Family Holiday Movies


Thanksgiving and Christmas Movies‘Tis the season for holiday movies, fa la la la la! Family movie night is one of our favorite activities, and when it’s cold outside, snuggling up on couch with hot cocoa and a seasonal movie is borderline magical. I’m sharing some of my family’s favorites, but use your best judgment as to what your kiddos are ready for. We stream pretty much everything, but availability may be limited by cable provider sign in.

Thanksgiving Movies

Alright, this category is small and stretched thin because there just aren’t that many.

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: What happens when kids and a dog host Thanksgiving dinner? Should be available on the ABC app in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, as it is set to air the night before Thanksgiving.
  • Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving and/or Winnie the Pooh Season of Giving: Head to the Hundred Acre Wood for some quality time with our favorite honey-loving bear and his friends. Available on iTunes.
  • Mickey’s Thanks a Bunch Day: A lesson in being thankful from my favorite mouse! Available on the DisneyNow app.
  • Miracle on 34th Street: Well, it starts on Thanksgiving. So that counts, right? Available on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon Prime depending on which adaptation you choose. I like the Matilda girl one!
  • Homeward Bound: I know, this was on my Halloween list too. But it’s so good. And it’s definitely Thanksgiving in the final frame of the movie, so I’m counting it. Available on HBO Go, Prime Video, iTunes, Playstation Vue.
  • Addams Family Values: This is more for older kids or grownups. But Wednesday Addams’ Thanksgiving performance is unforgettable. Available on Starz, Prime Video, iTunes
  • You’ve Got Mail: Okay, this is more for adults. And it covers fall, winter, and spring. But do we really need any other reason to watch Tom Hanks? I think not. Available on HBO Go, Prime Video, iTunes, Playstation Vue.
  • Free Birds: I haven’t seen this one, and it’s about turkeys trying not to get eaten. So proceed at your own risk! Available on iTunes.

Christmas Movies

Why does it seem like every Christmas movie and special questions Santa’s existence? I am not ready for those conversations yet!

  • Mickey Saves Santa: Mickey and the gang get to help Santa in this Mickey Mouse Clubhouse special. Available on the DisneyNow app.
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol: The Charles Dickens classic is a little less frightening when Mickey and crew are the cast! The blu-ray also includes a series of classic Mickey cartoons that are Christmas themed. Available on iTunes.
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas: Okay, these are two of my favorites. I love the positive messages and sweet stories. From a Mickey version of Gift of the Magi to a sweet Pluto story, these are some I must watch with the kids because I enjoy them so much! Available on Netflix, iTunes.
  • Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse: This collection of classic Mickey and friends cartoons are a great opportunity to introduce the kiddos to the classic cartoons. Available on Netflix.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas: Oh, my heart. Charlie Brown may catch heat for holding his ground, but it’s a sweet and important lesson. Available in stores, and may be available on the ABC app closer to Christmas.
  • Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year: We clearly love the Hundred Acre Wood around here! Available on iTunes.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Christmas Vacation: I adore this show and the ingenuity these kids show. It’s a great balance of humor for kids and their grown-ups. Since one of the characters is Jewish, it also addresses Hanukkah (briefly). Season 2, episode 22. Available on iTunes. Check the DisneyXD or DisneyNow apps closer to Christmas!
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas: I’m a fan of the original, and I think it has a good message of treating everyone with kindness. Available on TBS, TNT apps.
  • Frosty the Snowman: Aww, good ol’ Frosty. Available on iTunes.
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure: After introducing the kids to your favorite snowman, revisit theirs in this Frozen Christmas short with a message about appreciating tradition and family time. Available on iTunes.
  • Prep and Landing: This funny series of shorts gives a glimpse into the life of an elf. Available on iTunes.
  • Arthur Christmas: This fun film follows Santa’s son as he tries to deliver a forgotten present so no kid goes without. Available on Starz, iTunes.
  • A Mom for Christmas: This is so ’90s cheesy you best prepare yourself! But it’s a favorite from my childhood so I try to fit it in somewhere.
  • Elf: Will Ferrell makes me laugh every time. It’s one of the few live action films my kids love. Available on iTunes.
  • Home Alone: My five-year-old is easily frightened (as am I, no joke!), and my husband is always worried this one will be too scary for him. And when you think about it, this kid being literally forgotten, then having to fight off bad guys by himself, is a little scary for little kids. Available on Starz, Prime Video, iTunes.
  • A Christmas Story: This is a great balance of the holidays going great and wrong at the same time. It’s quite funny, but beware the scene where Santa pushes the kid down the slide if you’ve got perceptive kids that may take issue with it. Available on iTunes, Boomerang.
  • Jingle All the Way: This one is a funny romp, but there is some mild violence as the two dads compete for the same toy. Also beware the potential is Santa real consequences. Available on iTunes.
  • The Santa Clause: Once again, Santa is in question. But Tim Allen makes a great Santa and I love the ultimate ending with a positive co-parenting message. Available on iTunes.
  • Miracle on 34th Street (again): Well, it’s also a Christmas movie! Available on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon Prime depending on which adaptation you choose. I like the Matilda girl one!

Anything Disney related may be available on a Disney or ABC app closer to the holidays! This includes Prep and Landing and the Mickey Christmas Specials.

Although it’s no excuse, I don’t have any recommendations for Hanukkah films because I simply haven’t been exposed to them, and I wouldn’t quite know what to look for in terms of authenticity and if it’s a good fit. I would love to hear your recommendations in the comments so I can do some research before next year’s post!

What are some of your family’s favorite holiday movies?

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Christine Derr
Hey, y’all! I’m an adventurous wanderer who put down roots here in East Tennessee back in 2014. My little family moved here from the wilds of suburban Alaska in 2014. We love exploring Knoxville and the surrounding areas, especially the Smoky Mountains. I’m a freelance writer and teacher who loves looking at the mountains when my nose isn’t in a book. I’m a mom to two bookish kids, a wildly clingy dog, two cats, and a fish I’d be in trouble for not mentioning. Since becoming a mom, I’ve been able to add Lincoln Log architect, LEGO contractor, and mediator to my resume. I’ve always been a bit of a jack of all trades, as I’ve been a tutor, teacher, circus instructor, bookseller, amateur baker and, of course, writer. I remind myself of this as I tell my kid not to sit on my other kid’s head while stopping the dog from chasing the cat and the other cat from jumping on top of the fish tank. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and am currently pursing my Master of Fine Arts while keeping all these creatures who live in my house alive. I survive on coffee, writing fiction, reading, Disney, and snuggles. You can read more of my work at


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