25 Not-Exactly-For-Kids Movies to Watch Before Christmas

Sometimes you have had all the dancing elves, singing animals and animated fun you can handle for one holiday season. So we have your solution! Grant, Justin and Kari shared their favorite, not-exactly-kid-friendly, holiday movies so you can keep your sanity just in time for the in-laws to arrive. 

A Christmas Story

Starring: Peter Billingsley

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Four Christmases

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn

A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas.

It's A Wonderful Life

Starring: James Steward, Donna Reed

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Home Alone

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation. There are five Home Alone films but the original actors are only in the first two. Those are our favorites.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Starring: Chevy Chase

The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.


Starring: Will Ferrell

After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity. (And NONE of the elves are animated!)

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Babes in Toyland

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Richard Mulligan, Keanu Reeves

A young girl wakes up in the realm of Toyland, where she teams up with her family and friends to overthrow the evil villain named, Barnaby.

The Santa Clause

Starring: Tim Allen

When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place. The series went on the produce 4 films, all of which have Tim Allen star as Santa Clause and keep majority of the same actors for major roles.

A Christmas Carol

Starring: Alastair Sim

An old bitter miser who makes excuses for his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve. There have been several remakes of this classic tale, including an animated film in 2012 with Jim Carrey as the voice of Scrooge.

The Holiday

Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Jingle All the Way

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad

A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. However, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.

Bad Santa

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid. A sequel was made with Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates in 2016. PS- This movie is definitely NOT for children. At all.

Batman Returns

Starring: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda. And it just so happens to be that all this takes place right around Christmas time. How holly jolly!


Starring: Bill Murray

A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Deck the Halls

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito

Two neighbors have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.


Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates

A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town on Christmas Eve.


Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette

A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a festive demon to his family home.

Love Actually

Starring: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel

A college student faces an impossible journey when he is left stranded in the desert, thousands of miles from home, with no money and only a few days left until Christmas.

Black Christmas

Starring: Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

An escaped maniac returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.

Daddy's Home 2

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow

Having finally gotten used to each other’s existence, Brad and Dusty must now deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays.

The Night Before

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Jillian Bell

On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

Office Christmas Party

Starring: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston

When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand.

A Madea Christmas

Starring: Tyler Perry, Chad Michael Murray, Tika Sumpter, Larry the Cable Guy

Madea dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on rural town when she’s coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas.

Lots of laughs and good, family values.

Die Hard

Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

If none of the others are “macho” enough for you, you can totally get away with claiming this one as a holiday film! John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

 *Most movie descriptions are copied from IMDb.com.

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