The very best Christmas movies for kids

We’re now at the end of November and you know what that means: the holidays are just around the corner. (At least according to malls and purebred Christmas freaks.)

Because of this we thought we would be ahead of the game. Here are our picks for the best Christmas movies for kids.

A few points before we get stuck: I absolutely hate when these lists appear incredible old christmas movies. Let’s be realistic here: Most young kids won’t make it through the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street. I don’t care how good that movie is or how important it is, it just isn’t happening no matter how much you want to force it. I also want this curated. This is a short list of movies, but they all are good movies — bearable for you as an adult, but fun enough for kids to enjoy.

That said, let’s start with the GOAT.


Look, I’m a firm believer that Home Alone is the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Watched this last year with my kids and all their cousins. They were obsessed. This film is now over 30 years old and it has aged like fine wine. Kids never get tired of watching adults endure copious amounts of pain at the hands of an annoying kid genius, and to be honest, neither do I.


Klaus is a triumph. It’s almost too good to be a Christmas movie. Written and directed by Sergio Pablos, it is a Santa Claus origin story. Beautifully animated and expertly produced, Klaus won multiple awards and was even nominated for an Oscar.

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You may remember Elf as a pretty adult Christmas movie. I think you are wrong. Most kids should be able to watch and laugh out loud at Eleven, which served as a global coming-out party for Will Ferrell. It was an instant classic upon release. I love it.

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I feel like I’m breaking my own rule here. The Snowman is the oldest movie on this list – and I’m not sure it’s even technically a movie – but it’s a masterpiece. There’s a haunting nostalgia for The Snowman, which is heightened by growing up in the UK and therefore being forced to watch it over and over again at school in the run-up to Christmas break. However, I think it rules, and I think kids should experience it. At least one time.

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I went back and forth on this pick, because it’s at the extreme end of kids’ movies. But ultimately I think kids around 9 and up should be able to watch Gremlins. There are a few violent scenes, so your mileage (and child) may vary. It’s also a stone cold classic.


This is a relatively new one, but it’s a blast and was immediately added to the rotation in my house. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey tells the story of a once legendary toymaker, broken after being betrayed by his apprentice, and finding hope (and inspiration) through his granddaughter. It’s a musical and the songs rule.


The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

I feel like every “best Christmas movies” list should include at least one Christmas Carol movie. If this were an adult list I’d put Scrooged in, but since this is for kids I’d say The Muppet Christmas Carol is the way to go. Especially since Michael Caine plays Ebenezer Scrooge.

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