For many, there is one movie that definitely captures the Christmas spirit. The Reel Dialogue team has searched the archives and come up with a Christmas Movie Advent countdown list, giving you a viewing option for every day of the Christmas season.
We thought, why not share with you our own families’ favourite Christmas films? Then offer up a bunch of great options for the season – those films that we pull out every year and we never seem to get tired of them.
A Shortlist of Classics That Never Disappoint
Elf (Paramount+, Stan)
- Raised as an over-sized elf, a human travels from the North Pole to NYC to meet his biological father who doesn’t know he exists and is in desperate need of some Christmas spirit.
The Polar Express (Binge)
- On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.
It’s a Wonderful Life (Stan)
- An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
The Nativity Story (Streaming Services – Apple)
- A drama that focuses on the period in Mary and Joseph’s life where they journeyed to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas (Now on Netflix and Disney+)
- A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas.
The Christmas Film Advent Calendar
A few years back our team at Reel Dialogue received a great request from a faithful reader: “Could you compile a list for our family to watch a Christmas film each night leading up to the Christmas season? A Christmas Movie Advent”
Reel Dialogue loved that idea back then and we still do. We put on our cinematic, Christmas hats and took her up on the challenge. The team thinks we have put together a great list of films that include Christmas in their storylines. Some of the films grab the meaning of Christmas and one, in particular, says it all.
Now… not all of these films are ‘family-friendly,’ hence the categorisation of the films.
‘Mum & Dad films’ – MD – films that are intended for adult audiences only. Good for cuddling up together and enjoying some alone time.
‘Great Memories’ – GM – The mark for classic films from decades past that should not be forgotten.
25 December – The Nativity Story (The real story of Christmas)
24 December – It’s a Wonderful Life (GM)
23 December – Elf
22 December – The Santa Clause
21 December – Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
20 December – The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
19 December – The Man Who Invented Christmas
18 December – Spirited
17 December – Last Christmas (MD)
16 December – Polar Express
15 December – A Christmas Carol (2009)
14 December – Arthur Christmas
13 December – Scrooged (MD)
12 December – White Christmas (GM)
11 December – Home Alone
10 December – Love, Actually (MD)
9 December – A Boy Named Christmas (GM)
8 December – Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas (Now on Netflix and Disney+)
7 December – Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
6 December – A Charlie Brown Christmas
5 December – Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (GM)
These films could replace any from the list that you like.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Disney+), The Little Drummer Boy, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Four Christmases, The Grinch, While You Were Sleeping, The Family Man, Die Hard, Ladies in Black (This one only has one scene, but it depicts Australia at Christmas), and of course A Christmas Story,
Feature image: Movie stills
About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.