Holiday Down Time: Tips for your Next Family Holiday Movie Night

I was just texting the mom of one of my daughter's best friends--and during the conversation--we both admitted that the end of the 2nd nine week school grading period ending 5 days before Christmas is just a little overwhelming.  As we try to enjoy as much holiday cheer as possible--we also need to stay on top of last minute assignments, exams and end of the quarter projects.  Tonight (after dance class and color guard rehearsal and a couple of hours of school project work)--we are going to be settling in for some down time with a family holiday movie night.  On a Wednesday.  Because we need a little holiday cheer break.  We need a little family time.  What are our tips for you to use on your next family holiday movie night?

Choose the Right Holiday Movie for your Family--and Choose the Movie by "Drawing" From a Santa Hat or a Gift Bag to Make it Fun.  For us, this week, we need an old cartoon or a family friendly movie that we have seen hundreds of times.  Nothing that requires a lot of focus--or needs to end with a deep, heavy-duty, family discussion about the messages of the movies.  Nothing depressing and nothing too long or drawn out.  What movie options are going into our Santa Hat on slips of paper tonight?  Maybe next week, we will choose some old black and white movies or modern Christmas stories--but, this week--it's cartoons and memories. As a plus--cartoons are shorter than feature films and we could watch two or three of these movies tonight!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Frosty the Snowman

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Choose a cozy setting for the movie night.  While the family room is fine for movie watching--we will probably move our holiday movie night to my bedroom.  The kids, me, the husband (and probably a dog and a few cats) will head for pajamas, pile onto the bed or bean bag chairs on the floor and take a break from the usual!  Sometimes we move a tv out by the living room fireplace--and build a fire.   Since we have never had a "permanent" television in that room--it is always a fun break for the kids from the same old-same old.

Plan dinner and snacks.   Popcorn is a must--along with hot chocolate and lots of marshmallows for movie night.  We have also been known to order Chinese food and eat dinner in front of the t.v. while watching our movies.  Tonight, I see us breaking out some t.v. trays, eating Chinese noodles or Sweet & Sour Chicken and enjoying a bowl of buttered popcorn and hot cocoa.  Plan ahead and order food or make dinner in advance so that everything is ready at the start of the movie(s) and Mom (or Dad) isn't spending movie night in the kitchen!

Unplug and Turn off the Holiday To-Do List. I am not going to address Christmas cards or make a garland for the birds or wrap presents tonight.  No multi-tasking.  My attention is going to be devoted to the family and a couple of hours of holiday down time.  The cell phones are going into a bowl on the dining room table--and we are all going to unplug and turn off the holiday to-do lists and the demands of work and school.

Keep your Family Holiday Movie Night Simple.  Watch a movie, laugh with the kids--and turn off the outside demands for this one night.  Order takeout.  Skip the Snapchat, Facebook and the calendar.  All of your to-do lists will be there in the morning--and you will be just a little more refreshed to tackle those lists! And.  We skipped recommending fun crafts and activities and coloring sheets and special desserts and creative popcorn packages.  Because.  It's more than okay to take some holiday downtime. 

Enjoy your holiday down time and your family time.  Both are priceless.

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