With high unemployment and a sour economy, many people are being forced to cut back on unnecessary expenses in order to make ends meet. And with the holidays right around the corner, the added expense of Christmas gifts, food and decorations can cause additional stress to financially-strapped families.
You can still enjoy the spirit of the season without spending a lot of money. Why not start a new tradition this Christmas, by holding a stress-free and money-saving holiday movie night with friends and family?
Holiday Movie Night
Watching movies from the comfort of home has never been easier! All that is needed is a television, DVD player or computer, a few tasty snacks, favorite beverages and several fabulous movies. Renting holiday-themed movies from the local video store, Redbox or video subscription service is not only affordable, it is convenient as well. If you prefer to purchase videos outright or watch them online, those options are also available. And even better – some of the online holiday movies are free!
Whether comical, dramatic or inspirational, movie selection is paramount in creating a memorable family-friendly holiday movie night.
Top 10 Family-Friendly Christmas Movies
- It’s a Wonderful Life – Although this1946 Frank Capra flick flopped at the box office, this film is an all-time Christmas classic. George and Mary Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, are going through some difficult financial times. George feels like a failure and believes the world would be better off without him. Ready to commit suicide, George is stopped just in time by Clarence, a very special angel.
- Miracle on 34th Street – This heartwarming Christmas classic from 1947, is guaranteed to make non-believers, believe. Macy’s Department Store hires Kris Kringle to play the store Santa. While he does a marvelous job, there is just one problem – Mr. Kringle claims to be the real, honest-to-goodness Santa Claus. Despite legal proceedings, a little girl, played by a young Natalie Wood, along with the United States Post Office, comes to the rescue! Edmund Gwenn, William Frawley, John Payne and Maureen O’Hara star.
- A Christmas Carol – Originally made in 1951, this Christmas classic is also known as “Scrooge.” Based on the Charles Dickens story, crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge is an old miser who only thinks about money. One Christmas eve, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts that are determined to change his life.
- A Christmas Story – All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 Shot Model Air Rifle BB gun. But all he hears is “You’ll shoot your eye out!” This truly heartwarming story, set in the 1940s, is a must-see!
- Prancer – Little Jessica Riggs, played by Rebecca Harrell, still believes in Santa. One day, she finds an injured reindeer and is convinced the animal is Prancer. She brings the animal home and hides him in the barn. But once her father, played by Sam Elliott, finds the reindeer, he makes plans to take it to the butcher. This lovely movie also stars Cloris Leachman, Johnny Galecki and Abe Vigoda.
- The Polar Express – Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this family-friendly 2004 flick stars Tom Hanks and Michael Jeter. Billy, who doesn’t really believe in Santa all that much, gets an unexpected visit from a mysterious and magical train en route to the North Pole.
- The Santa Claus – Tim Allen stars in this hilarious holiday romp from 1994. Allen accidentally kills Santa Claus and is forced to fill Santa’s shoes. Watch Allen transform before your eyes.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The Grinch hates Christmas! It seems the Grinch, played by Jim Carrey, will stop at nothing to rid the world of Christmas! Inspired by the beloved Dr. Seuss book, adorable Cindy Lou Who tries to befriend the Grinch.
- ELF – This 2003 movie would make even Scrooge giggle! Will Ferrell plays the inept yet lovable Buddy the Elf. Watch what happens when Buddy visits New York City. Bob Newhart, Mary Steenburgen, James Caan and Ed Asner, round out the holiday cast.
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – This 1989 holiday movie is just plain fun! As usual, nothing ever seems to go as planned for the Griswold family. Chevy Chase plays the lovable Clark Griswold, who is certain he’ll be getting a big Christmas bonus this year. Clark is so sure he’ll get the bonus; he’s already made plans to install a family swimming pool. Ellen Griswold, played by Beverly D’Angelo, daughter Audry, played by Juliette Lewis, and Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, round out the cast.
Start a new tradition this season and make it a holiday to remember. Create an affordable and family-friendly movie night with the best classical Christmas movies of all time.