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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Even if this Christmas may look a little different from those in years past, the wish to keep the holiday spirit alive – even while cooped up at home – can be felt everywhere. A great way to keep the magic flourishing is through creating new traditions and watching Christmas movies.
Whether it’s driving in the car through brightly lit neighborhoods or local parks, or creating the perfect family meal that just feels like Christmas, it’s time to find new socially distant traditions to help celebrate the holidays! Even before this year made staying in a necessity, my family’s always spent part of the holidays indoors watching all our favorite Christmas movies. The smell of hot apple cider, the warmth of a fuzzy blanket, and a holiday film on the television – that’s always felt like Christmas to me.
But with so many movies to choose from, how do you pick the best family holiday film? In case flipping through Netflix for hours isn’t something you feel like doing, I’ve made a list of my top 6 favorite family-friendly Christmas movies to choose from this year. I hope you and your family will love them as much as mine does!
6. The Muppet Christmas Carol
Considered to be the story that brought Christmas into popular culture, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is one of the oldest and most beloved holiday stories of all time. While many versions can be found online – including the animated 2009 version starring Jim Carrey or Mickey Mouse’s “A Christmas Carol” – the Muppet’s retelling of the Christmas journey of Ebenezer Scrooge is by far my favorite. Kids will love seeing the adorable puppets on-screen, and parents will enjoy the nostalgia of watching their favorite childhood characters once again. If you’re searching for a memorable way to keep the holiday spirit alive, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is the perfect film for you and your family!
5. It’s a Wonderful Life
Another blast from the past, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a household name for holiday films. Made in 1946, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a heartwarming story about family, community, and enjoying the life that we’ve been given. After the difficult year, a Christmas reminder about the beautiful things that can be found even during trying times can be the perfect remedy for the holiday blues. So grab your popcorn, hug your family close, and sit down to watch this “wonderful” classic.
If “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a little deeper storyline than you’re looking for and you want to keep it fun and light this holiday season, “Elf” is the movie for you! Starring the hilarious Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, this movie has been a family favorite since it’s release in 2003. The mix of animation with live-action adds the perfect amount of whimsy to this funny story of a family reuniting during the holidays. After it’s over, you may love it so much you’ll even find yourself saying “Buddy the Elf! What’s your favorite color?”
3. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
A film recently added to Netflix’s Christmas section, “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is a beautiful story about the magic of Christmas. Centered around a family of inventors and a grandfather learning to believe again, this film is wonderful to watch both for its storyline and its costumes and cinematography. Created using inspiration found in steampunk fashion, the beauty of the characters’ costumes was a favorite for both my mother and myself.
One of my favorite Christmas movies of all time, “Klaus” is a heart-wrenching, heartwarming animation telling the story of the origins of Santa Claus and his friend Jesper, the postman. The two work together during the film to bring Christmas to the small town of Smeerensburg, finding companionship, love, and a belief in others along the way. A beautifully animated and wonderfully written story, “Klaus” is a perfect movie for any age and a great way to bring the magic of Christmas back into your home.
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Reigning at number one is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Nostalgic, colorful, and full of music and magic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the perfect family holiday film. Personally, I love all Charlie Brown films and comics, so I’m already slightly biased. But “A Charlie Brown Christmas” holds a special place in my heart – so much so that my family hands a large red ornament on one of our house plants every year to show our love for Charlie Brown’s tiny tree.
In the end, whatever film you choose and whatever new tradition you might begin this year, may your family find the holiday spirit once again. Even if we have to stay inside, Christmas can still be “the most wonderful time of the year”!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.