10 Best Holiday Movies of All Time

Parents teamed up with movie-review site Rotten Tomatoes to find out which Christmas flicks are on the nice list.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

A Christmas Story (1983)

We triple-dog dare you not to like this film, which features a boy who desperately wants a BB gun for Christmas. Because the story is told through a series of vignettes, it’s easy to break up over a couple of nights for younger kids. Rated PG, 94 minutes.

Columbia Pictures

Arthur Christmas (2011)

This animated movie about the overlooked member of the Claus family combines silly kid humor with adult appeal. Rated PG, 97 minutes.

New Line Cinema

Elf (2003)

Pull this elf down from the shelf. Will Ferrell gives one of his funniest performances ever in this film about a human child who was raised at the North Pole as one of Santa’s helpers. Rated PG, 97 minutes.

Courtesy of Liberty Films

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

In this classic, an angel helps a man see what life would be like if he didn’t exist. It’s deep (and perhaps a little troubling) for young kids, but a great lesson for tweens about how every person’s life affects the lives of people around him. Rated PG, 130 minutes.

20th Century Fox

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

The black-and-white original, in which a man goes to court to prove he’s the real Santa, is the ultimate feel-good family flick. Show it to kids if they start to question whether Santa is real. Not rated, 96 minutes.

From Elf to Miracle on 34th Street, these memorable quotes will have you yearning for a holiday movie marathon!

Courtesy of Disney

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

With a storyline faithful to the Dickens classic, this Disney movie adds sweeping musical numbers, familiar puppets (Kermit the Frog, for instance, plays Bob Cratchit), and wacky gags to make it more entertaining for kids. Rated G, 85 minutes.

Courtesy of Disney

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Halloween meets Christmas in this animated musical mash-up from producer Tim Burton. Despite the title, the movie isn’t all that scary for kids ages 7 and up. Rated PG, 76 minutes.

Courtesy of MGM

Prancer (1989)

When a 9-year-old girl discovers what she believes is an injured Prancer in the forest, she nurses him back to health and tries to get a message to Santa in time for Christmas. Rated G, 103 minutes.

Buena Vista Pictures

The Santa Clause (1994)

What if Dad became Santa? That’s the clever concept of this film about a divorced father (Tim Allen) who takes over after the Big Guy falls off the roof. Rated PG, 97 minutes.

Paramount Pictures

White Christmas (1954)

This classic Bing Crosby musical contains not only the well-known title song but also several other familiar tunes including “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” Not rated, 120 minutes.

For more fun ways to make the holiday extra-magical for your family, click here.

Parents Magazine

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