ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

You've dined like champions, all the presents have been opened, there's heaps of wrapping paper all over the house and suddenly you sense the little ones are descending, fast, into a restless, agitated state that not even Santa himself could remedy.

So what options do you have? You could suggest they play with some of their already neglected toys, or you could, heaven forbid, suggest they help clean up some of the wrapping paper. Or, you could solve all of your problems in one fell swoop by putting on a brilliant Christmas movie, sitting them down in front of it and looking forward to a ninety minute period of blissful quiet.

So, to help you make the most of the festive period, here are all of the best for kids to help keep those Yuletide blues at bay.

11. Arthur Christmas (2011)

  • Director: Sarah Smith
  • Plot: When Santa's clumsy son Arthur is given a mission to get a gift that they misplaced to a little girl in only 2 hours, he has to pull out all the stops to get it to her.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: It's a delightfully animated heartwarming tale that all of the family can sit down and enjoy together. It also carries many inspiring messages, least of which being that the focus of Christmas should be about the joy of caring for your loved ones, not material goods.

10. Home Alone (1990)

  • Director: Chris Columbus
  • Plot: When eight-year old Kevin McCallister is accidentally left at home when his parents leave for their Christmas vacation in Paris, he must fend for himself and protect his house from a pair of burglars.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: It's fun for all the family and a well-loved classic which has lasted the test of time. In the end it teaches kids that with a bit of perseverance they can achieve their goals!

9. Frozen (2013)

  • Director: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
  • Plot: When the young Queen Elsa accidentally reveals her uncontrollable talent for turning everything around her into ice, she banishes herself from her home and in doing so inadvertently condemns her village to an infinite winter. It's then left up to her younger sister Anna to bring Elsa back and change the fortune of their kingdom.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: If you're one of the few parents not to have sat through this movie with your kids, now's the time to start. As the highest grossing animated film of all time, Frozen is hugely popular with children and adults alike, making it the perfect Christmas movie.

8. Elf (2003)

  • Director: Jon Favreau
  • Plot: When a man raised as an elf in the North Pole discovers he's actually a human, he decides to take a trip to his birthplace, New York, to discover what life is like within human society.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: Elf is one of the funniest Christmas movies made in recent times, guaranteed to crack the whole family up. It also aims to keep the magic of Christmas alive by depicting Santa and the elves as being very real characters.

7. The Polar Express (2004)

  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Plot: A young boy embarks on a mystical train called the Polar Express which is heading to the North Pole, and on his journey he learns all about friendship and the true meaning of Christmas.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: This movie is packed with Christmas magic and positive messages. From the value of being kind to others, to the importance of being brave, standing up for what you believe in and to always follow your heart, The Polar Express is a truly beautiful movie which will leave a lasting impression on children of all ages.

6. Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

  • Director: Les Mayfield
  • Plot: A little girl is left feeling sad and blue when she discovers that Santa may not be real. However upon meeting the mysterious 'Khris Kringle' she begins to change her mind and ultimately has to help defend him in court to prove that Santa Clause is real after all.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: Few Santa's are more convincing than Richard Attenborough who was born for this role as Kris Kringle. This movie encompasses the sickly sweet Christmas spirit in all it's magical glory and is consequently a must-see Christmas movie for kids of every generation.

5. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Plot: On the fringes of a town called Whoville, the Grinch is slowly plotting how he will ruin Christmas for all the Who citizens. However we soon learn his back story and begin to have sympathy for him, as does a little girl called Cindy Lou who tries to help the Grinch reinstate his life amongst the Whos.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: It provides an interesting approach to rejecting the more commercial side of Christmas, helping kids to understand that there is more to Christmas then just presents and fancy lights. Cindy Lou is also an excellent role model, her generosity, big heart and her willingness to stand up for what she believes in ends up changing the Grinch's life for the better.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  • Director: Henry Selick
  • Plot: Jack Skellington, who is the king of Halloween Town and frequently referred to as the Pumpkin King, comes across Christmas Town for the first time and is completely baffled but intrigued by it. He begins to obsessively study Christmas and ultimately plans a scheme where Halloween Town will hijack Christmas that year and see him usurp the role of 'Sandy Claws.'
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: With its catchy musical numbers and exquisitely crafted animation, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a favorite of those who prefer a Christmas movie that is a little different from the mainstream. While the figurines may scare a few young children, it soon becomes clear that appearances aren't everything and that behind some of the more scary looking characters lies a heart of gold.

3. Sister Act (1992)

  • Director: Emile Ardolino
  • Plot: Having to go into the witness protection program to hide from her mobster ex, Deloris Wilson (Whoopi Goldberg) gets placed in a nunnery for her own protection. Naturally, she has quite a few teething problems as both her and the nuns get accustomed to each other, but when she takes over the convent choir, she, and the nuns, find a new lease of life.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: While not technically a Christmas movie, Sister Act still captures the magic of a festive film and is an absolute all time classic. It's fun for all the family and few things are funnier than watching nuns on the run.

2. Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

  • Director: Brian Henson
  • Plot: Based on the classic Charles Dickens novel, 'A Christmas Carol,' this was the fourth Muppet live-action musical feature. Following Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine) on Christmas Eve as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future, Scrooge soon realizes he needs to stop being such a selfish, grumpy old man if he wants to leave a lasting legacy behind him when he dies.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: It blends the meaningful morality of both the Christmas story and how best to live your life with the lighthearted and humorous nature of the muppets. Children of all ages can take something away from this joyful, fuzzy film.

1. The Santa Clause (1994)

  • Director: John Pasquin
  • Plot: When a divorcee advertising exec accidentally kills Santa by startling him off a roof, he is forced to take his place. After putting on the suit Santa left behind, he is given exactly eleven months to get all of his affairs in order before taking on the full time position.
  • Why It's The Perfect Kids Christmas Movie: While the premise may sound a little scary with the idea of Santa dying at the beginning of the movie, this is quickly forgotten as we focus on the process of Scott (Tim Allen) becoming the new Santa — which proves to be hilarious!


What do you wish there was more of in Kids Christmas movies?


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