Come Hanukkah season, sometimes it feels like all the sleigh bells can drown out the dreidels, latkes, and other attendant Hanukkah fun. And whether or not Hanukkah was ever a particularly important holiday to you, it can be hard as a Jewish person not to feel competitive with the soaring Christmas spirit — especially when there are kids involved, for whom Santa and his many presents is a much easier sell than an eight-day holiday based around lighting candles. This year, no matter what your celebration looks like, we want to promise there’s still hope to get the whole family invested in some Hanukkah fun, through some good old-fashioned feel-good holiday movies. Are Hanukkah movies still a niche category within that genre? Absolutely, which is its own problem. But each and every one of these picks, from Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights to new Hallmark movie Love, Lights, and Hanukkah, was made with love.
We’re not here to pit Hanukkah against Christmas — given Hanukkah’s relatively minor status compared to other Jewish holidays like Passover, it wouldn’t make any sense to, and we also have nothing against Christmas. But there’s more inspiration and holiday magic to be found come December than just Santa’s trip down the chimney, and movies like Full-Court Miracle, An American Tail, and Mistletoe & Menorahs give a little glimpse of what the Jewish faith, culture, and experience has to offer.
Read on for the best Hanukkah movies for everyone in your family, from young kids and teens and yes, even for you.