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Family Life: What Christmas Holiday Movies Teach about Family Life



What Christmas Holiday Movies Teach about Family Life

By Rachel Schmoyer

Merry Christmas from the Schmoyer family! Every Friday night our family has pizza and movie night. This past month as we watched our favorite Christmas movies, I challenged my husband, Tim, and our four kids to think about what each movie teaches about family life. I collected our responses so I could share them with you here:


Home Alone with Macaulay Caulkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, 1990. Kevin accidently gets left at home while his family flies to Paris over Christmas.

Molly, age 8, says “Don’t be afraid to talk to your family if they are mad at you.”

Nathaniel, age 13, says, “Even if your family is annoying, they still love you and it is vital to have them around.”


How the Grinch Stole Christmas directed by Chuck Jones with voice talents of Boris Karloff, 1966. From the book by Dr. Seuss’s book.

Rachel says, “We don’t need stuff to have a great Christmas celebration.”

Evelyn, age 11, says, “Don’t be greedy. You need to be selfless not selfish.”


The Nativity Story. This live-action movie made in 2006 tells the biblical story of Mary and Joseph and how they travel to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth.

Rachel says, “Mary and Joseph were just ordinary people chosen to serve the Lord. My family doesn’t need to be extraordinary in order to please God. We simply need to trust Him and obey Him.”

Tim commented about the movie’s portrayal of Mary and Joseph and their transition from strangers in an arranged marriage to partners in the Lord’s plan. “Selfless acts lead to trust which leads to intimacy.”


Elf with Will Ferrell, 2003. A rather tall adopted Elf leaves the North Pole in search of his biological family.

Nathaniel, age 13, says, “Even if someone is distant and you don’t know them, you should still get together with them; they’re your own kin.”


Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Burl Ives, 1964. Just like the song says, Rudolph feels like he doesn’t fit into the reindeer community because he has a red, glowing nose. After running away from home, he eventually finds his way back and becomes a hero lighting the way for Santa’s sleigh.

Caroline, age 9, says “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Molly, age 8, says, “Don’t run away! Even if you hate your life, you are better off with your family.”


The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine, 1992. Gonzo (a.k.a Charles Dickens) tells the story of A Christmas Carol complete with Kermit as Bob Cratchit.

Molly, age 8, says, “Be generous and care for others.”

Tim says, “Show kindness to family members who aren’t very loveable. Even if they aren’t fun to be with, they are still family.”

What are some of your family’s favorite Christmas movies? What do they teach you about family?

Meet the Author


Rachel Schmoyer is a pastor’s wife and mom of four. She blogs about finding simple truths in complex passages of Scripture at Read the Hard Parts. She also writes about parenting and other adventures at Rachel Schmoyer Writes. If she is not writing, she is probably reading, most likely a biography of one of the First Ladies of the United States.

You can connect with Rachel online at Twitter.

You can read Rachel's "Family Life" column the 4th Monday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.


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