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How to enjoy Christmas movies at home this holiday season

Dec 01, 2023 01:09PM ● By Holly Curby

There is something magical about Christmas movies, but you may be surprised to hear there are different ways to watch movies, important factors in setting the right ambience, and even benefits to your health as result.

Whether gathering with friends, family, or coworkers to catch a flick, or simply getting a little you time, the following are some twists on movie watching this holiday season: 

1. Host a watch party. Create themed snacks and drinks. If including kids, and depending on their ages, you could include a fun craft, print off coloring sheets, or even build gingerbread houses before or during the movie. You could even start the evening with a game of bingo or Pictionary with answers all theme related to the movie.

2. Organize a giving back night. Fundraise for a cause you are passionate about by charging  admission. This could be monetary or donated items such as socks, coats or blankets to the local homeless shelter. If your group has a special talent or skill you could get together and work on a project for a nonprofit while watching the movie together. My  mom used to gather with her friends to sew robes and hats for breast cancer patients at Huntsman Cancer Institute. You’ll be able to enjoy the movie and time together all while giving to a good cause.

3.  Make it a get it done night. Plan your menu for the next week or two, address your 

Christmas cards and get them sent out, or maybe even just wrap Christmas presents while you watch a movie as a family.

4. Have a game night. Do you have those movies that your kids love to watch but you can’t bear to sit through one more time? Invite another family over and while the kids are watching the movie, the adults can play board games. Perhaps even start with dinner so that you have an all-group activity before dividing into movie and games.

No matter how you approach your movie watching night be sure to set the scene:

• Have plenty of warm blankets and pillows accessible.

• Encourage those watching with you to come in their jammies or wear their favorite sweater. You could even have a favorite Christmas jammies or sweater prize. Perhaps even give a little swag to each guest of comfy socks to wear during the movie.

• Turn the lights down low, have mood lighting of hanging twinkling lights, allow the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree and decor to be on, put night lights in the outlets, a couple of well-placed lamps throughout the room, candles lit and safely placed about, or use diffusers with certain scents to help set the scene/feel of the movie.

• Plug in that space heater or build/turn on the fireplace. Your goal should be that of a comfy cozy ambience.

Now for those who struggle with taking time to sit and watch a movie, news outlet, Mirror, reveals three benefits to your health and relationships of watching Christmas movies:

1.  They can bring us some much-needed festive cheer

2. They help reduce levels of stress and anxiety

3. When watched with someone else, movies can strengthen your relationship, from a love interest to a family member. 

As to what movie to watch as you sit back and kick up your feet, here are some of our family’s favorites based on what mood we are in:

• . Our all-time favorites are “Christmas with the Kranks” and “Elf.” These are both hilarious films that get you laughing and are great for the family viewing enjoyment.

• Looking for the movie with the Best Quotes? “Lampoons Christmas Vacation” will leave you reciting the script for years to come. Caution, there are a couple of “adult” scenes you may want to skip, should little ears be in the room. After watching this movie you might realize your relatives aren’t so bad after all.

• For those marathon nights the “Home Alone” trilogy as well as “Santa Claus” trilogy are all festive, and full of family fun.

• Want the warm and fuzzy feels? “Miracle on 34th Street” (the Disney 1994 version, not the older one). From the peaceful music, the adorable little girl, and the sweet story line, this movie leaves you cheering on and “believing” in the end. It’s also sprinkled with a little romance in there too. 

• Because it IS a Christmas movie: “Die Hard 2.” Enough said—although probably not one to watch with children.

• Want some oldies but goodies? Try “Holiday Inn” and “White Christmas.”  Such sweet and innocent times.  Heads up, Holiday Inn is a black and white film, but the dancing in both are quite spectacular and of course both may leave you feeling a little more patriotic too.

• For something that takes me back to my childhood I watch “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” This is a short movie (under an hour) and is one that anyone who has ever had their child in a play or ever directed a children’s program is sure to relate.

• Last, but not least, for those times when you are multitasking and simply want something on to distract the kiddos: “Jingle All The Way,” “Deck the Halls” (2006 with Danny Devito), and “The Grinch” are good ones. I’m sure parents can relate with the task of finding that must-have present as in “Jingle All The Way,” been witness to some “Deck the Halls” Christmas light battles, and "The Grinch”—well, it’s just a classic.

Do you have a favorite Christmas movie missing from the list above? I’d welcome you to share with me your favorite Christmas movies on Facebook @hollyshighlights or on Instagram @hollycurby. Whatever you decide to watch this time of year, and however you decide to watch it—may you and yours have a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a wonderful movie watching night. λ