The Best Family Christmas Movies of All Time [Updated 2022]


Christmas time is associated with family reunions and gatherings. You can celebrate the season by watching some of the best family Christmas movies? These family Christmas movies are usually full of comedy, and you will enjoy watching them with your family over food as you celebrate this coming festive season. Some of these movies are family Christmas movies classics, while others can be termed as new Christmas movies.

Without further ado, here are the family Christmas movies you can watch:

Elf (2003)

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: David Berenbaum

Cast: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Elf is the first movie on this best family Christmas movies list. Buddy, a human orphan, raised in the North Pole by Santa’s elves, travels to New York City in search of his real father, who is the newly-appointed head of the toy company owned by Buddy’s newfound dad.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Director: Frank Capra

Writer: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, Jo Swerling

Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He is about to lose all he has because Potter, the richest man in town, holds a mortgage on George’s Building and Loan, which owes a large sum to a spiteful old skinflint who also happens to be the father of George’s sweetheart.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Director: Henry Selick

Writer: Caroline Thompson, Tim Burton

Cast: Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Jack Skellington doesn’t understand why he is the leader of Halloween Town instead of Christmas Town, so he goes on a journey to ask the mysterious “Prunx” (the Christmas Town mayor) why.

The Grinch (2018)

Director: Scott Mosier, Yarrow Cheney

Writer: Michael LeSieur

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson

IMDb Rating: 6.3/10

A grumpy, cynical recluse surveys the cheerful Christmas-themed festivities of his neighbors with resentment and scorn until his neighbor’s adopted son, Max, discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Director: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam

Writer: Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones, Bob Ogle

Cast: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

The Grinch is a nasty creature who lives high up in the mountains, away from the residents of the valley, where he has grown tired of all their Christmas celebrations. So, with his dog Max by his side, he decides to confront those happy people and hi-jack their festivities for himself with horrific results.

A Christmas Story (1983)

Director: Bob Clark

Writer: Jean Shepherd, Bob Clark, Leigh Brown

Cast: Melinda Dillon, Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB Gun. With the help of his mother, his teacher, and Santa Claus himself, Ralphie sets out to make his Christmas wish come true. You can watch this movie in the best Christmas movies list only on Netflix.

Frozen (2013)

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Writer: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

When the newly-crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice, subjecting her home to infinite winter, her sister Anna teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.

The Polar Express (2004)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, William Broyles Jr., Chris Van Allsburg

Cast: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

A doubting young boy boards a magical train that’s headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus’s home. Along the way, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, which has him seeing Christmas in a whole new way.

The Elf on the Shelf Presents: An Elf’s Story (2010)

Director: Chad Eikhoff

Writer: Carol Aebersold, Chanda Bell

Cast: Leslie Bellair, Brendan Dooling, Evin Eickhoff

IMDb Rating: 5.2/10

The Christmas Elves are in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly at the North Pole. An orphan girl named Lulu is sent to Santa’s Village by her guardian, where she befriends one of the elves. However, things get complicated when another elf, who wants to take over Santa’s position, starts causing trouble.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)

Director: Jules Bass, Arthur ranking Jr.

Writer: Romeo Muller

Cast: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Kids from all around the world have been writing to Santa Claus for a long time, asking him how he delivers presents to every child in only one night. To answer their questions, Santa has his trusted friend, The Chief Elf, send out emissaries from the North Pole on an annual basis to visit children everywhere and report back with what they have learned. One such Elf, named Patch, discovers a dreadful plot to stop Santa from coming to town, which he must help put a stop to.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Director: George Seaton

Writer: Valentine Davies, George Seaton

Cast: Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn

IMDb Rating: 7.9 /10

Kris Kringle has found work as an off-season Santa Claus at Macy’s department store. He finds himself put in charge of the annual Thanksgiving Day parade, but it is nearly ruined when Santa falls off his sleigh. The ensuing ruckus brings him to the attention of Susan Walker, an adorable little girl who has doubts about magic and miracles.

Jack Frost (1998)

Director: Troy Miller

Writer: Troy Miller, Steve Bloom, Jonathan Roberts

Cast: Michael Keaton, Joseph Cross, Kelly Preston

IMDb Rating: 5.4/10

Jack Frost awakens from long winter slumber to discover that his beloved town has been replaced by an icy metropolis ruled by a greedy despot. With the help of his son, Jack Frost fights to bring back summer and his wife. It falls on the best family Christmas movies because it’s fun and kid-friendly. You can watch it on Netflix.

Frosty, the Snowman (1969)

Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.

Writer: Romeo Muller, Charles Dickens

Cast: Jimmy Durante, Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolf

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

An old straw hat and a corncob pipe bring to life Frosty the Snowman, who is initially thrilled that he no longer melts in the hot sun. He decides to play tricks on the townspeople but realizes that everyone is angry with him for this misbehavior, and he longs to be back with his old friend, Karen.

National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation (1989)

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik

Writer: John Hughes

Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

The Griswold family is going all out this year in an attempt to have the “best Christmas ever,” but everything that could go wrong does. Clark accidentally destroys the Christmas tree, has a meltdown at work, and accidentally destroys the family station wagon.

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Director: Sarah Smith

Writer: Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith

Cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

With Christmas fast approaching, the North Pole prepares to celebrate like never before: Santa and Mrs. Claus are busy making the toys, and Christmas elves are tying up last-minute preparations. Meanwhile, back at the North Pole, an ambitious young Elf called Steve is being told off by Grandsanta as he tries to “help” because he wants to be on the Nice List.

Jingle All The Way (1996)

Director: Brian Levant

Writer: Randy Kornfield

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman

IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

Howard Langston is a salesman for the “Vacu-Maid” company. He is constantly busy at work, and he hardly ever spends time with his son Jamie, who misses him terribly. Howard promises Jamie that he will get a toy robot called “Tot” for him for Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Director: Bill Melendez

Writer: Charles M. Schulz, Lee Mendelson

Cast: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Charlie Brown doesn’t like the commercialism he sees amongst everyone in his town as they prepare for Christmas. Meanwhile, Snoopy decides to direct a play starring Sally, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. It is one of the best family Christmas movies of all time you need to watch this festive season.

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Director: Larry Roemer

Writer: Romeo Muller, Robert may, Johnny Marks

Cast: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is a special reindeer with a glowing red nose. While his friends enjoy summer vacation on the island of misfit toys, Rudolph is made into an outcast by his father because of his nose. One day, Santa Claus is looking for a reindeer to pull his sleigh for the Christmas Eve flight. When Rudolph’s father tells him to join the others, Rudolph takes off into the foggy night. With help from his glowing nose, he is chosen to fly with Santa and his sleigh team.

A Christmas Carol (1984)

Director: Clive Donner

Writer: Charles Dickens, Roger O. Hirson

Cast: George C. Scott, Susannah York, Angela Pleasence

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Ebeneezer Scrooge is a mean old man who hates Christmas and everyone who envies him. Finally, he gets visited by 3 ghosts who take him on a journey through his past, present, and future in order to help him change his ways for the better. It is among the best family Christmas movies you need to watch this festive season.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Director: Brian Henson

Writer: Jerry Juhl, Charles Dickens

Cast: Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Steve Whitmire

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

It’s the Christmas season, and everyone in the city is full of cheer except for the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who hates Christmas and everyone in it. However, 3 spirits from Christmas past, present, and future take him on a journey to see how his actions affect those closest to him.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (2000)

Director: Phil Roman

Writer: Fred A. Rappoport, Elmo Shropshire, Jim Fisher

Cast: Elmo Shropshire, Michele Lee, Susan Blue

IMDb Rating: 4.5/10

When Jake’s grandmother dies in a hit-and-run accident on the night before Christmas Eve, he is devastated until he wakes up the next morning to find her alive and well. Too bad Jake didn’t know that Santa Claus was involved in the car crash with Granny because now she has amnesia!

Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

Director: Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston

Writer: Ashleigh Powell, E.T.A Hoffman, Marius Petipa

Cast: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman

IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

In a magical twist of fate, young Clara finds herself transported into a fantastical new world and tasked with a mission to save the residents of Nutcracker Castle from an evil rat king and his villainous minions.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)

Director: Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers

Writer: Jac Schaeffer, Brian Kesinger, Hans Christian Andersen

Cast: Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel

IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

It’s the first Christmas for Anna and Kristoff, and they decide to go on a special holiday adventure with Elsa and Olaf. However, when their plans go awry, they must work together to give Anna the best Christmas ever.

Rudolf and Frosty’s Christmas in July (1979)

Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.

Writer: Romeo Muller

Cast: Red Buttons, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney

IMDb Rating: 6.4/10

Frost has grown tired of his usual summer routine of playing with his friends at the North Pole. However, when he becomes an outcast, Frost decides to do something about it by taking on a fire-breathing dragon that now lives at the North Pole.

Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse (2001)

Director: Tony Craig, Bobs Gannaway, Burny Mattinson

Writer: Thomas Hart, Bobs Gannaway, Jess Winfield

Cast: Carlos Alazraqui,  Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

While Mickey and all his friends are enjoying a Christmas party at the club, everyone is surprised by a huge snowstorm, and they are forced to spend the holidays there.

Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010)

Director: Tim Johnson

Writer: Jonathan Groff, John Pollack, Ethan Reiff

Cast: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

While Po is left in charge of the restaurant, he decides to host a holiday feast in order to raise enough money to buy an antique Chinese vase for his mother. However, when he accidentally breaks the prized possession Master, Shifu is determined to get it back.

The Nutcracker: The Untold Story (2010)

Director: Andrei Konchalovsky

Writer: Andrei Konchalovsky, Chris Solimine

Cast: Richard Phillips, Fernanda Dorogi, Kriszta Dorogi

IMDb Rating: 4.2/10

A young girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina gets her chance when she travels into a strange and magical world where she becomes intertwined in an epic battle between good and evil.

The Simpsons: ‘Tis the Fifteenth Season (2003)

Director: Jim Reardon, Steven Dean Moore

Writer: Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Sam Simon

Cast: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

When Homer is forced to get a day job at the power plant, he ends up taking Santa’s Little Helper with him. However, when he discovers that his new position has cut off all of Santa’s reindeer food deliveries, things take an unexpected turn.

The Simpsons: I Won’t Be Home for Christmas (2007)

Director: Mike B. Anderson, Mark Kirkland

Writer: Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Sam Simon

Cast: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Feeling that his family no longer needs him, Homer decides to take a vacation on Christmas and ends up boarding the wrong ship. However, when he learns about a group of castaways stranded on an island with no hope for escape, he quickly changes his mind.

Joshua Garner

Joshua calls himself nerd+geek who is also passionate about football. He enjoys comics, animes, and science fiction. He finds his comfort in writing about suspense, thrillers and science fiction shows and movies.

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