Sometimes we get so busy preparing the best holiday for our families that we can forget to spend time with them and share some of the classics. No matter what we have planned, we need to spend time with those closest to us. Think back on your favorite childhood memories of the holidays, reading wonderful stories together, or watching Rudolph guiding Santa’s sleigh as he found homes for all the misfit toys.
Holiday Classics that Never Get Old
Take the time to recreate those memories and create new ones with your own kids. While The Night Before Christmas is best saved for Christmas Eve, there are several other books to read leading up to the big day. Several of the classic kid’s movies have book versions, such as A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. There also several advent style books, where you read a story a day until Christmas. A Story A Day ‘Till Christmas edited by Nan Roloff contains twenty four short stories, from folklore, to the Nativity story, to tales about Santa and his elves.
Many bookstores or stores with book departments also carry Christmas books themed to your home state. Santa is Coming To by Steve Smallman, illustrates all the cities and towns Santa and his reindeer visit as they journey through your state. You can make a fun activity out of finding your town, or ones you’ve visited. The kids can add in towns and landmarks not mentioned in the book.
Books to Delight Young & Old
If the kids are old enough, you can read a chapter every night of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It’s a great chance to expand the family vocabulary and include mini history lessons into family time as well. The story also teaches about loving and giving all year round, not just during Christmas time.
Now, that you’ve read some of the books, your family can settle down and watch some wonderful Christmas movie classics. You can create a theme and watch the movie versions of the books you’ve read or are reading. A Charlie Brown Christmas takes a fun but thoughtful look at the true meaning of Christmas. The classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a great sing along and also lets everyone know that they are unique and special just the way they are.
There are several version of A Christmas Carol, ranging from older versions starring George. C. Scott to The Muppets Christmas Carol. This musical version will delight kids of all ages and is a great alternative if the kids are too young for the book. Aside from Kermit the Frog and other Muppets staring in the movie, it is fairly accurate to the book. The songs are quite catchy and endearing as well.
Fun Movies to make us laugh
The Santa Clause series and Elf are great family movies that captures the childlike joy of the holidays that never gets old. They are also hilarious. Both evoke imagery from older, classic movies like Frosty and Rudolph and they both focus on the importance of family.
The holiday fun does not need to stop after the movie credits roll and the last page is read. Your family can share favorite moments and characters of the story. You can make and serve treats mentioned in the story. Buddy the elf from Elf loves anything sweet, so candy canes and hot chocolate are great choices. Cookies and milk are great for anything Santa related.
You can also incorporate the books and movies into your Christmas Eve traditions. Wrap up a movie, a book, or both along with new pajamas and a snack. Whatever movie or book is unwrapped can be enjoyed before bedtime. This might settle down younger kids who have trouble falling asleep while waiting for Santa.
Whatever the classics of movies and books you share with your family, remember that those moments are what they will remember in years to come. So, settle down with a festive story and let the holidays begin.