When it comes to getting into the Holiday Spirit, one great way to do this is to watch your favorite movies. ABC Family generally does this for the month of December. They show a different holiday movie each night. A nightly movie might be a bit much but picking an evening and watching a series of movies together as a family might be right up your alley. Movies like “Home Alone” and “The Santa Claus” are actually decent movie series. Meaning they didn’t get worse as sequels were made. Don’t forget all the classic clay-mation Christmas specials you probably enjoyed as a kid!
Accessing Movies for Reduced Cost or Free
- Record- If you have cable and can find out when these movies air on television you could just record them and watch them at your leisure.
- Rent- You could try renting these and stream them online at Amazon.com.
- Stream- If you have Netflix, see if the titles are available to you. They may be available on Hulu.com for free or as part of their membership on Hulu plus.
- Movie Box or Shop- Check out your local Red Box to see if they have loaded seasonal movies for you. You rent the movies for $1.
Thrifty Movie Snacks
1.Popcorn- You can always microwave popcorn, you can make it yourself on the stove top. Check out this recipe for green and red popcorn from The Yummy Life. These little popcorn boxes from Amazon are super cute!!
2.Movie Candy- Movie candy may be $3.50 a pop at your local theater but you can get the same small boxes from your local grocery store, drug store or even dollar store. They generally cost around $1 each. Get each person their favorite candy so they can have their own. You can also order 12 packs on Amazon for around $1 per box! See Amazon candy options below.
Creating Your Own Theater
- Make a Pallet- Something my husband enjoys when watching movies is creating a comfy pallet on the floor of blankets and pillows. That way you can enjoy the movie lying down. You can simply make a stack of blankets on the floor with pillows from each person’s bed or you can pull out the inflatable mattresses from the attic and create a comfy spot on the floor for movie watching.
I kind of love these pillow pallets you can order on Amazon!
- Get out the sleeping bags. If your kids have issues all piled together, then give them each their own space. Let them drag out their sleeping bags and pillows. This way if they fall asleep during the movie, you can just leave them there. This may help prevent any sibling arguments as well.
- Consider reading my post on How To Throw an Indoor Movie Party for even more fun ideas!
Set Yourself Up For Success
- As with most things, life isn’t always sunshine and roses. The truth is, getting your kids to participate in calm movie watching evening may be harder than it sounds. There are lots of ways to make this a smooth fun, family activity but it will take some planning.
- Pick a Movie- If you have more than one kid and you know letting the kids pick a movie is fight waiting to happen, then make an executive decision and pick the movie yourself.
- Kids Have to Earn Concessions- You can make the movie candy, soda or popcorn a chore based incentive. Let your kids know that Friday is family movie night and they have all week to earn “Santa Bucks” or whatever you want to call them. They can use the Santa Bucks they earn to buy concessions for the movie from you. This way, they are working to earn money as well as find a reward at the end.
- Let the Kids Create the Theater- If you have creative kids give them 30 minutes to design a comfy theater for the family while you prep the movie and snacks.
- Bathroom Breaks– Get the kids to all use the restroom before the movie starts.
- Avoid Sugar- If you have kids that you know can’t handle sugar or candy dyes, just don’t do it! Movie candy may sound fun, but you know what works and what doesn’t. Set yourself up for a successful evening without any family arguments. Just make popcorn and some kind of juice or beverage that doesn’t cause your kid to lose control. Family night is better spent with content kids than kids hopped up on sugar who just can’t handle it.
Great Movies to Consider:
- Home Alone 1 or 2
- The Santa Clause 1, 2 or 3 (I love Martin Short).
- Harry Potter Series
- Miracle on 34th Street
- The Grinch
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Charlie Brown
- A Christmas Carol
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol (Disney)
- Narnia Movies (Always Winter, Never Christmas)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
- The Night They Saved Christmas
Amazon has some great movie combo packs with a nice thrifty price tag!
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Kim’s is the party planning, cupcake loving, celebration catalyst behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. Kim was a pro event planner for over 7 years before she became a full-time blogger. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day and more! Kim aims to inspire you to create parties, celebrations and gatherings that everyone loves!