There is nothing quite as fun as Christmas time with the kids. Watching Christmas movies is a fun tradition for fathers and children, and these are sure to fit the bill.
The Jim Carrey film based on Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is my all-time favorite movie to watch with the kids at Christmas. The scenery is absolutely magical, the makeup is second to none (it actually won the Oscar for makeup), and the music is great. And for me, Jim Carrey was at his total comic best. The Grinch is a character made for Jim Carrey. You know the story from Dr. Suess – the Grinch hates Christmas, and decides to steal the holiday from the Who’s who live in Whoville. But as he encounters the spirit of the holiday from the Who’s, and particularly from little Cindy Lou Who, he finds the true meaning of Christmas (and in this story, also finds true love).
The timeless Charles Dickens story about Ebenezer Scrooge comes to life in this extraordinary film adaptation. I have seen lots of versions of the story on film, but this one starring George C. Scott as Scrooge is my favorite among all the others. Scott is totally believable as Scrooge, and the other characters seem very true to the Dickens classic. Filmed in England, the scenes are remarkably realistic and capture the era effectively. I recommend this one as a great film for fathers and kids.
I am a big fan of Tim Allen from his Home Improvement days, and the Santa Clause did not disappoint. In the movie, Scott Calvin inadvertently kills Santa Claus when he falls from the Calvin roof and Calvin becomes Santa. His son Charlie learns of his father’s fate and helps Scott learn his new role as Santa. Two subsequent sequels of the film are good, but cannot replace the magic of the original Santa Clause.
This is one of our family’s annual traditions. Thanksgiving weekend or sometime shortly thereafter, we always watch this DVD at home. While we have watched the 1994 version, the 1947 original is our favorite. In this film, Kris Kringle is hired as the Santa Claus at Macy’s Department Store in New York. The hardened single mother who runs the department and her unbelieving daughter are helped to see the reality of the Santa Claus story as Kris’ mental competence is challenged in court and in the headlines. It is a heartwarming movie and is a long standing favorite for many families.
Being a committed Christian, I am partial to movies and books that depict the story of the Nativity. The Nativity Story is one of the best ones of this type I have seen. The film reflects the scenery, customs, culture and tradition of ancient Bethlehem and Judea. For those who believe, The Nativity Story will bring the story to life for your family.
I first read The Polar Express to my kids when they were very little and reading it quickly became a holiday tradition with them. I was hesitant to see the movie because we loved the book so much. But when I finally decided to watch the DVD, I was pleasantly surprised at how the spirit of the book was captured by the movie. Superstar Tom Hanks plays the role of the conductor of the Polar Express, a steam train that picks up children each year on Christmas Eve and takes them to the North Pole. The film, and the book, are the story of a boy who, doubting the magic of Christmas, rides the Polar Express and reinforces the meaning of the holiday season.
Another long running tradition at the Parker’s home, It’s a Wonderful Life stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man with great dreams who ends up building a life far short of his dreams. When through the mistake of another, his life hits a crisis point and he contemplates suicide, his guardian angel gives him a chance to see the impact of his life on others by seeing what the world would have been like had he never been born. The story ends on Christmas Eve as George discovers that he really has had a wonderful life. Don’t miss this one; you will love your kids more and feel better about whatever life you are living.
In Elf, comic genius Will Farrell stars as Buddy the Elf, who is a human raised as an elf at the North Pole. Finally learning that he is not just a GIANT elf, Buddy heads to New York to find his real father, who now is married, has a child of his own, and is pretty anti-Christmas. Elf is just a ton of fun for a father to watch with the kids and the film has some truly comic moments that make the whole family laugh.