35 Christmas Movies to Choose From for Family Movie Night

Make some popcorn, gather your family, and make memories while watching a favorite Christmas movie.

By Darla Winstead, publisher of Macaroni KID Annapolis December 8, 2023

It's that time of year to make some popcorn, gather the family, and watch Christmas Movies.  

With so many Christmas themed movies how do you choose the right one for your family movie night? I put together this list of holiday classics along with newer shows that I think you and your family will enjoy. The list is divided into 3 sections: All Ages, Older Kids and Teens, and Mature Teens and Adults.   

Not sure how to find these movies? When you click on the movie title you will go to the IMDb website. Just under the title image and trailer video look on the right and you will see Streaming services and places you can Rent/Buy the movie.

* Some movies may contain elements you might find offensive. When you click on each movie title listed below, you will be taken to the IMDb website. Scroll down to the Storyline section and then click on Parent Guide. There you will find a list of actions in the movie such as offensive language, smoking, violence, etc. Use this information to determine if the movie is ok for your family.


A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965, Rated G) Charlie Brown is sad that Christmas has become commercialized. With the help of his friends he tries to find true holiday spirit. 25 minutes long

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (2022, Rated TV-G) This story of unexpected friendship follows a boy, a mole, a fox, and a horse on a journey to find the boy's home. 30 minutes long. Starring Jude Coward Nicoll, Tom Hollander, and Idris Elba

The Christmas Chronicle (2018, Rated PG) A brother and sister with a plan to catch Santa on video turns to trouble when they sneak onto his sleigh. After misfortune, can they help save Christmas? Starring Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, and Judah Lewis

Frosty the Snowman (1969, Rated TV-G) Based on the Christmas song by the same name, this tale is about a snowman that comes to life when he puts on a magic hat. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966, Not Rated) This movie is based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. It's a story of the Grinch who hates the noise from Whoville so he attempts to ruin the Whos Christmas. 26 minutes long

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000, Rated PG) A green creature with a small heart lives as a hermit on a mountain with only his dog. Down below, the happy town of Whoville loves celebrating Christmas. See what happens when the Grinch does his best to sabotage the holiday. Starring Jim Carrey

Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983, Rated G) Disney's Mickey Mouse and other characters are in this animated version of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol. 26 minutes

Miracle on 34th Street (1947, Not Rated) When the Macy's Department Store in New York City hires the real Santa Claus his magical powers transform those around him, including a little girl and her mom. Starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, and John Payne

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, Rated G) Jim Henson's Muppets recreate the classic Charles Dicken's tale with humor and heart.

The Polar Express (2004, Rated PG) A young boy lies awake in his room one snowy Christmas Eve when a train - The Polar Express - stops in his front yard and the conductor invites him aboard. What unfolds is an extraordinary adventure and a journey of self-discovery that shows the boy that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Tom Hanks is the voice of many of the characters.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964 Rated TV-G) Young Rudolph was made fun of for being different than the other reindeer and leaves the North Pole. He returns home on Christmas Eve to get Santa's help. Rudolph's bright nose ends up helping Santa deliver Christmas toys. 47 minutes

The Snowman (1982, Rated G) Wordless, animated adventure of a boy who makes a snowman on Christmas Eve. It magically comes to life and takes him on an adventure to the North Pole. 26 minutes

White Christmas (1954, Not Rated) Two sets of song and dance performers team up to save a failing Inn in Vermont. This classic movie is full of old-fashioned, wholesome music and dancing. Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney


A Christmas Carol (1984, Rated PG) A stingy, bitter businessman is visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve to help him change his ways and reconnect with his family. Starring George C. Scott

Arthur Christmas (2011, Rated PG) Santa has an ultra-high-tech operation hidden underneath the North Pole to do his work. But this year Arthur, Santa's son becomes an unlikely hero and saves Christmas.

Candy Cane Lane (2023, Rated PG) A dad determined to win the neighborhood house decorating contest will stop at nothing to win, even getting help from a devious elf. Starring Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Jillian Bell 

A Christmas Story (1983, Rated PG) This story set in the 1940's is about Ralphie and his desire to get an official Red Ryder B.B. Rifle for Christmas. But his mom, teacher, and even Santa tell him, "You'll shoot your eye out." Will Ralphie gets what he wants?Starring Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, and Darren McGavin

Elf (2003, Rated PG) Buddy was raised in the North Pole with the elves and as an adult goes to New York City to find his real family. He is disappointed to find that that his dad, stepbrother, and many in the big city don't believe in Santa and have lost the Christmas spirit. Buddy is determined to make a difference. Starring Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel, and James Caan.

Home Alone (1990, Rated PG) An 8-year-old kid is accidentally left behind while his family goes away for Christmas. He protects his home from inept burglars. Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, and Catherine O'Hara

The Naughty Nine (2023, Rated TV-PG) Nine kids on the "Naughty List" work together to go to the North Pole and retrieve their presents. Starring Danny Glover and Winslow Fegley

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, Rated PG) Despite having recently presided over a very successful Halloween, Jack Skellington is bored with his job and feels that life in Halloweenland lacks meaning. Then he stumbles upon Christmastown and promptly decides to make the Yuletide his own. Written and produced by Tim Burton.

The Santa Clause (1994, Rated PG) After Santa has an accident on Christmas Eve, a divorced father is transformed into the new Santa and must deliver the toys. His new job brings him closer to his son. Starring Tim Allen and Judge Reinhold.

The Santa Clauses (2022-23, Rated TV-PG) TV series based on the hit movie. Santa is thinking of retiring and looks for his replacement. Starring Tim Allen 


Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023, Rated TV-PG) A holiday newsletter stirs up jealousy and reconnects old friends. Starring Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood, Jason Biggs

Christmas With the Kranks (2004, Rated PG) Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas this year and go on a cruise. That is until, their adult daughter calls on Christmas Eve and tells them she is coming home and bringing her fiance.  Starring Time Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Dan Aykroyd

Four Christmases (2008, Rated PG-13) With their holiday trip to Fiji canceled unexpectedly, Kate and Brad visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day. While visiting their families they remember growing up, learn more about each other, and their relationship is tested.  Starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022, Rated TV-14) Holiday special created for Disney+ with your favorite characters Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Mantis, and Groot.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946, Rated PG) After an unfortunate incident, a businessman from a small town contemplates suicide. Fortunately, his guardian angel comes down from heaven and shows him what would have happened to his town and family if he were never born. Starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.

Jingle All the Way (1996, Rated PG) On Christmas Eve a desperate father is determined to get his son what he asked for and searches all over town while competing with others doing the same thing. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, and Phil Hartman

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020, Rated PG13) An eccentric toymaker and his granddaughter have their lives changed by his magical invention. Starring Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, and Hugh Bonneville

Love Actually (2003, Rated R) This touching movie follows the very different love lives of eight couples loosely interconnected during the month before Christmas. Starring Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and more

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989, Rated PG-13) Nothing ever seems to go right for the Griswold family. See what happens when their extended family comes to visit for Christmas. Starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo

The Ref (1994, Rated R) A thief gets more than expected when robs and takes a dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve. He becomes a referee to their family problems and endless bickering. Starring Denis Leary

Scrooged (1988, Rated PG-13) An unpleasant television executive gets a visit from three ghosts on Christmas Eve in this Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" update. Starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, and others

Trading Places (1983, Rated R) Millionaire brothers make a bet that swaps the lives of a street hustler and a successful stockbroker during the Christmas holidays. Starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd