14 Christmas Classics to Spark Kids’ Holiday Spirit

Are there any favorite titles from your childhood that you haven’t yet shared with your kids? Dip into this list for some old-fashioned holiday fun.

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By the Kids’ Media Experts at SmartFeed

Many of the following movies, books, and TV shows will be familiar to you, bringing back fond memories of Christmases gone by, but they may be “new” for your kids! Take some time this holiday season to introduce your family to a title that made you feel like you just couldn’t wait for the holidays. There might even be a few titles here that you missed out on when you were just a “tiny reindeer” yourself.

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Books to Spark Kids’ Holiday Spirit

Perfect_Tree
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story

Ages 5+
A mother’s love for her child, memories of missing loved ones, and a Christmas tree are all important elements in this beautifully told and illustrated classic.

 

life_adventures_santa_claus

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Ages 6+
Part mythology, part fantasy, this tale of Santa Claus growing up as an orphan is well told by L. Frank Baum, the creator of the Wizard of Oz. An excellent choice for reading to a child.

 

too_many_tamales

Too Many Tamales
Ages 4+
While helping with the annual Christmas Eve tradition of tamale-making, Maria finds herself giving into temptation. This is a funny, heartfelt story with lovely illustrations and strong messages about love and family and honesty.

 

Gift_Magi

The Gift of the Magi
Ages 10+
This classic O. Henry story is a bittersweet tale of a husband and wife who sacrifice in order to buy presents for each other. Love for each other becomes all they have, and all they need. A true lesson about the meaning of Christmas.

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Movies to Spark Kids’ Holiday Spirit

A_Charlie_Brown_ChristmasA Charlie Brown Christmas
Ages 3+
Charlie Brown finds that love and friendship can overcome his holiday blues. Bonus: Now your kids will understand what you mean when you talk about buying a “Charlie Brown tree”!

 

FrostyFrosty the Snowman
Ages 3+
This holiday favorite tells the story of Frosty, a snowman that magically comes to life on Christmas Eve.

 

grinchDr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
Ages 4+
The original animated movie from 1966 is always worth watching during the holiday season. Family, friends, and togetherness are what’s important, and even the Grinch finally learns that.

 

santa_claus_is_comin_to_townSanta Claus Is Comin’ to Town
Ages 4+
The story of Santa Claus is creatively told in this excellent special from the 1970s with guest appearances (and a catchy tune) by Heat Miser and Snow Miser!

 

christmas_carolA Christmas Carol (1951)
Ages 6+
Christmas Eve visits from three ghosts persuade miserly Mr. Scrooge to change his ways. Always a classic to watch during the holiday season.

 

year_without_a_santa_clausThe Year Without a Santa Claus
Ages 7+
Hard to imagine a holiday season without watching this stop-motion animation favorite.

wonderful_lifeIt’s a Wonderful Life
Ages 9+
This perennial classic is sure to remind you and yours what the holidays are about. George Bailey learns that he is, in fact, the luckiest man in the world because of the love of his family and community.

 

MillionsMillions
Ages 10+
This is a bit of an unusual choice for a holiday movie, but the messages of selflessness, giving, and kindness will resonate with the whole family. Note that this is best for ages 10 and up, as there is some language, along with a few iffy situations.

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TV Shows to Spark Kids’ Holiday Spirit

ArthurArthur’s Perfect Christmas
Ages 5+
In this special, all different ways of celebrating are explored by Arthur and his group of friends, including Francine, whose family celebrates Hanukkah. Everyone has a different idea of what makes a “perfect” holiday.

 

hanna_barbera_christmasHanna-Barbera Christmas
Ages 5+
Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, and the Smurfs celebrate Christmas in this fun and nostalgic collection of cartoons.

About Linsly Donnelly

A mom of three, Linsly Donnelly is the CEO and founder of SmartFeed, a free resource to help you find media you’ll approve and your kids will love. She and the SmartFeed team thrive on using the power of media as a positive force for our children. Linsly is also a startup veteran (Joann.com, Wine.com, Red.com, YogaLoftMB) and published author of Happy Go Local: The Smart Mom’s Guide to Living the Good (and Sustainable) Life! She and her family divide their time between Mill Valley, Calif., and Park City, Utah.