I just love Christmas movies, especially when they place Christian messages in the storyline.
Sometimes finding Christmas movies with a plot discussing the season’s true meaning is difficult–even the symbolic ones! But there are a few of them!
Here’s a list of 10 movies to watch with your family this year:
(Hopefully some of these will make you smile!)
The Nativity Story
The Nativity Story presents a scripturally-based story of Jesus’ birth. This 2006 Christmas movie details the story’s timeline and depicts a spiritual aspect.
Fun fact: Oscar Isaac plays St. Joseph in this movie. He also plays Poe Dameron in the new Star Wars trilogy.
A Christmas Carol
There are multiple retellings of this Christmas story based off of the Charles Dickens classic. Ebenezer Scrooge meets the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. These ghosts show him his life, which encourages him into conversion, taking a holier path in life.
Watch the trailer starring Jim Carrey below:
Or, the 1984 version:
It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely consider it this year!
Directed by Frank Capra, the movie stars James Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore. It focuses on banker George Bailey (played by James Stewart), who is downtrodden after losing several thousand dollars on Christmas Eve.
He wishes he had never been born, so God sends him a guardian angel to show George the profound impact his life makes on others. The angel shows him what life would be like had he never existed.
Fun fact: Director Frank Capra was a Catholic Hollywood director who had a conversion in the 1930s. Many of his movies, he said, were scripturally and spiritually-based. Learn more about his Catholic roots here.
Watch the trailer below:
The Bells of St. Mary’s
This 1945 movie starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman is about a priest and a nun, who, despite their rivalry, come together to prevent their Catholic school from shutting down. This movie is a Christmas classic, and very Catholic-oriented!
Fun fact: Henry Travers, who plays Horace P. Bogardus in this movie, also plays the guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life!
This 30-minute 2018 Netflix film tells the story of an Irish girl who is on a mission to shelter the Baby Jesus.
Warning: This movie is a tear-jerker!
Here’s the trailer:
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
It’s no secret that this C.S. Lewis classic is symbolically based off of the story of Jesus. The storyline is also set around Christmastime. The four characters join a lion to fight an evil witch.
Watch the trailer to see for yourself:
Ernest Saves Christmas
This one might come as a surprise to you, but this classic comedy inserts little messages about Jesus throughout the entire movie, including a close-up of a “Keep Christ in Christmas” bumper sticker and a nativity scene as a background.
Even though the movie centers around Santa working to find a replacement, as well as the ‘magic’ of Christmas, Ernest Saves Christmas focuses on the goodness of the human person and following Christian principles in life.
Watch the full movie below:
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas is another 30-minute classic. It centers on Charlie Brown’s quest to find the true meaning of Christmas amidst all the commercialism in society.
Spoiler alert: This movie DOES tell the true story of Christmas!
Watch the clip below:
The Little Drummer Boy
This 1968 film is incredibly moving. It’s about a little orphan boy who hates humanity after bandits murder his parents, burn down down his house, and steal his family’s livestock.
His most prized possession is the drum his parents gave him. His mindset changes after meeting the three Wise Men, who lead him to the baby Jesus.
Watch the full movie below:
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
This 1970’s film starring Mickey Rooney and Fred Astaire tells a fictional story of Santa Claus. However, at the end of the movie, Santa questions which night he should deliver presents.
He chooses “the holiest night of the year…Christmas Eve,” implying the night of Jesus’ birth.
Listen to this clip below: