to George and they might pay attention!) The story is about two former World War II soldiers singing, and dancing, and having a grand ol’ time! I truly love these 50s films!
Best Modern Holiday Family Movies
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Whether you prefer the original animated version or the 2000 remake (our personal fave) with Jim Carrey as the Grinch, the characters of Whoville, and the movie’s message about community and family, will charm all ages. Plus I walk around all day doing the Jim Carrey Grinch voice as well (it also drives my kid crazy!)
My son could watch this movie every day of the year! Macauley Culkin stars as a little boy left at home when the rest of the family leaves on a holiday trip. Initially thrilled by the freedom of being home alone, Kevin’s fun soon ends as he tries to thwart two bad guys who plan to rob the house! Hilarity ensues. But, take it from my eight year old, you can skip the bad sequels!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Clark Griswold’s elaborate plans for a picture perfect Christmas are interrupted when Eddie and his family arrive in their camper for an unexpected visit. Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid star in this holiday comedy that is one goofy laugh after another.
The Polar Express
Based on the popular children’s book, this 2004 computer animated gem stars Tom Hanks. Viewers take an enchanted train ride to the North Pole and learn the idea that seeing isn’t believing. Another one of my sons can’t miss picks.
This one is quickly becoming a go to classic in our house. Plus we love Will Ferrell in just about anything. He plays “Buddy” a North Pole elf who travels to New York City to find his father, played by James Caan. During the journey, Buddy doesn’t stray from his childlike qualities or his mission of spreading Christmas cheer to everyone he meets. A feel good film with a ton of quotable lines! Can you say “Ow, son of a nutcracker!” or “You smell like beef and cheese… you don’t smell like Santa!”
Get out the popcorn and put on the PJ’s for any of these fun and festive films. What do you think are the best holiday family movies?
Rob Youngblood is a Dad, Keynote Speaker, Life and Communication Coach, Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Writer, and Storyteller. Learn more about him and follow him on Twitter.
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Nikki @ Tikkido says
I love those movies! My list of favorites also includes A Christmas Story and the Muppets version of A Christmas Carol.
Love them all. One I would add to my list is Love Actually. I could watch that over and over.
Liz Mays says
You covered so many of my favorites too. I LOVE Meet Me in St. Louis. I discovered that one only a few years ago.