There's something about the combination of a cold winter evening, a roaring fire, popcorn, hot chocolate, and the Christmas season that makes family movie night so very appealing. I've selected a few favorite Christmas movies and holiday films that are sure to appeal to Christian families. Not only will these Christian-themed movies make great Christmas gifts, they will also provide an opportunity for you to establish a memorable family tradition during the holiday season.
Just after seeing the film, contributing writer Jack Zavada had this to say about The Nativity Story, "It was beautifully made. I enjoyed seeing what everyday life was like in Nazareth, the stone houses, people working in the fields, making clothing, tending animals. The costumes were beautifully doneso much more authentic than a lot of Hollywood Bible epics from the 50s and 60s ... In every respect it was a sensitive, loving treatment of this story." The Nativity Story is at the top of my list, first because it truly tells "the Christmas story," but also for its superior quality and enduring holiday appeal. The film has received the highest rating (5) from The Dove Foundation and is sure to become a family Christmas classic.
An extremely wise and wealthy grandfather gives his shallow, spoiled grandson the ultimate inheritance. In The Ultimate Gift, Jason Stevens, played by Drew Fuller, learns there's more to life than money. Instead of the expected cash windfall, "Red" Stevens (James Garner) has prepared twelve gifts to be given after his death to his grandson. The series of gifts, leading up to the ultimate gift, take Jason on a challenging journey of personal growth and self-discovery. With its aim toward inspiration and spiritual entertainment, this film hits the ultimate target. The Ultimate Gift is produced by the FoxFaith label designed to bring high-quality entertainment to faith-based audiences.
While investigating a deadly plane crash, a newspaper reporter recovers a hurriedly written noteapparently left behind by one of the crash victims. With her life about to be forever changed, journalist Peyton MacGruder (Genie Francis) sets out on an emotional journey determined to find the note's intended recipient and deliver the heartfelt message in time for Christmas. Based on Christian writer Angela Hunt's novel by the same name, this touching drama ranked 3rd in all-time ratings as a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. The Note has also been awarded a 4-Dove family rating by the The Dove Foundation. If you've forgotten that miracles still come true, this story offers a warm and hope filled reminder.
Four young adventurersLucy, Edmund, Susan and Peterwhile playing ‘hide-and-seek’ in the country home of an old professor, stumble upon a magical wardrobe that transports them to a place they never dreamed existed. Stepping through the wardrobe door, they depart World War II London for the spectacular "alternate universe" known as Narniaan enchanted realm inhabited by talking animals and mythological creatures. Narnia reflects the struggles, hopes and moral dilemmas of our own life, and this motion picture re-creation faithfully conveys the original story's eternal symbolism and biblical themes. Viewers will discover that Narnia, a picture of the spiritual kingdom, is much more than just fantasy or fairy tale.
Kim Jones, About.com's Guide to Christian Music predicted in her review of The Polar Express that this film is destined to become the It's A Wonderful Life for this generation: "The Polar Express is a touching story about a boy who has started to 'grow out of' his belief in Santa until one magical Christmas Eve, when he boards the train that takes him to the North Pole. Produced using 'performance capture,' which accurately translates live performances into all-digital characters, the animation is so life-like that it's almost eerie." You can read Kim's full review here. Based on Chris Van Allsburg's children's book bearing the same name, this story is already a modern-day holiday classic.
This movie is pure holiday fun, muppet style. In his PluggedInOnline review, Bob Smithouser said, "In 1993, Charles Dickens must have been rolling in his grave ... with laughter. That's when Walt Disney Studios and Jim Henson Productions released The Muppet Christmas Carol, a song-filled celebration of kindness and virtue. In fact, Dickens' classic tale of a miser's redemption has never featured more warmth, wit or off-the-wall characters." My family would agree! Several years ago my husband started the silly custom of watching The Muppet Christmas Carol with our family on Thanksgiving Day. For some reason the tradition stuck with us and we look forward to it each year. We even tried a different movie once, but it just wasn't the same.