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If you’re on the hunt for a list of family friendly and wholesome Christmas movies, you’re in the right place! I’m sharing some of our family’s favorite holiday classics and some of our new traditions. The movies on this list are full of positive messages and are just plain clean family friendly entertainment.
15 Wholesome Christmas Movies
In our home, we work really hard to protect our little one’s innocence and guard them from viewing anything that we would view as too mature for their ages. In fact, we don’t even have cable in our home.
But we do enjoy the occasional wholesome Christmas movie or show as a family tradition.
Even some of the most popular holiday movies have inappropriate language, humor, or other adult situations that I don’t want our little ones to experience.
The movies on this list are free of anything objectionable and most of them are appropriate for viewing by most ages. I’ve included a little of something for most age groups and the ratings are listed with their description.
But even the children’s movies are adult favorites around here!
#1 A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Are you a fan of the Peanuts gang? This Christmas classic delivers inspiration for the entire family. Charlie Brown is repelled by all of the commercialism surrounding him during the holiday season. He then hunts for the true meaning of Christmas and becomes inspirational to all of his best pals.
#2 Come to the Stable (1949)
Two French nuns arrive in the small New England Town of Bethlehem. Here they try to enlist the townsfolk to help them build a children’s hospital.
This black & white classic is sure to keep the family entertained.
#3 The Little House on the Prairie: A Merry Ingalls Christmas (1974/1982)
I’ve included both holiday specials in one DVD format because they are both incredibly heartwarming. And honestly, I couldn’t decide on which one I liked more. If you’re a fan of The Little House on the Prairie, you need to add these to your home collection.
Christmas at Plum Creek — Laura wants to buy her mother something expensive and finds a way to pay for it. Mary has the perfect gift for her pa. And little Carrie finds a special gift for the Baby Jesus. Each member of the family makes sacrifices to find the perfect gift for their loved ones.
A Christmas They Never Forgot —Trapped in their home during a snowstorm, the Ingalls clan shares memories of Christmases past. Filled with many heartwarming flashback scenes.
#4 The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971)
Another amazing TV classic that inspired the Walton’s series. This is a must have to add to your collection. Set in rural America during the Great Depression, this movie is sure to inspire many on the meaning of family.
The Walton family is preparing for Christmas during the 1930’s, except for the father, John who had to seek work 50 miles away. When he fails to return home on Christmas Eve as he promised, wife Olivia begins to worry. Fearing that he was involved in a bus crash, she enlists oldest son, John-boy to go out to search for his father.
If you’re a fan of the series, watch the special that started it all.
#5 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
What wholesome Christmas movie list would be complete without this holiday classic?
A desperately frustrated man feels like he is at the end of his rope and becomes suicidal. An angel is sent from Heaven to show him what his life would be like if he was never born. Sure to bring a smile to your face and tears to your eyes.
#6 Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa (1990)
This short cartoon is a favorite with our children. Based on historical facts, this is the story of St Nicholas, the boy who became what we all know as Santa. The boy and then bishop whose generosity and giving led him to become inspirational for many.
#7 The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
Another cute wholesome short cartoon that the entire family will enjoy. This classic follows a young orphan boy who meets three wise men on their journey to Bethlehem. He discovers the true meaning of Christmas and what the reason for the season is all about.
A perfect addition to your holiday collection!
#8 Little Women (1994)
Set in Massachusetts in the 1860’s. With their father fighting at war, four sisters and their mother are at home. As the years pass, they share cherished and painful memories. The story tells how the sisters grow up, find love, and their place in the world.
This version is a remake of the original classic, but is a definite heartwarming addition for the holiday season.
#9 The Bells of St Mary’s (1945)
This is often considered a Christmas movie, although it has little Christmas in it. The message of benevolence and charity make it a popular film during the holiday season.
This movie follows a financially struggling parish school, a singing priest, and no nonsense nun who try to save their beloved St Mary’s
#10 A Christmas Carol (1984)
We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser whose sole pursuit of financial gain has left him bitter and lonely. He soon learns real compassion when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.
There are many adaptations to this classic story, but this one is flawless.
#11 Hallmark’s Jingle All the Way (2011) / Jingle & Bells Christmas Star (2012)
This is a double feature of super sweet short cartoon stories that follows along with Hallmark’s adorable Husky pups during the Christmas season.
Jingle All the Way — a spirited Husky puppy looking for a home at a Christmas tree farm instantly bonds with a young boy visiting with his parents. As the boy rides away, unable to keep the pup, the sweet puppy escapes and embarks on a journey through Pineville to find the boy again.
Jingle & Bells Christmas Star — Jingle, the Husky Pup and his buddy Andrew meet some new friends. A little girl who is Andrew’s age, Sofia, and her Husky pup, Bell, have moved from their home to Pineville weeks before Christmas. With no friends yet and not knowing what to expect, Sofia and Bell’s world is upside down and it looks like it might be the worst Christmas ever.
#12 Miracle on 34th Street (1959)
In this adaptation from the original, a sweet old man is working as a department store’s Santa and causes a commotion when he claims to be the real deal. Forced to prove his sanity, he is taken to court and must convince the judge that he really is Santa Claus.
One of the many favorite family Christmas movies!
#13 Polar Express (2004)
A young boy journeys to the North Pole on Christmas Eve on the Polar Express. He learns about bravery, friendship, and the spirit of Christmas.
This wholesome Christmas movie is sure to become one of your favorite family Christmas movies.
#14 When Calls the Heart Christmas (2016)
This is a special edition of the Christmas film was originally released to DVD as “The Heart of Faith”. You really can’t find a more wholesome modern series than When Calls the Heart.
A traveling peddler comes to town and is mistaken for Santa by the children. The town of Hope Valley is preparing for Christmas when the train which is bringing wares for the holidays is delayed. Fearing that the holiday is ruined, the townsfolk pull together to show each other what Christmas is all about.
#15 When Calls the Heart: The Christmas Wishing Tree (2017)
That’s right, this series gets two titles on this wholesome Christmas movie list! When Calls the Heart fans will totally understand. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, check it out! You definitely won’t be disappointed with the inspiring and wholesome messages found in each episode.
Christmas is coming to Hope Valley and there’s a new tradition for the town, the Wishing Tree. The townsfolk are trying their best to make each other’s wishes come true, inspiring the town in generosity and giving.
Want even more Christmas Movie / Music Inspiration?
Check out: 21 Hallmark Style Movies on Netflix
And this Classic Christmas Music Playlist