December 11, 2011

Family Friendly Christmas Movies

I remember as a child, as Christmas drew near, all the "Christmas specials" would begin to play on TV.  Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life.  They would play repeatedly on many of the local channels.  I can remember being so excited because, as a child, this was the only time of year when I would get to see several of these movies.  It seems like we may have had a VCR player back then, but we certainly didn't own any of these types of movies so it was really a treat when our local cable company would begin advertising the TV specials!

It is in this spirit that I thought I would share a little bit about some of my favorite Christmas movies...some of which may seem a little bit obscure or unknown from the usual Christmas Specials.  I look back on these movies with fondness!  They are all kid-friendly...and in each you learn a special lesson about love, faith and family.  Enjoy!

1.  Probably my all time favorite Christmas movie growing up was Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas.   A story in the spirit of the Gift of the Magi, Emmett Otter and his mother both enter a talent competition in the hopes of winning the grand prize: $50.  In order to play wash-tub bass, Emmett is forces to put a hole is Ma's washtub...Ma, in her attempt to find something suitable to wear to compete, sells Pa's tool chest.  Both hope to win the prize money to buy the other a nice Christmas gift.  A heartwarming story from Jim Henson's Muppet's with music so great you'll be humming these tunes long after it is over.

2.  Muppet Christmas Carol is based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens.  A fun-filled rendition of of the traditional story with Michael Cain heading up an all-star cast and yes, he even sings!  What I really loved about this version of A Christmas Carol is that the Muppets take a classic story and make it easy for young children to understand.  Another musical that will have your toes-tapping and your sides splitting from all the laughing!  The soundtrack is great too!

 3.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Who doesn't love this classic story?  The Grinch is jealous of the Who's down in Whoville who are happy and celebrating he decides this year to keep Christmas from coming.  Dressed as Santa he heads down the hill to make sure the Who's can be as unhappy as he.  Does it work?  Based on the story book by Dr. Seuss and narrated by Thurl Ravenscroft (Tony the Tiger!), this movie will help your heart grow 10x's bigger.

4.  One Magic Christmas tells the story of the Granger family who have fallen on hard times.  Money is tight, in fact, too tight for the Grangers to afford Christmas gifts for their children this year.  It is the help of Gideon, the Christmas Angel, that they discover the true meaning of family and that real gifts are not found under a tree.

5.  "Can anybody tell me what Christmas is all about?"   A Charlie Brown Christmas is a must-see for anyone who wants to know the true meaning of Christmas.  Linus quotes the Christmas Story directly out of the Bible and helps his friends understand that Christmas shouldn't be so commercial.  Music by the Vince Guaraldi Trio will leave have you dancing in the living room with your kids.

6.  Cricket on the Hearth is a story based on the Charles Dickens novel of the same name.   A poor toymaker and his daughter are befriended by a helpful cricket - just in time to help make their holidays a little brighter.

So, during the dark & cold days of December, pop some popcorn, snuggle on the couch with your kiddos, pop in a movie and have a wonderful holiday season!  It is a great way to make memories!  What is your favorite holiday movie?  Did you watch these too?

Stephanie has been married to her wonderful husband James for 9 years.  They are parents to 2 special blessings through the miracle of adoption.  Kayley, age 5 and Maggie, age 1.  This is her second year "officially" homeschooling although "every day is a day at school."   You can visit her family at Swinging On Small Hinges.

2 comments - Add a comment below -:

Spencer said...

I'm not sure that our kids like our choice of movies, but we always like White Christmas, Holiday Inn, The Shop Around the Corner, We're No Angels. Basically, old movies.

With our kids, we watch Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but this year I"m looking for something new so thanks for the ideas.

Amy said...

One of my favorites is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie called Borrowed Hearts.