12 Days of Christmas Movies

I don’t know about you, but watching holiday-themed movies is my personal favorite way to spend those chilly evenings and a long-standing tradition with my family. We watch a new one each year, but our go to must list for every holiday season is the following.

In reverse order, our top 12 holiday movies for Christmas:

12. Shop Around the Corner

The other Jimmy Stewart holiday movie that inspired the Tom Hanks / Meg Ryan You’ve Got Mail. Super charming and stylish and just the way to kick off the season with vintage sparkles. Unfortunately hard to get on DVD, it is readily available to rent or buy on Amazon. Like many classics is centered around dialogue, so might not hold the younger’s attention, though it is appropriate for the whole family.

11. Max Lucado’s The Christmas Candle

This one is a sweet surprise because it is not a movie I would have chosen to watch normally. It was recommended by a friend and we decided to take a chance. A beautiful, period piece with real magic and miracles, this movie takes my breath away every time. It is appropriate for the whole family, though might not keep the attention of the youngests children. 8+ 2013

10. Bridget Jones’ Diary

Yes, this is a Christmas movie. It starts and ends at Christmas and is filled with joy and cheer along with the hapless antics of the eponymous main character. I’ve loved this movie since it came out and both Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger are fantastic. Oh, yes, and we can’t forget scoundrel Hugh Grant. Very funny, but with chronic poor life choices and one flash of a sex scene, probably best for adults or teens young adults. 16+ 2001

9. A Christmas Story

Who hasn’t heard Little Ralphie’s mother say he’ll shoot his eye out? Nobody, that’s who. But this classic holiday comedy just gets funnier with repeated watching. When you’re not laughing at the antics of the Parker family, you’re checking out the adorable vintage charm of the period. Despite common wisdom, not a kids movie, a movie about childhood for adults. Swearing, bullying. Save it for your 10+ 1983.

8. Little Women

Tktktktktk. WInona Ryder and sSusan Sarandon. 1994. 8+ — brand new version 2018 is much more intense emotinally but beautiful 11+

7. Scrooged

I love this retelling of A Christmas Carol!

All of the renditions of A Christmas Carol are somewhat scary - they include ghosts and other gruesome concepts. So it really depends on your family. Scrooged is funnier but with 80’s-era sensibilities (drinking, sex…) 14/16+ 1988.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

While not technically a Christmas story, this movie is full of so much magic that I can’t help but feel the holiday spirit after watching it. From the early days when the kids were still sweet and the danger contained, and the last scene where Hagrid gives Harry a Christmas present is one of the most touching in the whole series. 2001. 8+

5. The Santa Clause

A whole-family favorite. Potty humor. Santa dies! 1994.

4. While You Were Sleeping

12+ 1995

3. Pete’s Christmas

Perfect family film. 2013.

2. Fitzwilly

1967. Well, there’s a whole lot of thieving and lying, but the characters all have good hearts and their cause is (somewhat) just.

1. Miracle on 34th Street

Drinking, dated social norms. Makes it clear that Santa Claus is not real. 8+ 1947