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10 Must Watch Family Holiday Movies

December 21, 2021

It is nearing the end of December, and with that comes the end of the holiday season… This close to the season calls for a comprehensive round-up of some of the most nostalgic, iconic holiday classics. Watching holiday movies is a fun activity that families can do together to spend time with one another while students are home on break. As kids grow up and become teenagers, the desire to spend time as a family becomes less appealing, so thinking of ways that sound fun to do as a family is essential.  

Here is a list of ten must-watch holiday movies:

The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

This movie is about a heartless creature (The Grinch) who has no holiday cheer and decides he is going to ruin Christmas for the citizens of Whoville. With the help of his ill-fated dog, Max, the Grinch descends from his house upon the mountain top to snipe all Christmas-related items and decor from the town. A slight obstacle gets in the way of his plan to ruin Christmas when he meets a sweet girl named Cindy Lou Who. This movie is available to be watched on Hulu, Peacock, Youtube, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. 

Elf (2003)

This movie is about Buddy, a human who was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a baby raised by elves there. When he becomes an adult, he realizes that he does not fit in with the other elves and journeys to New York in an attempt to find out where he really comes from. He meets his real father there, causing a series of chaotic events that unfold in the city. This movie is available to be watched on Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and Youtube. 

The Polar Express (2004)

This movie is about a doubting young boy who embarks on an extraordinary train ride that ventures him to the North Pole, where he encounters some interesting people and friends that help him realize that the spirit of Christmas lives on in the people who choose to believe. This movie is available on many different streaming platforms, including HBO Max, Youtube, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. 

Home Alone (1990)

This first movie in the Home Alone series is about a young boy who gets left alone at his family home in Chicago when his family reluctantly forgets him there on the way to the airport for their family trip to Paris. When Kevin wakes up the next day, he realizes his family is nowhere to be found and is happy to believe that his wish for his family to leave him alone has come true, until his excitement turns to concern as two con men begin attacks of robbery on his family home. He is left alone to try and ward off these thieves and protect the house himself. This movie is available on Disney+, Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV. 

A Christmas Story (1983)

This movie is about a young boy who attempts to convince his parents of the importance 

of receiving his dream Christmas present, a “Red Ryder Air Rifle.” The other half of the time, he spends dodging a bully. It is up to him to maintain both his hopes and self-preservation. This movie is available on Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Youtube, TBS, and TNT. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

This movie is about Jack Skellington, the friendly neighborhood Pumpkin King who becomes bored of his annual routine of scaring the town this year. He stumbles upon a beautiful, joyful, brightly colored Christmas town and decides that he will take over the role of Santa Claus to experience a new life. This movie is available on Disney+, Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV. 

The Santa Claus (1994)

This movie is about a divorced dad, Scott, who custody his son on Christmas Eve. Scott is very reluctant to believe this, but he has killed Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and is magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf tells him that he now must take Santa’s place and do so before next Christmas. Scott believes that this has to be a dream but soon concludes that this must be real as, over the year, he grows a white beard and starts to fill out. This movie is available on Disney+, Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV.

Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

This movie is about a group of five minors who get trapped at an airport when a blizzard hits on Christmas Eve. The kids have a chance to run wild and get to experience some fun at the airport by sliding down baggage chutes and driving golf carts. The kids present unmatched stress and irritation for the airport official and his assistant. This movie is available on Netflix, Youtube, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. 

Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas (2004)

Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas is a selection of short stories rather than a film. There are 5 stories, and each story is about 10 minutes long. Stories include Belles On Ice, Christmas Impossible, Christmas Maximus, Donald’s Gift, and Mickey’s Dog-Gone Christmas. This movie is available on Disney+, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. 

Arthur Christmas (2011)

This movie is about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on to accomplish the success that encompasses Christmas. One year, when Santa Claus forgets to deliver a present to one child, it becomes Santa’s youngest who is tasked with saving the day out of a hundred million. Arthur, Santa’s youngest son, sets out on his mission to deliver this young boy’s present before the new day, Christmas day, dawns. This movie is available on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Youtube, and Apple. 

Spend some time together this holiday season before heading back to work or returning to campus in January. Happy watching!