25 Fun Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Teen

Snuggle up with a few cozy blankets, sip on hot chocolate and settle in with a few of these holiday favorites

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: 25 Fun Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Teen

Written by: Marybeth Bock

Is there anything better than turning down the lights, snuggling up underneath cozy blankets, sipping on hot chocolate, and watching a Christmas movie with your teenager?

No matter how old our kids get or how “teenager-y” they might act at times, there’s something special about holiday movies. Watching the holiday classics they loved as a child has a way of taking them back to a magical time. Even now, years later, Rudolph and Frosty can still bring a smile to their face!

Chances are, there aren’t too many teenagers who will pass up an evening on the couch watching a Christmas favorite, but if you’re worried your teen might not jump on board with the idea, try whipping up a few of their favorite snacks! (Did someone say food??)

So, grab those cozy blankets, make a big bowl of popcorn and a couple of festive snacks, and settle in to watch a few of these great movies that are sure to get you and your teen in the holiday spirit! From classics and comedies to new releases and childhood favorites, here are 25 fun (not too lame) holiday movies to watch with your teen. 

25 Fun Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Teen

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#1 Elf

We just have to kick off our list with one of the best holiday classics ever! It’s one of my family’s faves and truly gets better every time you watch it!

Official Storyline: This hilarious Christmas film tells the tale of a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts on Christmas Eve and is transported back to the North Pole and raised as an elf. Years later Buddy learns he is not really an elf and goes on a journey to New York City to find his true identity.


#2 A Boy Called Christmas

New this year on Netflix, A Boy Called Christmas is based on the bestselling novel.

Official Storyline: In this origin story of Father Christmas, an ordinary boy (with a loyal pet mouse and a reindeer at his side) sets out on an extraordinary adventure to find his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of Elfhelm.

#3 Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

If you missed this one last year when it debuted on Netflix, put it on your watch list for this year. It’s really like watching a Broadway production – the music and costumes are simply delightful.

Official Storyline: An imaginary world comes to life in a holiday tale of an eccentric toymaker, his adventurous granddaughter, and a magical invention that has the power to change their lives forever.

#4 Unaccompanied Minors

If you’re ready for some Christmas comedy, then you’ll love Unaccompanied Minors. It’s about a group of kids who get stuck at the airport without their parents on Christmas Eve thanks to a blizzard.

Official Storyline: A group of unaccompanied minors bond while snowed in at the midwestern Hoover International Airport during the holiday season and ultimately create a makeshift holiday themselves.

#5 Little Women (Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation)

A fabulously smart twist on Louis May Alcott’s novel and previous film versions, this movie has an incredible cast and will make anyone who watches it both shed a few tears, and shriek with joy.

Official Storyline: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life after the Civil War, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women, each determined to live life on her own terms.

#6 Noelle

The first live-action, original movie from Disney, this is an utterly charming Christmas tale starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader. My older kids and I laughed way more than we ever thought we would when we watched this.

Official Storyline: Santa’s daughter must take over the family business when her father retires and her brother, who is supposed to inherit the Santa role, gets cold feet.

#7 Ice Princess

The film critic Roger Ebert said, “This movie is just about perfect for teenagers.” It takes the two competitive, overachiever teen girls formula to the next icy level.

Official Storyline: With the help of her coach, her mom, and the boy who drives the Zamboni machine, nothing can stop Casey (Trachtenberg) from realizing her dream of being a champion figure skater.

#8 Home Alone

Is it even possible to get through a holiday season without watching Home Alone? No matter how many sequels or adaptations come out, the original classic Home Alone will never be overshadowed. Macaulay Culkin is so confident and gifted in this role that you can’t help but root for his character.

Official Storyline: An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

#9 Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

Teens in particular love this strange and haunting look into the fantastical holiday world of Burton’s imagination. Jack Skellington is the misfit hero who wants to do well but isn’t quite sure how to go about it. The music and choreography in this movie are so clever.

Official Storyline: Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Pumpkin King Jack Skellington longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere!

#10 National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Seriously a classic holiday comedy you can’t help but watch EVERY holiday season! This one never gets old!

Official Storyline: The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.


#11 The Preacher’s Wife

This is a sweet and good-hearted comedy, where even the so-called villain isn’t too bad, and you get to hear Whitney Houston sing with some great gospel choir backup.

Official Storyline: Remake of the Cary Grant classic where an angel comes to earth a few days before Christmas to help a disillusioned reverend regain control of his life.

#12 The Polar Express

Wildly creative and slightly creepy, the film uses a process called “performance capture,” in which human actors perform movements that are translated into lifelike animation. Even if your teens saw this when they were little, it’s definitely worth watching again to catch all the little, special moments.

Official Storyline: A doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.


#13  I’ll Be Home for Christmas

An ungrateful college student’s dad bribes him with a fancy car if he’ll come home for Christmas. An entertaining cross-country trek in a Santa suit unfolds.

Official Storyline: If a jokester makes it home by a certain time, his dad’s car is his.

#14 Mean Girls

While technically not a Christmas movie, it’s got an entertaining high school variety show version of “Jingle Bell Rock” along with some great messages to impart for all teenagers – chief among them- you’ll be happier as yourself than as anybody else.

Official Storyline: Cady thinks she understands “survival of the fittest.” However, the law of the wild takes a whole new meaning when the homeschooled 15-year-old enters public high school for the first time.

#15 Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Jim Carrey plays the spectacularly bitter (and performance-capture animated) Ebenezer Scrooge, and teens will find this movie just the right amount of scary.

Official Storyline: When three ghosts take penny-pinching Scrooge on an eye-opening journey, he discovers the true meaning of Christmas — but he must act on it before it’s too late.

#16 The Santa Clause

A clever and amusing movie starring Tim Allen, it explains a lot of things about Santa and how he does his job every year. And it’s still funny after all these years.

Official Storyline: When a man inadvertently makes Santa fall off of his roof on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

#17 Prancer

This looks like it would be a movie solely for younger kids, but its nine-year-old protagonist, Jessica, is a smart and plucky schemer who figures out things for herself and is not afraid to act on her convictions. Teens and adults both will enjoy this one.

Official Storyline: A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa’s, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.

#18 Christmas with the Kranks

Another holiday classic comedy that will keep your teens laughing. 

Official Storyline: With their daughter, Blair, away, Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate it at the last minute.

#19 The Christmas Chronicles

A sibling duo causes Santa’s sleigh to crash, and he loses his magic hat, all the toys, and the reindeer. What else could go wrong? Many, many things. Kurt Russell is great as Santa, and there’s a sequel as well.

Official Storyline: The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

#20  Die Hard

Definitely not the most “Christmasy” movie you’ll find, but for teens who love action movies, this might be IT. Die Hard was made in 1988, but it’s still a classic – especially considering all the action kicks off during a Christmas party.

Official Storyline: An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

#21 The Knight Before Christmas

A sweet and sappy tale that’s perfect for stirring up holiday “feels.” Vanessa Hudgens stars in this Netflix movie as a present-day high school science teacher who magically meets a handsome, medieval English knight.

Official Storyline: A medieval English knight is magically transported to present-day America where he falls for a high school science teacher who is disillusioned by love.

#22 The Holiday

Two women, one American and one British, trade homes for the holidays to escape their lives and complicated situations at home. Another film that will make you laugh, and probably shed a tear or two. You may also want to move to the British countryside. (Best suited for older teens.)

Official Storyline: Two women troubled with guy problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

#23  A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish

An aspiring singer can’t chase her dreams because of her stepmother and scheming stepsisters. But even they cannot get in the way of a handsome young man falling for her.

 Official Storyline: Despite her vain stepmother and mean stepsisters, an aspiring singer works as an elf at a Christmas tree lot and finds her own holiday miracle.

#24 The Holiday Calendar

A talented photographer who is stuck in a dead-end job inherits an antique Advent calendar – this is a charming 2018 Netflix hit your teen will love!

Official Storyline: A struggling, but talented photographer inherits an antique holiday advent calendar, the contents of which seem to predict the future. Will this magical calendar lead her to love this holiday?

#25 Klaus

Beautiful hand-drawn animation and a humorous, heartwarming narrative make Klaus an instant candidate for holiday classic status. You and your teens will enjoy this bold and creative Santa origin story from Netflix.

Official Storyline: A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg’s new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions.

Happy viewing, snuggling, snacking, and smiling with your teens this Christmas season!


About Marybeth Bock:

Marybeth Bock, MPH, is a Mom to two young adults and one delightful hound dog. She has logged time as a military spouse, childbirth educator, college instructor, and freelance writer. She lives in Arizona and thoroughly enjoys research and writing – as long as iced coffee is involved. Her work can be found on numerous websites and in two books. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


If you enjoyed, “25 Fun Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Teen,” you might also enjoy reading:

Dear Moms of Teens, The True Magic of Christmas Wasn’t When our Kids Were Young. It’s Now.


20 Reasons Why Christmas with Teens Rocks


22 Christmas Traditions for Teens Who Need a Little Nudge to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

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