best christmas movies for kids
Source: YouTube

The 11 Best Christmas Movies to Start Your Kids off Right


Dec. 11 2020, Published 5:02 p.m. ET

You don’t have to be Cindy-Lou Who to appreciate a good Christmas tradition. And there comes a point when you need to decide on the best Christmas movies for kids so you can introduce your own little ones to the wonder that is a holiday movie marathon.

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These are the best Christmas movies for kids:

Depending on your kids’ ages, you might lean more toward something live action or opt for an animated movie. Either way, we’ve got you covered so your kids will know how to function in a world of Home Alone references and Grinch quotes.


elf movie
Source: Warner Bros.

You can't introduce your kids to the best of the best when it comes to Christmas movies without Elf. In the 2003 comedy, Will Ferrell plays Buddy the elf, who is actually a human who was orphaned as a baby and raised by elves. He makes the trek to New York City to meet his birth father and along the way, he spreads some serious Christmas cheer.

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'Home Alone'

Every 90s kid can still appreciate Home Alone, from the wild storyline of a family actually forgetting their young son at home while they fly across the world on vacation to the booby traps he sets for a pair of dim-witted burglars. It’s a cautionary tale for busy parents who are frazzled through the holidays, but it’s also a legit classic.

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'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'

Your kids probably won’t love the graphics of the 1964 holiday TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. To be fair, they’re probably used to high definition everything. But there is something to be said for the classic story that every kid should learn at some point. And the entire thing is less than an hour anyway.

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'The Santa Clause'

santa clause
Source: Getty

Have you heard about the TikTok fan theory regarding time travel being the link between all three Santa Clause movies? It's a doozy, but it will make you see the movies in a whole new way. Watching the movies with your kids is also sure to make you see why you fell in love with a reluctant Tim Allen Santa in the first place.

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'The Polar Express'

polar express
Source: Warner Bros.

The Polar Express tells the story of a boy on the brink of no longer believing in Santa Claus. But after taking a trip on the Polar Express train to the North Pole, he sees things a bit differently. It's a tearjerker for parents and a ride for little ones. Plus, there’s a book attached to the movie, so you can keep reliving the magic afterward.

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'Frosty the Snowman'

Source: Mushi Studios

Frosty the Snowman is another one of those classics you can't really get around if you want your kids to be on the up and up with the best holiday movies. It’s the typical story of the snowman who comes to life, but unlike the dated Rudolph movie, it isn't stop motion and is instead animated, which makes it a little more approachable to watch.

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'Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas'

Source: Getty

There are multiple renditions of The Grinch out there. But to hold your kids' attention and entertain you as well, go for the 2000 Jim Carrey version. It's the same story, but a little more modern and live action, which might appeal to a broader range of kids. It also has a fair amount of hidden adult jokes, so there’s that.

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Noelle is more of a recent holiday movie rather than a *classic*, but it’s still a solid movie for kids to watch to get into the holiday spirit. It follows Santa’s daughter, who is sent on a mission to find her brother who, unlike her, isn't totally into the holiday spirit. It’s adorable, funny, and it stars Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader.

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'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

nightmare before christmas
Source: Getty

Is it a Christmas movie? Is it a Halloween movie? That’s the ongoing debate about The Nightmare Before Christmas, but if you are one of many who consider it a Christmas movie, then it’s an obvious addition to your list of Christmas movies for your kids to enjoy. Halloween expert Jack Skellington gets a new zest for life when he discovers Christmas and introduces all of his spooky friends to the holiday.

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'The Christmas Chronicles'

This is another one that’s newer in terms of holiday movies. But The Christmas Chronicles is also one that can be enjoyed by parents and kids of varying ages. The plot revolves around a brother and sister who accidentally get taken by Santa on his sleigh on Christmas Eve and after losing the sleigh and Santa’s “magic” hat, they must help him locate both to save Christmas.

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'Jack Frost'

If you aren't afraid of a tearjerker, then feel free to watch Jack Frost with your kids. After a father is killed in a car accident, he returns as a snowman to make memories with them one last time. It’s a little heavy at times, but it’s also full of those holiday warm and fuzzies.

Of course, you don't have to watch all of these Christmas movies with your kids, but when you’re ready to introduce them to the wonderful world of holiday movie marathons, these are some of the kid-friendly classics.

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