The holiday season is here, and so is a plethora of Christmas movies. Which ones are the best for your family? Which have good faith-based messages? We’ve chosen some favorites – secular and faith based – that your family will enjoy.
- Frosty the Snowman. This short holiday special was made in the early 1970s, and it is a Rankin/Bass classic. Frosty is made of snow, but he is the friendliest and warmest-hearted character of the cast. There is a villain, but he’s more comic than sinister, although his attempts to melt Frosty may upset young children.
- The Muppet Christmas Carol. This lighthearted version of the Dickens story is a great way to introduce youngsters to the ghostly tale. With the exception of the Ghost of Christmas Future, the spirits aren’t too frightening. Familiar faces like Kermit the Frog, his nephew Robin, and Gonzo (as Dickens himself) keep things decidedly cheery.
- The Nativity Story. We recommend this film for teens and adults, as younger children may find the historical context boring. There is also a brief but disturbing scene of King Herod hunting down infant boys in his quest to kill the baby Jesus. Families may discuss the importance of the Nativity before, during, and after viewing.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas. This classic is great for the whole family, and one of the only secular specials in which a character discusses Jesus, the Nativity, and the true meaning of Christmas. Families can discuss that as well as what it meant for Linus to give up his security blanket during the story (trusting in God rather than the blanket).
- Miracle on 34th Street. Whether you choose the original or the remake, this film is a good bet. There is some coarse language in the remake, and scenes of Santa being arrested may upset young viewers. If you choose the remake, talk about how the phrase “In God We Trust” helped the judge and others believe in Kris’ identity.