One of the great things about the holiday season is that we adults are home on vacation and we get to spend more time with our kids and our spouse. A big question that gets asked around my house during that special time of the year is , “what do you all want to do tonight?” More often than not, the answer that we all agree on is to watch a Christmas movie together. Below is a list of our personal favorites for the holiday season. These are the movies that everyone in my family can enjoy. Not only is this list family friendly, but these are movies that have passed the group enjoyment test. Everyone from my youngest teen daughter to my in-laws who are in their 70’s have had a good time watching the movies mentioned here.
5. Home Alone (1990)
Besides being a clever story about a boy who is left alone in his home to fend off a couple of bumbling crooks, this is one of the great Christmas stories of our time. What better way for a boy Scrooge to learn what’s important in life than to be suddenly without a family during Christmas. The music in this movie alone is heart-warming and brings me into the Christmas spirit every time.
4. The Christmas Carol (2009)
There are many great movie adaptations of the classic story by Charles Dickens, but I like this one for a couple of reasons. First, it has retained the dark ghost-story nature of the original story. Second, it’s still new enough that the special effects still look up to date. The computer-animated characters and heavy special effects are visually stunning. This is also a great showcase for the very talented Jim Carrey.
3. Elf (2003)
Elf is the perfect blend of warped humor and warm holiday cheer. Will Ferrell was born to play the main character Elf. He sees the world like a child on Christmas morning, 365 days of the year, while everyone else has forgotten the child-like spirit of Christmas. The movie is filled with laugh-out-loud scenes from start to finish. And even the scroogiest of characters, Elf’s dad played by James Caan, rediscovers the joy of Christmas by the end of the film.
2. Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
For several members of my family, Christmas With The Kranks is the number one pick for holiday family movie time. I would agree if I didn’t have a sentimental place in my heart for my #1 pick below. Christmas With The Kranks has solid comedic performances by its two leads Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. Plus, great writing throughout that leads to many hilarious scenes that my family ends up laughing about for days later as we reminisce about the movie. There are also some great lesson to be learned about the importance of family and sacrificial giving.
1. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
This is my personal favorite Christmas movie. It uses the great classic tale from Charles Dickens as a starting point and then reinterprets it through the lens of the Muppets. This was made back in the day when our furry friends could still be counted on to deliver very funny family fair. It’s lots of fun with humor added all along the way by the Muppet characters that we already know and love like Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie Bear. I love how this movie retains the seriousness of the Scrooge character’s plight, played effectively by Michael Caine. It maintains the heart of the Dickens story with just the right amount of silliness thrown in from the Muppet Characters to keep it from getting too heavy. The songs are catchy. The movie looks and feels old-fashioned, charming, and magical.