7 ideal Christmas films to watch with your children or grandchildren


This article has been inspired by my six-year old daughter, Lanah. She’s now reached the age of looking forward to Christmas movies and has already put a list together of the films we’re going to be watching together.

Digital technology and online streaming services mean most films are now available at the touch of a button, rather than you having to wait for them to appear in the Christmas TV schedules.

This makes it much easier to pick something you know the whole family should all like. It also means you can pause the action when you need a top-up of wine, or you need to open a new tin of Quality Street for the kids.

So, make yourself comfortable, ensure the remote control is close to hand, and settle down and watch one of these seven Christmas-related films for all the family.

1. Elf

This is very much one of Lanah’s favourites, and I know we could end up watching this several times over the Christmas break.

To be fair, it’s a highly entertaining film that I’m sure you’ll find watchable – and your kids will love.

It tells the story of Buddy, who has been raised by Santa’s elves and is now on a quest to find his real father in New York City. The problem is that his dad is very much on the “naughty” side of Santa’s “naughty or nice” dividing line…

2. The Polar Express

The old story of the young child who doesn’t really believe in Father Christmas and needs to be persuaded of his existence gets a make-over with this computer-animated classic.

This style of CGI animation was quite ground-breaking when it was released in 2004, and still looks impressive.

As the title suggests, the plot involves a train ride to the North Pole, and the previously dis-believing boy finding the true magic of Christmas there.

3. Home Alone

Lanah never tires of watching this classic, and the slapstick humour and the story of kids getting one over on the adults is one I’m sure your own children will enjoy.

The title rather gives away the plot but, briefly, eight-year-old Kevin is accidentally left at home by his parents when they go off on their Christmas holiday. It’s not long before he has to protect the house from a couple of hapless villains.

Look out for a cameo from John Candy, who appeared as a favour for director, John Hughes. He was offered a share of the profits and turned it down and just asked for $500 for his work.

4. The Snowman

Not only is this a highly accessible film that your children will enjoy, but it also has a Snelling connection. The soprano voice you hear is that of Peter Auty, who is from my hometown of Richmond in Yorkshire. By the time they came to record the hit-single, Peter’s voice had broken, so it was Aled Jones who found fame and subsequent fortune.

It’s based on the best-selling book by Raymond Briggs and is the story of a boy who builds a snowman that comes to life and takes him on a flying adventure.

The running time of less than half an hour makes it perfect to watch with younger children who may have a short attention span.

5. Christmas with the Kranks

American film studios tend to churn out any number of saccharine Christmas films involving families and their “perfect” Christmas. To be honest, they tend to blend into each other, but Christmas with the Kranks provides a nice twist on the idea and is therefore a cut above the rest.

It’s slightly more grown up than the other films you’ve read about here, but I can confirm the subject matter and content is perfectly acceptable, and it regularly appears on lists of top family films.

The Krank family decide to opt out of Christmas altogether, much to the annoyance of all their neighbours. An unexpected arrival means they have to organise their celebrations at the last minute, with predictable and highly amusing consequences.

6. Miracle on 42nd Street

There are two versions of this classic story. We tend to watch the 1994 version that stars Richard Attenborough, but both are very watchable.

It tells the heart-warming story of a girl who befriends Kris Kringle, who is playing the Santa in a department store grotto. Because Kringle believes he actually is Santa Claus, for various reasons he ends up in court having to prove just that.

Don’t let the thought of “courtroom drama” put you off suggesting it for your children. It’s a great story with (spoiler alert) a real feel-good ending.

7. The Muppet Christmas Carol

I believe the Alistair Sim version of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to be one of the best Christmas films ever made. But for the purposes of this list, you’ll find the Muppet version a worthy substitute as it’s very accessible for children of all ages.

As the title suggests, it’s the traditional story reimagined by Kermit and his gang, and stars Michael Caine in one of the best things he’s done since Get Carter.

It also includes several catchy songs that you, and your children, will be singing until long after you’ve taken the decorations down.

Get in touch

If you want to talk through your financial plans, or just want to suggest your own Christmas film favourites, please get in touch.

You can contact us by email or, if you prefer to speak to us, you can reach us in the UK on +44 (0) 208 0044900 or in Hong Kong on +852 39039004.

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