9 Memorable Christmas Movies to Watch with Your Kids this Year

Nothing beats sitting down a cold winter's afternoon or evening to watch a Christmas movie.  

Guaranteed to fill you with nostalgia, warmth and good cheer, they'll get you in the mood for Christmas more than piped supermarket music or a busy high street ever will!

So, this year make some time to sit down with the kids to watch our pick of the Christmas films, these are our nine must-sees.

Check out our list of 30 Best Christmas Movies too!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmas means something different to everyone, but one thing that many people agree on is that the season has always drifted toward the ‘bigger and better’ mentality.

This is the dilemma that Charlie Brown is faced with in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

He feels that the holiday season has been completely taken over by commercialism and he wants to change that.

Despite how much he wants to change the feel of Christmas, he’s met with many obstacles and constant reminders that Christmas has become the focal point spending and getting.

One of the most touching moments in the movie is when Linus steps center stage and begins to quote the Christmas story.

This movie is a classic that will reunite you with all of the lovable Peanuts gang as they learn to focus on the true meaning of the holiday.

Watch on Amazon Prime

Buy the book

A Christmas Carol

Every holiday season, there are always a few must see Christmas movies and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is on that list.

One of the most adapted book to movie re-tellings, this story focuses on the life of Ebenezer Scrooge.

This man is a stingy, cold-hearted citizen who doesn’t have any space in his heart to show warmth or kindness to anyone regardless of whatever predicament they’re in.

He despises Christmas and often shouts "bah humbug" whenever anyone wishes him good cheer.

That night, he gets a visit from the ghost of his former business partner, Marley.

Scrooge is told that unless he becomes a changed man, that he too, will end up in the afterlife in misery.

Scrooge is visited by different ghosts who each represent what was, is and will be.

Seeing the ghosts changes Scrooge and he becomes a different person.

Where there was once hatefulness and sour actions, there is now cheer and thoughtfulness toward the people who are in his life.

A real Christmas treat!

Watch on Amazon Prime

Buy the book

Home Alone

Humorous Christmas movies are a welcome respite in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and there’s no better way to have some fun than by watching Home Alone.

What kid hasn’t ever wished his family would go away and leave him in peace?

That’s exactly what happens in Home Alone, a hysterically funny movie.

It’s the holidays and the entire family is headed off on a planned fantastic vacation in Paris.

Except chaos begins to unfold before they even leave home.

Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin) is the adorable 8-year-old boy in the movie who gets into a spat with his brother Buzz.

Kevin is always taking the brunt of the teasing and he’s fed up.

After the spat, he gets blamed and is sent upstairs as punishment.

While he’s upstairs, Kevin wishes that his family would vanish.

Night falls on the house and while everyone is asleep, the power goes out, which causes the alarm clocks the family so carefully set to fail to wake them up.

Knowing that if they don’t hurry up, they’ll miss their flight to Paris, the family runs around frantically trying to get everything ready.

During this rush, they forget that Kevin is upstairs.

The family reaches the airport and rushes to board their plane in the nick of time.

While on board the plane, the mother realizes they’ve left Kevin behind and screams out his name in horrified panic.

But Kevin, upon discovering that his family is gone and he’s king of the house, is ecstatic.

He tears up his brother’s room, and pigs out on junk food.

While he’s at home alone, he ends up having to battle The Wet Bandits – home robbers who are in the neighbourhood and decides that it’s up to him to protect the house since the family is away.

What ensues after that is a series of laugh out loud moments as he repeatedly foils the attempts of the burglars who are brilliantly played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

The iron scene alone is worth watching the movie for!

Kevin’s mom does everything she can to get home to him, including sharing a ride with John Candy. 

When mother and son are reunited, the moment is as sweet and tender as the rest of the movie is funny.

Home Alone was such a box office success that several sequels were made, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is also essential Christmas season viewing in our house.

Watch Home Alone on Amazon Prime

Watch Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Also available on Disney+

It’s a Wonderful Life

This holiday classic is a family favourite that teaches us that everyone of us has the opportunity to touch the life of another and change that life in ways you may not even be aware of.

It’s obvious that George Bailey is in trouble at the beginning of the movie.

It opens on a snowy night in Bedford Falls with many prayers being said for him.

George is a great guy who has impacted the lives of others, beginning with him saving his little brother when he was just a child.

He later prevents the pharmacist he works for from giving the wrong medication to a child during a time of grief.

George is a quiet man who often puts others first and he works at a local bank.

His dream is that once the brother he saved is finished with high school, he’ll fill George’s spot at the bank and George will then get to travel like he wants to.

There is plenty of early upheaval in George’s life, first with the death of his father and then with Mr. Potter, the richest, meanest man in Bedford Falls who wants to cut off the poor from getting home loans.

George thwarts that plan, but is asked to head up the Building and Loan.

To protect the poor, George agrees and then gifts Harry with his own money for college.

The plan then becomes that once Harry finishes college, he’ll take George’s place.

Instead, the brother comes back home with a wife and a better job offer and George, being the kind man that he is, won’t let Harry turn it down.

George stays in bedford Falls, marries local girl Mary and they settle into life, having four children.

Mr. Potter wants George to work for him for a large salary, but George refuses.

George’s brother Harry becomes a fighter pilot in the war and saves some of his fellow soldiers.

When money that belongs to the Building and Loan goes missing, having been mistakenly left at the bank owned by Mr. Potter, George is at his wits’ end and plans to take his life instead of bringing shame to his family.

It’s there on the frozen bridge when he’s about to jump into the river below that George discovers Clarence, not knowing that he’s really an angel.

Clarence embarks on a plan to help George want to live again, and then tells George that he’s an angel.

He lets George experience what life in Bedford Falls would be like without the existence of George and George’s despair changes to joy.

The townspeople arrive en masse to help save George financially and to show him how much he matters.

A joyous dollop of old-fashioned comfort.

Jingle All the Way

Inspired by the furore around the Buzz Lightyear toy the year when Toy Story was released, this funny holiday movie starts out by showing an episode of the Turbo-Man show.

Jamie, son of Howard Langston (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), is eagerly watching.

When his mother tells him to get ready because they’re heading out to karate class, he complains that his father misses everything.

The son is quite right.

Howard is a dad who spends far too much time at work and not nearly enough at home.

He’s always disappointing his family with his absences.

He’s such a workaholic that while the workers at the mattress company where Harold works are busy celebrating with a Christmas party, he;s busy working.

“You’re my number one customer” is what he says almost like a mantra to every customer who calls him.

When his wife calls to tell him he’s late, he automatically starts to the end the call with the ‘You’re my number one customer’ saying.

He tries to fix the mistake, but his wife is so upset, she angrily hangs up on him.

Realizing how badly he’s messed up, Harold makes a mad dash out in desperation to try and get to his son’s karate class.

He gets stuck in traffic and decides to drive down the emergency lane, which earns him a ticket from a sarcastic police officer who deliberately gives him a hard time.

Meanwhile, his wife is at the karate event and sitting beside their next door neighbour the annoying divorced dad who keeps getting hit on by a group of women.

Harold misses the karate class completely and arrives home to find the neighbour up on the roof putting lights on Harold’s house, which makes him angry.

His wife is still upset - and at first, his son won’t even speak to him.

When he finally does speak to him, he tells his father that what he wants more than anything for Christmas is a Turbo-Man action figure.

Howard promises his son he’ll get him one.

But there are two major problems.

First, it’s Christmas Eve and the stores are jam packed.

Secondly, the toy is so popular that it’s difficult to find one.

When he does find one, he enters into a battle with a mailman who’s just as determined to get the toy, too.

What ensues after that is a hilarious series of escapades and near misses as Howard is determined that he won’t fail his son again.

The family ends up at the Wintertainment Parade where Howard is able to give his son the action figure.

But the sweet twist at the end is one that will make this movie one that you won’t soon forget.

The perfect film for any child who has ever wanted a toy so mucch it hurt, and any parent who has battled to get the year's must-have toy!

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There are two great versions of the movie Miracle on 34th Street.

In the 1947 version, the movie is set in New York and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is ready to take place.

One of the characters, Kris Kringle, discovers that the man who is supposed to be in the parade as Santa is drunk.

Kris is hired by Doris, a young divorced woman and becomes the replacement for the drunken Santa (who was played brilliantly by Percy Helton) and he is later hired to work at the Macy’s store.

Instead of automatically getting people to buy things at Macy’s, Kris sends customers to shop at the competitor stores to find better deals on items if he knows about them.

Doris’ neighbor, Fred, an attorney, brings her daughter, Susan (played by a young Natalie Wood), who dreams of a home and a family to visit Kris at the store and hears him speaking in a different language to another child.

Doris asks him to make sure he tells her daughter that he’s an ordinary man, but Kris tells her that he is Santa Claus.

When Julian arranges for Kris to take a psychological test with Granville Sawyer, Kris passes - but later discovers that the man who gave him the test has causes another employee (Alfred) to think Alfred has mental problems.

This upsets Kris, who hits Granville over the head.

Because of this incident, Kris gets locked up in a mental hospital and Fred needs to prove that Kris is Santa.

He’s released and the judge tosses out the case after Fred proves that Kris is Santa Claus.

Susan gets her wish when she gets the house she’d dreamed of and her family.

In the 1994 version of the movie, the name of the store has been changed from Macy’s to a store called Cole’s.

Dorey (played by Elizabeth Perkins) hires Kris Kringle to be the Cole’s store Santa after he ends up taking the place of a drunken Santa in the annual parade.

He’s so convincing in his role as Santa that children start to think he’s the real deal.

But Susan, Dorey’s adorable daughter (played by Mara Wilson) refuses to believe despite her mother’s boyfriend Bryan (played by Dylan McDermott) trying to convince her otherwise.

When Kris asks her what it will take for her to believe in Santa, she gives him her wish list.

She wants a father, the house she saw in an advertisement and a little brother.

During the movie, Kris is arrested on false charges and Bryan, who’s an attorney, must help free him.

But in order to do that, he has the gigantic task of proving to the judge that Kris is indeed the real Santa.

He gets Susan to help him and the charges against Kris are tossed out.

When Bryan and Dorey marry and they end up with Susan’s dream house as well as a baby brother on the way, Susan’s Christmas wish has come true.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

There are some Christmas stories that are great for the entire family - generation after generation - and one of those Christmas stories is The Muppet Christmas Carol.

This movie is based on the beloved story written by Charles Dickens.

The same plot that he wrote is followed in the movie, with the exception of the adorable Muppet characters.

But the movie does bring the famous Muppet humour and also adds some cute, modern songs that kids will love.

The movie is told through the Muppet Gonzo with Rizzo the Rat is Gonzo’s narrating sidekick.

The two of them have some funny one liners as the story is narrated.

Scrooge is played by well-known actor Michael Caine, and he plays it with such perfection.

“If they gave a prize for being mean, the winner would be him” is a line sung by some of the Muppets as Scrooge passes by.

Mr Caine has the dour expression of Scrooge down pat and walks with the arrogance of that famous Dickens’ character.

Having the Muppets as characters in the retelling of this classic story is both brilliant and funny, with a sly nod toward the way that Miss Piggy would chase after Kermit the Frog on the Muppet Show.

In the movie, Kermit plays Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy gets to play his wife.

When two characters visit Scrooge seeking money to help give food to the poor, Scrooge sends them on their way without helping, despite the fact that he’s wealthy.

That night, Scrooge gets a visit from two men that he was once in business with in the form of ghosts.

These Muppet characters, the two old men you saw on the Muppet Show who would make snarky comments from their seats in the theatre box, are Marley and Marley and make their arrival bound in chains.

As they sing, they warn Scrooge that he’s going to end up like them if he doesn’t behave differently. 

They warn him that he’ll be haunted by three ghosts, starting with the first one visiting that evening.

One by one, these ghosts show Scrooge his life and what his future is going to be unless he amends the way he's treated others.

One of the ghosts takes him to see Mr. Cratchit’s home and he sees Tiny Tim, Cratchit’s crippled son.

Scrooge sees the warmth and love the Cratchits have, despite not having much in material possessions and very little money.

After he is visited by the ghosts, Scrooge decides he needs to change and begins to enjoy Christmas.

Watch on Amazon Prime

Also available on Disney+

The Polar Express

This is one Christmas movie you’ll definitely want to add to your collection.

It’s such an endearing story that your entire family will love.

The movie is set in the ‘40s and the star of the movie is a little boy who no longer believes in magic.

The movie has a brief start with the boy at home with his parents and sister before a sleek train appears abruptly in front of the little boy’s house.

Dressed in his pyjamas and robe, he makes his way outside and finds the train.

He walks through the snow and as he walks, you can hear the cold, crisp crunch of the snow.

He walks along the train checking out the cars in wide-eyed wonder and stunned disbelief.

Behind him, in the distance, he hears a voice calling out to board the train.

He retraces his footsteps and finds the conductor (played with the voice talent of Tom Hanks) waiting by the entrance.

The conductor reads from a clipboard and begins detailing evidence that the boy no longer believes in Santa Claus.

After he reads from the clipboard, he leans closer and tells the boy he should get on the train.

When the boy learns the train is headed for the North Pole, he climbs onboard.

He wants to see if Santa is real.

Once he’s on the train, he meets other children who also want to go to see Santa.

There’s the Know-It-All Kid, the little boy whose loneliness is plain to see and the little girl with the beautiful voice who later sings ‘When Christmas Comes to Town’.

The visuals of this movie are stunning to behold.

The train travels through miles of snow-covered frozen landscapes and these landscapes are so detailed and beautiful.

The grey overtones of the movie as the train chugs full speed ahead through the night easily gives viewers a sense of the chill weather.

There’s a lot of attention to detail and some really fun moments, like the scene where the waiters burst into the car with the children and begin a dance routine as they prepare to serve hot chocolate.

The cups, the serving plates and the dance routine are all masterfully created.

The details are so rich, from the hot chocolate machine that comes out during the waiters’ dance right down to the hot chocolate moustache on the kids’ upper lips.

There was a great scene with the hobo on top of the train when the little boy says, “I’m looking for a girl” and the hobo responds with, “Ain’t we all?” before regaling the boy with his wisdom.

The filmmaker paid close attention to every part of the movie, from the realistic wolves running as the train goes by, to the detail on the ticket.

The movie has a sweet ending that will remind adults of what it’s like to have that magical belief in Christmas.

The Santa Clause

This movie is a delightful family film that features Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, a divorced father who gets his son, Charlie, for visitation over Christmas Eve.

When his son comes over, Scott is determined to make a nice dinner, but ends up ruining it and has to take his son to a restaurant for dinner instead.

Later, when they hear a noise over their heads, Scott states that someone is on the roof.

With excited delight, his young son suggests that perhaps it’s Santa Claus, but Scott doesn’t buy into the belief and brushes his son’s thought aside as he puts on his jacket.

He hurries out the door to go check on the noise.

When he spots someone on the roof, he calls out and surprises the Santa who was near the chimney. 

Santa falls off and Scott’s young son tells his father that he’s killed Santa.

Scott fishes in Santa’s pocket and finds a card that states if something happens to him to put on the red suit and the reindeer would know what to do.

They then see the reindeer and the sleigh standing by on the roof.

Scott’s life begins to undergo a radical change once he puts on the suit.

The reindeer take Scott and his son to the North Pole where Scott learns about the Santa Clause, which makes him Santa because he’d put the suit on.

The next day, a skeptical Scott thinks he’s dreamed up the entire previous night’s events, but changes begin to take place in Scott’s appearance.

He gains weight rapidly and his beard grows to a Santa like length.

Nothing he does will stop the growth of the beard or the weight gain.

When his colleagues first see the rapid weight gain and Scott showing up to work in a sweatshirt and pair of sweatpants, he deadpans that it’s from a bee sting.

Later on, after seeing the rate Scott devours food, his boss pointedly remarks about the weight gain that Scott should try some fruit.

Scott’s new appearance and weird actions make his ex-wife feel that Scott is becoming mentally unstable.

They get his visitation rights revoked, but Scott and Charlie manage to take off for the North Pole.

He’s later nabbed bringing gifts but freed from jail by elves.

Because he’s given his ex-wife and her husband Christmas gifts with special meaning, they come to believe that Scott has indeed become Santa.

This movie is magical and kids will love seeing all of the detail that went into creating the North Pole toy workshop.

Look out for The Santa Clause 2 and 3 sequels, too!

Watch on Amazon Prime

Also available on Disney+

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