13 Must-See Christmas Movies for Kids

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Sit down and snugle up to your family members 'cause it's time for some Christmas cheer.

Sit down and snuggle up to your family members 'cause it's time for some Christmas cheer.

Christmas time is meant to be a wholesome point of the year filled with fun and caring and everyone caring about fun and the like. Also, you probably see family or something. However, a typical Christmas tradition usually ends up being a good old family sit-down-and-watch-something, also know as “movie time.” Problem is, there are a lot of awful Christmas movies out there. I went ahead and gathered the best for you to pick from. These are 13 Must-See Christmas Movies (and if you dislike the number 13, take heart that one of the movies is actually two).

Frosty the Snowman:

Sure, this is totally possible. No, I'm being serious.

Sure, this is totally possible. No, I'm being serious.

Animation is going to pop up everywhere on this list, and loveable old Frosty takes charge with his corncob pipe and button nose and two eyes made out of coal. The story goes that somehow a failed magician’s hat placed atop the head of a snowman makes him come alive and proclaim “Happy birthday!” to whomever he sees. Frosty is a quintessential Christmas character next to the other big two (we’ll get to them later). Plus, you get a great animated sequence set to the classic “Frosty The Snowman” song that you know by heart.

The Santa Clause:

No trust me, he makes a pretty good Santa when he has to.

No trust me, he makes a pretty good Santa when he has to.

I’m gonna go ahead and say that Tim Allen doesn’t really make good movies anymore (I’m not the only one that’ll say this). I’m looking forward to Toy Story 3, but that’s about it. However, in the past I used to be all about Tim Allen, and one of his best movies (for memories anyways), is The Santa Clause. In this movie, the real Santa Claus kinda…uh…dies. Well, he falls off Tim Allen’s roof anyway, and when Tim Allen puts on Santa’s clothes he is given St. Nick’s job. It’s interesting to see Tim Allen’s character go from being completely against the idea to eventually embracing it full heartedly near the end. You can skip the sequels, but this one is a definite watch around Christmas.

Miracle on 34th Street:

When I grow up, I want to be Santa Claus.

When I grow up, I want to be Santa Claus.

Okay, we’re talking classic here. The plot here centers on Santa Claus once again, only this time things are in black and white. A Macy’s store has a Santa Claus on display but an old man comes up and reveals him to be a fake. This old man then takes the fake’s place and it’s learned that this guy is actually the real Santa Claus, calling himself Kris Kringle. There’s a whole court battle to prove he’s the real deal, and a few people learn a lesson about trust and faith and all sorts of things. Basically, this is a good movie.

It’s a Wonderful Life:

Every time this movie's seen an angel gets its wings.

Every time this movie's seen an angel gets its wings.

I loves me some Jimmy Stewart. In probably his most iconic role (next to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a movie I also recommend), Jimmy plays George Bailey, a man that runs a business and loan company that helps “the little guy,” until about $8,000 goes missing from the company on accident and an evil man in the town finds it and keeps it for himself. Jimmy Stewart decides to see what the world would be like if he never existed and through a crazy night and a trip guided by an angel named Clarence, Jimmy learns what he’s got value to everyone he knows. You’ve seen this movie, even if you haven’t.

Santa Claus is Coming To Town:

Best mailman ever to grace the screen.

Best mailman ever to grace the screen.

Santa is quite a popular character this time of year, though this is the last time he’ll make a starring appearance on this list. Santa Claus is Coming To Town is one of those older claymation-style movies with lots of great musical numbers and amazing voice acting. The story here is about Santa Claus’ origins and humble beginnings, including the invent of the flying reindeer, the giving of gifts, and even the costume. Seriously, I love this one.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Live-Action):

No shut up, this movie's awesome.

No shut up, this movie's awesome.

Okay, I’ve taken a lot of guff for loving this one (who knows what “guff” is but I’ve taken it alright). Still, I stand by my opinion. I still laugh every time I see Jim Carrey say a silly line as Dr. Seuss’ beloved Grinch character as he attempts to steal Christmas. While the live-action version doesn’t adhere to the book as closely, I love it all the same.

Home Alone 1 & 2:

Oh snaps, you KNOW Culkin's gonna go OFF on those burglers.

Oh snaps, you KNOW Culkin's gonna go OFF on those burglers.

I consider Home Alone 1 and 2 the same movie, so they only count for one spot (but they’re still two movies, in case you really hate the number 13 in lists). Macaulay Culkin plays his most famous character as his huge family leaves him home alone for Christmas entirely on accident. Instead of freaking out (which he actually does for a moment or two), Culkin decides to enjoy Christmas on his own in the best way possible: By doing whatever he’s always wanted to do. This by it self would make for a great movie, but then along come the Wet Bandits to spice things up by attempting to break in to Culkin’s house. The result: Hilarity due to well-placed traps and such. The sequel takes things a bit further and puts Culkin in New York for the holidays, but generally they’re great watched back-to-back. The third movie doesn’t count.

A Christmas Story:

Well, at least he didn't shoot his eye out.

Well, at least he didn't shoot his eye out.

Oh yes, now we’re talking. No Christmas movie list is complete without A Christmas Story, a perfect example of those “slice of life” pictures from when you were a kid. Alright, so parents, you’ll appreciate the movie a lot more than your kids will, but kids, enjoy this movie for what it is. There are a lot of hilarious moments, such as the always-famous tongue-getting-stuck-to-a-frozen-pole scene, plus tons of quotes that you might use all the time but forget where they came from. This is a good history lesson for everyone out there.

A Muppet Christmas Carol:

Why don't my turkies ever look that good?

Why don't my turkies ever look that good?

I saw no reason for Disney to come out with a new Christmas Carol this year since the Muppets already made the best adaptation of Dicken’s classic tale of Scrooge getting some serious comeuppance at the hands of three spirits visiting him during the night. Usually Muppets make everything better all around, but here I’m giving the ultimate nod to Michael Cain for having the best Scrooge performance this side of Dick Chaney.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Animated):

I'd gladly see that face at the foot of my bed every time I woke up.

I'd gladly see that face at the foot of my bed every time I woke up.

You didn’t think I’d leave out the animated version and only include the live-action one, did you? Of course not. How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a perfect movie. No, you can’t argue with me, the movie is perfect. Everything follows the original story down to the smallest detail and in the end we are left with the question of “What does a Roast Beast taste like?” I’d still like to know. If anyone is planning on making Roast Beast for Christmas dinner, please send me an e-mail and invite me over.

Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer:

A reindeer with a glowing nose and a dentist? How ridiculous!

A reindeer with a glowing nose and a dentist? How ridiculous!

Please tell me you’ve seen this movie before. You have all sorts of wonderful things here at work, such as Rudolph in all his wonderful outsiderness, Kirby the elf that wants to be a dentist, Yukon Cornelius, the Bumble (they bounce, don’ cha know), and my favorite area in the whole world, the Island of Misfit Toys. Remember kids, “Nobody likes a Charlie-in-the-Box.” This is the finest stop-motion clay feature ever. Hey, stop arguing already, I’m not finished with my list yet.

Elf:

I am suddenly filled with holiday spirit.

I am suddenly filled with holiday spirit.

Making new holiday classics is not something that’s easy to do. Somehow though, Elf manages to be a fantastic Christmas movie that should be on everyone’s viewing lists next to all the other movies I’ve mentioned previously. Will Farrell plays a man named Buddy who’s been raised by elves. When he becomes an adult he goes to New York to meet his father and the culture shock is quite extreme, though that just means fun for us. I still get a little teary at the final scene due to the over-abundance of Christmas cheer.

A Charlie Brown Christmas:

"It's dead; I killed it."

"It's dead; I killed it."

This is the absolute best Christmas movie ever created. Even better than all the other great movies I just rambled about. Charlie Brown is the kid we all thought we were as kids (except for the Lucys of the world who we hated so much), and when Christmas rolls around, Chuck can’t help but think that something’s wrong with him since he isn’t happy. This is probably the only movie on this list that gets right down to the heart of Christmas and takes a serious moment to shut everyone up.

And then Linus owned everybody.

And then Linus owned everybody.

Please, do me a favor for a second (I ask for so very few of those, don’t I), and go watch A Charlie Brown Christmas again, or for the first time if you somehow decided to live a sad, miserable life up until this point in time. You’ll thank me, or maybe you won’t in which case I’ll just shrug and say “good grief” as the Charlie Brown that I am.

Now that my list is over, have I missed any Christmas classics that should be up there? I want to know, and I bet some other people would like to know, too. So leave us a comment and let’s hear some more great Christmas movies. The season’s all about giving anyway, so give us your opinion and let’s all go drink some eggnog.

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About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

1 Comment

  1. I couldn’t have picked a better list. I may have arranged them in a different order (personal preference). But this is a good list! – mattkendrick.com

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