Family Christmas Movies: Beyond Elf & Charlie Brown’s Christmas

These Family Christmas Movies will bring your family together this holiday season to create wonderful, wholesome memories with your kids!

Here’s what to watch when your family is looking for something to watch besides the same Christmas classics that you watch every year, but as a parent, you still want quality movies that are family friendly.

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I have selected these family Christmas movies as appropriate for all ages. Some are rated PG, either for a few curse words or intense moments, and they are noted.

Parents should preview any movie that they feel is questionable for their children, however, as family preferences may differ. Kids in Mind and Plugged In are the most helpful sources of movie reviews and IMBD has become more accurate than Common Sense Media, especially for those “harder to find” movies.

If you enjoy incorporating movies into your homeschool studies, be sure to check out these four ways to incorporate movies into your homeschool. Includes vetted lists for accurate American history from Colonial Times to Post War America.

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Family Christmas Movies Based on Books

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story PG 1971 This is actually the movie that inspired the television series, The Waltons. It’s based upon Earl Hamner Jr.s autobiographical account of his childhood, growing up in the Appalachian Mountains during the Great Depression.

Rated PG only because it deals with some of the difficult aspects of the Great Depression, such as not having enough money to make ends meet. This movie probably isn’t considered “politically correct” but it does show an authentic look at what life was like for a Christian family living in the mountains in the 1930s at Christmas with just their faith and each other. Streaming on Philo and YouTube.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey G 2007 Based on the book of the same name by Susan Wojciechowski. A grumpy woodcarver is hired to recreate a nativity set that belonged to a young boys deceased father. Superb, must-watch movie! Available on YouTube, AppleTV, Netflix, and Vimeo.

Karen Kingsbury’s Maggie’s Christmas Miracle G 2017 If you like both Hallmark Christmas movies and Karen Kingsbury’s books, you will love this movie! A sweet story of a widow trying to balance work and motherhood who falls for her son’s tutor. Available on Hallmark channel, VUDU, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

Love’s Christmas Journey NR 2011 Another Hallmark movie, this one is based upon Janette Oke’s book series, Love Comes Softly. This is one that you might find in the $5 DVD bin because it’s older, but it’s a very well done Christian movie. If you’ve seen some of the other Love Comes Softly movies, this one is a stand-alone and isn’t dependent on watching the others.

Sweet Romantic Christmas Movies

The Princess Switch PG 2018 This “prince and pauper” story has two identical girls (probably distant cousins) trading places for the day. Of course, things go awry with their plans. Rated PG for a couple of misuses of God’s name. Otherwise, it’s a very cute and clean movie. Look also for the G-rated sequel, Switched Again, that was just released, in which there are 3 of the identical cousins. Find both Netflix originals on Netflix

Christmas with Holly NR 2018 This is one of Hallmark’s best Christmas movies! It’s similar to that older movie, 3 Men and a Baby, except in this movie, 3 brothers must care for their niece when her mother (their sister dies). It’s a light-hearted, feel-good movie with a bit of romance. Find it streaming on Amazon Prime, Google Play, VUDU, or Hallmark. DVDs at Amazon or other retailers.

A Very Country Christmas PG 2016 A country music superstar hides out in a small town and falls in love. I’m not sure why it’s rated PG because I didn’t notice anything other than the guy is shown shirtless for a brief moment. Cute story and even my teenage son didn’t mind (too much) watching. Streaming on Prime, Netflix, and UP Faith & Family.

A Princess for Christmas G 2012 A single aunt takes her niece and nephew to see their estranged family in Europe, who happen to be royalty. Roger Moore (of James Bond fame) plays the grandfather/Duke. Very clean romantic-comedy. Streaming free on Tubi, Pluto, IMBd, and on Netflix.

Operation Christmas Drop G 2020 My teenage son agreed to watch this rom-com only because it was about the Air Force, but he (and the rest of us) loved this movie. Then at the end, we learned that it’s based on a real thing–there really is an Operation Christmas Drop based out of Anderson AFB in Guam. If you have Netflix, it’s definitely one you should add to your watchlist.

Cheesy Romantic Christmas Movies

If you have kids, like my teenage son, who don’t enjoy these sweet romantic movies as much as others do, I have the perfect solution for you!

Cheesy Christmas Movie BINGO!

Yep! I made a cheesy Christmas movie BINGO game that works with all Hallmark-type romantic comedy Christmas movies.

That way your Grinches and Scrooges can watch and laugh as they look for scenes to cross off on their game cards. And you still get to watch the movie. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

Cheesy Christmas movie bingo game printable

Get your own {FREE} Sample Cheesy Christmas Movie BINGO Game Card in the Free Resource Library.

Or get all 4 printable cards in the Whole Child Homeschool Resource Store.

Variations of A Christmas Carol by Dickens

Jim Carrey, David Hardware, Patrick Stewart, Henry Winkler, and even Mr. Magoo have all tried their hand at interpreting Charles Dicken’s classic Christmas tale. These are 4 of the best, plus a story about the origins of Dicken’s novel

Mickey’s Christmas Carol G 1983 A short and non-scary rendition of the classic perfect for your youngest kids. Stream on Disney+, VUDU, iTunes, or Prime or buy the DVD.

The Muppet Christmas Carol G 1992 This one is my kids’ favorite interpretation; even after they were old enough to watch the George C. Scott version, they preferred this one. Find it on VUDU, Google Play, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.

A Christmas Carol PG 1984 This version stars George C. Scott as Scrooge and is probably the most popular adaptation of Dicken’s novel. And if you watched the movie as a child, you probably watched this one. It has some scarier moments that may be too much for young children. It’s on Hulu, Sling, Prime, and Starz.

A Christmas Carol 1951 version with Alastair Sim is the most true to the book. It was released in some countries as “Scrooge”. Some elements might be scary for little ones. This black and white version is only streaming on Prime.

The Man Who Invented Christmas PG 2017 Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey) plays Charles Dickens, who is struggling financially and needs to write something in order to support his family. He uses real-life inspiration as well as his fantastic imagination to create the story we all know and love. PG for thematic elements that might be scary to little ones.

Family Christmas Shorts

The Christmas Apron: Miracles Happen through Selfless Love NR This sweet 26-minute film takes place during WW2, when money is tight. Very heartwarming story about service to others at Christmastime.

Red Boots for Christmas NR 1995 An animated short set in Germany where Hans, a shoemaker, learns the true meaning of Christmas. One of my older daughters’ favorite Christmas movies when they were young. Watch it on Amazon Prime, Vimeo, or YouTube.

Annabelle’s Wish NR 1997 Another animated one that your younger children will love! The animation is dated, but the story is not. Santa brings a young boy, Billy, who is not able to speak, a calf born on Christmas Eve, which also brings hope to Billy. Narrated by Randy Travis. Stream it on Prime or YouTube. This one is one of my family’s favorites!

The Three Wise Men G 2020 This short was originally released as The First Noel, but it’s been re-released with a new title. Narrated by Andy Griffith. Watch it on Prime or free on Facebook.

An American Girl Story: Mary Ellen 1955 Extraordinary Christmas NR 2016 An Amazon Prime Original; same quality as the other American Girl doll movies, like Felicity, but this one is only 48 minutes long.

Classic Family Christmas Movies

Christmas in Connecticut G 1945 Barbara Stanwyck plays a Martha Stewart type magazine columnist who tries to pull off a fake Christmas to keep her secret that she’s actually single and can’t cook. My kids really liked this one “even though it was black and white”. 😀 Available on most streaming platforms like Google Play, VUDU, and Prime.

Holiday Inn G 1942 Starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Some find the Abraham musical act/scene in this movie to be racist. As such, many broadcasters have removed that scene. If it’s in the one you see, you can take the opportunity to talk with your kids that this movie is a snippet of history that shows how black people were portrayed in the 1940s in the U.S. Despite that scene, it’s a classic musical that I felt was important for my kids to see as a bit of American cultural history. Find it on most streaming services: iTunes, Google Play, Prime, and YouTube.

Remember the Night G 1940 Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray star in this classic. The couple take a road trip and fall in love on the way. Watch it free on Peacock. Hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity as It’s a Wonderful Life, but equally as good, I think.

White Christmas G 1954 Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star in this light-hearted Christmas musical comedy that is the origin of the iconic Christmas song, White Christmas. My kids love musicals and they love Christmas movies-it was a win/win. And if your kids are like mine, and detest black and white movies, this one is even in color! 😀

It’s A Wonderful Life G 1946 It’s on television every single year at Christmas multiple times, but my big kids hadn’t seen it until recently. Because “it’s black and white, Mom! UGH!” Yeah, I’ll admit it; I forced them to and they didn’t die or anything! They still only gave it a half-hearted thumbs-up, but maybe your kids will like it better? I’m not sorry I made my kids watch, it’s part of a well-rounded education of knowing what early 20th century America was like. 😀

Family Christmas Movies on My Family’s “To Watch” List This Year

Jingle Jangle 2020 PG? Netflix original

The Christmas Chronicles Parts I & II PG 2018, 2020 Netflix originals

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square PG 2020 Netflix original

Finding Father Christmas series G 2016 Hallmark originals

Extension Activities

Movie Quotes Copywork for Grammar and Handwriting:

Polar Express Homeschool Unit Study

Christmas movie unit homeschool

Polar Express & Hot Chocolate Unit Study with lessons for Middle to High School! Have fun with these easy, real-life projects that fit into the craziness of December without adding in extra work! Complete Language Arts, STEAM, & history; just add in daily math.

Christmas movie unit homeschool

Polar Express & Hot Chocolate Unit Study with lessons for 4th to 6th grade! Have fun with these easy, real-life projects that fit into the craziness of December without adding in extra work! Complete Language Arts, STEAM, & history; just add in daily math.

Christmas movie unit homeschool

Polar Express & Hot Chocolate Unit Study with lessons for PreK to 3rd grade! Have fun with these easy, real-life projects that fit into the craziness of December without adding in extra work! Complete Language Arts, STEAM, & history; just add in daily math.

More Christmas Movie Activities

Be sure to follow my Pinterest board Christmastime Homeschooling. You’ll get more great hands-on activities and ideas for Homeschooling through the holidays.

Don’t forget to pin this post about Family Christmas Movies so you can refer back to it later!
Christmas movie
Christmas movies bingo cards printables

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