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What's the best family Christmas Film?

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

After 2 years of dodging the Covid curse it finally caught up to us this week. One by one our little family succumbed. Thankfully both John and I are vaccinated and thus the symptoms are mild. Mild headaches, tiredness (more than usual), a dry persistent cough and worst of all a lack of sense of taste and smell. Being such a food lover as I am this last one was the symptom that I hate the most. I am literally eating and trying to recall what the taste is and I have done a pretty good job of that so far that John is starting to wonder if I am putting the whole thing on.

Initially the idea of being couped up with the cold winds and storm Barra blowing outside was a cozy thought. We would do some baking with the kids, make our own play do and other other games in front of a roaring fire… very Hallmark! The reality is that after 4 days we have run out of ideas and the TV has been on far too much. As a way to try and mitigate that I decided to make a list of the 10 Christmas movies for young kids and parents to enjoy and we would do a Christmas movie marathon. I was slightly worried that this might end being a bad idea and I will end up hating all things Santa Claus. But thankfully that didn't happen. So here are our top 10 family Christmas movies as decided in a carefully monitored democratic way.


A touching and visually stunning Santa Claus origin story with tonnes of childhood nostalgia. This fairytalesque story is about young boy called Nick, who is asked by the King to go to the fabled place called Elfhelm and find a magical elf to save the community. Starring Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Kristen Wiig and Stephen Merchant as a talking mouse, this is a heartwarming family watch.



This is a beautiful old school animated Christmas story about a spoiled and lazy student of a postal academy, Jesper has to deliver 6000 letters there before he can return home. A recluse on the island named Klaus who sends toys to children who write letters to him, may be Jesper's way home. This is a sweet, funny and tender movie that our kids loved.

Starring Jason Schwartzman and J.K Simmons.



For all of the traditional Irish Mammies (like me) this is a one of my favourites. I's only 30 minutes long so I have put part 1 and 2 together for this list. Based on a story by Frank McCourt ('Angela's Ashes'), it a heart-warming and poignant story about the power of family and a child's innocence as she wants everyone to be safe, warm and loved at Christmas time.

Starring Ruth Negga.



Another animation, this wonderful story follows four generations of the Claus family from Grandsanta, to brothers Arthur and Stephen. When Arthur learns that his dad, Santa, forgot to deliver a gift he goes on a mission to bring it to the child.

Starring Bill Nighy, James McAvoy and Jim Broadbent.



This is an oldie but still a goodie. When single Dad Scott causes Santa Claus to fall off his roof he must take over delivering all of the presents along with his excited son. However Scott unknowingly agrees to become the next Santa Claus. Now, he has to try to keep his secret safe from everyone as he begins to look more and more like Santa.

Starring Tim Allen



This is a heartwarming musical film about a toymaker whose prized creation, his book of ideas and a unique matador doll, is stolen by his apprentice. He loses his will to create new toys until years later when his granddaughter visits him. His inventive and resourceful granddaughter embarks on a Christmas adventure to get it back.

Starring Forest Whittaker.



This sequel to the brilliant Home Alone is actually pretty good, which is always a nice surprise. Kevin accidentally boards a flight to New York City and gets separated from his family (again!) who are on their way to Miami. He then bumps into two of his old nemesis , the wet bandits, who are planning to rob a toy store. Although the I couldn’t help but feel that the biggest villain only makes a cameo in the Plaza Hotel. He is aided by a lovely character played by our own Brenda Fricker.

Starring Macauly Culkin, Joe Pesci,



The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about. This is a wonderfully modern throwback to classic Santa films, if that makes sense. We were engrossed as it was beautifully shot with funny and heartfelt moments throughout. Watch out for the great sining performance from Santa in jail!

Starring Kurt Russell


2 – ELF

It was a tough call but in the end this firm family favourite came a close second. When Jon Favreau made the film he said he wanted it to be a Christmas classic and it certainly is. Like the film BIG with Tom Hanks there is a certain charm about grown men seeing the world through a child's eyes. No one else could have played Buddy the Elf except Will Ferrell who is the man sized Elf who finds out that his real Dad is not Santa but a businessman in New York city. So he sets out to find his real Dad at Christmas in the Big Apple.

Starring Will Ferrell, James Caan


Of course this film made our kids squeal in delight throughout as little Kevin McAllister is left Home Alone by accident at Christmas and eats his body weight in ice cream and cookies and then has to fight off a couple of bungling burglars. This film will also bring a tear to your eye as Kevin’s Mum races home from Paris after realising her mistake, even if it means she has to travel in the back of a truck with John Candy and his merry swing band.

Starring Maculey Culkin, Joe Pesci, John Candy

So Que the great debate about how misguided our list is… LOL

Happy Christmas!!!

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