Skip to main content

10 Inspiring Christmas Movies to Watch

I love watching good Christmas movies year-round. They're so uplifting and inspiring!

Here are ten uplifting Christmas movies to watch.

Here are ten uplifting Christmas movies to watch.

I love watching Christmas movies year-round. They're generally so uplifting and inspiring!

Whether you enjoy watching Christmas films during the holidays or anytime, here are ten wonderful flicks that inspire hope and communicate the holiday spirit.

10 Christmas Movies That Inspire Hope

  1. Dear Santa (2011)
  2. The Christmas Candle (2013)
  3. The Tree That Saved Christmas (2014)
  4. Little Women (1994)
  5. Magic Stocking (2015)
  6. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  7. The Polar Express (2004)
  8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
  10. Frosty the Snowman (1969)

1. Dear Santa

  • Released: 2011
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Duration: 1 h 32 min
  • Genre: Family, comedy, romance
  • Starring: Amy Acker, David Hadyn-Jones and Emma Duke

Plot: Crystal, a single 30 year-old woman of privilege (her Chrismas list includes Chanel, Prada and Tiffany) comes across a letter written to Santa by a seven-year old little girl. The contents of the letter set Crystal on a mission to grant the child's Christmas wish: a new wife for her single dad. Things get interesting and hilarious as Crystal discovers that Derek is a down to earth guy who owns a soup kitchen and who has no romantic interest in her. One of my favorite scenes is when Crystal and Derek's girlfriend engage in a battle of batter in the kitchen. There's no violence, I promise.

2. The Christmas Candle

  • Released: 2013
  • Rating: PG
  • Duration: 1 h 40 min
  • Genre: Family, faith, drama
  • Starring: Hans Matheson, Samantha Barks, Lesley Manley

Plot: Based on the original story by Max Lucado, this film portrays the challenges a new minister faces when he arrives in the town of Gladbury, where the miracle Christmas candle has long been a tradition. The reverend's attempts to abolish what he believes to be a foolish tradition is met with opposition by his congregation. The movie depicts the reverand's inner quest for truth in light of both the Protestant and Roman Catholic theologies. A thought-provoking story that examines faith, hope, and the meaning of Advent.

3. The Tree That Saved Christmas

  • Released: 2014
  • Rating: G
  • Duration: 1 h 28 min
  • Genre: Drama, romance
  • Starring: Lacey Chabert, Corey Sevier, Matthew Kevin Anderson

Plot: Molly returns to her hometown in Vermont to try and save her family's decades-old tree farm from becoming a golf course resort. While there, she comes across Lucas, her childhood friend and high school sweetheart. A misunderstanding years ago led them in separate ways: she pursued her passion for writing in New York City while he, under his father's influence, ended up working at a bank in his hometown. Things get awkward and tense between Molly and Lucas as he's now leading the search for investors for the development of the proposed golf course. A story of hope, perseverance, and new beginnings.

4. Little Women

  • Released: 1994
  • Rating: PG
  • Duration: 1 h 58 min
  • Genre: Family, drama, romance
  • Starring: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes
Scroll to Continue

Read More From Reelrundown

Plot: This is hands down the best movie version of Little Women that exists, in my humble opinion. The acting is superb, the scenery is stunning, and the overall film production is top-notch. Based on the book by Louisa May Alcott, the story follows the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—as they transition into womanhood during the latter days of the American Civil War. The girls follow different paths but are ultimately drawn closer together through tragedy, and it is through this loss that Jo, the main character in the film, finds her courage and voice as a writer. An inspiring movie for men and women of all ages.

5. Magic Stocking

  • Released: 2015
  • Rating: G
  • Duration: 1 h 26 min
  • Genre: Comedy, drama, fantasy, family
  • Starring: Bridget Regan, Victor Webster, Iris Quinn

Plot: When a young girl is given a tattered old Christmas stocking at a craft fair, her widowed mother is skeptical of its effects as she struggles to carry on with Christmas without her husband. As a planner for her township, she also faces the challenge of meeting the mayor's deadline for the rebuilding of the historic town gazebo in time for the Christmas light show. This is a movie about daring to believe, moving on, and taking chances. The storyline may sound cheesy but I promise you that this film delivers.

6. It's a Wonderful Life

  • Released: 1946
  • Rating: PG
  • Duration: 2 h 10 min
  • Genre: Drama, family, fantasy
  • Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

Plot: Who hasn't been inspired by this Christmas classic? George Bailey is a depressed and suicidal businessman on the verge of ending it all. Before it's too late, he is visited by his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, who shows George what life would have been like if he had never existed. The angel takes him back to the people and lives George touched and influenced throughout his life in ways George did not realize. His perspective is changed as he finds fresh hope and meaning in his life.

7. The Polar Express

  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: G
  • Duration: 1 h 39 min
  • Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy
  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter

Plot: I remember the first time I watched this movie: Wow! Each time I've watched it since, the effect has been no less. The animation in this film is spectacular and the production is simply amazing. Children and adults alike are mesmerized by this charming and magical story of a boy who isn't sure if Santa is real. One evening while in bed, he hears the sounds of the locomotive's roar and whistle. As he steps outside, he's invited by the conductor to board the train to the North Pole to see Santa, where he receives a special gift for believing. A refreshing story of daring to have faith even through your doubts.

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas

  • Released: 1965
  • Rating: NR
  • Duration: 1 h 12 min
  • Genre: Animation, comedy, drama
  • Starring (voices): Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer

Plot: In this classic film, Charlie Brown is depressed and discouraged during the holiday season. His friend, Lucy, encourages him to direct the annual Christmas play, thinking it will lift his spirits. When Charlie Brown selects a real but pathetic-looking Christmas tree for the performance, he is taunted by his friends, but they eventually join him in displaying the little sapling in all its glory. The movie ends with all the characters singing "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing". A simple and raw honest message of hope that inspires even the hardest heart.

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

  • Released: 1964
  • Rating: NR
  • Duration: 52 min
  • Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy
  • Starring (voices): Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann

Plot: Rudolph's father is one of Santa's reindeer, and Rudolph hopes to be one too someday. However, his red nose causes him to be ostracized by the other reindeer, and he runs off to the Island of Misfit Toys. On Christmas Eve, it is Rudolph who Santa turns to for help to guide him and the team of reindeer through the stormy night. This film will touch your heart with its purity and innocence, along with its message of a seeming disadvantage becoming an advantage.

10. Frosty the Snowman

  • Released: 1969
  • Rating: NR
  • Duration: 26 min
  • Genre: Animation, short, comedy
  • Starring (voices): Jackie Vernon, Billie De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante

Plot: A group of children build a snowman who magically comes to life after they place a magician's discarded hat on him. When the magician discovers the powers of his hat, he wants it back, and a struggle ensues to prevent the greedy man from retrieving it as the children try to reach the North Pole before Frosty melts. This short film will put a song in your heart and a smile on your face as you hear the children sing, "Frosty the Snowman was a jolly happy soul..."

It doesn't have to be the holiday season to watch good Christmas movies.

It doesn't have to be the holiday season to watch good Christmas movies.

More Inspiring Christmas Movies

  • The Christmas Lodge (2011)
  • Christmas in Mississippi (2017)
  • Christmas on the Bayou (2013)
  • Once Upon a Christmas (2000)
  • When Hope Calls Christmas (2021)
  • A Fall City Christmas (2018)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • The Shack (2017)
  • A Christmas Carol (1951)
  • Miracle on 34th St. (1937)

© 2022 Madeleine Clays

Related Articles