Merry Christmas! Doesn’t it feel fantastic to say? Or read rather? Christmas is a wonderful season where we can celebrate different family traditions, sample a wide variety of foods and holiday treats, gather as friends to party the night away playing games or enjoy a quiet evening as a family to read books or watch a holiday movie. The ladies here at Mommy Convos have listed their favorite family-friendly activities to do during the holiday. And boy to we have a list of things for you to watch, read and do!
I have sooo many Christmas movies that we love to watch so narrowing the list down is hard! These are the top five-ish movies our family HAS to watch. If you haven’t seen these movies- you are missing out and should see them quick!
1.) How the Grinch Stole Christmas– PG- the Jim Carrey version. My kids could watch this year round, but we limit it to just December for mommies sanity.
2.) Elf– PG- Will Ferrell embodies the innocents of a child perfectly and brings back the magic of Christmas to people who really need it. This is another movie my kids beg to watch year round. Jennica and Tiffaynee had this on their list too.
3.) The Santa Clause–and yes, all three dvd’s because each movie continues to fuel the magic of Christmas and bring the North Pole to life which is awesome.
4.) Jingle All the Way– If you have learned anything about me and my family reading my posts thus far it is this- I come from strong European heritage and we love superheroes. Jingle all the Way stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (an Austrian) and there is a special theme of superheroes in the storyline. Needless to say this movie is a family favorite. 😀
5.) Home Alone 1 & 2– PG- my kids call this movie, “The movie where the bad guys get hurt-lots.” I know my kids patiently watch this movie just so they can laugh hysterically for the very end when the bad guys get outsmarted and cruelly injured by the child defending his home from the burglars. *warning although PG there is some mild swearing.
Morgan’s Favorite Adult Movies
1.) The Holiday– PG-13- This all star cast of Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black have me rolling every time I watch this show. Seriously the best holiday show and turns out it’s only $5 on Amazon. Steal of a deal!
2.) Holiday in Handcuffs– ABC family movie with Melissa John Hart and Mario Lopez (ya know Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Slatter from Saved by the Bell) star in one of my favorite Adult Christmas movies. The unlikely duo run into some trouble over the holidays and it’s fabulous!
3.) Four Christmases– PG-13- Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn seriously crack me up in the movie of an adult couple avoiding their family for the holidays by telling an elaborate lie and getting caught. 🙂 It’s the best.
4.) A Royal Christmas– A wonderful Hallmark movie! If you are like me, and are a sucker for “Rags to Royalty” stories and also happen to love Jane Seymour- you’ll love this movie too.
Movies, games, and books are must-haves at our house regardless of the season. Whether it’s family night and we are battling it out with a dangerous game of Spoons, or reading stories to our little before bed each of these categories promotes family time together and that is something that we take full advantage of (especially when my hubby is home to join us). This year, we started a new tradition similar to the Elf on the Shelf (except this tradition isn’t creepy or make messes throughout my house haha.)
Star From Afar game:
My husband and I want to make sure our girls know and understand why we celebrate Christmas. While the gifts and everything are great, they aren’t what the season is about. This year we started a new tradition with the Star from Afar game and it has been a HUGE hit with our family. The Star from Afar is an adorable game that you play like an advent calendar as you count down the days until Christmas. With each set you receive a full wooden nativity scene and a story book. Every night the star is hidden and each morning kids gather their wise men to play hide-and-seek in search of the star. On Christmas morning the Three Wise Men reach their final destination when the star is found above the stable; leading them to their newborn king. We like to follow along in the storybook with the optional scriptures that are included for each day.
The purpose of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior and we love how this game brings that focus in a kid-friendly way. It will be a long-time tradition in our home that’s for sure!
Ever since I was little we have kept the family tradition to read a new Christmas story every year. Most of my siblings and I are grown and have families of our own and we look forward to receiving that new Christmas story so we can share it with our kiddos. Now that we have accumulated quite a few stories, we wrap up each one and use them as a little countdown to Christmas Eve where we get our new story to read before bedtime. Our top must-reads are listed below:
1.) The Polar Express by: Chris Can Allsburg – A loved favorite of a boy’s magical adventure to the North Pole.
2.) The Elves and the Shoemaker by: Jacob Grimm & Jim LaMarche – A wonderful Grimm fairytale of kindness and generosity with gorgeous paintings from Jim LaMarche.
3.) The Tale of Three Trees: a Traditional Folktale by: David C. Cooke – Though this is more of an Easter story, we love reading it during the holidays. It’s a great way to help kids understand Christ’s sacrifice and love for us, and the significance of his earthly mission.
4.) I Believe In Santa Claus by Diane G. Adamson – This is one of my absolute favorite books, holiday related or not. This explains why it’s perfectly ok to believe in Santa and the reasons behind the time-honored symbols of Christmas as it reflects on the true meaning of the season.
5.) The Missing Christmas Treasure by: Gale Sears – A story of a little boy’s search for his beloved Christmas decoration and why it is the most important decoration of all.
6.) C is for Christmas by: Tonya Skousen Arenaz – The cutest ABC book you’ve ever read, hands down. It has the most beautiful illustrations too!
7.) Humphrey’s First Christmas by: Carol Heyer – The untold story of a camel named Humphrey as he journeys with the three wise men who search for the Baby Jesus. Another of our favorites.
8.) Asleep on the Hay: A Dustbowl Christmas by: Ben Sowards – A sweet story of family, charity, and sacrifice.
9.) The Very First Christmas by: Suzanne Berry – A Hallmark Recordable Story about the birth of Christ
10.) A Letter to Santa by: Gaby Goldstock -A short poetic story of a little boy’s excitement and dream to be visited by Santa Claus.
11.) The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore – A classic Christmas story of the jolly elf himself.
12.) Disney Christmas Storybook Collection by: Elle D. Risco &
13.) Katie the Candy Cane Fairy by: Thomas Nelson – A story of kindness and sharing between sisters as they learn about their talents and the true meaning of Christmas.
14.) The Christmas Train: A True Story by: Thomas S. Monson – Pres. Monson recounts a Christmas story from his childhood and a valuable lesson he learned along the way.
15.) Maggie’s Miracle by: Karen Kingsbury – Now, this one is more for the mommies, but it is a beautiful story of love, hardship, loss and fate. I have read this story nearly every year since I received it for Christmas. It is wonderful! If you haven’t read the other stories in the Red Gloves Collection they are brilliant: Gideon’s Gift & Sarah’s Song
Tiffaynee’s Favorite Christmas Movies`
Aside from our love of books, we like to have regular family movie nights at our house and the holiday season is no exception! We always have something on the TV while we make cookies, wrap presents or snuggle together while devouring a giant bowl of homemade popcorn. These are a few of our holiday favorites. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
The Kid Holiday Collection
1.) The Nativity – This is one of my favorite versions of the Christmas story. It’s a tradition in our house to watch it on Christmas Eve every year and we love it.
2.) Polar Express – One of our kids’ absolute favorites. They would watch it every day if we let them haha.
3.) The Grinch – I love the story of the Grinch! I remember being so excited when this Jim Carrey version came out that we watched it probably 10 times during that season. An absolute must during the holidays!
4.) Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Another one of our kids’ favorites, for sure.
5.) Miracle on 34th Street – Both this 90’s version and the classic 1947 version are so fun to watch. I grew up in the 90’s so I suppose I’m partial to the latest version, but nothing beats the classic. (Though I’ve only seen it all the way through twice haha.)
The Adult Holiday Collection
6.) Jack Frost – Not many people I know have seen this little gem, but if you’re a Michael Keaton fan and want to have a good laugh (and maybe even shed a few tears) this one is for you!
7.) Elf – Even though I’m not a huge Will Farrell fan (I know, my husband thinks I’m nuts), this movie is so cute and funny that we make sure to watch it every year. I love the youthful spirit of the film that reminds you to step back and believe in the magic of Christmas. The holiday is s much more magical that way, don’t you think?
8.) Hallmark Holiday Romance Pack – I am a sucker for a good Hallmark movie! A Christmas Kiss and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year are our favorites here. I can even get my hubby to watch them without the ominous eye roll! Though he knows he’s stuck watching it anyways haha. 😉
For the kids, I would have to agree with everyone and say watching Elf is a must! I would add:
1.) How the Grinch Stole Christmas – the cartoon version and real version are awesome.
2.) Charlie Brown Christmas is a timeless cartoon.
And for the adults: 1.) A Christmas Story– because it’s a classic.
“Elf” is hilarious and worth watching again, and It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic tradition! Since I’m not a huge movie-girl, I gotta share what we do for the holidays instead. Christmas vacation is a perfect time to play games with friends and family, right? I highly recommend some great books and each of these games!
As for books at our house, these are the three that stand out! Llama Llama Holiday Drama is so cute I always want to read it twice and my kids are always obliged! Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear is just a cute little story, nothing fancy, but we like it! Christmas in my Heart is sweet to put a little more meaning into lazy Christmas season moments you have to snuggle by the Christmas lights. We just got it a few weeks ago and have yet to finish it, but it just has some cute, heartwarming stories that are perfect for a little snuggle time this season. They are too complex for my kids, but great for adults.
Jennica’s Favorite Games:
We’ve had Blurt for many years and have played it probably 50 times in our married life! Its so easy to pull out with any crowd and play a couple rounds. There’s no learning curve, you can just start playing with friends after dinner, a youth group, or with extended family. The rules are simple: 1.) Begin the round by rolling the dice. One at a time, each player will read a simple definition card like, a dried-up grape. The first person to blurt out the word- raisin!- moves ahead however many spaces were rolled on the die for that round. You can play a round in about 10-15 minutes, or what usually ends up happening, is that everyone wants to play again! Highly recommend this game, and only $15 here on Amazon!
So there you have it friends–
Mommy Convos Team