Does your family have a bah humbug attitude this year? Jay Snook prescribes these ten films to ignite their Christmas spirit.
The Christmas season is upon us. This means buying gifts, having lavish parties and getting together with family. Here are ten movies you can watch together with your loved ones. Each one has a powerful message that will teach your kids some great life lessons. Have the family sit down and watch these films, they will thank you for it.
1. Muppet Christmas Carol– A Muppet version of the classic A Christmas Carol and stars Michael Caine as Scrooge and Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy as his wife Emily. Gonzo is Charles Dickens, and narrates the tale from start to finish. It tells the tale of one man who is greedy, rich, but someone who keeps his wealth to himself. But a visit from some spirits one night may change all that. It is a film my family watches every year, and with songs like Bless Us All, It Feels Like Christmas, Thankful Heart and One More Sleep Til’ Christmas it is no wonder why we love it. The message is a great one, and kids will love the songs and the hijinks Rizzo and Gonzo get in along the way.
2. The Santa Clause- This movie stars Tim Allen and is one you must check out. Scott Calvin works for a toy company. All that matters to his life is work, and he has little time to spend with his son. One night on Xmas eve a man falls off his roof, and he puts on his clothes. His life begins to change after that. I won’t spoil how, but I will say the transformation is a blast to watch. This is a great film because of lessons like the importance of family during the holidays and how to be a real man. Children will love it because of the crazy antics that happen to Tim along the way and will enjoy seeing the elf, Bernard, help him become someone better.
3. Jingle All the Way- This movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and may seem out of place on this list, but trust me it isn’t. He is a man who works to0 much and again is not there much for his son. There is a hot new toy out, and he promises his wife he will get it for his son. But he forgets, and with little time left before Christmas day. He has to run around trying to find this toy so he won’t disappoint his son again. Hilarity ensues, and the film is great because it shows when a man applies himself, he can accomplish anything. The whole family will love to see his son who has such as big heart, and some of the funny things Sinbad does in this movie.
4. Home Alone- The film that made Macaulay Culkin a mega star, and one of my favorite holiday movies. What happens when the parents accidentally leave their son all alone? It turns out more than you would think. Kevin is a kid who is not a big fan of his family for a number of reasons. They are going on a trip, and he is not looking forward to it. When he gets left behind, he thinks it is a great blessing. But once he realizes their are two men trying to rob his house, he decides to take action to defend it. By the end of the film he learns to be thankful for his family, faults and all. People will love how he takes care of Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) and may laugh until it hurts.
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas- This was directed by Ron Howard, and stars Jim Carrey as the villainous Grinch. There is a cartoon version that came out many years ago, but I prefer this version. It is based on the book by Dr. Seuss, and it does a great job of bringing this world to life. “All the people of Whoville loved Christmas a lot, but the Grinch just North of Whoville did not!” is one of the most famous lines from this beloved children’s book. It delves deeper into the Grinch, and just why he may be the way he is. I also love Jim Carrey’s version of You’re a Mean One Mr Grinch, it is not only hilarious but very catchy. Viewers will enjoy Cindy Lou Who and will smile when they see Max and the funny things he does in this movie. The message is perfect for the holidays, but I won’t spoil it here. To see it, you will have to sit down and watch this film, but it is worth it.
6. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- This movie came out 5o years ago, and it continues to bring joys to kids around the world. It tells the tale of a reindeer that is born different, and all his life he feels like a misfit. He leaves home one day and makes some new friends, who are also different and peculiar. He grows with these new pals, and gets to visit exciting places. But the best part is the night Santa says those familiar words ” Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” It plays multiple times a year around the world, and has some great songs like Silver and Gold, There’s Always Tomorrow, We’re a Couple of Misfits, The Island of Misfit Toys, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It is the perfect movie for kids because it will teach them that being unique is a good thing, and just important it is to be yourself no matter what people say. Children will love Yukon Cornelius and Sam the Snowman.
7. Home Alone 2- The sequel to Home Alone, and this time Kevin has gotten himself into a fine mess. He isn’t left home alone again, he ends up in New York all by himself. He has his dads wallet and stays in the exquisite Plaza Hotel, and like last time is glad to be without his family at first. But when it turns out Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) are back, and they plan on robbing a toy store, he decides something has to be done about it. These two thieves want revenge on Kevin for putting them away last time, and they think this time there is no way he can stop them. But he finds a new house with traps that really teach them a lesson. Kevin soon misses his family and becomes thankful he has them in his life, even Buzz his older brother who can be a real pain sometimes. The family will love to see the things Harry and Marv go through and how cool Duncan’s Toy Chest looks.
8. The Year Without a Santa Claus– Another hit by Rankin and Bass, and one that you don’t see everyday. Santa is feeling sort of run down this year, and decides he wants to cancel Christmas. Mrs. Clause wants to do all she can to prove to him that there is some Christmas spirit out there, and with the help of Jingle and Jangle they go out to find some. But with a run in with the Miser Brothers they end up in Southtown. They run into a boy who will play a bit part in this movie, but i refuse to tell you how. With songs like Blue Christmas, White Christmas and The Year Without a Santa Clause, it is not wonder this film has stood the test of time. Children will learn much about the spirit of giving and just how magical the holidays can really be. They will enjoy the interactions with Jingle and Jangle and will get a kick out of the Miser Brothers too.
9. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- This is a animated feature that makes sure to answer every questions kids have about Santa Claus. It does a great job of showing how his life began as a baby, how he was raised by animals and the Kringles and the trials and difficulties he had to endure along the way. He grew to a man who only wanted to bring joy to children through toys. This movie has great songs like First Toymaker to the King, One Foot in Front of the Other and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. People will love the Kringles and Santas little penguin friend hopper, and will laugh at the way Burgermeister Meisterburger gets his just desserts.
10. Elf- A movie starring Will Ferrell, and one that I have grown to really like over the years. I am not usually a fan of his movies, but he brings life to Buddy in a way no other actor could. It tells the story of a man who grows up in the world of elves, and going on a quest to find his dad. He is a simple man, and one who is not used to the way the world works. He is like a big kid, and although he may make some mistakes along the way, his heart is always in the right place. This films will definitely make young people believe in Santa and all the magic he brings this time of year. I love how Buddy learns about the real world and his interactions with his little brother. It is one of the best new holiday films to come out in years, and is one that everyone should watch at least once.
These are just some of the films that are out there that you can watch with the family this holiday season. There are many that are not on here, and others that I have not had a chance to see yet. When the world gets tough or it is hard to get into the Christmas spirit, it is good to know there are movies out there to help people out. Whether it is through songs, a good story or lovable characters, Hollywood does a good job of keeping the spirit alive for future generations to enjoy in new and exciting ways. So on Christmas Eve make sure to sit down by the fire and watch some of these films, I guarantee they will bring you closer together as a family and will make you truly feel the spirit of Christmas in your hearts. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!