5 Days of Christmas Lists- 25 Christmas Specials That Are Near and Dear to Our Heart

Today is already the third day of this series. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? As a quick recap of this week so far, on the first day I listed 25 of our favorite Christmas books. Yesterday I gave you 25 ideas for Christmas activities, and today I’m doing…drum roll, please…

Our 25 Favorite Christmas Specials and Movies

Okay, okay. You probably got that from the title right?

I love Christmas. I have always loved Christmas. One of my fondest memories of this time of year as a child was scouring the weekly TV guide for any and every Christmas special, circling them, and watching every. single. one- even changing channels back and forth if I had to. I was just nuts over them.

In fact, I even went so far as to record them on the VCR (Does anyone else remember Beta tapes? I’m dating myself…), and I would watch them year round. Used to drive my parents crazy. 

Honestly, things haven’t changed much for me. My husband and kids often sigh when they walk into the living room in April, and I’m watching “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” or some such thing. This past November 1, upon my 14 year old daughter already seeing me donning a Christmas sweater, she informed me that I was ruining Christmas for her.

Grinch. 😛

Enough with the talk, though, right? Before I get on with the list, I just want to share this short video my kids found on YouTube the other week. It is amazing and only three minutes long. I highly recommend you watch it through to the end. You won’t be disappointed.


Isn’t that awesome? Since this video so short, I didn’t include it on my list, but I couldn’t fail to mention something so grand.

Now on with the show!

Animated Specials and Movies


The Legend of the Candy Cane

This is one of my favorites because it is the only Christmas special I’ve ever seen that actually emphasizes the true meaning of the holiday. 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Some of my kids were a bit freaked out over the claymation animation, but they got over it and enjoy it almost as much as I do now.

Frosty the Snowman

My 3 year old recognized this from the library book I read to her the other day. Another classic!

Twas the Night Before Christmas

This was one of my two favorites as a child. It’s about a family of mice and a family of clockmakers who are desperately trying to figure out why Santa is mad at them.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

This is my other favorite. I happen to love the role of Jacob Marley the most here because he’s played by my favorite Disney character, Goofy.

A Christmas Carol

This is a bit truer to the actual book and may seem a bit spooky to younger children, so I suggest watching it with them or viewing it yourself first.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

It’s amazing how well these stop motion animations have stood the test of time. It’s a pleasure to watch, plus a history lesson to boot!

The Year Without a Santa Claus

If you’ve never seen this one, you’ve got to check it out. I love the Heat Miser. He’s so cute!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Okay, I lied. I’ve got three favorites. How in the world could I have forgotten this one?

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Poor Charlie Brown. Everything always goes wrong for him. Luckily, there’s a happy ending. And I just remembered that this special actually mentions Jesus, too. Yay!


Live Action Movies


The Santa Clause

This movie stars a very funny Tim Allen and provides some imaginative explanations for those tough questions little ones can ask about Santa.

The Santa Clause 2

Uh oh! Santa’s got to find a Mrs. Claus or he’s out of a job!

The Santa Clause 3

Not only does a baby Claus arrive, but so does Jack Frost…and he’s been a naughty boy.

Home Alone

Macaulay Culkin is just hilarious in this story about a little boy who’s accidentally left alone while his entire family travels to Paris. Not only is he fantastic at taking care of himself, but he is able to outwit a pair of dimwitted burglars.

Home Alone 2

Another Christmas in the life of Kevin McAllister. This time his family’s lost him at the airport, so he ends up in NYC, while his parents go to Florida. Not the best parents if you ask me…anyway, another great movie. Just a piece of advice- don’t bother watching the 3rd in the series. It’s a different family and not nearly as funny.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This feature starring Jim Carrey shares a bit of background information neither divulged in the book nor the original cartoon. Honestly, I prefer the cartoon, but my kids just love this movie. It does have some pretty comical scenes.

Miracle on 34th Street

I grew up watching the version of this movie starring Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara, but since that movie was already old by the time I was born, my kids prefer to watch the newer version. It is a delightful movie, and my kids enjoy it because “the girl from Matilda plays in it.”

It’s a Wonderful Life

Another oldie, but goodie. I think it was remade in the 70’s, but I prefer the one with Jimmy Stewart. Some actors just can’t be replaced.

Christmas with the Kranks

I literally just got done watching this movie before sitting down to write this post. I kid you not. I just love both Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. I do want to point out that, although this movie is rated PG, there are just one or two scenes you may not be comfortable letting your kids watch. (Mainly the scene at the tanning salon with the very skimpy bathing suit.)

A Christmas Story 

“You’ll shoot your eye out!” If you weren’t sure what this movie was, I bet you recognize it now. This movie is so popular that one of the cable stations (I think maybe TBS) plays this over and over for 24 hours straight on Christmas day. If you’re particular about what your children watch, you may want to view this one first. It’s rated PG, but there are a couple of scenes some parents may not like. 

White Christmas

I’m just realizing now how many really old movies I fell in love with as a kid. Up until my mid-twenties, I was a dancer, so I just can’t get enough of watching Vera-Ellen dance in this movie. Between her beautiful dancing and the exquisite costumes, I can watch this movie over and over again.

Pete’s Christmas

This is one of my kids’ latest finds on Netflix. It’s about a teenage boy who keeps repeating Christmas over and over again. Think Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. To be honest, my children have watched this so much the last few weeks, I feel like my days are on an endless loop, too. It really is a good movie, though. Just remember to hide the remote from your kids after you watch it. 🙂

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

This movie is about a self-centered college student who wants to get home for Christmas in the worst way- but for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) he gets stranded and goes through a series of mishaps in order to get home, bringing about a change in his attitude toward life. Hmmm….maybe today’s college students should go through the same thing…

Eloise at Christmastime

Based on the children’s series, this feature is about a mischievous little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel with her nanny (and occasionally her mother). Although she’s a bit of a handful, she’s such a likeable character that you can’t help but root for her. And as an added bonus- Julie Andrews plays her nanny! Isn’t she lucky? Mary Poppins is her nanny!

Jingle All the Way

I remember watching this movie when my oldest was little and thinking, “Wow. The people in this movie are insane to go after a toy like this.” Unfortunately, this movie is the perfect portayal of present day Black Friday sales. Yay for consumerism. Not. Anyway…Arnold Schwarzenegger is hilarious in this movie. Something about his Austrian accent just makes his shenanigans even funnier.


So these are the 25 movies and specials you’re most likely to see gracing our family’s TV this time of year (and the rest of the year…ahem.) What did I miss? I’d really like to hear about some more faith-based suggestions if you have any. Leave a comment!

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers of  iHomeschoolNetwork.com and see what other 5 Days of Christmas posts there are!

iHomeschool Network 5 days of Christmas






Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

11 thoughts on “5 Days of Christmas Lists- 25 Christmas Specials That Are Near and Dear to Our Heart”

    1. Jack Frost is a good movie. I just don’t usually watch it because the first time I saw it was right after my dad passed away, so it brings back sad memories. Sniff. But, again, it’s a great movie.


  1. We enjoy watching these specials and movies as well. I want to add, The Christmas Box, starring Richard Thomas and Maureen O’Hara. It’s based on the novel by Richard Paul Evans. I think you’d really like it.

    Liked by 1 person

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