Classic Christmas Specials & Movies to Brighten Seniors’ Holidays
Looking for a classic Christmas special or movie to share with a senior this holiday season? If so, you’re not alone. After all, it can be tough to pick out the perfect Christmas gift for an elderly family member. When you’ve lived as long as our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have, material gifts fall by the wayside to good company and warm memories.
But in the internet age, it’s now easier than ever to make those warm memories a gift of their own. By finding the classic Christmas specials and movies your loved one grew up with, you can open a door to merry and bright Christmas mornings from decades past.
To help, Visiting Angels has compiled a list of classic Christmas movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age, plus classic Christmas specials from radio and TV. We hope this list will make it easy to find a long-lost favorite from your loved one’s younger years and bring warmth to your home this holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Classic Christmas Movies
The 40s and 50s were the Golden Age of Hollywood. So, it’s no surprise that they were also the Golden Age of tinsel in Tinseltown. While some of the most well-known classics of this period still receive regular airings on TV, others live on in the memories of those who first fell in love with Christmas while watching them.
- Holiday Inn (1942)
Remembered for “White Christmas”, this Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire film has stood the test of time.
- Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Barbara Stanwyck strives to impress her boss and a war hero in this romantic holiday comedy.
- A Christmas Carol (1951)
The definitive on-screen adaptation of Scrooge’s fateful Christmas Eve.
- It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)
Christmas Eve and the spirit of giving play a central role in this classic holiday favorite.
- Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
A heart-warming family story most famous for Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1947)
A flop at the time of its release, this immortal classic has won over generation after generation since.
Classic Christmas TV Specials
Many seniors came of age as television first became a truly national phenomenon. As a result, many of the TV specials thought of most fondly by older family members come from TV’s first big decade, from 1950 to 1960. While it can be hard to track down some of these specials, many of them are available for streaming as single episodes online.
- The Andy Griffith Show: Christmas Story (1960)
This heart-warming special episode shows that the Christmas spirit can be found anywhere.
- I Love Lucy!: The “I Love Lucy!” Christmas Show (1956)
One of the first and most beloved of TV’s Christmas special episodes.
- The Donna Reed Show: A Very Merry Christmas (1958)
A classic special about how Christmas inspires in the best in everyone.
- The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971)
America’s greatest variety show was a stage for some of the 50s most memorable Christmas performances.
Classic Christmas Radio Specials
While classic Christmas TV specials and movies are often easy to find each holiday season, it’s been tough until recent years to find classic radio specials from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. But it’s now easy to find older Christmas radio specials, many of which are available for free online.
Here are a selection of specials from some of the most popular radio shows of Christmas past:
- Six Shooter (1953)
Jimmy Stewart guest stars in this Western take on ‘A Christmas Carol.’
- Dragnet (1949)
A boy and his gift go missing on Christmas in this popular Dragnet special.
- Blondie (1939)
A Christmas card mix-up leads to hijinks for Dagwood and Blondie.
- The Whistler (1951)
A detective story set against the backdrop of Christmas Eve in Panama City.
Take the worry out of the holiday season this year with care from your local Visiting Angels.