Family films

My Top 5 Family Christmas Films

Forget dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh, I’d rather be snuggled up under a warm blanket with a hot chocolate, the guys in my life and a good Christmas film. It’s always so hard to decide which films to watch at Christmas though as there are loads I love, so here is my top 5 family Christmas films.

5) The Grinch (2000)

I’m a sucker for Jim Carey and this is certainly a marmite Christmas film; I love it, my husband hates it. Carey plays the Dr Seuss character The Grinch from How the Grinch stole Christmas, a miserable grump who hates all things Christmas and sets out to destroy it for the people of Whoville.






4) Gremlins (1984)

Whatever you do, DON’T expose him to bright light, DON’T get him wet and NEVER feed him after midnight; no matter how much he begs. When Billy (Zach Galligan) is given Gizmo the Mogwai for Christmas little does he know that his whole world is about to be turned upside down.






3) Scrooged (1988)

What is Christmas without a bit of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? This is the first of two versions on my top 5 list. Bill Murray plays Scrooge in this modern (for the 1980’s) version of the Christmas classic. Scrooge is a money obsessed work-aholic who can only think about himself over the Christmas period, he is visited by three ghosts who will hopefully change his festive feelings.






2) The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The second of my A Christmas Carol adaptations is the wonderfulness that is The Muppet Christmas Carol. In true muppet style, this film is full of catchy songs and humour as well as all your favourite stars from The Muppet Show; even my favourite The Swedish Chef “BORK BORK BORK!”. Michael Caine plays an iconic version of Ebenezer Scrooge that has me feeling like I’m a child again.





1) Elf (2003)

It’s the adult in me that made me pick Elf over TMCC, plus it is the only Christmas film my husband really likes. Buddy (Will Farrell) is a human child who has been raised by the elves at the North Pole, as a man he sets out on a mission to find his real father and ends up turning his life completely upside down. Make sure you have the four main food groups – candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup – ready to snack on as you enjoy this wonderfully Christmas film.







What does your top 5 Christmas family films look like? This was a hard choice as there were a few others I’d of loved to include but I promised myself only five. Let me know in the comments if you agree with mine or have your own.

Top 5 Halloween Family Films

Halloween Family Films


Halloween if my all time favourite holiday of the year, I often wish that I lived in America just because of how seriously they take it over there. Here I have to settle to taking my son around to a few houses trick or treating and curling up on the sofa with a few films – I did get married on Halloween so sometimes that is replaced by a nice meal out but only if the child has gone to his grandparents. With this in mind I took to The Money Shed Forum to ask it’s members what their all time favourite Halloween family films were – if you pop over to the thread you will also see that a few members have a strange definition of a “family film”.

5 – Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

The first of two musical delights in this top 5 Halloween family films line up (that might give you a clue to the number 1 spot). This isn’t your typical horror film but it got a few votes from the guys over on the forum (aka The Shedders).

If you have a thing for giant singing Venus fly traps with a taste for human blood then you will love this film which will see you singing “Feed Me” until Christmas. Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) is a nerdy, hopeless romantic with a HUGE crush on his fellow worker, Audrey. When he finds an unidentified plant, which he calls Audrey II, in his florist all of this changes. It turns out that Audrey II can only survive if he is fed blood which presents a problem for Seymour – how can he satisfy this plants needs?



4 – The Witches (1990)

This was a surprising entry when it popped up as a suggestion, I’d never really thought of the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” as a Halloween film but thinking back to my childhood is was a freaking scary film. Also, being called “The Witches” would make you assume it was a perfect Halloween flick.

Could you imagine a world without children? The noise, mess and smells would disappear which is perfect for the Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) and her fellow witches who decide it is about time that children just disappeared. Unluckily for her she didn’t count on a young boy named Luke (Jasen Fisher) and his grandmother (Mai Zetterling) being there to stop her wicked plans. Don’t let her turn you into a mouse.



3 – Ghostbusters/Ghostbusters 2 (1984/1989)

Who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! What better film to stick on during the Halloween festivities than one about ghosts and the only guys capable of stopping them. I couldn’t really list one without the other (and The Shedders didn’t specify which) so here they are – both of them.

Three paranormal professors (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) lose their funding at the university the work at so decide to set up their own ghost removal service. After buying an abandoned fire station, hiring a receptionist (Annie Potts) and recruiting their fourth Ghostbuster (Ernie Hudson) they take to the streets of New York trying to save the day. Their choice in career soon goes from chasing ghostly librarians and gluttonous ghouls to battling ancient beings who want to take over and destroy the world!



2 – Hocus Pocus (1993)

I put a spell on you, well I’ll leave that to the Sanderson sisters as that is what they are good at. Personally, it is hard to for me to decide which is the better film out of Hocus Pocus and what was chosen as the number 1 film. This will always have a place in my heart as it brings back found family memories – I was always Mary (brown hair and over weight haha)

17th Century witches, the Sanderson sisters Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy) are sucking the life from children in order to stay young and beautiful forever, well until they are discovered and hung for their crimes. Luckily for them they cast a curse to be brought back to life; which they are 300 years later in modern day Salem. Teenagers Max and Alison along with Max’s little sister Dani and an immortal cat set on the mission to ensure these witches don’t see it past the next sunrise. 



1 – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

There is often confusion as to whether The Nightmare before Christmas is a Halloween or a Christmas film but recently it’s director Henry Selick has confirmed that the film, written by Tim Burton is in fact a Halloween film; this doesn’t mean we can’t watch it for both holidays though 😉

This animated and musical wonder has the typical Tim Burton style that we have all come to love since Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice hit the big screens. It also features the amazing music by the legend that is Danny Elfman. The story is basically about the king of Halloween, Jack Skellington (acting voiced by Chris Sarandon and singing voice by Danny Elfman), who is bored of doing the same thing each year; he wants more. These leads him to go exploring and finds a door to each holidayland – he steps through the Christmasland door and becomes obsessed with the holiday to the point of kidnapping and trying to replace Santa Claus.



There are so many other great Halloween family films that didn’t make it into the top 5 such as Corpse Bride, The Haunted Mansion, Casper, Frankenweenie and Scooby Doo 2 – Monsters Unleashed; all of them can be found on Amazon Prime (30 day FREE trial). Do you have a favourite that isn’t listed here? Let me know in the comments.