If you are like many people right now, you aren’t traveling or participating in a myriad of holiday parties. It might be a quieter, more laid-back holiday celebration than you are used to. These ten inspiring Christmas movies are the perfect way to get back into the holiday spirit.
These movies’ messages remind us about the importance of relationships, following your dreams, and believing in the season’s magic. Grab a comfy blanket, snuggle in with a cup of cocoa and enjoy!
10 Christmas movies that will inspire you
#1 Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
There are several versions of this film that you can stream, and really what would the holidays be without a little Grinchmas (check out these Grinch quotes for a little fun)! I enjoy the Jim Carrey live-action version, but each version delivers the same encouraging message.
Christmas is about much more than the trappings. The lights, the tree, and the caroling might all be beautiful, but so is the giving spirit of humanity. Anyone’s heart can be moved, even the surliest among us.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more?”—Dr. Seuss
#2 Let it Snow
This a fantastic movie to watch with your teens! It chronicles the troubles facing a group of teens during the holidays. One girl doesn’t want to leave her sick mother and go to the college that has offered her a scholarship.
A friendship struggles as they deal with their romantic struggles. Another friendship, that has lasted practically the pair’s entire life, changes in unexpected ways.
These are situations that cause growing pains in the lives of many teens. Sprinkle in the holidays and a little romance, and you have the makings of a spectacular movie. This movie is entertaining, enduring, and a pleasant reminder of essential things in life.
#3 Holiday in the Wild
Netflix bills this movie as a traditional Christmas romantic comedy, with high-profile actors like Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis.
It is indeed a romance story, with lots of twists and turns that I won’t spoil, but the movie also offers a compelling and inspirational story. This movie has a story that elephant lovers will find heartwarming and unique.
The characters lose love and find love, which is inspiring in and of itself. They also deal with reality and chasing your dreams. Each character seems to arrive at a crossroads and has to decide what they want their life to look like. You can relate, right?
#4 Holiday Rush
Sadly, this movie is relatable to many people right now. Rashon “Rush” Williams, a wealthy, widowed hip-hop radio DJ, loses his job before Christmas.
A romantic relationship ensues between Rush and his old producer Roxy. The pair purchased an old station they used to work for.
This inspiring story reminds us that adversity can happen when we least expect it but that perseverance and love will always triumph.
#5 Angela’s Christmas
This endearing story is based on a Frank McCourt book titled Angela and the Baby Jesus. He is also the author of Angela’s Ashes. This short, animated film recounts a true story that happened to Frank’s mother, Angela when she was a child.
It is a poignant story that details the importance of family, love, and community. It also showcases a little Irish girl’s empathy and resiliency. If you have little kids, this film is a perfect length, and delivers a positive message we can all use this holiday season!
Other inspirational Christmas movies
#6 The Christmas Project
This coming of age story has all the traditional hallmarks of an inspirational movie, with a holiday twist.
The family in the film is a close-knit family with four boys under the age of 13. Matthew, the narrator of the movie, is being bullied and struggles with forgiving him.
The family has a tradition of gift-giving to a family in secret. This year the recipients of their goodwill are none other than the bully and his family.
This movie’s central theme is the empathy that Matthew feels for the bully as he learns more about his situation. Young Matthew is growing into the type of person he wants to be and learns the valuable lesson of doing the right thing.
#7 48 Christmas Wishes
This movie has such an adorable premise, along with an inspirational message! In this unique story, Mindy, an elf assigned to the mailroom, accidentally loses a town’s 48 Christmas wishes.
She fears that she has ruined Christmas for the town and enlists her elf friends’ help to find the letters. Mindy’s plan is for her and Cam (another elf) to go to the town, disguised as humans, and trick the people into revealing their wishes. The elves then report back to Sammy in the North Pole so that the elves can make the gifts.
The movie is heartwarming and delivers a Christmas message about loss and grief when one character, Blake, dons his deceased father’s Santa suit and reads a poem. This moves his sister, who has not found joy in the holiday season since their father’s passing.
She feels the holiday spirit for the first time in a long time and wants to share it. Many families are coping with a loss this holiday season, and this movie reminds us all to be thankful for our loved ones.
#8 Holly Star
This movie is cute and relatable, especially in a time where many jobs have been lost. Sloan, a struggling puppeteer, comes home for the holidays; jobless, broke, and depressed.
Her parents are not home (they are on a holiday cruise), but Sloan reconnects with her grandma, best friend, and an old high school love.
The movie centers on all these different facets of relationships, with the added intrigue of a treasure hunt! Sloan starts to have dreams about her grandpa and remembers more information about the missing money.
While searching for the treasure, Sloan reconsiders the things that are important to her. If you have forgotten what the holidays (and even life itself) are about, this movie will be an inspiration to question your priorities and make some changes.
#9 This Christmas
This Christmas uses holiday cliches in the best way! The film focuses on family dynamics, including arguing around the dinner table.
There are a lot of characters in the movie, and each family member is dealing with a unique problem. There is a conflict about selling the dry-cleaning business, marital affairs, secrets, jealousy, and even a night in jail.
In the end, the family remembers who they are and how they deal with things. They come together as a unit and reconcile with one another. If your family dynamic is a little crazy, then this film might inspire you to reach out!
#10 Christmas Survival
This movie doesn’t get a very high rating from critics, but the British holiday comedy reminds us of a vital holiday lesson. All families do not experience Norman Rockwell, picture-perfect holidays.
Families that will be together during the holidays are dealing with estrangement and old rivalries. The holidays also are hard for people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, much like the characters in this show.
In the movie, the family is also grieving the death of their parents (this is the first Christmas without them.) The family is meeting at their parents’ dilapidated house for the holidays. Miranda (Gemma Whelan) and her husband Dan (Julian Ovenden) are hosting at the country house just outside of London.
Miranda and her family moved to get their kids into a better school and give them a wholesome life. Miranda is your stereotypical “granola” mom. She is struggling to balance all the cooking, cleaning, and organic vegetable growing.
Meanwhile, her sister is the complete opposite. She is a Hollywood actress and is rather hoity-toity. She is waiting to see if they have renewed her high paying series. Her husband, who is an agent, has lost his job and is dealing with his alcohol problem.
This movie might not give you the traditional warm and fuzzy feelings of an inspirational film, but there is a message of survival, family, and reality in it that so many people deal with. If 2020 has just been more than you can handle, and you want a laugh, then give this movie a go!
Holiday streaming thoughts
Have you seen any of these Christmas movies already? Will you be watching any of them in the days leading up to Christmas?
Which ones were your favorite? Were there any that you would recommend that didn’t make the list?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below! Merry Christmas, and stay inspired as we head into the new year.