The time for unwrapping gifts and spending time with the family is right around the corner. Some like to go caroling and ice skating, while others like to celebrate with eggnog and gingerbread houses. To keep with family tradition, those of the Christian faith may want to catch a family movie and spend time with the family. Here are twenty movies that are family-friendly for the holidays.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
You cannot enjoy the holidays without The Muppets. The Muppet Christmas Carol is essentially a parody of Charles Dickens’ classic story “A Christmas Carol.” In Muppet fashion, this movie has all of the elements of a Muppets movie, which includes music and fantasy.
This movie follows the same elements from Charles Dickens story with just the Muppets substituting some of the characters. The Muppets lighten the load of the story which makes the story even more understandable to children. Most children may not want to see the live action type movie of “A Christmas Carol” and the Muppet movie is a good alternative.
The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia was originally a set of stories written by C. S. Lewis. The Chronicles Of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of the books from the C.S. Lewis series.
This movie is set in the land of Narnia. The land of Narnia has some of the most bizarre things such as mythical creatures and cute talking animals. It also has a witch, and what fictional story is complete without a witch. This movie is about four kids who play a game of hide-and-seek. The kids end up meeting a professor and grab a hold of some magical clothing and they are transported to Narnia. The story has some biblical themes in it as well.
The Note is a movie that is actually based on a novel by Christian author Angela Hunt. If you like heartfelt and emotional stories then you may want to give this one a try.
This movie is about a woman who happens to find a note which came from someone who was a victim in a plane crash. The reporter then sets out to find the person to whom the note is addressed. This movie was originally released on the Hallmark channel back in 2007 and this movie was highly ranked at number 3 for the greatest Hallmark Channel original movies.
The Ultimate Gift
What does a spoiled adult man and a wise old man have in common? Nothing except an inheritance. The Ultimate Gift actually comes from a novel of the same name. The novel was written by a man named Jim Stovall.
In this movie, a sagacious and loaded old grandfather hands his spoiled grandson an inheritance. The spoiled grandson, Jason Stevens, does not have a good relationship with grandpa “Red” Stevens. When Red Stevens passes, he leaves Jason his will. Jason expects to get cash, but instead gets 12 “gifts” which leads him to change his ways and leads to the ultimate gift.
The Polar Express
The Polar Express is an animated film that is somewhat like the It’s A Wonderful Life. The story is about a boy who has doubts about the existence of St. Nick. He then happens to get onboard the “Polar Express.” The Polar Express is a train that is headed to the North Pole.
There are several characters that have their own issues, including a hyperactive kid with a goody two-shoes attitude, a hobo, and of course, Santa Clause. There are some unique performance capture techniques used in the film and the animation attempts to make the characters seem like real people. This is a really great family film.
The Nativity Story
Nativity is a common theme that is associated with Christmas. There are many nativity scenes in movies and plays, especially around Christmas time.
To keep with the holiday tradition of the scene, The Nativity Story shows the birth of Jesus. This is one movie that keeps in line with those people who identify with the Christian faith. This movie begins with the slaughter by Herod and then goes into the Nativity scene complete with Magi, animals- the works.
Mister Scrooge to See You
Many people have read A Christmas Carol at some point in their lives. You all remember the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. The name Scrooge is associated with a curmudgeonly and miserly old man who has no heart and he is essentially scared into being a nice guy as three spectral beings give him a visit and a glimpse into the future.
Has anyone ever wondered what happened to Ebenezer Scrooge after he became a nice guy? Then wonder no more! Mister Scrooge to See You! In this movie, Ebenezer Scrooge is back and he is on a new adventure this time. Scrooge is sent by Jacob Marley to visit Timothy Cratchit VI, who is the great, great, great-grandson of Bob Cratchit.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
No holiday would be complete without A Charlie Brown Christmas. I remember the excitement of waiting to watch Charlie Brown cartoons that appeared around the holiday times because they only came on once a year back then. I have the “Christmas Time is Here” song stuck in my head right now.
In this film the gullible and loveable Charlie Brown wants to find out what the meaning of Christmas is. He gets hung up on the materialism that is associated with the holiday season. Charlie Brown is then made the director of the school play. You will definitely enjoy the Peanuts gang in the school play with all of the silly dances which make this film memorable.
Christmas Lodge is a movie centered around a family cabin where everyone gathers, starring Erin Karpluk and Michael Shanks. The storyline of this film follows a lady (Karpluk) who is in the family contract business. The cabin has family memories and holds a special place in her heart, so she doesn’t want to give it up. She finds that the lodge is falling apart and that something needs to be done about it.
Karpluk’s character in the film has to do something quickly or the lodge will be demolished. She then decides to raise money so that the lodge could be saved. Another gentleman (Shanks) likes the lodge as much as Karpluk’s character does… watch it to see what happens!
The Heart of Christmas
The Heart of Christmas is a movie that has more of a serious tone to it than most of the other movies presented in this article. For those of you who like movies of this sort, you will want to catch this one.
The Heart of Christmas stars Candace Cameron Bure of Full House fame and also stars Jeanne Neilson. This movie is about Megan Walsh, played by Bure, who does not have enough time for anything. She observes her neighbors putting up a Christmas tree in October. She finds out that her neighbor’s son is dying of leukemia and that this is his last Christmas that they will spend with him. Megan Walsh then re-examines her life after finding out about her neighbor’s blog and the struggles they are going through with their child.
A Christmas Wish
This movie stars Kristy Swanson and Edward Herrmann. This is another one of those movies that has a plot in which a character faces obstacles.
This movie is about a woman named Martha Evans who ends up as a single mom, fending for herself and her children after her husband left her. She goes to another town and then the little money that she does have gets taken away. Martha is now in a seemingly bleak situation, but there are people she meets along the way that are willing to help out. This is a feel-good film fit for a Christian family movie night.
Mrs. Miracle is the story about a man by the name of Seth Webster. Seth Webster is a grieving widower who has twin sons and they are very rebellious. Seth is looking for a housekeeper to help out around the house and also to tame these unruly children.
Seth finds his answer to his problem with Mrs. Miracle, who suddenly appears and becomes a nanny among other things to the family. Mrs. Miracle does not only help out with the children, but she has a larger purpose for helping out the Webster family. Mrs. Miracle works hard to find a mate for the grieving Mr. Webster and helps to get him back into the dating game.
Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas
This movie centers around a boarding school and one girl in particular, Mandie. This story takes place during Christmas in the 1900s. A girl by the name of Mandie ends up at the Miss Heathwood’s Boarding School for Girls. Mandie has to now adjust to a new lifestyle with strict rules to adhere to.
Mandie has a difficult time adjusting to the culture shock, and she gets herself into some trouble. Mandie cannot quite comprehend the high-class atmosphere that she has been exposed to. Mandie then happens to come across a mystery as she visits the schools attic, which is off limits. She then finds out about memories from a forgotten Christmas.
The Perfect Gift
What exactly is the perfect gift? The Perfect Gift is a film about a spoiled schoolgirl who has a mother who is too busy to really tend to her. She also is associated with a young minister who is often discouraged. A mysterious drifter just happens to come along to provide a source of light to the schoolgirl and those who surround her.
This drifter shows the girl, her mother, and the minister about the real meaning of Christmas, friendship, and family. This is one of those films where everything kind of meshes at the right time and everyone and everything is brought together in the harmonious Christmas spirit.
Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage is a film that is set in 1977 at Christmas time. A lady named Maryanne Kinkade has had a streak of bad luck and she has come up short when it comes to her house mortgage payments. She is in dread because she is about to lose her house in Placerville, California.
Maryanne’s son Thomas is a student at an art school in his 20’s. He decides to become a professional painter in order to save the house that he grew up in. He gets some advice from an aging old man. Thomas ends up taking a job painting a mural in his home town and the town rediscovers the spirit of Christmas in the process.
Touched by an Angel: Inspiration Collection
Touched by an Angel was a television series that ran from 1994 to 2003. The show centered around three angels: Monica (played by Roma Downey), Tess (played by Della Reese), and Andrew (played by John Dye). The plot of Touched by an Angel centers around this trio of angels who are sent to earth to do all sorts of good deeds and intervene in the lives of those who need them the most.
The Inspiration Collection is a holiday focused box set of episodes from the original canon of the series. The box set contains four Christmas based shows from the series with are: #110 (Fear Not), #211 (The Feather), #413 (Midnight Clear), & #511 (Angel on the Roof).”
Come to the Stable
Come to the Stable is a movie that is based on the real life Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis. The Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis is a home to Benedictine nuns.
This particular film focuses on two nuns. They are from a French convent and arrive at a small town in New England with a plan. Their main objective is to build a children’s hospital. To do this they will need the help from a cast of colorful characters to build the hospital. These characters include a well-known racketeer, a composer, and a struggling artist.
A Christmas Without Snow!
A Christmas Without Snow! is a film which is about a woman who is a divorcee named Zoe Jensen. Zoe and her child are from the state of Nebraska and they travel to San Francisco. Zoe joins a local church which is located in the inner-city. She joins the choir of this inner-city church as the church is engaged in rehearsing Handel’s ‘Messiah.'”
Zoe and the choirmaster do not quite get along. The choirmaster is a grumpy old guy who has no room for failure. The grumpy old man pushes everyone to their limits, upsetting the choir in many ways. This film deals with ageism, sexism, single parenthood and the like.
The Snowman is a film that is based on a book that was written by author Raymond Briggs. This is a short film that has a lot of great animation for that period of time.
The film version of Raymond Brigg’s book is about a boy and a snowman that the boy made in his backyard. The snowman comes to life at the stroke of midnight, of course, as most cartoons and claymation features that focus on snowmen have the snowmen come to life. The boy and the snowman go around the world and eventually meet Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. When the sun rises, the snowman melts, but the boy finds the snowman’s scarf in his pocket given to him by Father Christmas.
Miracle on 34th Street
This film is perhaps one of the most well-known films with a Christmas theme and storyline. This film has been around for over 70 years and it is still going strong.
Miracle on 34th Street deals with an old man named Kris Kringle, who is a Santa Clause at a department store. He becomes a big help to many in the store. Due to Kringle’s generosity and good-natured attitude, a psychologist eventually diagnoses Kris Kringle as being mentally ill and Kringle finds himself in court having to prove that he is actually Santa Clause.