Christmas Movies You Can’t Miss
Familiar classic Christmas movies like Miracle on 34th Street, The Christmas StoryandIt’s a Wonderful Lifebring family and friends together to reminisce about good times and recall the true meaning of Christmas. But, there are several films out there that don’t make it on the “Classics” list, but have an incredibly meaningful message and inspirational story. We’ve picked our top nine to share:
Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
Our number one Christmas film is technically a Christmas TV special that aired in 1977. Created by the same stop-motion animation company that brings you the more recognized holiday fare. Nestor is a donkey, with abnormally long ears who’s constantly made fun of (like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer). After life-changing events leave Nestor feeling hopeless and alone, he’s met by a cherub who tells him that his ears can do wondrous things. After a journey with the cherub, Nestor meets an expectant mother named Mary. Through his tremendous ears, he is able to hear the voice of angles leading him and his precious cargo to Bethlehem, the city where his Savior’s born.
The Nativity Story
This adaptation of the Christmas story dramatically depicts Mary and Joseph’s trials and tribulations in delivering the Savior to the world. Mary, a teenage girl is to marry Joseph, a local carpenter. She’s told by an angel that she will bare a son, who’ll be the Savior of the world, even though she’s a virgin. Mary is scorned by her community because of her pregnancy and must face Joseph, who plans to secretly divorce her. An angel informs Joseph about the truth of Mary’s pregnancy just in time for the couple to embark on a voyage to the place of Joseph’s birth for a census. They set out for a long and hard journey which places them in Bethlehem, the setting of Jesus’ birth.
Every Christmas classic list needs a story about the importance of individualism and being true to yourself, so our pick is the animated film Arthur Christmas. In the midst of chaos on Christmas Eve at the North Pole, Arthur attempts to correct a mistake to ensure a child has a special Christmas. As Santa’s youngest son, Arthur has a special compassion for children across the world, but his scrawny persona and lack of coordination make him an unlikely candidate for Santa’s job. Always looked over, Arthur becomes a very unexpected hero after a crazy night with Grandsanta.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe isn’t technically a Christmas story (even though Santa Claus does make a brief appearance), rather it’s a story about Christ. Aslan, the mythical character of Christ, is the Savior of Narnia. Four humans from Earth fulfill the prophecy by entering Narnia under the White Witch’s rule, who makes it “always winter, but never Christmas.” These four, along with many others, battle to defeat and overtake the evil Witch and her massive army. In the midst of courage and bravery comes betrayal, which results in the selfless sacrifice of Aslan. To the Witch’s dismay, she’s unaware of the power and beauty of true sacrificial love.
The Shop Around the Corner
In a 1940‘s movie two unlikely people find love in an unlikely place. Alfred Kralik is the top salesman at Matuschek and Company, owned by Mr. Hugo Matuschek. Klara Novak comes to the shop, looking for a job. Even though a position isn’t available, Mr. Matuschek hires her. Frustrated by Klara’s presence, Alfred can’t tolerate her, and a strong hatred develops between the two. On the side, they both are communicating via mail to an anonymous individual in which they’re falling deeply in love. Through their letters, they agree to meet in person, and to their surprise, the secret admire is their most hated co-worker!
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
The Christmas Carol is a tried and true tale about Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. This story is a classic tale of self-redemption and can’t be passed up during the holiday season. But, instead of watching the classic version with mom and dad, enjoy the animated Disney version for a terrifically terrifying tale of rediscovery. The talented Jim Carrey plays multiple roles and charismatically warms the heart of any bah humbug.
VeggieTales: Saint Nicholas – A Story of Joyful Giving
The VeggieTales are meant for children, but Christmas is certainly the time to be a child-at-heart, so join us this season by watching this fun Veggie-Christmas Tale. We’ve all heard the story of Saint Nicholas and how he became known as Santa Claus, but here is a heartwarming tale of St. Nick’s desire to give to those less fortunate than himself. With a deep call to serve others, inspired by the sacrifices surrounding Christ, Nicholas becomes the root of our joyful holiday giving.
Charlie Brown’s Christmas
Charlie Brown Christmas may be the one true classic that we’re featuring, but this program can’t be passed up during the holiday season. The music is joyful, the animation fun, the characters brilliant, but most of all, we love it for Linus’ compassion of sharing the birth of Christ. The truest and most classic Christmas story is the gospel shared in Matthew, Mark and Luke, so spend some time this Christmas reading God’s story of His son, our Lord.
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
Christmas delves into the heart of childhood hope and imagination, so what story articulates the dreamlike imagination of a child more than the Nutcracker? In George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Macaulay Culkin joins the New York City Ballet to bring this classic stage performance to the screen. Marie, usually known as Clara, falls asleep after a vibrant Christmas party and dreams herself into a magical land. Here her toy Nutcracker comes to life and battles the Mouse King to save her. Through a turn of events, the Nutcracker turns into a Prince and the two travel through enchanted worlds where snowflakes come to life, candy dances and a Sugar Plum fairy rules.