One of our favorite parts of the holiday season is snuggling up to watch Christmas movies! There’s nothing better than quality time as a family during Christmas break. If you love this family tradition or want to start it in your family, you might be looking for some movie ideas.

From heartwarming classics that have stood the test of time to animated movies that captivate the youngest members of the household, we’ve got a list of the best Christmas movies for families that promise laughter, warmth, and a sprinkling of that magical holiday spirit.

So, grab a mug of cocoa, snuggle into your coziest blanket and your family, and join us as we unwrap the enchanting world of Christmas cinema that will leave your family with smiles as bright as Rudolph’s nose! 

best christmas movies for families

40 Best Christmas Movies for Families

1. Elf (2003)

elf - Best Christmas Movies for Families

Watch Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, as he embarks on a hilarious journey to find his real father in New York City.

2. Home Alone (1990)

home alone

Kevin McCallister defends his home from burglars in this classic comedy, showcasing a young Macaulay Culkin’s mischievous charm.

3. The Polar Express (2004)

polar express

Join a magical train ride to the North Pole with a young boy who learns about the spirit of Christmas and friendship.

4. A Christmas Carol (1984)

a christmas carol - Best Christmas Movies for Families

Witness George C. Scott’s portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge as he experiences a change of heart in this timeless Dickens adaptation.

5. The Grinch (2000)

the grinch

Jim Carrey brings Dr. Seuss’s beloved character to life in this heartwarming tale of the Grinch’s redemption.

6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

national lampoons christmas vacation - Best Christmas Movies for Families

The Griswold family’s attempt at a perfect Christmas turns into a hilarious and chaotic adventure.

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

a charlie brown christmas

Join Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang as they discover the true meaning of Christmas in this animated classic.

8. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

miracle on 34th st

A young girl, her mother, and a lawyer try to prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real deal.

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

rudolph the red-nose reindeer - best christmas movies for families

The classic stop-motion film tells the story of Rudolph’s journey to acceptance and his important role in Santa’s sleigh team.

10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

This Frank Capra masterpiece follows George Bailey as he contemplates his life with the help of an angel named Clarence.

11. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

the muppet christmas carol - best christmas movies for families

Join the Muppets in this musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic, starring Michael Caine as Scrooge.

12. Arthur Christmas (2011)

arthur christmas - best christmas movies for families

Discover the high-tech operation behind Santa’s deliveries and follow Arthur, Santa’s clumsy son, on a mission to save Christmas.

13. Scrooged (1988)


Bill Murray stars in this modern-day retelling of “A Christmas Carol,” set in a television network where a cynical executive learns the true meaning of the holiday.

14. The Santa Clause (1994)

the santa clause

Tim Allen inadvertently becomes Santa Claus and must navigate the challenges that come with the job.

15. Frosty the Snowman (1969)

frosty the snowman

Join Frosty, the animated snowman, and his friends as they try to escape the clutches of an evil magician.

16. Jingle All the Way (1996)

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes on a comedic quest to find the hottest Christmas toy for his son on Christmas Eve.

17. White Christmas (1954)

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star in this classic musical that follows two World War II veterans who team up for a festive musical performance.

18. Last Holiday (2006)

The Last Holiday features Queen Latifah in a hilarious and heartwarming story. Witness the unfolding tale of a woman who, upon learning about her limited time left, decides to cast aside inhibitions and dive headfirst into a whirlwind of enjoyment that spans just a few weeks.

19. Shrek the Halls (2007)

The Shrek gang celebrates Christmas in their own quirky style in this animated holiday special.


Our Christmas page has gift ideas for everyone on your list plus some holiday fun that will help you create the most magical family memories

20. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Siblings team up with Santa Claus to save Christmas after accidentally causing chaos on Christmas Eve.

21. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

mickey's christmas carol - best christmas movies for families

Disney’s beloved characters take on Dickens’ classic tale, with Scrooge McDuck in the lead role.

22. A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)

a muppet family christmas

The Muppets celebrate Christmas with characters from Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and more in this heartwarming special.

23. Gremlins (1984)


A young man receives a unique Christmas gift, a Mogwai, leading to chaos when the creature’s care instructions are ignored.

24. A Christmas Story (1983)

a christmas story - best christmas movies for families

Follow young Ralphie’s quest for a Red Ryder BB gun in this nostalgic and humorous look at Christmas in the 1940s.

25. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

christmas with the kranks

Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis try to skip Christmas festivities but face unexpected challenges in this comedy.

26. The Chronicles of Narnia

the chronicles of narnia

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005): Join the Pevensie siblings as they discover the magical world of Narnia and help free it from the White Witch’s icy grip.

27. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

The classic animated TV special narrated by Boris Karloff tells the story of the Grinch’s attempt to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

28. The Nutcracker Prince (1990)

the nutcracker prince - best christmas movies for families

An animated adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, following the journey of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince.

29. The Family Stone (2005)

the family stone

Sarah Jessica Parker joins a quirky family for the holidays in this heartfelt comedy-drama.

30. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)

mickey's once upon a christmas

A collection of Disney animated shorts featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy in festive tales.

31. A Christmas Carol (2009)

disney's a christmas carol

An animated retelling of Dickens’ classic featuring Jim Carrey in multiple roles, using motion-capture technology.

32. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

the bishops wife - best christmas movies for families

Cary Grant plays an angel who helps a bishop and his wife rediscover the true spirit of Christmas.

33. The Elf on the Shelf an Elf Story

the elf on the shelf an elf's story - best christmas movies for families

Chippey, the spirited young scout elf chosen by Santa, embarks on an inspiring journey in ‘An Elf’s Story,’ dedicated to rekindling Taylor McTuttle’s faith in the magic of Christmas.

34. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

a year without santa claus

Follow Santa’s decision to take a break, leading to the adventure of two elves trying to save Christmas.

35. Happy Holidays, Garfield!

happy holidays garfield

Embark on a festive adventure with Garfield through two delightful holiday stories! Spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with Garfield.

36. Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977)

emmet otters jug band christmas

Jim Henson’s heartwarming tale follows Emmet Otter and his friends as they participate in a talent competition to win Christmas gifts.

37. Prep & Landing (2009)

prep & landing - best christmas movies for families

Explore the behind-the-scenes work of Santa’s elite team of elves who prepare homes for Santa’s arrival.

38. Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas (2004)

mickey's twice upon a christmas

Another delightful collection of Disney animated shorts featuring beloved characters in festive scenarios.

39. A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

a flintstones christmas carol - best christmas movies for families

The Flintstones put their own prehistoric spin on Dickens’ classic tale in this animated Christmas special.

40. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992)

home alone 2

This movie follows the misadventures of Kevin McCallister as he accidentally boards the wrong flight during a family trip to Florida and ends up alone in New York City.

More Christmas Ideas:

Reindeer Pancakes

How to Create a Gingerbread Christmas Kitchen

Christmas Book and Pajama Tradition