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Image / Editorial

10 festive films to watch with the kids over Christmas


By Grace McGettigan
24th Dec 2019

festive films to watch with the kids

10 festive films to watch with the kids over Christmas

festive films to watch with the kids

We’ve compiled 10 family-friendly Christmas films to enjoy with the kids while school’s out (and no, we haven’t included ‘Frozen’). Here’s to having meaningful, festive experiences with the ones we love


The Santa Clause (1994)

When Scott Calvin (played by Tim Allen) accidentally knocks Santa off the roof, he is forced to become Santa’s replacement. He must visit the North Pole, meet with the elves and learn how to fly a sleigh. What will his son Charlie think of his new beard? And how will he explain it to his ex-wife? The Santa Clause is a comical family favourite.

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Everyone knows Santa brings presents to every child on earth – but what happens if one kid is accidentally forgotten? Santa’s son, Arthur, sets out with his grandad to put matters right. But will they make it to the little girl in time?

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

While not as obviously kid-friendly as the films above, It’s A Wonderful Life shares an important message about appreciating what you’ve got, no matter how small. Plus, it’s interesting to see what the children of 2018 make of black and white movies.

Jingle All The Way (1996)

Ah yes, another classic. When Howard Langston (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) realises the only toy his son wants for Christmas is completely sold out, he goes to drastic lengths to find one. His feat is made all the more difficult by an annoying neighbour and an angry postman.

Home Alone (1990)

You can’t have Christmas without Home Alone. It tells the tale of eight-year-old Kevin McAlister, a boy who gets left behind by his family at Christmas. Unlucky for him, burglars choose to break in that very same day. The pranks Kevin pulls on these burglars are a little scary for younger viewers, but the message that ‘Christmas isn’t Christmas without family’ makes it all worthwhile.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Starring Mara Wilson from Matilda, Miracle on 34th Street is about a young girl called Susan who comes to believe in Santa Claus. While she believes in Father Christmas, others do not; and so she teams up with a lawyer to prove Santa’s existence in court. This one’s a joy for adults and children alike.

Elf (2003)

Despite being raised by elves in the North Pole, Buddy the ‘elf’ has just learned he’s been human all along. Waving goodbye to the place he’d always called home, Buddy must go to New York in search of his real family. Starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel.

The Snowman (1982)

This short film is about a little boy who builds a snowman on Christmas Eve. During the night, the snowman comes to life and takes the boy to meet Santa Claus. It’s a magical film (and its orchestral soundtrack makes it emotional too).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town. The film, which is based on Dr Seuss’s 1957 book of the same name, shows that Christmas is about more than presents. “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”

Shrek the Halls (2007)

If you and your family are fans of the Shrek trilogy, you’ll enjoy this 30-minute short film. It shows Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and friends trying to have a fun-filled Christmas (but as Shrek has never celebrated Christmas before, he’s unsure what to do and things go very wrong…).

Photo: The Snowman, John Coates and TVC London


Read more: Frozen II review: ‘A mind-bending mess’

Read more: 5 Christmas movies on Netflix that are so bad they’re good

WATCH: This Christmas ad about a phone-obsessed teenager is a parable for our times