10 Great Holiday Films

Turn the A/C down low, brew up some hot chocolate, and gather the family around to enjoy these classic holiday films that are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit!

Miracle On 34th Street
A remake of the 1947 film by the same name, this film is about a department store Santa that just so happens to be the real Santa Claus. Mr. Kringle meets a six year old girl named Susan who doesn’t believe in Santa, and makes it his mission to help her believe again. She has adopted the belief that is better not to hope, because you will never be disappointed if you never hope to begin with. Can Santa help Susan to hope and believe again? Find out in this updated true Christmas classic!

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
This is the story of everyone’s favorite misfit reindeer. Rudolph isn’t like the other reindeer, he was born with red, blinking nose. For much of his life the other reindeer treated Rudolph like an outsider. They would not play with him and they refused to accept him as one of their own, all because he was different from them. All of this changes one fateful night, when the winds and snow are too much for Santa to get through. Santa needs the light of Rudolph’s nose to guide his sleigh through the storm. It all comes down to this; can Rudolph save Christmas?

Elf
Buddy is a young child in an orphanage when Santa comes to deliver presents. Without Santa realizing it, Buddy climbs into his bag and secretly rides with him back to the North Pole. Not knowing what else to do, Santa and the elves decide to raise Buddy themselves, as an elf. Buddy is full grown adult before he is told that there is a reason why he is so much larger than the other elves. Once discovering that he is a human, Buddy sets out to meet his real father and his own people and hilarity ensues in this piece of Will Ferrell brilliance.

Joyeux Noel
This film is based on the true story of a ceasefire between opposing forces during World War I; a ceasefire that lasted only one day – December 24th, 1914. Against the orders and instructions from their superiors, Scottish, French and German soldiers set down their weapons and celebrated Christmas together not as enemies, but as human beings. This powerful story is perhaps not appropriate for younger children considering the themes and content, but is a great film to watch with your older children. Follow up with a family discussion on the things that unite and separate us as human beings.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
This movie is a true Christmas classic if ever there was one. Charlie Brown is tired of the commercialism of Christmas, and wants to find the true and deeper meaning. He becomes the director of the Christmas pageant, at Lucy’s suggestion, but this only frustrates him more. After trying, and failing, to restore the Christmas spirit with a small, sickly Christmas tree, Charlie is discouraged. In the end, he needs Linus’ help to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.

It’s a Wonderful Life
You can’t have a list of great Christmas movies and not include It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey has always done everything he could for his community, including working hard and making sacrifices in order to keep the rich Mr. Potter from taking over the town. But, when a lost cash deposit threatens everything, George considers killing himself. An angel sent to earth gives George a look at what the world would be like without him, and why his life matters.

Home Alone
Many people remember this film being about a boy who manages to defend his home from two would-be burglars by setting up impossibly complex booby traps to injure and scare them. While this is true, many people forget that the film also revolves around Kevin’s family vacation, from which Kevin is accidentally left behind. After getting angry with his family, Kevin wishes that they would disappear. When awakening to an empty house, Kevin believes that his wish has come true and, while temporarily happy to be free from rules, it’s not long at all before he wishes he had his family back for Christmas. Of course, Home Alone, delivers some great laughs, but the film also communicates a great message.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
What happens when the brilliant and creative artistic minds of Dr. Seuss and Chuck Jones (the “Walt Disney” of Warner Brothers cartoons) come together for an animated picture? Pure genius! How The Grinch stole Christmas is holiday film that has stood the test of time. While the live action remake with Jim Carrey is also quite entertaining, nothing can ever take the place of the original. This funny and entertaining film is a great reminder to kids and adults alike about being selfless during the Christmas season.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
It’s the story we all know and love. Ebenezer Scrooge is the angry rich man who loves nothing but his money, who cheats and takes advantage of anyone that he can, and who doesn’t care for the troubles of others. That is, until one night when he is visited by the ghost of an old friend; a friend who was just as stingy and alone as Scrooge is prior to his death. This friend tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three ghosts that evening, and that they will show him what his greedy choices will mean in the end. It’s the classic story, but with a uniquely Muppet feel and flavor.

The Santa Clause
A divorced father startles a man on his roof dressed as Santa, unaware that this is actually the real Santa who then falls off the roof to his death. While probably not the expected beginning to family Christmas comedy, hang in there, it gets better! After inadvertently killing Santa, Scott Calvin puts on the Santa suit to finish the gift deliveries for Christmas Eve, not realizing that by putting on the uniform, he is taking up the mantle of Santa Claus permanently. Is Scott up to the responsibility?

Incorporate one of more of these holiday classics into your family schedule and you’re sure to be entertained, laugh a lot and have your hearts warmed all at the same time!

Rick Deal is a part time writer and blogs regularly at culturemakerblog.com.

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