If you’re looking for a wholesome movie for a family night during the Christmas season, here are 37 great family Christmas films for you to check out.
These films all provide different contexts with which to discuss and process many topics together without compromising hearts. The conversations that will come from a few well-chosen stories can open wonderful doors of communication and, in our home, they often carried over to mealtimes and still do.
Taking the time to explore attitudes and different cultures gives you, the parent, a powerful opportunity of guide the character development of your children and instill biblical values while they are bonding with you at the same time.
You can decide whether these movies are for your family or not. There are 31 more great movies listed below these first 6!
1.) The Christmas Miracle Of Jonathan Toomey, 2007
The tale revolves around two lonely, broken people. Jonathan Toomey is a woodcutter who loses his ability to love when he lost his wife and child in a horrid accident, and thus earned the nickname Gloomy at the hands of misunderstanding town children.
A most unexpected friendship blossoms between Thomas and the old woodcutter which heals the wounds of each hurting soul.
We love the book The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, and the movie follows the book fairly closely.
2.) A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
My husband loves this simple and poignant story because this captures his philosophy on so much of life. Winsome and endearing, this will soften all but the hardest of hearts.
Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas and serves to remind others of the true meaning of Christmas -the birth of Jesus Christ.
Available on Amazon.com. The book is equally delightful.
3.) A Child’s Christmas in Wales, 1987
Gorgeous cinematography of the coastal Welsh village and surrounding landscape vividly brings to life this classic Christmas tale.
Dylan Thomas’ 1955 poem, originally written for radio, is meant to be savored on a chill winter’s night, and nostalgically portrays a simpler time, with a child’s special imagination. On Christmas Eve, kindly grandfather “Old Geraint” (Elliott) shares stories about his Christmas past with his beloved grandson, Thomas (a perfectly elfin Mathonwy Reeves).
This film can enrich and inspire your family traditions during the holidays. To further savor the story, you’ll enjoy the book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
4.) The Nativity Story, 2006
This offers an excellent teaching opportunity (before viewing and after) to give a real context to this vital part of God’s Word, the birth of Jesus Christ. It is rich in historical significance, and the music is excellent.
An ancient prophecy regarding the arrival of a new Messiah, the King of Kings, is well known. Understandably, King Herod is concerned about the threat to his power…
Wise men also know of the prophecy, and having followed the alignment of the stars, they believe the Messiah will be coming soon…
Here is a review that offers insight, focusing on the nativity (as shown in the movie), the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, and how the film develops the characters “fleshing them out.”
It is along the lines of the The Ten Commandments in its cinematic scope and follows biblical narrative.
It is also available on Amazon.com.
5.) Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, 1951
Watching as a family has been one of our favorite family traditions! In fact, our kids have many of the memorable lines memorized by now.
First off, the 1951 British version, starring Alastair Sim, is simply the BEST of many, many out there (in our opinion).
Dicken’s wonderful old story is so well-known that the actors really have to step up their game, and thankfully, Alastair Sim is a phenomenal Ebenezer Scrooge. He’s as genuine in his disdain as he is in his joy at the end.
It’s nearly impossible to make a bad movie out of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. A bona fide classic, Dickens’ story is equipped with rich characters, an evocative setting, valuable messages, and wonderful sentiment. It remains one of our favorite Christmas films, worthy of watching together every other year!
Available on Amazon.com and free on YouTube.
6. The Christmas Candle (2013) by Max Lucado
Our son took his twin sister to see this on a ‘date’ this week. Loving all things English, they enjoyed the simple story, costuming, and the 1890s-setting in the Cotswold countryside.
It was filmed mostly on the Isle of Man. This movie for all ages marks the feature-film debut for British singing sensation Susan Boyle, whose original single, “Miracle Hymn,” serves as the ‘anthem’ for the movie.
The fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen.
More Classic Christmas Films
The quintessential It’s A Wonderful Life – perhaps the most watched of all the Christmas films!
Come to the Stable with Loretta Young. Available to rent on YouTube.
All Mine to Give is filled with hope. A young immigrant couple from Scotland (with bonnie accents) carve out a life for themselves in the 19th century, among a community of God fearing people in the mid-west. Loving kindness is not possible without a degree of sympathy, courage, service, and generosity. You’ll find all five virtues tucked inside this true story.
Our Vines Have Tender Grapes is so sweet I plan to share it with my grandchildren.
The Snowman (a fairy-tale-like and the music is gorgeous. The Snowman’s nose is a tangerine.)
Christmas for a Dollar (Dove review)
Last Ounce of Courage (great message)
A Norman Rockwell Christmas Story (1996)
A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall. This is the award-winning film based on the book.
Silent Night (during WWII)
The Agony and the Ecstasy with Charleton Heston and Rex Harrison. The story of Michelangelo and the painting of the Sistine Chapel. Fabulous! 1965
The Bishop’s Wife (5 stars)
*The Walton’s Christmas movie, the Homecoming (on YouTube!)
A Christmas Carol (1938) another great versions!
Joyeux Noel (the 1914 Christmas truce in France in the trenches of WWI)
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
Christmas In Connecticut (1945)
The Lion in Winter (1968) (PG) The 12th Century, and the obsession of Henry II of England to find a successor, after the death of the heir to the throne, causes him, one Christmas, to summon his three remaining sons.
The Christmas Truce (another good version of Joyeux Noel above)
Dallas Jenkins‘s The Chosen: The Shepherd (Pilot Episode) or watch here for FREE… I don’t know how long this link will be good.
Other Christmas films recommendations to check out:
The Christmas Angel (2012) on PureFlix
Heidi (1937) Shirley Temple filmed in Switzerland. Not Christmas per se, but the mountains and snow fit beautifully. (caveat: Heidi was stolen from her grandfather and forced to stay with another family. Also, the nanny tried to sell her to Gypsys. It is rated G, but may be frightening to younger children. This is the typical hard life of that period).
Christmas with a Capital C on PureFlix
“Miracle Down Under” A wonderful story set in Australia around 1900. Hard to find! I just found it on YouTube!
“The lion’s share of entertainment is produced by unbelievers, promoting all kinds of unbiblical lifestyles. Soap operas and sitcoms are training the minds and hearts of parents, and animated movies ”babysit” and are training the hearts and minds of children. Jesus personally “entertained” by telling stories with biblical themes, and grounding His followers in the gospel. He warned them about false philosophies. Place your television in a public area. Carefully select videos and movies. Point out false philosophies and unbiblical lifestyles.” ~Inspire: Rediscovering Classic Family Films
Do you have favorite Christmas films to add?
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We also like the production of A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart. We also like the Veggie Tales Christmas shows. Though not religious we like A Garfield Christmas and the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. A Mickey Christmas Carol is fun, especially for young ones. My daughter, now 27, loved to watch it over and over when she was about 3 yrs old. Polar Express is a fun movie. We always watch at least one show each night during the Christmas season.
Christmas for a Dollar is soooo good.
Yes, it really is, LBOAZ!! Merry Christmas!
The Chosen (and The Shepherd) are Dallas Jenkins, not Kirk Cameron.
Oh, my goodness, Nicole! I am so glad you caught that! I need an editor! 😉 Haha
I watched a very good movie with my granddaughters called “Blizzard”. It’s from 2003.
Thank you very much for this list which I’m going to save and pass along to others.
Aw, you are welcome, Stephanie! It was so much fun to create!
Blessings and Merry Christmas,