49 Movies to Watch with Your Teens for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

49 Holiday Movies for Teens|www.parentingteens.com

Written By Melanie Studer

Melanie Prather Studer has spent the last thirty years as a mother and teacher- preschool through middle school. When her kids became teenagers, Melanie started keeping notes and doing research to help her children get a head start on getting into college and ultimately out into the real world. She shares real world ideas and solutions for raising teens in today’s world.

September 11, 2019

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Our favorite holiday movies for teens

Our family loves to watch movies together!  We will watch and discuss, and watch another!  Finding holiday movies for teens can be challenging since the age range is pretty big.  So, we put together this list to help you find a few.  Some of these are old favorites, some are fairly new to the scene, and a couple were recommendations from friends that we cannot wait to try…  *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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49 Holiday Movies for Teens|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

My husband makes the BEST popcorn, and oftentimes our favorite night of the week is Saturday.  Our rule while the kids were growing up was “Soda Saturdays”.  So, a movie, popcorn and soda was a real treat for us all!  Put out some big pillows, get some blankets, and bring out some favorite snacks to enjoy some of these great movies:)  You could check out this tabletop Movie Buff card game for fun as well!

Let me know which holiday movies your teens like the best…

Holiday movies for teens or your favorite furry friends!

For the holidays, we really watch a lot since there are so many days off from school!

Here are some of our favorites for the upcoming holidays in no particular order…  These are definitely for teens!  Some are definitely PG and up!  Please check the ratings.

Grab the holiday movie checklists here to keep track of the ones that you have seen and note which ones are favorites for next year! Halloween movie checklist, Thanksgiving  movie checklist, and Christmas movie checklist.

Holiday Movies for Teens


  1.  Corpse Bride  Tim Burton at his finest.  The ghoulish wedding of a young man with a “corpse” bride from the underworld, meanwhile his living bride awaits…
  2.  Addam’s Family Values  The perfect time of the year to watch this!  I think that this is better than the original.  Uncle Nestor gets married and the kids are sent to camp.  Great cast and lots of really funny scenes.
  3.  The Nightmare Before Christmas  Another classic Tim Burton.  Sort of a mash up of a number of holidays in this one.
  4.  Poltergeist  I remember being freaked out with this one way back in the day.  A family moves into their new home, and many things begin to happen that are out of the ordinary.
  5.  Dark Shadows-the movie  This show is both dark and hilarious.  A stellar cast who acts out this “soap opera” of a movie.
  6.  Monster House  I watched this for the first time last year with my boys.  They had seen it before many times.  It’s actually pretty creepy!  A house that is “alive” and NOT happy!
  7.  Beetle Juice  Another Tim Burton film  Michael Keaton is hilarious in this strange and funny movie about a house trying to be haunted by dead couple.
  8.  Ghostbusters-The Original  Classic!
  9.  Ghostbusters-(2016)  I didn’t think this would be as good as the first.  I was wrong, it was even better!!
  10.  Edward Scissorhands  This is just a quirky trip of a movie.  Once again, Tim Burton creates a story with a creepy twist.  Another amazing cast!
  11.  Hocus Pocus  Silly, over-the-top, but so fun to watch.  Three sister witches have been brought back to earth for some witchy business.  Totally cheesy, but great fun at Halloween time.
  12.  Young Frankenstein  A funny spoof of the original movie.  Funny cast and great one-liners!
  13.  Little Shop of Horrors  This is an old, weird, musical romp of a film!  Love it!
  14.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer-the movie  I loved this movie.  Funny 90’s vampire movie.Scary holiday movies for teens! One of my boys hates these!


  1.  Planes, Trains and Automobiles  Classic!  This is a must-see every Thanksgiving!
  2.  Free Birds This is a great story of 2 turkeys who go back in time to change history:)
  3.  Dan in Real Life  We love this movie.  I recommended it to a friend and told her that it was funny.  She didn’t like it.  So, I am going to say that it is a slice of life.  Definitely funny overall, but some serious and sad parts as well.  All 3 of my boys request this movie many times during the year, not just Thanksgiving.
  4.  Home for the Holidays  Holly Hunter kills it in this coming home for the holidays.  Her parents are hilarious, and her siblings families are as well.  Holly plays a grown woman who goes home again to find out that she’s still a child to here parents-aren’t we all?!
  5.  Grumpy Old Men  Two old geezers who have an ongoing feud really go at it when a pretty lady moves into the neighborhood.  Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon are hilarious.  Not to be missed.
  6.  By the Light of the Silvery Moon-oldie, but fun to watch:)
  7.  The Blind Side  Please tell me you have seen this!  This is a great true story starring Sandra Bullock.  Football and Thanksgiving, what could be better?
  8.  Dutch-not available for rent or purchase, but try to find it! A different sort of family movie.
  9.  Pieces of April  My friend recommended this, and I can’t wait to see it.  The story of  April who is hosting her family for Thanksgiving, but discovers that her oven doesn’t work.  She solves this problem in her own quirky, sweet way.  The cast looks amazing.
  10.  The New World  The story of the beginning of America.  Another Pocahontas story brought to life.
  11.  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving-my all-time favorite!  Also, The Mayflower Voyagers-also a Charlie Brown movie that’s really fun, too.
  12.  Pocahontas  Great movie loosely based on her relationship with Captain John Smith.  Fun to rewatch with the big kids occasionally.
  13. What’s Cooking?  Four families in a neighborhood each have their own issues, stories and secrets to tell over their Thanksgiving tables.  Stories interwoven and connected in ways they don’t even know.  Great cast and good nostalgic look at this holiday from the early 2000’s and compare what they considered issues to today’s.  Fun to watch:)
  14. Avalon Great story about immigrating and succeeding in America.  This follows the lives of 3 brothers and their families.  A great historical perspective, and heartwarming story of a family and their love for one another.
  15. Scent of a Woman  This is one we hadn’t seen in a long time!  A college kid is looking to make money to get home for Christmas.  He becomes the caretaker of a retired, and blind, Colonel from the Army.  They have quite the adventure together.  If you haven’t seen this in awhile, you should.My all time favorite movie for teens or really any age!


  1.  The Nativity Story  We love this one!  Every Christmas Eve after church, this is our family tradition with homemade soup and everyone’s favorite appetizers.  It is a great interpretation of the birth of Jesus.
  2.  Christmas VacationWhat is there to say?
  3.  It’s a Wonderful Life   A must-see for sure at Christmas, especially in black and white.  My personal favorite for holiday movies.
  4.  The Holiday  Great rom-com about a couple of women who switch houses for Christmas.
  5.  Rise of the Guardians
  6.  The Santa ClauseWhat is there to say?
  7.   Elf  Oh my gosh!  This is absolutely the best!  I love Will Farrell, and this is my favorite movie of his.
  8.  Krampus  This is one that my youngest, who is now 14, found when he was 12.  It is creepy, funny, and actually a great movie for a new twist for the holidays.
  9.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas  A great rendition of an old story.
  10.  The Muppet Christmas Carol  Another great rendition of an old story, but with Muppets-how could you go wrong?  I love all the characterizations, they are spot on!
  11.  The Family Stone  Great cast, great family, funny love twists, sadness, funniness, and at the bottom of it all is great family love.
  12.  The Polar Express  My boys all time favorite from when they were younger.  I still cry at times, and Tom Hanks proves he is magical in this movie.
  13.  Joyeux Noel  We came across this movie one year, and bought it because we loved it so much.  It is the story of a Christmas truce during WW2.  It is an amazing story of friendships under the worst of circumstances, and what can be accomplished with honorable men during them.
  14.  Scrooged  Bill Murray at his finest.  Great laughs.  A great remake of a great classic.
  15.  The Family Man  Modern twist on the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.  Fun flick!
  16.  Fred Claus  The story of Santa’s big brother, who is not a saint-hilarious!
  17.  While You Were Sleeping  A lonely young woman becomes involved with a stranger’s family over Christmas with hilarious and life-changing results. Cute rom-com!
  18.  Arthur Christmas  This is not the Arthur of children’s books, although this is geared towards a younger audience.  This is an Arthur in a long line of Clauses.  He sets out on an expedition to save Christmas.  We love this movie, and even though animated for kids, there is plenty of great humor and the story is timeless.
  19. Serendipity  A day together and a semi-promise is made for 10 years later.  Relationships and love and Christmas all mixed up together.
  20. The Man Who Invented Christmas  My sons looked over this list, and reminded me about this one.  It is brand new from last year, and we all loved it, even my then 13 year old son.  It is the story about Charles Dickens writing the story of A Christmas Carol.  Very entertaining and fun to watch!  Add it to your holiday watch list!!Minions love holiday movies for teens!

Hope you guys are able to join your families and enjoy a night with great holiday movies with your teens soon!

Check out these other posts for the holidays:   Gift Guide for Teen Guys, Gift Guide for Teen Girls, Teen Stocking Stuffers, and Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays.

Have you checked out my parent toolkit for surviving high school?

Have you checked out my book, College Bound:  The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School?  Available on Amazon now!  Here’s the blog post all about it.

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49 Holiday Movies for Teens|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

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  1. So many great things are included in this edition. I like your new format and focus. The movie list is absolutely fabulous. I’m going to try all the recipes that you posted. Also love the link with budget friendly ideas for the holidays. You guys killed it! Thank you

    • Thanks! We have been working on making everything as user-friendly as possible, and link as much together as we can for you readers to follow. Glad you like all of our changes:)

  2. Thanks Mel! I’m ready for the holidays!!

    • Me too! I love every one of these movies!

  3. What a great list. My BF was the camera operator on Beetle Juice. It’s such a great movie and I have always loved the Adams Family. We watched the TV show in the 60s religiously.

    • Thank you! We love all of these, there are only a couple on the whole list that I haven’t read, but those were highly recommended by good friends. That’s really cool about your friend and Beetle Juice!

  4. Your GIFs always make me laugh out loud! If you are looking for an art film, Babette’s Feast is a classic. Subtitles and low action, but the story is incredible.

  5. What no ‘A Christmas Story’? I triple dog dare you to add it! Great list.


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