It’s Christmastime! The family is all gathered together in the living room, popcorn is popped, the fireplace is keeping the room nice and toasty, and hundreds of twinkle lights on the Christmas tree warm the room with a soft glow. What better time than this to enjoy your favorite family Christmas movie?
Here’s a list of some of our family’s most loved Christmas movies and some great descriptions of them we found here. Maybe you have a list of your own?
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) In this holiday classic, Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a compassionate young man who gives up his dreams of travel and adventure to run the family business after his father dies. But things turn sour when $8,000 turns up missing, thanks to evil millionaire Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore). George is ready to jump off a bridge (literally) when his guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers), appears to show him what life would have been like had he never existed. The moral? Sure, life has its twists and turns, but it truly is wonderful if you have the right perspective. While there’s nothing objectionable in this movie, kids under six might not fully understand the themes of how precious life, love and family really are (but it’s never too early to get them clued in either!). (Kaboose.com) My personal all time favorite movie—great anytime of the year!!
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Does Santa Claus really exist? This movie makes a pretty good case. Maureen O’Hara plays Doris Walker, a no-nonsense Macy’s executive desperately searching for a new store Santa. She hires a nice old man named Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), who insists that he’s the real Santa Claus. After Kris is sent to an insane asylum, a young lawyer (John Payne) decides to defend him by arguing in court that he truly is the real thing. Still, Doris and her six-year-old daughter, Susan (scene-stealer Natalie Wood) are skeptical, until – well, I won’t give it away if you haven’t seen it yet! (Kaboose.com) If your family does the Santa-thing, this movie might be best viewed by family members who are over 8 years old.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) In our house, Christmas just isn’t Christmas until we’ve seen Snoopy decorate his doghouse and heard Linus recite the true meaning of the season. When Charlie Brown complains about all the materialism he sees during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. He accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle, and he tries to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little fir tree. (Kaboose.com) Wonderful for all ages. It’s thematic relevance becomes even greater as years go by!
A Christmas Story (1983) This movie has become a Christmas staple in our home! With our two boys who pretty much embody the personalities of Ralphie and Randy…down to asking Santa for a Red Rider BB gun! Maybe it’s the narration of the somewhat dysfunctional family that hits home, I’m not sure. But this comedy celebrates the sort of Christmas a young boy may have had in the 1940s, while trying to convince his parents, teacher, and even Santa that a Red Ryder is the only thing he wants for Christmas. Our kids starting watching this around age 7.
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (1964) This classic made-for-TV Christmas movie tells the story of Rudolph, a reindeer with a nose that lights up. He’s looking for a place where he belongs. Special guest appearances by the Abominable Snowman and the misfit toys make this movie extra-special. (Kidzworld.com) Can be enjoyed by the whole family!
The Little Drummer Boy (1968) Another clay-mation, made-for-TV movie that tells the story An orphan drummer boy who because of personal loss, hates humanity. He then finds his life changed forever when he meets three wise men on route to Bethlehem, following a star in order to find a new born King! Great for the entire family!
The Nativity Story (2006) Finally a story about Christ’s birth!! The problem is that while very little in this movie is un-biblical; there’s a significant amount of extra-Biblical. For instance, we are given the impression that Mary was unhappy about her arranged marriage to Joseph. This is not a Cecil B. DeMille epic movie of the 1960’s, but the character development is great! It’s rated PG, because there’s some mild violence and the birthing scene could scare the little ones, so I’d keep this movie for the pre-teen and above crowd.
Polar Express (2004) My family loves this movie! Like many journeys in classic children’s literature, this one is allegorical. The children learn what their peculiar faults are and how they must overcome them. In this sense, it bears a strong likeness to the “Wizard of Oz” in that it has four characters sharing a journey to a magic city (the North Pole) where they receive the knowledge about themselves they were lacking. Thematically, it is even more similar to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress because of the underlying spiritual theme of belief. (Christiananswers.net) Great for the whole family!
Our family loves Christmas movies, and my list could probably go on for pages! But instead I’d really love to hear about your favorite Christmas movies! And maybe share a little memory with all of us as to what makes them so special to your family!!
Lisa Strnad is a contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She is a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. Lisa lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on www.talkinglikeagirl.blogspot.com.