Pass the blankets! As Christmas comes to an end, I hope you’ll find time to snuggle up with the people you love, mugs of cocoa, and bowls of popcorn. Winter evenings are the perfect time for a bit of nostalgia. These five films are both family-friendly and full of history. Build a bit of educational schema for your children while enjoying any of these classic films full of Christmas trees, virtues, and memories of decades gone by. Share a glimpse of the past with your favorite people and snuggle up tight! These five films will not disappoint those who love sentimental, classic, traditional family-fun!You’ll find that you can enjoy these movies before or after Christmas!
1) The Homecoming
Do you remember the Walton family? This movie was filmed before the entire cast was in place. The children are all the same, but you’ll notice a different mother and father. The Homecoming is both a movie and a play. My high school did a performance of this approximately 15 years ago. I played one of the Baldwin sisters, in case you were curious. My favorite scene from this particular movie is the scene with the Walton brothers and sisters in the barn. What a beautiful reminder of a modest family Christmas during the Great Depression. This one lends itself to great conversations with little ones growing up in a fast-paced, tech-savvy, and more materialistic society. We need this reminder of a simple Christmas from a simpler time.
2) Christmas at Plum Creek
One of America’s favorite literary and television families, the Ingalls celebrate Christmas on the Prairie. The family looks for ways to surprise one another with the little money they have, which creates several Gift of the Magi situations. The Ingalls family celebrates with Jesus at the heart of their family Christmas.
3) Meet Me in St. Louis
This musical was the first to introduce the song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as “Esther” played by Judy Garland sang it to a young Margaret O’Brien. Need I say more? This musical truly feels like Christmas. Side note: I was also in this musical in high school, so I have all the feels for this one.
4) Little Women
This classic has Christmas at the core no matter which version of this movie, play, or book you prefer. I’ve never met a version of Little Women that I didn’t love, but my all-time favorite is the 1994 movie version starring Susan Sarandon as “Marmee,” Winona Ryder as “Jo March,” and Claire Danes as “Beth March.” Friends, completely disregard anything you know of those three actresses. In the 1994 movie, the cast completely became the March family. Period. It was a phenomenal depiction of the Louisa May Alcott novel. The soundtrack of this movie is so well-done. Whenever I hear, “Ding, Dong Merrily on High,” “Here We Come a Wassailing,” or “For the Beauty of the Earth,” I think of this stunning cast of characters. From an educational perspective, this movie lends itself to conversations about abolitionists during the Civil War. From a mother’s perspective, it’s an aesthetically-pleasing and timeless classic to add to your family’s Christmas collection!
5) White Christmas
This classic is set during World War II and stars Bing Crosby. I’m quite certain the musical requires little explanation. The soundtrack itself must be introduced into your household. I often sing, Count Your Blessings as a lullaby to my children as they fall asleep. Anyone raising girls (I am not, by the way) should make Sisters a part of the family repertoire right away. I enjoy Irving Berlin’s rendition of Happy Holidays reminiscent of a time when “Happy Holidays” meant simply, “Merry Christmas and a happy new year!” This one is guaranteed to become a favorite in your home this winter.
May your home be full of quiet, winter moments. May your arms be full of snuggles. May your year end and begin with the blessings and simplicity of time with the people you love.
From my heart and home to yours,