7 Christmas movies your kids might not have watched yet

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

The countdown is officially on with only a handful of days left until Christmas! And if your family is anything like ours that means you have some serious movie watching to do.

I keep a list on my phone of our favorite holiday flicks, and many of those we watch are the well-known classics: White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and so on.

But I thought it might be fun to share a few that perhaps your kids haven’t watched yet, to enjoy this week–or to add to your own list for the years ahead! Happy viewing:

1. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

~ Good for ages: 8 and up ~ Should we read the book first? YES!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. And the ending? Always makes me cry. My children beg for one more chapter every time–it’s that good.

This year I discovered an hour-length video production of the book on YouTube, created in the 1980s, which we watched after our read-through.

Know that the whole story of both book and video centers around kids who display bad behavior. There are also a couple of passing mentions of “s*x” and “s*xy,” and the fact that Mary is pregnant.

2. The Christmas Candle

~ Good for ages: 9 and up ~ Should we read the book first? Not necessary

Based on a Max Lucado novel, this movie has become one of our annual traditions. I first stumbled upon it about three years ago, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see it become more well-known since then!

It’s got it all: drama, romance, faith, tragedy, miracles, and laughter. This year I was especially excited to discover that it’s currently available on Netflix, yay!

It does deal with some sensitive topics like unwed pregnancy, grief, and the death of a character, which is why I put it in the tween category.

3. Christmas in Connecticut

~ Good for ages: 9 and up ~ No Book

I’m not sure I ever saw this movie in its entirety until this year. I really had to talk my kids into trying it out since it’s in black and white, but oh my goodness: they laughed hysterically almost the entire time! Then begged to watch it again later in the week.

The storyline: A journalist with a popular homemaking column is only pretending to have the husband, baby, and farm in Connecticut she writes about. When she’s about to be discovered, she has to go to hilarious lengths to keep up appearances.

Right now it’s free to watch on Amazon Prime!

Note: Some may have an issue with the fact that the whole premise centers around a lack of honesty. There is also a situation where a man is attracted to the main character, even though he believes she’s married. She encourages him, knowing that she is not actually married.

4. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

~ Good for ages: 8 and up ~ Should we read the book first? YES!

This beautiful children’s book has been turned into an equally beautiful movie! The cinematography is stunning, the plot thought-provoking and full of meaning.

I say eight and up because the main character’s father dies while away at war, and there’s a scene in which the boy and his mother find out. Much of the storyline deals with characters’ healing from grief as another character has also lost his wife and child (not shown on screen).

5. Little Women (1949 version)

~ Good for ages: 7 and up ~ Should we read the book first? Not necessary

Little Women always makes me think of Christmas since the first scene starts out at that time of year. This is the movie version of Little Women I grew up watching, and it’s interesting to me that all three of my children prefer it to the newest version.

Little Women is also one of my favorite books of all time (as I’ve written about here), and this movie allows kids to experience the storyline at an earlier age–preparing them for the book in years to come.

If you have sensitive children, keep in mind that a central character dies toward the end.

6. The Nutcracker Ballet (1993 version)

~ Good for ages: 6 and up ~ Should we read a book version first? Yes, if your kids don’t know the storyline.

Are your children already familiar with the story of the Nutcracker? If not, I recommend this book by Vladimir Vagin to convey the plot before watching a live performance or movie version.

Surprisingly, I found it difficult to find a suitable film of the ballet when my kids were younger.

Some of them feature a creepy Drosselmeyer and an odd Drosselmeyer/Clara relationship, and some make the Mouse King battle too frightening. This is the one we’ve enjoyed most and return to each year.

7. The Wish That Changed Christmas

~ Good for ages: 5 and up ~ Should we read the book first? YES!

This beautiful cartoon is based on the children’s book The Story of Holly and Ivy. It’s not a Christmas book you hear about all the time, and I hope to change that because it is magical and beautiful and sweet all rolled into one!

It’s a story about a girl, a doll, a family, and a wish that comes true. But don’t let the girl/doll plot throw you off–in our home this interests boys just as much as girls!

Know that the storyline features a girl in an orphanage who doesn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas, so if you have adopted children like we do you might want to preview first.


Have you found at least one new thing to watch? I hope so! Maybe one of these will even lead to a new holiday tradition in your family–I’d love that.

And if you have Amazon Prime, head here to see all the other most popular Christmas movies/shows included FREE that you can also enjoy this week!

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” ~ Charles Dickens

Do you know of another Christmas movie we may not have watched yet but need to? Please let us know here!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Originally posted on Dec 19, 2016.

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. What a lovely list. Some we have scene and some we have not. I will need to check some of this out with my kids. Thanks for sharing. I had never heard of viewpure.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Dulcie Blackburn says:

    We absolutely love “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”! We read it last week and will be watching it this week. We have read some of the other books, but have not seen all of the movies. “Christmas in Connecticut” sounds fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Love these!! Thanks for sharing them. Here are a few other ones we’re loving this year: https://www.jellytelly.com/blog/dont-miss-these-5-best-jellytelly-christmas-shows

  4. Thanks for planning my relaxing week with the kids 🙂 Seriously, this is a great list of a bunch of movies that I haven’t seen. I think we’ll watch the Max Lucado one first.
    Mary Wilson’s latest post: Stocking Stuffers that are Worth the Money

  5. The Christmas miracle of Jonathan Toomey is my new favorite Christmas book. Looking forward to the movie!
    Sarah B R’s latest post: Çalıkuşu, Lovebird- Lessons on love from a Turkish TV series.

  6. I can’t wait to come in from playing this week, warm up with some hot chocolate and get our popcorn going. My kids respond enthusiastically to “old” movies–black and white or color. I think Christmas in Connecticut will be our first selection! Bring on the cold and cuddling. Thanks, Jamie!
    Heather @wellermommablog’s latest post: 7 Smart Decisions to Make When You Crave Simple Sanity

  7. Thank you very much for your recommendations and descriptions. There were a few I had not heard of before and some I have loved for years. If I may suggest, I love the story of The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen. The video is narrated by Jeremy Irons and it is a beautiful love story albeit a fairy tale with a not-so-fairy ending but never the less beautiful and touching.

  8. Susan McCurdy says:

    We love “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (The original version on VHS…some scenes were deleted from the DVD) It is a musical and my kids love it. Also enjoyed “Arthur Christmas” …a little goofy but a great moral and fun-loving.

  9. Thanks for sharing! We are watching Christmas in Connecticut tonight on your recommendation. I can’t wait!

  10. goodness I just discovered the story of holly and ivy this christmas! I really love it! My son (5 years) can get the plot somewhat. How cool that they also have a cartoon! Thanks for compiling this list of undiscovered Christmas movies!

  11. What a great list!!

    We love Annabelle’s Wish… heart warming and narrated by Randy Travis. We watch it at least twice every Christmas!

  12. I really enjoy “The Ultimate Gift”

  13. Oh I love your list Jamie! Some of those I have never heard of. We will be watching them. Thank you for sharing! Here are even more of my favorite little known Christmas classics. Merry Christmas!
    Celestia Shumway’s latest post: Little Known Christmas Movie Classics

  14. In your December 23 weekend links post, there is a photo of wooden/magnetic nativity advent calendar. It is super cute, where did you purchase it?

  15. Miracle on Division Street. This is a LIFE changing movie. You will never view a homeless person the same again. Very touching. 10 and up I would say.

  16. Christmas Oranges

  17. Such a great list, Jamie! Thanks for posting. I always enjoy your perspective on family-creating and parenting. Miss you!

  18. Where can we find Jonathan Toomey? We love the book!

  19. Trishna Martin says:

    Hey Mom! I just read that amazing post about the Christmas movies. So good! We defiantly watch those beset screenplays. I can’t wait to watch Little Women with you, today.
    From Trishna Martin 🎄💡🎹🎄

  20. The Nativity Story with Keisha Castle-Hughes is SO GOOD!!

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