With winter break and the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to get a list of Christmas movies you can watch with your kids. Holiday movies are a quick way to get you and your whole family into a festive mood just in time for the season. There are tons of options to choose from, but we’ve listed some of our favorites to get you started:
1. Klaus (2019)
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Netflix put out this beautiful Christmas movie last year about a lazy postman who is sent by his wealthy father to deliver mail at a small town in the Far North. There, he befriends a lonely toymaker, Klaus, and their adventure commences. This heartwarming tale about the power of kindness alongside beautiful storytelling and animation is an excellent addition to your Christmas movie list. You can find Klaus on Netflix.
2. The Grinch (2018)
There are several different versions of this classic Dr. Seuss tale, but the most recent adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch is sure to make you and your kids laugh. This fun family Christmas movie is streaming on YouTube and Amazon Prime, where you can also watch the classic Chuck Jones animation from 1966.
3. Elf (2003)
A Christmas favorite, Elf tells the story of Buddy, a man raised as an elf in the North Pole. When he realizes he’s actually human, he embarks on an adventure to New York City in search of his father. This comedy starring Will Ferrell is sure to make you and your kids laugh and feel thankful for family. You can find Elf on Amazon Prime and Hulu.
4. Arthur Christmas (2011)
In this fun animated movie, Santa’s highly organized elves run the entire operation at the North Pole and prep the gifts Santa needs to deliver on Christmas Eve. But when one gift gets left behind, Santa’s youngest son, Arthur, takes it upon himself to deliver it before Christmas morning. Arthur Christmas is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu.
5. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)
For kids who love the Frozen series, they’ll love watching Olaf travel around the town asking different people about their traditions to find a few to bring back home to Elsa and Anna. It’s a great way to reflect on your own family Christmas traditions together. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is on Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
6. The Polar Express (2004)
Based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, a young boy who is beginning to lose sight of the magic of Christmas sees a mysterious train outside of his window heading to the North Pole. He joins a band of other children to visit Santa Claus and discovers that the magic of life doesn’t need to fade with age. This gorgeous motion-captured animated movie is streaming on Amazon and YouTube.
7. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1964)
When Charlie Brown sees the Christmas commercialism all around him, he becomes depressed. Lucy suggests that he become the director of their Christmas play, but he quickly finds it a much bigger task than he had anticipated. After failing to spruce up a sad little Christmas tree, he learns the deeper meaning of Christmas. You can find this movie on AppleTV+, and it will be free to stream from Dec. 11-13.
8. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
In another beloved Muppet holiday classic, Michael Caine stars as the grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge in this adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Scrooge cannot find joy in the holidays, but a visit from three different ghosts reminding him of his past, present, and future changes his state of mind. This story is a great reminder to be thankful and generous towards the people around you. The Muppet Christmas Carol is streaming on Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
9. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)
What Christmas season is complete without watching a Rankin-Bass stop-motion picture? If your kids have ever wondered why we celebrate certain holiday traditions, this origin story of Chris Kringle will answer some of those questions while teaching them the joy of giving to others. Narrated by Fred Astaire, you can find this Christmas classic on YouTube.
10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
With an elf aspiring to be a dentist, an island of misfit toys, and a red-nosed reindeer, this stop-motion classic teaches kids to accept their differences and encourages them to be true to themselves. It’s not quite a feature-length film, making it perfect for younger children with shorter attention spans. You can find this ’60’s Christmas movie on Amazon Prime and Vudu.
Emily currently lives in Orange County, California after spending four years in Illinois and half a year teaching in Florence, Italy. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Knox College and an M.A. in Counseling from the University of San Diego and has taught English to native speakers and ESL students for over three years. When she’s not working as a School Counselor or writing, she enjoys traveling the world, playing instruments, and blogging about Millennial experiences at Long Live the Twenties.