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Holiday Movies Your Tween Will Love

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The holiday season offers tweens time to celebrate, relax and maybe watch a movie or two with family or friends. Watching Christmas or holiday-themed movies may even be a part of your family's holiday traditions. If you're thinking of holiday a family holiday movie night, or if your preteen wants to have a few friends over for a Christmas break sleepover, consider the seasonal movies below as a part of the evening's festivities. Don't forget the popcorn.

Holiday Movies for Tweens

Elf, 2003

One of Will Ferrell's best roles. Raised as an elf, Buddy (Ferrell) decides to return to the place of his birth (Manhattan) and get to know his biological father, played by James Caan. It's hard not to love the hopelessly naive Buddy as he navigates his way through the city, and the hearts of his cynical family and co-workers. Ed Asner, Mary Steenburgen and Zooey Deschanel also star.

A Christmas Story, 1983

Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, and tries to convince his teacher, family and Santa Clause that he should have one. This movie is full of classic scenes and quotables. A great period piece set in the 1940s, your child might get a lot out of the clothes, toys, furniture and attitudes of the time. Of course, the salty language of the Old Man, played by Darren McGavin is harmless and pretty darn funny, as is the family's holiday meal in the Chinese restaurant. Melinda Dillon plays the mom.

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

This classic may be lost on younger tweens, but older preteens may appreciate this vintage flick and its message. George Bailey wants to travel the world but gets bogged down in his hometown due to family responsibilities, marriage and a strong sense of duty. When tragedy strikes and George's life spins out of control he wishes he had never been born. But when he finds out what life would have been like without him, he only hopes for what he once had. A tear jerker, even for the most hardened of preteens. James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore star.

Fred Clause, 2007

It's hard being the older brother of Santa Clause, the classic overachiever. Vince Vaughn plays Fred Clause, brother of Santa, and underachiever in life. When Fred has to move back to the North Pole to help his brother prepare for the coming season (and to pay off his bail money), Fred encounters lovesick elves, a less than ideal family dynamic, and a merciless number cruncher (Kevin Spacey) whose looking to shut Santa down. Paul Giamatti and Rachel Weisz also star.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000

You either love Jim Carrey, or you don't, but for many preteens he's pretty darned amusing. In this version of the classic Seuss story, the Grinch (Carrey) spends his time attempting revenge against his neighbors and desperately trying to ruin Christmas for the ever cheerful residents of Whoville. Carrey's one liners and facial expressions are entertaining, even for those who think the animated classic from the 1960s to be superior. Ron Howard directs.

Other Christmas Movies to Consider

  • The Polar Express, 2004
  • The Santa Clause, 1994
  • Home Alone, 1990
  • Jingle All the Way, 1996
  • Prancer, 1989
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
  • Frosty the Snowman, 1969
  • Casper's Haunted Christmas, 2000
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992
  • Scrooged, 1988
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town, 1970
  • Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause, 1991
  • Nutcracker
  • Miracle on 34th Street, 1947
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