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10 Quirky holiday movies to watch with your kids

Betsy is a life-long word nerd and movie lover; she's combined passions for parenting and pop culture in her position at Common Sense Media and is mom to two awesome kids.

Have some holiday family time with these seasonal movies

Sure, you can't go wrong with a tried-and-true classic holiday film, but plenty of other great flicks are out there for families looking for something a little quirkier this year.

Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, Shrek the Halls and Lost Christmas are only a few of the fabulously festive picks on this list that families will love. Happy holidays to all!

1. Arthur Christmas

Fabulous, funny holiday movie about the Christmas spirit.

  • Recommended for ages 5 and older
  • Quality: 4 out of 5 

Families can talk about how Arthur Christmas fits into the genre of holiday movies. How is this story different than other Santa-based movies?

2. Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas

Hallmark stars bring the funny to this sweet holiday special.

  • Recommended for ages 5 and older
  • Quality: 4 out of 5

Families can talk about holiday traditions. How do they reflect your family's cultural or religious background?

3. Casper's Haunted Christmas

A sweet and somewhat sophisticated holiday tale.

  • Recommended for ages 6 and older
  • Quality: 4 out of 5

Families can talk about Casper's quandary. Is it better to fulfill others' expectations for you or to follow your heart?

4. Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

Bizarre humor, high-speed antics and non-stop fun!

  • Recommended for ages 6 and older
  • Quality: 5 out of 5

Families can talk about greed and sharing. Did Pee-wee do the right thing by the end of the movie?

5. Shrek the Halls

Christmas in the swamp is great family fun.

  • Recommended for ages 6 and older
  • Quality: 4 out of 5

Families can talk about how seasonal specials like this one are marketed to families. Are they produced just to entertain kids? What would some of the studio's other goals be?

6. A Fairly Odd Christmas

Series-inspired TV movie is worry-free holiday fun for kids.

  • Recommended for ages 7 and older
  • Quality: 3 out of 5

Families can talk about Timmy's intentions. Why did he want to grant kids their wishes? What did Timmy learn about being a grown-up?

7. Journey to the Christmas Star

This Norwegian holiday fairy tale is fanciful and a little scary.

  • Recommended for ages 7 and older
  • Quality: 3 out of 5

Families can talk about Norwegian Christmas traditions. How do the traditions you saw in the film differ from your own?

8. A Christmas Story

A wonderful antidote to cutesy holiday tales (some swearing included).

  • Recommended for ages 8 and older
  • Quality: 5 out of 5

Families can talk about bullies. Why do kids act like bullies? Did Ralphie do the right thing by fighting Scott?

9. Ernest Saves Christmas

This goofy holiday movie is OK fun for families, knowwhatImean?

  • Recommended for ages 8 and older
  • Quality: 3 out of 5

Families can talk about different styles of comedy. How has comedy evolved? What kinds of topics are subject to humor now that weren't decades ago?

10. Lost Christmas

A mystical, heartwarming holiday tale with mature themes.

  • Recommended for ages 12 and older
  • Quality: 4 out of 5

Families can talk about what it means to "suspend disbelief." What does that term mean? How does it relate to this film?

Check out more weird and whacky holiday favorites — and see what holiday films are considered the best of the best — at Common Sense Media.

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