The holiday season can be a busy time for families. Here are 10 movie suggestions, from old school classics to new favourites, for a fun evening at home together.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
A classic movie with an iconic musical score by Vince Guaraldi that looks at both the spiritual and material aspects of the season. A perfect break from the Buy! Buy! Buy! of Christmas.
Run time: 30 min.
Buddy, a human raised by elves, travels to New York City to find his real father and true identity. Silliness ensues while Buddy teaches his newly discovered friends and family essential elf rules including: Treat everyday like Christmas.
Run time: 97 min.
It's a Wonderful Life (1947)
This beloved film is still a holiday favourite more than 60 years after its release. George Bailey wishes he had never been born. An angel steps in to make his wish come true and shows George what life in his hometown of Bedford Falls would be like without him and his good deeds.
Run time: 130 min.
Home Alone (1990)
Kevin's family accidentally leaves him behind when they head off to Paris for Christmas vacation. Kids will love Kevin's ingenuity and the slapstick comedy that ensues when he has to protect his home from bumbling burglars.
Run time: 103 min.
The Polar Express (2004)
Based on the Caldecott award-winning children's book by the same name. A doubtful boy embarks on a magical train ride to the North Pole and discovers that the wonder of Christmas doesn't fade for those who believe.
Run time: 100 min.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
An animated film version of the Dr. Suess' book How the Grinch Stole Christmas with line-by-line narration by the incomparable Boris Karloff. The grumpy Grinch tries to ruin Christmas for the residents of Whoville but in the process he discovers the true meaning of the holiday.
Run time: 26 min.
A Christmas Story (1983)
Nine year old Ralphie only wants one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder BB gun. A grown up Ralphie narrates, re-telling his enthusiastic and single-minded efforts to get what he wants most. The film isn't just about Christmas; it's an enduring look and a nostalgic reminder of childhood.
Run time: 94 min.
A Christmas Carol
Based on Charles Dickens' classic novella. On Christmas Eve, miserly businesman Ebeneezer Scrooge has a nightmare in which he is visited by three ghosts and given one last chance to change his mean ways. The story of redemption has been told and re-told on film many times, but there are two versions worth seeing. The original 1951 black and white starring Alistair Sim is haunting, while The Muppet version (1992), including Michael Caine as a human Scrooge, may be better suited to younger children.
Run time: 74 min. and 89 min., respectively.
The Santa Clause (1994)
Scott Calvin is a toy company executive who discovers Santa after he has taken a fatal fall. Due to "the santa clause" not only is Scott obligated to take over Santa's rounds on Christmas Eve, but he must become the new Santa—with a belly, beard and all—while trying to keep it a secret from his family.
Run time: 97 min.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, becomes taken with the idea of Christmas. He tries to get the residents of Halloweentown to put on Christmas instead of Halloween, with comical consequences. Dark, yet beautiful, stop-motion animation.
Run time: 76 min.