Christmas Holidays

Christmas Movies + Family Christmas Pajamas

Can you believe that tomorrow is the first day of December?

best christmas movies

I’ve loved having Thanksgiving so early this year so that there was more than a week between it and the official kick-off of the holiday season.

It’s given me a chance to pick up chocolate advent calendars before they were all sold out (I learned my lesson last year!) and get my Christmas cards ordered, and get our house somewhat in order for the holidays.

classic christmas movies

We’ve kept our Christmas things to a minimum until this weekend, aside from putting up the tree, but tomorrow I feel really ready to kick things off.

christmas movies for kids

Everyone will get their Christmas pajamas – we’ve done matching Christmas pajamas for years, but never done family Christmas pajamas until this year (ours are from Hanna Anderson and they’re 40% off through the weekend) – and we’ll watch our first Christmas movie of the year.

family christmas pajamas

We’ll have pizza for dinner beforehand and probably a treat (I have a big bag of M&Ms leftover from last weekend’s Minute to Win It games, so I might make these double chocolate M&M cookies) and then it’ll be time for the Christmas movies bonanza to begin for the month.

I figure we have four December weekends before Christmas so we can probably squeeze in four Christmas movies this year and I can’t wait to get started.

matching family christmas pajamas

I don’t have a million favorite Christmas movies, but I do have a handful that I absolutely LOVE (all Christmas movies from my childhood) and I love pulling them out every December to watch with my own family now.

best Christmas movies

My 5 favorite Christmas movies

Miracle on 34th Street
If I had to choose a single favorite Christmas movie, it would 100% be this one. We saw this on Christmas Eve in the theater in 1994 when it came out and I have loved it ever since. Everything about this movie charms me – it’s definitely one of the BEST Christmas movies.

The Santa Clause
I just love this movie. For some reason, it hits my funny bone so much and our family has quoted MANY lines from this Christmas movie over the last two and half decades since we first saw it. It never gets old for me.

I have to admit that the first time I saw Elf, it wasn’t my all-time favorite like it seemed to be everyone else’s. But over the years, I’ve warmed to it and it really is now one of my favorite Christmas movies.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
My family definitely loves the Muppets (I have watched The Great Muppet Caper probably 75 times) and this version of the classic Christmas book doesn’t disappoint.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I haven’t seen the new Grinch movie, although it looks really fun (and I always love Benedict Cumberbatch) but I’m still partial to the old animated one. Especially because Tally is just getting big enough for pig tails and looks EXACTLY like Cindy Lou Who to me.

Christmas movies

What are your favorite Christmas movies? I’d love to hear!


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Photos by Heather Mildenstein

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  • Reply Michelle November 30, 2018 at 5:42 am

    For some reason I always think of Little Women as a Christmas movie, and I love that one. One random one that I love from my childhood and actually bought to show my kids is A Flintstone Christmas Carol–it stays surprisingly true to the original story.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw November 30, 2018 at 6:10 am

      YES! I can totally see that. I feel the same way about While You Were Sleeping.

  • Reply Brianna November 30, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Miracle on 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Holiday Inn. Holiday Inn is wildly racist (actors use blackface), but at its heart, it’s a good story.

  • Reply Serene November 30, 2018 at 8:32 am

    You’ve totally inspired me to pick my own Christmas favorites and re-watch “The Santa Clause”, a movie about which I’d totally forgotten. The search is on!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 1, 2018 at 8:47 am

      I love The Santa Clause so much! So many great lines.

  • Reply GIna November 30, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Our childhood experiences with Christmas movies are so interesting. I grew up on the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th St and when I saw the 1994 version I really didn’t like it because it was so dark compared to the original. To this day I still can’t watch it! I think because it was missing all my favorite unique voices, lines and moments that I had grown to love, I can quote so many of them by heart. It’s funny, just hearing the drunk Santa’s voice at the very beginning immediately makes me SO nostalgic.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 1, 2018 at 8:47 am

      That’s so funny! I would never have thought of the 94 version as dark, but I can see what you’re saying!

  • Reply Laura November 30, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Ernest saves Christmas is always #1 for me. It’s not really Christmas until we’ve watched it. I think that was the most frequently quoted movie back home. 😉

  • Reply Diana November 30, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I watch White Christmas every year while decorating the house and now my 5 year old likes to watch it with me while “helping”. We always do The Polar Express right before Christmas and my husband and I watch It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas evening after our boys are in bed. On my own, I love The Family Stone, The Holiday, and Love Actually, usually watch those while wrapping presents!

  • Reply Ashley V November 30, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I LOVE White Christmas with every fiber of my being. I loved it as a child, but I love it even more as an adult since there were several lines that didn’t make any sense to me as a kid but are now funny. I also love A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. It is so fun! I have a friend who has done a Christmas Movie Marathon every single year for at least 8 or 9 years which is a blast. She plans out movies to show for an entire day and sends out the schedule (Yes, she’s Type A) so that you can just drop in and out for a movie or two (or three!).

  • Reply Jennifer November 30, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    These are all great movies! Have you watched Prep and Landing? It’s one of our Christmas favorites.

  • Reply Jodi November 30, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    My kids love Home Alone so much

  • Reply Kelsee November 30, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    It’s a Wonderful Life. Love Actually. Home Alone.

  • Reply Leslie November 30, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Little Women and It’s a wonderful Life! I also really love the family stone, so much so that u bought my own copy a few years ago.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 1, 2018 at 8:59 am

      I LOVE Little Women – it’s been too long since I watched it!

  • Reply Sara November 30, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    My list of favorite movies would certainly include all the movies on your list.
    The Muppet Christmas Carol being toward the top. Michael Caine is the best Scrooge.
    Most any version of A Christmas Carol is a favorite. I think I have eight at last count.
    Other favorites include, While You were Sleeping. I do consider that a Christmas movie.
    Love Actually, Mixed Nuts ( it’s worth watching for Madeline Kahn alone), The Holiday,
    The Polar Express. That’s just to name a few.
    Love the Christmas Jammie’s. Such sweet pictures.

  • Reply Emily Nowling November 30, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    I love Arther Christmas—I laughed so hard the first time I saw it and my kids love it now.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 1, 2018 at 8:45 am

      How have I never seen this one?

      • Reply Emily December 1, 2018 at 9:27 am

        It was made in Britain and didn’t have a huge release in the US. It’s several years old and very entertaining in my opinion!

  • Reply Allison Ruth November 30, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    I do love White Christmas with Bing Crosby!

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