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

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

Ho Ho! It’s that time of the year again: Christmas! The holiday season brings with it plenty of dinner parties and hangouts but did you know what makes the event more fun? The best family Christmas movies of all time.

Movies are always a great way of bringing people together. With the festive vibe, spirits run high, and it sometimes gets difficult to keep everyone entertained. You don’t have to worry about that anymore because this article will solve all your problems in a jiffy!

Family movies are your one-stop solution for every holiday, especially Christmas. Whether it’s about watching something entertaining while having dinner or wanting something to relax after the festivities, a wholesome movie will fix everything!

How to find a good movie to watch, though? Every streaming platform has many options available, and sifting through the list can be quite confusing. You wouldn’t want to watch a movie that makes you sleepy within a few minutes.

Save yourself the disappointment and go through our list of the best family Christmas movies of all time:

Elf (2003)


Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: David Berenbaum
Cast: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel
Runtime: 1h 37m
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10

Christmas is around the corner, and Buddy is reminded yet again of his father’s complete absence from his life. He ended up at an orphanage when he was just a baby, only to be raised by elves.

Now, Buddy believes he’s an elf, too, and his dearest wish is to find his long-lost father. This year, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York and starts searching the city, hoping to find his biological father.

Will buddy and his heartless father ever unite? Find out this holiday season by watching one of the best adventure movies of all time!

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Director: Frank Capra
Writer: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra
Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell
Runtime: 2h 10m
Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy
IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Being one of the best family Christmas movies of all time, this story is about George Bailey, who’s been serving the people of Bedford Falls for quite a while. George gets into trouble when his Uncle Billy loses his business’ precious money.

George’s rival, Mr. Potter, finds out about the mismanagement, and now George must try his best to keep his image clean in front of his people. Depressed to bits, George commits suicide, but the attempt isn’t successful.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)


Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Tim Burton, Michael McDowell, Caroline Thompson
Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey
Runtime: 1h 16m
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

If the definition of best Christmas movies of all time means animated films for you, this watch will be a perfect choice! Set in the fiction Halloween Town, this movie is about Jack, the pumpkin. Jack is bored out of his wits with his monotonous life around Halloween.

Every year it’s the same people, the same traditions and the same activities. Determined to change things once and for all, Jack converts Halloween Town into Christmas Town and declares that the people will celebrate Christmas instead of Halloween this year.

The Grinch (2018)


Director: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier
Writer: Michael LeSieur, Tommy Swerdlow, Dr. Seuss
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams
Runtime: 1h 25m
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 6.3/10

The eighth part of Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic, this movie is all about havoc during Christmas. The movie begins with The Grinch narrating a story where he lives a very solitary life without interacting with his neighbors.

The Grinch likes it this way, but every year during Christmas, the Whos put up a spectacular show which often irks the Grinch.

This time, the Whos are planning to throw a celebration three times greater than ever, and the Grinch must now find ways to end their plans. This film is one of the best comedy films of all time.

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)


Director: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Writer: Dr Seuss, Irv Spector, Bob Ogle
Cast: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray, Dal McKennon
Runtime: 26m
Genre: Comedy, Kids, Animation, Family
IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

The Grinch has been living a peaceful life up till now until he hears that the Whos are planning to celebrate Christmas like never before. Grinch must now find ways of ruining their spirit, and he finally gets an idea: stealing Christmas.

He disguises himself as Santa Claus and also makes his dog look like a reindeer. Once their costumes are ready, Grinch sets out in the town to steal all the things related to Christmas. The Whos are in for quite a miserable holiday season this time.

A Christmas Story (1983)


Director: Bob Clark
Writer: Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, Bob Clark
Cast: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Ian Petrella
Runtime: 1h 33m
Genre: Comedy, Family
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Ralphie Parker wants nothing more than a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun but his mother’s apprehensions are restricting him. His mother reckons that using the gun will eventually lead Ralphie to take someone’s eyes out. Nobody around him is enthusiastic about the idea of Ralphie having a BB gun.

The poor boy can’t find any way to become the Red Ryder without the BB gun and can’t help looking forward to the big day when he’s going to receive a bunch of presents. If you are looking for more family movies, then check out our list of best family Halloween movies.

Frozen (2013)


Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writer: Jennifer Lee, Hans Christian Andersen, Chris Buck
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad
Runtime: 1h 42m
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

Widely regarded as one of the best family Christmas movies of all time, Frozen is a fantastic tale of trust, friendship, and sisterhood. When young Elsa and Anna’s parents pass away, the two sisters are left all alone in the palace to fend for themselves.

What blossoms as a lovely relationship in childhood turns cold as the duo grows older, and Anna can’t understand why her sister suddenly starts to shun her.

Things become clear during Elsa’s coronation when she accidentally freezes the entire town and has to run for her life. This is one of the best movies to watch on Prime Video.

The Polar Express (2004)


Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Chris Van Allsburg, Robert Zemeckis, William Broyles Jr.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter, Leslie Zemeckis
Runtime: 1h 40m
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

As the name suggests, this movie is set on a train that is headed to the North Pole. The catch is that the train is magical, and all the people aboard have unique stories and experiences to share.

The passengers hope to arrive at Santa Claus’s home in time for Christmas so that everyone can celebrate together. On the Polar Express is a young boy who isn’t very enthusiastic about his life. However, the journey changes his perspective and makes him believe in magic.

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

the elef

Director: Chad Eikhoff
Writer: Chanda Bell, Carol Aebersold, Christa Pitts
Cast: Brendan Dooling, Michael May, Doug Williams, Cory Rouse
Runtime: 26 m
Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy
IMDB Rating: 5.1/10

You might have gathered from the title that this movie is all about elves but did you know that the protagonist, Chippy, has a hard time believing in the magic of Christmas? That’s right, the young boy isn’t very excited about the holiday, but it all changes when the elves step in.

Chippy has a hard time doing his assignment, but when the elves and Santa magically start helping him achieve his goal, Chippy is compelled to believe that Christmas only brings happiness.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)


Director:  Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Writer: Romeo Muller
Cast: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, Robie Lester
Runtime: 48m
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

This movie was released in the 70s, so you can expect an old-fashioned touch to it. Rated as one of the best family Christmas movies of all time, this is a story about Kris, who was left at the doorstep of the Kringle family.

Kris was just a baby when he was abandoned, and growing up, all he wanted to do was to deliver presents to kids all around the town. However, Kris has to deal with Burgermeister and his trouble-causing nature because it’s starting to be a major hindrance in toy deliveries.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)


Director: George Seaton
Writer: George Seaton, Valentine Davies
Cast: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Porter Hall
Runtime: 1h 36m
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Everyone is enjoying Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade until the very warm Santa Claus becomes a drunk actor.

This Santa Claus was hired by one of the mothers at the event, and once his over-feisty behavior reveals that he’s not a Santa who should be around children, a legal lawsuit starts chasing the actor.

What follows is Doris’s struggle to prove his sanity in front of the court, but it gets difficult by the day because of the medical tests turning against him.

Jack Frost (1998)


Director: Troy Miller
Writer: Mark Steven Johnson, Steve Bloom, Jonathan Roberts
Cast: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Joseph Cross, Mark Addy
Runtime: 1h 41m
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
IMDB Rating: 5.4/10

Jack Frost aspires as a singer, but his professional endeavors act as a barrier between him and his family. Jack’s son, Charlie, wants nothing more than to spend quality time with his father. However, situations often don’t favor them.

Jack is soon killed in an accident, leaving Charlie in a dark, depressed state. A year later, Charlie’s days finally see some light when he befriends a snowman, only for it to turn out to be Jack himself.

Frosty, the Snowman (1969)


Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Writer: Romeo Muller
Cast: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante
Runtime: 25m
Genre: Animation, Short, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Another one of the animated movies, this story is about a silk hat that is passed from hand to hand until it ends up between a group of school children. These children, while messing around with the hat, accidentally bring a snowman to life, and this is where chaos is unleashed.

The snowman becomes their friend, but the children must find ways of keeping him frozen once the winter is over. To add to the children’s trouble, the hat’s original owner is also chasing them to get the magic hat back.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)


Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Writer: John Hughes
Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Diane Ladd
Runtime: 1h 37m
Genre: Comedy
IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Christmas is around the corner, and the Griswold family is preparing for the festivities in full swing. However, the family has a history of chaotic events no matter how much they plan ahead.

This time as well, hell breaks loose when Clark, his wife Ellen, and their two kids are enthusiastically looking forward to the holiday season. The husband believes that it’s his luck that gets the best of the family; the haughty and unhelpful guests also add a lot to their burden.

Arthur Christmas (2011)


Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook
Writer: Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith
Cast: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Ashley Jensen
Runtime: 1h 37m
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Ever wondered how Santa manages to deliver presents all over the world in a single night? This movie has all your answers! The story is set in Santa’s living quarters, which has an extensive unit under the North Pole, responsible for all the timely deliveries.

At the same time, there’s another story going on about Arthur, a hero from a dysfunctional family who is on a unique mission. The youngster intends to complete the mission before Christmas morning starts but will he be able to do it? Find it all out this Christmas!

Jingle All the Way (1996)

Director: Brain Levant
Writer: Randy Kornfield.
Cast: Phil Hartman, Sinbad, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Rita Wilson
Runtime: 1h 29m
Genre: Family, Adventure, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 5.7/10
Get a heartwarming Christmas movie that will have the whole family laughing, Jingle All the Way. This classic holiday film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a father who will stop at nothing to get his son the coveted Turbo Man action figure.

You’ll laugh at the father’s increasingly desperate attempts to find a Turbo Man, while also sympathizing with his plight. You’ll also be treated to some amazing action sequences, as the father and son team up to take on the other shoppers in their quest for the perfect Christmas present.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)


Director: Bill Melendez
Writer: Charles M. Schulz
Cast: Chris Doran, Ann Altieri, Bill Melendez, Sally Dryer.
Runtime: 25m
Genre: Drama, Animation, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 8.3/10
Looking for a Christmas movie that will warm your heart and put a smile on your face? Then A Charlie Brown Christmas must be a perfect choice. This classic animated movie follows the iconic characters of the “Peanuts” gang as they learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Charlie Brown is feeling down about the holiday season. Everywhere he looks, he sees commercialism and materialism. But with his friends, he finally finds the perfect tree and learns that the true spirit of Christmas lies in giving, not receiving.

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Director: Larry Roemer
Writer: Johnny Marks, Romeo Muller, Robert May
Cast: Larry D. Mann, Billie Mae Richards, Paul Soles
Runtime: 47m
Genre: Comedy, Animation, Adventure
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
Enjoy a fun and festive movie, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, that qualifies for the best family Christmas movies of all time. Follow the story of young Rudolph, born with a red nose.

While his father is one of Santa’s reindeer, Rudolph is constantly teased by the other reindeer and is left out of many activities.

However, when Santa needs someone to lead his sleigh on Christmas Eve, Rudolph steps up and saves the day! So settle in with your loved ones for a cozy night watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

A Christmas Carol (1984)

A Christmas Carol (1984)
Director: Brain Desmond Hurst
Writer: Noel Langley, Charles Dickens.
Cast: Mervyn Johns, Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison.
Runtime: 1h 26m
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Family
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Dive into this timeless story that has captivated audiences for generations. It’s the perfect film to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s night. Follow the tale of redemption and compassion will fill you with the holiday spirit.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a bitter old man who has lost sight of what’s truly important in life. But on Christmas Eve, he’s visited by three ghosts who show him the error of his ways. Through their guidance, Scrooge understands the importance of love, charity, and goodwill towards others.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Director: Brain Henson
Writer: Jerry Juhl, Charles Dickens
Cast: Dave Goelz, Michael Caine, Jerry Nelson, Steve Whitmire
Runtime: 1h 25m
Genre: Family, Comedy, Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
This classic tale of redemption and holiday cheer is brought to life by the lovable Muppet characters, making it a must-watch for kids and adults alike.

The Muppet Christmas Carol is the perfect mix of heartwarming and hilarious, with a message that will resonate with viewers of all ages. From Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit to Miss Piggy as Emily Dickens, this movie is sure to please everyone in the family.

Grab some hot cocoa and enjoy this timeless holiday classic – you’ll love it!

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (2000)

Director: Phil Roman
Writer: Jim Fisher, Fred A. Rappoport, Elmo Shropshire
Cast: Susan Blu, Elmo Shropshire, Michele Lee, Alex Doduk.
Runtime: 51m
Genre: Family, Animation, Comedy
IMDB Rating: 4.4/10
If you’re looking for a heartwarming Christmas movie that will make you believe in the magic of the holidays, look no further than Grandma Got Run best family Christmas movies of all time.

Follow the touching story of a young boy who goes on an adventure to find his missing grandmother and prove that Santa Claus is real. He also learns the importance of family, friendship, and faith. With a star-studded cast, this is one Christmas movie you won’t want to miss.

Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

Director: Joe Johnston
Writer: E.T.A. Hoffman, Marius Petipa, Ashleigh Powell.
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren.
Runtime: 1hr 39m
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Family
IMDB Rating: 5.5/10
Do you believe in Christmas magic? If so, you’ll love The Nutcracker and the 4 Realms, one of the best family Christmas movies of all time.

When a young girl named Clara is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice, she must find the courage to free the Nutcracker Prince from the evil Mouse King. Along the way, she’ll make new friends and discover the true meaning of Christmas.

So gather around the fireplace, pop some popcorn, and enjoy this Christmas classic.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)

Director: Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers
Writer: Hans Christians Andersen, Jac Schaeffer, Brian Kesinger
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, JOsh Gad, Jonathan Groff.
Runtime: 22m
Genre: Adventure, Short, Animation
IMDB Rating: 5.6/10
‘Tis the season for family, friends, and of course, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure! The best family Christmas movie of all time is here to please you.
Join Olaf, Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff as they set out on a new adventure to find the perfect Christmas tradition for Arendelle.

With four brand new songs and 25 minutes of never-before-seen footage, this heartwarming special is a must-watch for the holiday season.

So snuggle up with hot cocoa and enjoy Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Best Family Christmas movie of All Time today!

Rudolf and Frosty’s Christmas in July (1979)


Director: Arthur Rankin Jr, Jules Bass
Writer: Romeo Miller
Cast: Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons, Alan Sues, Ethel Merman
Runtime: 1h 37m
Genre: Comedy, Animation, Adventure
IMDB Rating: 6.3/10

Get ready for some frosty fun with Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas best family Christmas movies of all time. This heartwarming movie is perfect for the whole family to enjoy during the holidays.

Find the story of the Winterbolt, an evil wizard who is trying to rule the North Pole and turn it into his own personal wonderland. Luckily, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and other iconic Christmas characters team up to stop him. This is a must-watch for any family during the holiday season.

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


Director: Bobs Gannaway, Burny Mattinson, Tony Craig
Writer: Jess Winfield, Thomas Hart, Bobs Gannaway.
Cast: Wayne Allwine, Carlos Alazraqui, Jeff Bennett, Tony Anselmo.
Runtime: 1h 5m
Genre: Comedy, Animation, Adventure
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

This film features all your favourite characters from the House of Mouse, including Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and more. They’re all stuck together at the House of Mouse after being snowed in, and they decide to throw their own Christmas party.

The film is packed with holiday cheer, fun songs, and plenty of laughs. It’s sure to become a yearly tradition in your household. With tons of festive fun to be had, you’ll fall in love with this classic film. So time to snuggle up with your loved ones and enjoy Mickey’s Magical Christmas!

Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010)


Director: Tim Johnson
Writer: Jon Pollack, Ethan Reiff, Jonathan Groff
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Angelina Jolie.
Runtime: 21m
Genre: Action, Animation, Short
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10

Find a hilarious and heartwarming movie to watch with your family this holiday season, Kung Fu Panda Holiday. Po is tasked with hosting the annual winter holiday feast, but he soon learns that meeting his friends’ expectations is harder than it seems.

With plenty of laughs and some valuable life lessons, Kung Fu Panda Holiday is sure to be a hit with viewers of all ages. So gather around the TV and enjoy one of the best family Christmas movies of all time.

The Nutcracker: The Untold Story (2010)

The Nutcracker The Untold Story (2010)

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy
Writer: Chris Solimine, Andrey Konchalovskiy.
Cast: Kiriszta Dorogi, Richard Philipps, Daniel Mogacs, Fernanda Dorogi
Runtime: 1hr 50m
Genre: Fantasy, Family, Action
IMDB Rating: 4.1/10

What if you combine the enchanting story of The Nutcracker with the spellbinding visuals of 1920s Vienna? The Nutcracker: Untold Story, one of the best family Christmas movies of all time!

This heartwarming film tells the tale of a young girl named Clara who receives a nutcracker doll as a gift on Christmas Eve. Little does she know that this simple gift will take her on a magical journey to the Land of Sweets, where she’ll meet an array of colourful characters and discover the true meaning of Christmas.

The Simpsons: Tis the Fifteenth Season (2003)


Director: Steven Dean Moore, Jim Reardon
Writer: Sam Simon, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening.
Cast: Julie Kavner, Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith.
Runtime: 30m
Genre: Comedy, Animation.
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10

In this riotous holiday episode, Homer Simpson shows us all that it’s never too late to change our ways.

Homer starts off the episode by buying himself an expensive gift, much to the dismay of his wife and kids. But Homer realizes that he’s been acting like a bit of an egoist. So he sets out to change his ways and become more selfless.

Along the way, Homer gets into all sorts of hilarious mishaps. But in the end, he learns the true meaning of Christmas and what it’s really all about.

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


Director: Mike B. Anderson, Mark Kirkland
Writer: Matt Groening, Sam Simon, James L. Brooks.
Cast: Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Juli Kavner.
Runtime: 22m
Genre: Comedy, Animation
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

It’s the holidays, and you know what that means: time for The Simpsons: I Won’t Be Home For Christmas! In this hilarious episode, Marge kicks Homer out of the house for Christmas after he consoles Moe on Christmas Eve instead of going home.

As Homer tries to make the best of his predicament, he ends up teaching a valuable lesson to his Springfield neighbour, Mr Burns. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa try to find presents for each other that will top last year’s great gift exchange. The laughs are non-stop in this instant holiday classic!

If you are looking for more Christmas movies, then check out our list of best Christmas movies on Hulu.


To watch the best family Christmas movies of all time, there’s only one price you have to pay: just a couple of hours! 

There’s no better activity than watching a movie during the holiday season; it brings people together, acts as an icebreaker, and gives a fantastic start to the festivities! Luckily, you don’t have to stray on the internet anymore because of our list here. 

We’ve taken special care to mention the best family Christmas movies of all time so that you’re guaranteed an amazing experience! Don’t forget to use the best VPN for streaming to get an uninterrupted streaming experience. 

Here’s wishing you a very happy holiday season and an even better Christmas!

Chris Mack

Chris Mack

Chris is a technology and entertainment writer whose main interests revolve around the art of writing and expression. He loves writing research-based articles in different niches and translating his thoughts into words that inspire others.

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