It's that time of year to snuggle under the blankets with your family and watch a movie. But what can you choose to get everyone in sync with the season? Here are some great options for every age and stage with the emphasis on holiday fun. All you have to worry about is making the popcorn.
The Baby Set: If your little one is just starting to watch TV, chances are he or she won’t be able to sit through and follow a whole movie. So snuggle up with a retro favorite like White Christmas starring Bing Crosby. The slow pace of this holiday musical set in snowy Vermont is perfect for diaper-changing breaks, and the songs just might lull your little one to sleep. Once they do drift off, put them to bed and enjoy some grown-up fun like the hilariously naughty Bad Santa starring Billy Bob Thornton as a boozy Kris Kringle. It may be your last chance for "mature" fare for years to come!
Preschoolers: This may be the perfect age to introduce your little one to Polar Express, the magical tale of a boy who hops a train to the North Pole. If you can, take time to read the book together before watching to get him or her into it and gauge their interest. For a more raucous evening, watch The Muppets Christmas Carol. The original Carol is scary for kids (and some adults!), but who can resist Gonzo in a top hat?
Grade Schoolers: Got a kid questioning Santa? Go old school with Miracle on 34th Street. Try either the original black-and-white version or the 1994 remake. Both films do a great job of keeping the magic of Santa alive. If the family is feeling silly, put on Elf and just enjoy the antics of Will Ferrell. You’ll all be quoting lines for days. Prefer your films animated? Check out Arthur Christmas. This epic-quest movie from the makers of Wallace and Gromit is fun without being too saccharine.
Tweens: One thing preteens want for Christmas is to be treated as if they’re older than they are. So let them stay up late and watch a Christmas marathon with you. The Santa Clause films are entertaining for everyone without any heavy themes or embarrassing scenes. Another favorite at this age is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, which combines the cute and creepy.
Teenagers: If you're having trouble getting your teen to even watch a movie with you, here are some ideas. For teen girls, try Love Actually. They actually won't be able to resist the romantic comedy that features Hugh Grant as the British prime minister. For those who can't stand too much sentiment, sneak in some seasonality with Joyeux Noel. This film about a wartime holiday truce shows how people really can be brought together by the season.