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15 Christmas Short Films to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

The Christmas season is the perfect time to snuggle up under a warm blanket and indulge in a movie-watching spree. There’s something about this holiday that makes us yearn to watch heartwarming and feel-good movies centered around the theme of Christmas. A lot of you, in fact, might have already sorted out the Christmas movies to watch this year. And that’s perfectly fine. However, we have something else on offer, too, that you might want to check out.

Here, we have presented some of the best Christmas-themed short films that will help you get into the holiday spirit. These shorts will make you smile, laugh, and cry, and remind you once again of the significance of Christmas and the joy it spreads. So, get your mug of hot cocoa and savor these Christmas short films.

1. A Christmas Dream (1946)

Runtime: 8 minutes 

Long before the Toy Story movies made a place in our hearts, it was this little black-and-white film that touched on a similar theme. Directed by Borivoj Zeman and Karel Zeman, ‘A Christmas Dream’ is the story of an old-fashioned toy that has been discarded by its owner, a little girl, who has received a whole new bunch of presents for Christmas. One winter night, as the girl is sleeping, the ragdoll comes to life and tries to convince her, with various funny shenanigans, that he still deserves a place in her life. Whether it’s a dream or not is left for the viewer to decide.

The film has a lovely message and will resonate even with adults. 

2. On the Twelfth Day... (1955)

Runtime: 20 minutes 

This Oscar-nominated short film, directed by Wendy Toye, is a delightful interpretation of the classic Christmas carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”. In that famous song, the singer boasts about all the cool gifts they received from their “true love” during the 12 days of Christmas – from a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming. 'On the Twelfth Day' does a fun take on that memorable song.

Set in a picturesque corner of Edwardian London, this is the story of a smitten woman who is to be presented with all the gifts listed in The 12 Days of Christmas by her true love. While the characters say virtually nothing, the film is visually stunning and colorful and filled with charming music. It’s almost like a love letter to the days of black-and-white silent comedy and will have you smiling brightly till the very end.

3. A Christmas Carol (1971)

Runtime: 25 minutes 

A Christmas Carol is undoubtedly one of the most popular Christmas stories of all time. This 1971 short film is a wonderful animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic tale. Directed by the late Richard Williams  - regarded as the greatest animator of all time -  the film tells the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, an elderly miser, who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come on Christmas eve. 

The animation is rich and the screenplay stays faithful to Dickens' unforgettable story. This overlooked yet amazing Christmas short even won an Oscar and deserves more recognition.

See Also: The 8 Feel-Good Movies That Will Surely Lift Your Mood

4. The Snowman (1982)

Runtime: 25 minutes 

'The Snowman' is widely considered to be the best Christmas-themed short film ever made. The story is pretty simple: a young boy builds a snowman on Christmas Eve, only for it to come to life that night and take him to the North Pole to meet Father Christmas.

This magical animated short is directed by Jimmy T. Murakami and Dianne Jackson and is a staple film of the holidays for countless families. The animation is simple and beautiful and the visuals are compelling. There’s no dialogue in the film but the incredibly imaginative journey that ends with a profound message will certainly touch anyone’s heart.

5. The Lunch Date (1989)

Runtime: 12 minutes 
This Oscar-winning short film directed by Adam Davidson tells the story of a 50-something woman who, during the holiday season, wants to catch a train but misses it. To make matters worse, she realizes that she has lost her wallet and has very little money left. The woman then goes to a café and orders a salad.

However, when she leaves the table and returns, she finds a homeless man sitting there, eating her salad. What follows is an interesting interaction between the two culminating in a charming twist. The 'Lunch Date' is a wholesome short film reminding us yet again that the holiday season is all about sharing and caring.

See Also: 10 Perfect Movies for You to Feel That Christmas Spirit

6. The Night Before Christmas (2012)

Runtime: 5 minutes 

'The Night Before Christmas' is a simple short with a powerful message. It’s the story of a man who, on the night before Christmas, is forced to commit a desperate act. Directed by DC Kasundra, the film touches on the theme of morality during the holiday season and has an excellent soundtrack. While it is just 5 minutes long with no dialogue, The Night Before Christmas tends to challenge our notions of right and wrong and has a beautiful message of not judging people by what they seem to be doing.

7. Come Together (2016)

Runtime: 4 minutes 

Wes Anderson is known for making bright and vibrant films with quirky characters and stunning visuals. He does all that and more in this four-minute short film as well. 'Come Together' is set aboard a train during Christmas time. It follows a conductor who, after realizing that the train will be delayed due to adverse weather conditions and mechanical difficulties, will have to give the passengers the bad news that they won’t be able to make it home in time for Christmas celebrations. Eventually, the passengers on the train get over their disappointment and come together to share the joys of the holiday.

It’s a beautifully-shot short movie with a lot of heart that features a diverse set of characters and will stay with you long after the movie has ended.

8. The Supporting Act (2017)

Runtime: 2 minutes 

'The Supporting Act' is a two-minute animated short film that follows a 10-year-old girl who’s practicing her dance routine for her school’s Christmas recital. Her main goal is to get the attention of her father and make him watch her performance. However, the dad always appears to be too busy with his work and has no time for her practice. Or does he?

This adorable and joyful animated movie is full of warmth and tenderness. The animation style of the film is also quite unique. While the characters were animated with the traditional stop-motion technique, their facial expressions were created and mapped on puppets with the help of CGI. The Supporting Act is a colorful and heartfelt holiday film that is bound to leave you teary-eyed.

9. Christmas Spirit (2019)

Runtime: 10 minutes

Short Christmas movies just don’t get any better than this! 'Christmas Spirit' is a humbling, heartbreaking, and tear-jerking story about a man who’s coming to terms with the loss of his wife, who died while giving birth to their first child more than a decade ago. On one Christmas day, his son tries to help him deal with his grief in his own unique way. 

The film deals with the subject of grief maturely while also touching our heartstrings with its wonderful message

See Also: 8 Lesser-Known Christmas Movies You Must Watch This Year

Really Short Christmas Movies to Enjoy With Your Family

Don’t have time to invest even 15 minutes in watching videos this busy holiday season? Don’t worry. Here, we have some really short Christmas movies that are all less than five minutes long. Snuggle up with your loved ones and enjoy!

10. The Gift (2019)

Runtime: 4 minutes

'The Gift' offers a simple, but profound, message to us all at this time of year. The story takes place in a lavish mansion whose residents seemingly have it all. There’s just a little problem – all of them have iron shackles on their wrists and are not allowed to leave their mansion. Just before Christmas, they receive packages with instructions for a way out of the chains. But to get their freedom, they must let go of all the comforts they’re used to. What will they do?

11. Love Is a Gift (2014)

Runtime: 2 minutes

Some short Christmas movies just stir your soul and make you emotional. 'Love Is a Gift' is about a man who, while dealing with a loss, counts the down the days to Christmas. All he wants is to continue a yearly holiday tradition – of listening to his mother’s audio tapes addressed to him. This a moving film that reminds us about the most profound form of happiness in our lives.

12. Stella: No One Should Be Alone at Christmas (2020)

Runtime: 2 minutes

For many of us, Christmas is undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year. Unfortunately, for millions of older people, this season can also be a painful reminder of dealing with loneliness. This heart-touching animated short tells the story of Stella, an older woman spending Christmas on her own, who finds a surprising new friend to give her company. In just 2 minutes, this beautiful film makes us realize just how big a difference even a small gesture can make.   

13. The Letter (2018)

Runtime: 2 minutes

'The Letter' is a story that reminds us that Christmas is about giving, not receiving. An old postman discovers an undelivered letter that a young boy had wanted to send his grandpa many years ago during Christmas. Upon reading it, he realizes he must do everything he can to make the boy’s wish come true.

14. Believe (2020)

Runtime: 4 minutes

Here’s another charming Christmas short that will touch your heart. 'Believe' is about a homeless pup who, on a freezing Christmas night, encounters the big man in the red suit. His life changes that Christmas Eve, and so does the life of a young boy. 

This inspiring video captures the love and goodwill toward men and animals during the holidays. Pet owners will especially enjoy this.

15. Believe in Christmas (2020)

Runtime: 2 minutes

In this touching animated short, we meet an elderly man who is living in a senior living home. His granddaughter comes to visit him often, but she can feel that a piece of him is missing, and he can’t seem to find happiness. Then, during Christmas, she works out what he’s been struggling with inside and makes sure he has it on the special day. 

Keep your tissues ready because this one is sure to get those tears rolling.

Share these short films with your friends and family!

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