With the winter season upon us, people are planning how to celebrate the most festive time of the year. Children are making their wish lists and parents are preparing for a festive family celebration. On TV, stations start showing Christmas movies, specials and shows. The tradition that nearly every family shares is watching Christmas movies together and there are many films that are sure to be enjoyed by everyone.

1. A Christmas Story

Perhaps the most classic Christmas movie is the aptly titled “A Christmas Story.” The story follows a young boy named Ralph who wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Throughout the movie, he attempts to convince his parents that the gun would be the perfect present. However, he is constantly denied by his parents and others, most notably Santa Claus. When Ralph tells people that he wants the BB gun, they always respond with the sound of advice of “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Outside of his home, Ralph and his little brother also have a separate problem in school with the local bully. Ralph never gives up hope on receiving a BB gun for Christmas even as he opens his last present on Christmas morning.

2. Home Alone

In “Home Alone,” a young boy gets left behind at home by his large and extremely busy family. After an argument with his older brother, Kevin wishes that his family would simply disappear. When he wakes up the next morning, Kevin finds the house completely empty as if his family members had vanished. He’s initially filled with great joy. Kevin begins eating junk food and partying by himself. Eventually, his excitement diminishes because of visits from the police department and his mysterious neighbor. Two burglars also take notice that his family’s house is the perfect target and assume it is completely empty. When Kevin finds out that people are trying to break into his house, he sets up elaborate traps to stop them and keep the home safe.

3. Miracle on 34th Street

Set in New York City, an old man is upset that the person hired to play Santa in the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade is a drunk. So after the irresponsible Santa is fired, the old man, Kris Kringle, is persuaded to play Santa by the event director. Kringle does such a great job that he is hired as the store Santa at a local Macy’s and quickly becomes a much-loved attraction. However, after telling a little girl that he is the real Santa Claus, the event director becomes aggravated and fires him and questions his sanity. Kris even gets into a conflict with another worker and is arrested. A friend of the event director decides to defend Kringle and sets up an arrangement with the city judge to prove Kringle truly is Santa Claus.

4. Jingle All the Way

Howard Langston is a busy salesman who has very little time for his wife and son. He finds that his son, Jamie, is constantly disappointed in his father. After missing his son’s karate class, Howard decides that he needs to redeem himself. To do so, he sets out to get his son the most popular toy in the city – a Turbo Man action figure. However, every store is completely sold out and another man starts a fierce competition with Howard to buy the same action figure in a series of hilarious scenarios all over the holiday-packed city.

5. Elf

A little baby ends up inside Santa Claus’ sleigh and is unknowingly brought back to the North Pole. He is taken in by Papa Elf who raises the child as one of the elves and is eventually named Buddy after a few misunderstandings. When he reaches adulthood, Buddy realizes that he is much taller than the other elves and may not be the elf he always thought he was. This leads Santa to allow Buddy to go to New York City to find his birth father. However, Buddy quickly finds how difficult it is to assimilate in the human world.

6. The Santa Clause

After reading his son, Charlie, a Christmas story, Scott scares off a trespasser on his roof. The intruder falls off, seemingly dying from the fall. Scott and Charlie then find a business card that states whoever finds the card should wear the suit and ride the sleigh. After following the card’s instructions, the two are taken around town to deliver the remaining toys. The next morning, Charlie believes that the night before was just a dream. However, Scott begins going through physical changes that lead Charlie to think otherwise.

7. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Gonzo the Great retells the timeless story of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and all of the Muppets play various characters in Gonzo’s stories. Even during Christmas time, Scrooge shows that he only cares about making money. However, late in the night, Scrooge is visited by spirits waning him of his greed. As the night progresses, Scrooge is visited by The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. Each spirit impacts Scrooge as he becomes fearful of the consequences of his greed.

Watching any of these Christmas movies is a great way to spend time with the whole family. Share the classic stories you loved to watch with your family this Christmas by passing on a new tradition with your family and friends. Each of these Christmas movies are great for children of all ages and can still teach a new lesson every time you watch!

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