Best Kids Christmas Movies

Pop some popcorn and enjoy a family movie night with one of these Christmas classics perfect for kids.

1. Elf

Buddy the Elf never quite fit in at the North Pole as a human raised as one of Santa’s elves. When he discovers that his real, human father is on the naughty list, Buddy heads to New York City to set things right. Everyone will laugh their way through this 2003 family Christmas movie starring Will Ferrell.

2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Older tweens and teens will love this Chevy Chase, 1980s classic story of the Griswold family trying to throw a picture-perfect Christmas. With tons of slapstick humor, 25,000 Christmas lights, and a few surprise guests, nothing seems to be going the right way for poor Clark Griswold.

3. It’s a Wonderful Life

This 1940s feel-good flick has a love story, redemption, angels, and a bowl full of life lessons that will make your whole crew feel warm and fuzzy. Watch as George Bailey and Mary Hatch fall in love, raise a family, and then face down financial hardship before the community comes together to help each other. A classic among the classic Christmas movies!

4. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Filled with positive messages that focus on the religious story of Christmas, this 25-minute TV flick is perfect for the youngest celebrants in your home. Charlie Brown is sad that people have made Christmas too commercial. So, when Lucy asks him to direct the holiday pageant, Charlie Brown seizes the opportunity.

5. The Snowman

This nearly wordless animated film is based on Raymond Briggs’ classic picture book of the same name, The Snowman. At just 26 minutes, it’s a visual delight. The snowman comes to life and takes a young boy on a magical adventure up to the North Pole for a party.

6. Yes, Virginia

Yes, Virginia. There IS a Santa Claus!” When an 8-year-old little girl goes on a quest to prove Santa’s existence, she is inspired by small acts of kindness from the most unlikely of places. Kids will delight in the 2009 version of this animated Christmas movie voiced by the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Bea Miller.

7. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Danced by the New York City Ballet, this televised production of the world-renowned George Balanchine’s Nutcracker production is a perfect way to introduce a younger audience to the world of dance. The narration makes it easy to follow along with this dazzling production.

8. The Muppet Christmas Carol

This preschooler’s retelling of the Dickens’ classic tale about redemption features the whole Muppets gang: Gonzo, Kermit the Frog, and Miss Piggy. Of course, there are a few Christmas Carol remakes on this list, but this is the only one that features your fuzzy Muppet friends.

9. Meet Me in St. Louis

Your whole family will enjoy this classic MGM Musical. The movie depicts all four seasons in the life of the Smith family living in turn of the century St Louis. It is filled with several catchy tunes; however, none as memorable as Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

10. Miracle on 34th Street 

When little Susan doesn’t believe in the existence of Santa, it takes a very special Santa at Macy’s to change her mind. Although your kids may be turned off by the lack of color and flashy special effects in the circa 1947 flick, this movie is the quintessential family Christmas movie that will likely win over even the youngest of hearts with its seasonal sweetness.

11. Polar Express

“Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” Based on the book by the same name, The Polar Express movie, starring Tom Hanks, depicts the pure magic of Christmas. When a young boy questions the existence of Santa, the Polar Express roars onto his street and whisks him away to the North Pole for a night filled with wonder.

12. Scrooged

Tweens and teens may get a kick out of this throw-back from the 1980s starring Bill Murray as a workaholic who has put his job in television above everything else. Striving for perfect ratings, he neglects his family, friends, and loved ones earning him a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past.

13. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This Jim Carrey-led tale is a classic Christmas movie for a reason! How the Grinch Stole Christmas has all the elements of a great family Christmas story: playful rhymes, a grouchy Grinch who doesn’t feel the Christmas sprinting, and a village of Whos determined to save the day.

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