Five Family-Friendly Christmas Movies To Watch NOW!

Five days ‘til Christmas! That’s five days to burn that candle, eat that advent calendar candy, and watch five of the best family-friendly Christmas movies ever made.

If you’ve already watched these movies, watch them again. They’re great because they don’t get old. If you haven’t watched them, I’m silently judging you. Redeem yourself, and give your kids the gift of a family Christmas movie night. Some of my fondest memories as a child were watching Christmas movies with my parents and siblings. On Thanksgiving day, we’d bring out the VHS tapes of Home Alone, The Christmas List, and White Christmas, and look forward to the next month of Christmas entertainment.

With that, here’s my list of family-friendly Christmas movies to binge in the next 120 hours.

Home Alone: When Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) awakens one pre-Christmas morning to find the house empty, he assumes the worst: as a punishment for misbehavior, his family intentionally left him behind for their Parisian trip. It was a horrible accident, but Kevin didn’t know that.

Enter two creepy burglars whom Kevin overhears discussing their plans to rob the McCallister home on Christmas eve. Kevin, overcoming his anger and bitterness at being abandoned by his family, decides he must do whatever it takes to defend the homefront.

My four-year-old calls Home Alone “the bad guys Christmas movie.” Spoiler alert: the bad guys lose.

Home Alone 2 deserves a mention as well. It’s not just good as far as sequels go. It’s good as far as movies go. Warning for snowflakes, though: Donald Trump makes an appearance.

Both Home Alone and its sequel throw Kevin into a scenario in which he’s alone and in danger, and is saved by a scary stranger who comes to his aid at the last possible moment. There are lessons here: First, don’t lose your kids. Second, if you do, don’t teach them to rely on scary strangers. That’s a losing strategy in real life. In Hollywood, it’s an all-time great plot line.

A final note on a charming aspect of Home Alone: Different Christmas songs are tied into nearly every pivotal scene.

Fun fact: John Williams wrote the score. It’s a perfect treat for the Christmas season.

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Elf: This is the rare modern Christmas movie done right. Made in 2003, Buddy Hobbs (Will Ferrell) is a human raised by elves on the North Pole, but because he’s human-sized, he can’t keep up with the elves and is relegated to toy testing. Eventually Buddy makes his way to New York in search of his true father. It’s all very delightful, and Jon Favreau’s depiction of the North Pole in its wooden simplicity and animation characters is perfect.

I remember seeing Elf in high school, and I bought it on DVD the day it was released. At 18, when I lived in Manhattan, every Christmas I would do the Elf routine: spin around revolving doors, go ice skating at Rockefeller Center and try to sing loudly for all to hear. New York City is magical during Christmas season, but it’s also cold in its own way, which Elf shines some humorous light on.

Elf has laughs for kids and adults. It’s really a 1950s-style film with a modern-day look. Watch it.

Fun fact: In addition to being a cult classic that fans of the movie still quote today, Elf cost $30 million to make and brought in over $220 million. Sequel anyone?

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Jingle All the Way: Yes, it’s corny, but this is a Christmas movie list, not an all-time movie list. The story of a workaholic father (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who redeems himself by becoming the fictional superhero his son wanted for Christmas is cinema gold. And, spoiler alert, he redeems himself as a good father and husband.

The film parodies classic Christmas-season scenarios that millions of Americans recognize: winning a great toy for calling in to the local radio station, parents mobbing the stores for the fad of the season, etc. Arnold is also locked in a life-or-death struggle with a stranger (Sinbad) over the same toy for their kids.

One time, when my husband and I were furniture shopping in LA, Arnold walked over to our section with his entourage. He was eyeing the same chesterfield sofa I was. All I could think was, “You’re my favorite customer!”

Fun fact: Mall Santa in the movie (Jim Belushi) was a mall Santa in real life. You’ll also see appearances by former Saturday Night Live cast members, like from back when the show wasn’t awful.

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Arthur Christmas: Confession, I just watched this movie, and I’m embarrassed to admit it. I can’t believe I did not know it existed. It’s charming, detailed and adorable. It also shows that even in Santa’s family there’s still drama around the holidays. Working at The Daily Wire with our incredible animators has given me a newfound appreciation for the detail that goes into animated movies. Plus, having two daughters means I’ll be stuck watching “cartoons” for years to come. If it’s Arthur Christmas, I am totally okay with that.

Fun fact: The geniuses at Aardman Animation were behind this movie. You know, the guys behind Shaun and Sheep, Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit.

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White Christmas: Bing Crosby’s tune is the best-selling single of all-time, and White Christmas is, in my estimation, the greatest Christmas movie of all-time.

It’s patriotic, it’s a musical, it’s traditional (features a stable, nuclear family), it’s pro-capitalism, and it’s pro-veterans.

It has tears and laughs for the adults, and music and a good message for the kids.

Plus – ROSEMARY CLOONEY’S CLOTHES! I want them all.

Honestly, I could write an entire piece about why White Christmas wins all Christmas movies ever but I don’t think Shapiro would let it go to print.

Fun fact: The movie is the third time Bing Crosby sang the title song on screen. He also sang it in another Christmas classic, Holiday Inn, 12 years before he crooned with Rosemary Clooney and eight years earlier in Blue Skies.

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*Adults: If you have some time after the kids go to bed and don’t want to make more kids, check out these Christmas classics: Die Hard and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

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If you want something more “ahh, that’s so romantic,” then try The Holiday, Love Actually, and While You Were Sleeping.

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Most of these movies can be found on cable (primer on cable if you’re under 20) or Netflix, so get watching.! Oh, and Merry Christmas you filthy animals!

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