In our house, Movie Night is Friday night. It’s been going strong for about a year. The girls live and die by movie night. We don’t normally let them watch TV or have screen time in the afternoons, especially before bed, so Movie Night is particularly exciting. It’s a throw-the-rules-out-the-window kind of night. Not only do we let them watch movies, they usually stay up way past their bedtimes to see their selection through until the end. And we let them eat snacks by the handful on the couch— which is normally a no-no too. So what if I have to clean up a few million crumbs at the end of the night?
We used to be all about popcorn on Movie Night but lately, we’ve been mixing things up with Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®. Mike and I love the Garlic Parmesan while Mazzy and Harlow’s favorite is the Original flavor. Have you ever spread some chocolate or peanut butter on a Pretzel Crisp? It’s DELICIOUS. My family must not be the only ones who do this because we just discovered their holiday flavors— Dark Chocolate & Peppermint and White Chocolate & Peppermint.
Yes, that’s pieces of candy cane stuck in the chocolate. It’s a hotly contested debate in my house but I’m just going to go ahead and say, I like the white chocolate better.
The only stress of Movie Night is deciding what movie the girls are going to watch. Sometimes they are on the same page (“SING!!!!!!!”) but other times, trying to get them to agree is a power play of epic proportions. I usually tell them that I am not doling out snacks until they reach a decision which hurries them along to common ground. When they’ve settled on the couch with their snack of choice in their lap, Movie Night officially begins and peace starts to descend over the Wiles household.
When it started, Movie Night was more about giving the kids something to do so that Mike and I could relax and not have to deal with them. We both had the work week behind us, a weekend of kid-centric activities in front of us and Movie Night was a way to take the evening off in the middle. This was back when Mazzy and Harlow would watch only animated movies and didn’t mind viewing each one a billion times. I love Moana but I only need to see it once or twice. On the 67th viewing, I’ll be in the other room doing something else, thank you very much.
Recently, Movie Night dynamic has shifted because the kids’ entertainment tastes are growing up and the movies they like to watch have expanded beyond cartoon trolls and princesses. They also like the live version of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Descendants and Alice in Wonderland. Once they started watching live action movies, Mike and I realized that we could start to introduce them to the movies we loved as a kid— Goonies, ET, and Star Wars.
Sadly, both ET and Star Wars were considered too scary and we had to turn them off. The resolution on Goonies was so bad that we couldn’t even watch it. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was so boring, it could not hold the kids’ attention. Harry and the Hendersons was more inappropriate than I remembered. The one movie so far that both kids seem to love is the original Parent Trap.
Turns out, finding a family movie sweet spot is not as easy as I thought it would be, but with the holidays approaching, that opens up a whole new arena of holiday-centric movies. In previous years, we’ve watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, I think we might be able to move on to holiday movies like Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone, and Elf.
We might not be in Bad Santa territory quite yet but the future of Movie Night is becoming clear. Instead of it being something to get the kids to be quiet and out of our way, it’s becoming something we can all do as a family. Cuddled under a blanket on the couch, passing bowls of Pretzel Crisps® between us and enjoying the window of time between the work week and the weekend, all together.
Plus, since the kids will be off from school, maybe we can make Movie Night a little more frequent than once a week.
I’m giving away a Movie Night prize pack that includes two cases of Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, including the new holiday flavors. Pretzel Crisps® are made with simple ingredients, using no artificial colors or preservatives, so it’s a better-for-you snack that I feel good about giving my kids. They are great for dipping, topping or pairing with other foods, whether it be as an after-school snack, mixed into a festive holiday treat or poured into a big bowl for family Movie Night.
To enter, just leave a comment below telling me your favorite family holiday movie that you can’t/couldn’t wait to introduce to your kids! (I’m just looking for recommendations, obviously.)
Winner will be announced on December 22nd. Good luck!
Congratulations to Susan Harter! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!
My baby is only ten months old but I am looking forward to the day when we can snuggle up on the couch with snacks and a holiday movie. My favorite holiday story that I want to watch with Lauren is A Christmas story!!! I remember watching it with my family when I was a kid 🎅🏼❄️⛄️
Im so looking forward to watching Holiday movies with my nephews, Snack Factory Pretzels are a staple in my sisters home – the bag never gets closed!
Man, I was so excited to watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas with my almost-three-year-old because I loved it when I was a kid and watched it a billion times. I was surprised to find that every other sentence was someone calling Charlie Brown stupid. We ended up having a conversation about how those kids weren’t very nice. At least the music was good! We might try White Christmas but I’m braced for more surprises…
Re Charlie Brown and all the name-calling—yes!! We did The Great Pumpkin this year, and even though the kids kept asking for it again, I said no. Name-calling every thirty seconds! Not a habit I want them picking up.
The original Anne of Green Gables miniseries but so far my 8 year old shows no interest. One of these day, I hope!
Home Alome was a big hit when we added it to the holiday rotation! As was Elf. But no matter what, my kids love to watch White Christmas over and over, which is fine by me. Like their mama, my Jewish kids love that Christmas movie :).
I cannot wait until my kids can watch Home Alone and A Christmas Story! We are in the sweet spot with our oldest in regards to movies, but still a ways to go with the two year old. Happy holidays!
The Santa Clause 1,2 and 3. They are my favorite! This year I think my daughter will enjoy them also!
A Christmas Story! My 6 year loves physical comedy and I can almost hear him laughing at the part where Ralphie has the dream sequence of fighting the robbers wiu his B.B. gun
They absolutely love The Polar Express. It means hot chocolate with their snowman mugs and Christmas cookies.
We also watch/listen to Fantasia on Christmas morning while we open presents. I know it’s not Christmas themed, but the music is beautiful and gives us a bit of a break from the Christmas music.
Hands down, the Christmas movies that have become a family tradition to watch, and ones I couldn’t wait for all my kids to be old enough to enjoy are A Christmas Story and A Christmas Carol.
Nightmare Before Christmas is a personal favorite. And both adults and kids can enjoy it!
My girls (6, 5 and 4) love the Hallmark movie “One Christmas Eve”. We watch it allllll year long. In the car, in the house, on vacation lol.
We’re in the same boat: we have a 7 year old boy and 3 year old girl so movie choices they both like are limited! We’ve done the original parent trap, home alone, pete’s Christmas (think Groundhog Day but with kids on Christmas. Found it on Netflix), dispicable me 3 and we’ve thought about a Christmas story (but bullying and a rifle… undecided) — the live version is coming December 17! I know some of those listed aren’t holiday movies, but I figured other suggestions are also welcome!
Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas. It’s a Jim Henson creation very few people have seen. It’s perfect for Mazzy and Harlow at their ages.
Oh goodness, one of my absolute favourites! I grew up without a TV, and this is pretty much the only Christmas movie I knew until I was an adult. Such a great movie, and I love watching it every year (on VHS, of course!).
My son is 6 1/2 (the half is VERY important). We’re excited to introduce Home Alone this year. So glad he’s in to live-action movies; we have a lot of ground to cover!
The Santa Clause.
Rudolph, Home Alone, and Charlie Brown are my favorites!
I couldn’t wait to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, and A Christmas Story with my daughter. Unfortunately she thought Ralphie was boring but I won back some points with Home Alone. She thought Kevin’s ideas were clever and I liked that it was slightly scary enough that she wanted to cuddle but not too scary that she didn’t like it. However, she’s quite disappointed with the selection of Chanukah movies. Adam Sandler needs to make more and incorporate his music.
My favorite Christmas movie as a kid, which was How the grinch stole Christmas! And ELF!
Since we introduced our 4 year old daughter to Home Alone it has been playing non-stop at our house. Of course we also love How the Grinch Stole Christmas…both the original and Jim Carrey’s version.
BTW, we LOVE Pretzel Crisps! They are such a great snack. Have you tried the Sriracha ones with Supremely Spicy Hummus? OMG! I am soooo addicted!
We don’t celebrate Christmas but every year the kids love watching the Mickey Mouse Christmas movies – Once Upon a Christmas, Twice Upon a Christmas and A Christmas Carol. I tried to watch Elf with them last night but they all fell asleep and I ended up watching it myself. I love that movie!
Rugrats Chanukah episode where Anjelica says “Hhhhanukkah. You have to “hhhh” when you say it!”
We are looking forward to the classics this year, Frosty, Grinch, and Rudolf. My kids are still pretty young. But we did introduce Homeward Bound with the talking dogs and it was a big hit. We also love cheesecake dip with our pretzel crisps!
Elf is one of my favorites and has become a favorite of our 5 year old! We haven’t introduced A Christmas Story quite yet….maybe next year! 🙂
Our favorites are Home Alone, The Santa Clause, and Jingle all the Way. Our little one is only 2 so we are still into the Animated Movies for now but cannot wait to introduce her to our favorites!
After Home Alone you need to add Home Alone 2 Lost in NY! They would probably get a kick out of seeing the sights of the city from back then lol!
My daughter is 5 1/2. Last year I introduced The Snowman, an English favorite of mine from when I was a kid in Ireland. She loved it. This year, I think the next one on my list will be Prancer. She has not seen it yet, and I remember really enjoying it when I was in elementary school.
I love the Charlie Brown Christmas and we are watching it this weekend!
We like Arthur Christmas, Rise of the Guardians, Nightmare Before Christmas and I introduced my son to Home Alone last year and he loved it.
My husbands favorite Christmas more vie is a Christmas Story, it does have some bad language so be warned. I love White Christmas, but that is a little ‘boring’ for young kids. So we’ll just have to watch Elf, we love it!
We do Friday night movie nights too, last Friday was Elf!
A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and Elf are our favorites. I can’t wait until they are older and I can introduce Christmas Vacation!
We have been watching Elf a lot this year (fine we watch it year round). But I’m loving introducing my kids to the cheese ball Christmas movies on Lifetime and Freeform!
When they were younger: A Charlie Brown Christmas (we are huge Peanuts fans!). As they got a little older: Home Alone, Home Alone 2, and Elf. Non holiday movies that we get excited about are similar to what you wrote: ET (big hit but when he’s almost dying it was a little too scary for them) and The Goonies (I’m a hard core fan and the girls loved it too – we even went to one of the locations where they filmed in CA since the rest was filmed in OR). Have you tried the Harry Potter series? Since it goes through the school year it also has a Christmas part in each movie.
We love movie night! With my two kiddos we have the pattern of every other weekend it is someone’s turn to pick the movie. Gives them something to think about and look forward to (and a chance to find it if need be) and ENDS fighting!! If they don’t agree with the choice, they have a chance next week for their pick.
As a kid, I loved Frosty the Snowman, Mickey’s Christmas Christmas Carol, The Grinch, Charlie Brown, and Rudolph. We try The Grinch and Rudolph every year and my daughter (now 6) is still too afraid of the Grinch and the “Bumble”. Maybe one year!
I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so we try to watch the first 2 (not as scary, for my 5 year old). Rudolph is my favorite, home alone and jingle all the way are funny enough for him to stay intrigued. Also “holiday” specials of old 90s cartoons are fun too. 😂
One of the more unusual Christmas movies I watch every year is Gremlins. I loved this movie as a kid but will need to wait until my son is pretty old to introduce it to him. I’m not sure how I missed this when I was a kid but there’s a scene in the movie where someone reveals a very morbid way of finding out Santa wasn’t real. As for kid appropriate Christmas movies, Prancer was always one of my absolute favorites!
It’s going to snow tomorrow and I’m excited to watch “Muppet Christmas Carol” with my 5-year-old.
Last weekend I took a chance and my 3 year old was totally into my favorite Christmas movie growing up: PRANCER! It was so awesome to enjoy that movie all over again!
We introduced our older kids to Elf a couple years ago and this year was the first year (they are 7 and 9) where they got to the first Saturday in December (our movie nights are Saturday) and called for Elf meaning – yay I made a Christmas tradition out of a genuinely hilarious movie. The burp in particular is a big favourite….
My husband is hoping our 13 year old is old enough for Die Hard, but I’m not convinced!!
I can’t wait to show them Claymation Christmas that was one we always watched as kids. The California Raisins signing Rudolph? Classic. We started showing them Christmas Story last year (even if they get terrible ideas from it, like licking a pole in winter) just so my oldest son could see just how much he looks like the main character, Ralphie.
I watched The Santa Clause everynight I was pregnant with my first and it is still our favorite!
I can’t wait to watch Scrooged with my kids! It is my Mom’s favorite and we would watch it every year. I also love Elf, A Christmas Story, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
I wish we had a filtered version of Home Alone. Elf is funny but obviously Santa centered. We love Little Women and Harry Potter movies at Christmas time. While you were sleeping and You’ve got mail too.Winter scenes make a movie holiday to me. My girls are 13 and 11 so our sweet spot right now is made for tv Disney movies. The 13 yo is ready for more mature stuff but most teen movies are too mature in my opinion.
We do family movie night on Fridays too! My girls are 9 and 7. For holiday movies, they love Home Alone, Elf, The Santa Clause and Christmas with The Kranks. And all of the traditional kids movies/shows (Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty, etc)
We recently watched all three Back to the Future movies with them. They absolutely loved them! There is quite a bit of swearing, though. I didn’t remember that from when I watched them as a kid!
My husband and I love watching Christmas movies and we have started a collection. Hoping our 3 year old might enjoy Mickey’s Christmas Carol with us this year.
We introduced Home Alone last year to my six year old and watched it for movie night last night again this year! A Christmas Story and Emmett Otter are also favorites.
There was an 80’s movie called The Christmas Toy. I think we downloaded it from Amazon. My sister and Ibwatched this every year when it came on, and it still hasn’t lost its charm. My 5 year old is in love as well.
A Christmas Story! I realized my boys were growing up when they realized what “only I didn’t say fudge” meant. That somehow made the movie more exciting for them. My daughter (age 7) just figured it out this year. We are also a family of Christmas movie-loving Jews.
The kids are both obsessed with Elf, but my personal favorite is Christmas with the Cranks! The humor spans generations!
Home Alone and Home Alone 2. Seen them both tons of times, but they still make me cry and I’m not a crier. I can’t wait to watch them with my daughters…but I have a long way to go, my oldest isn’t even 2 yet!
Well my favorite to watch with my husband is “Die Hard”, but since my son is only 6 years old, we’ll be waiting awhile to share that one. I have vague memories of “Christmas Vacation” being funny when I was a kid, so I may need to check that one out again. But similar to some of the movies you rewatched, I worry that as an adult it will be very different than I remember…
Home Alone is one of my favorites. Or Muppets Christmas!
I Have a soft spot for all the Charlie Brown holidays movies but they don’t seem to hold the kids attention yet. I think we’ll try muppets next week!
Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite. Sweet and funny, with memorable music.
We started family movie night on Fridays when I went back to work full time two years ago.
We introduced our kids to Elf last year. And for a non holiday movie, they both really enjoyed The Princess Bride.
This isn’t a “movie” per say, but a very old TV special that my in-laws had first on tape and then transferred to DVD. Now we look it up on YouTube! It’s the Muppets Family Christmas, which as far as I know is the only thing to have all of the Jim Henson TV creations in it (Muppets, Sesame Street, Muppet Babies, and Fraggles). It’s super-cute, funny, and awesome.
This year we will be introducing Home Alone and The Santa Claus. We’ve already powered through The Grinch, Elf, and Muppet Christmas Carol which are our kid friendly favorites… I can’t wait to show my girls Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Christmas Vacation, and A Christmas Story though!
We always watched One Magic Christmas growing up and I can’t wait until my son is old enough to continue the tradition.
I introduced my 6yo daughter to Elf last year and she loved it. This year I’m hoping we can get through all of the Harry Potter movies. We will just have to keep little brother entertained with Rudolf or Frosty the snow man.
A Muppet Christmas Carol! I hadn’t watched this until I was an adult and it is my, usually fairly stoic, husband’s FAVORITE. It still holds up pretty well as an adult!
My favorite is Harry Potter. However, I know that will take a long time (my kids are still into Cartoons). So, my second favorite is the Home Alone series that I can’t wait to introduce…
My husband can’t stand it, so I look forward to watching “A Christmas Story” with my kids! The 6 year-old might be ready this year
Bridget Jones’ Diary is my favorite holiday movie. It will be a while before I can watch it with my daughter. She’s only 2.75yo!
I love, “A Christmas Story.”
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer … You have no idea how excited I was that my son wanted to watch it and actually sat still through it this year..FINALLY! Now I’m thinking The Santa Clause movies are in order 🙂 He just turned 6 so I am hoping next year he will sit through A Nightmare before Christmas 🙂
We tried Rudolph, but the snowman is too scary, so we are sticking to Charlie Brown Christmas this year.
Rudolph, of course. I used to wait impatiently for it to come on tv as a child. Now kids can see it whenever they want courtesy of dvd but they do like waiting fir holiday season at least to pull it out!
Well, my kids are older and our family favorite is National Lampoons Christmas, followed by Scrooged. Not small child friendly I admit, but there have to be some perks to having teenage boys vs sweet little snuggly younguns;)
We all still watch all the classics as well though, Rudolph and Frosty as well as the newer Shrek the Halls.
Elf is the best!
I loved Home Alone and the Santa Clause as a kid!
We just introduced our daughter to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It was a little inappropriate at times but we all got some laughs!
The original Rudolph was always my favorite!
My 2 year old is currently obsessed with the claymation version of Santa Clause is Coming to Town! We’ve watched it 12+ times and it’s only December 11th!
My local public broadcasting station always played classic movie musicals on Christmas Day, so they always remind of of the holidays even though they’re not really on theme. The Sound of Music, Annie, and Mary Poppins were my favorites.
Watching the Goonies with my kids was the best!! They loved it. Also, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Mary Poppins was a major hit. A Nightmare Before Christmas gets watched every Christmas…
Nightmare before Christmas! Which my 4year old daughter loves and my 6 year old son is scared of! ha. I really love all the Holiday movies and I was hoping the kids would like the Goonies but they don’t…. yet. Harry Potter movies the kids just started getting into! The 4 year old does get a little bored with those yet tho. I LOVE LOVE pretzel crisps. I enjoy them with some guac 😉
My two favorite holiday movies are A Christmas Story and White Christmas. I unfortunately don’t have kids, but I remember I couldn’t wait to watch White Christmas with my nieces. They loved it!! Runner ups are: The Grinch that Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Christmas Vacation, Elf and Fred Claus. Love all these holiday movies!! Oh, and I can’t forget an oldie, but goodie, Holiday Inn.
ELF. Although neither kid (5 & 2) really get it yet. So I’ll be happy watching the Grinch for now…
I can’t wait to watch Home Alone with them! They are 4 and 2, so most of the jokes would probably be lost on them now, but I might just need to bust it out anyway.
My fiancé thought it would be great to introduce our kids (ages 8, 3, and 2) to Christmas Vacation this year. I insisted it’s not for their ages yet but he still turned it on. Of course they didn’t sit still to watch it. They will sit for Elf, The Grinch, and A Christmas Story though!
We love to watch White Christmas. I love the singing and the happy message in the movie.
my personal favorite is Love Actually but a kid-friendly one that i would wanna watch with my son is Casper
We love all things Christmas movies but the Home Alone series are a favorite!
elf is a family favorite
My boys, husband and I love to watch Home Alone together. When they’re older, I will introduce them to Die Hard! LOL
We like the National Lampoons Christmas movie, and of course, A Christmas Story!
Also just watched White Christmas last night. I thought my five year old would be bored due to the slow nature of old movies, but she was captivated the whole time!
I am hoping she inherits my love of classics – especially White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. BUT since she’s only 16 months this year and still has very little interest in the TV, I’m looking forward to Frosty, Rudolph, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol next year. And when she’s older… Elf, Scrooged, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Die Hard (one of my husband’s favorites! haha!). I’m also a sucker for all things Hallmark Channel at the holidays – many of those are kid friendly and if you fast forward through commercials most come out to 90 minutes.
My favorite of all time is Christmas vacation. It never gets old. We watch it ever year
As a kid I loved Prancer and as an adult I love Elf so I’m excited to share those with my daughter in a few years!
Our Friday movie night was a double feature of my two favorite holiday movies from childhood (I think they were both TV Christmas specials). Christmas Eve on Sesame Street and Muppets Family Christmas. My kids (2 & 4) didn’t love them as much as I did (still do), but they enjoyed both.
Elf! It’s my all-time favorite, I watch it at least twice every holiday season. This year, I’m planning on letting my five-year-old watch with my husband and I, and I’m really excited about it!
my favorite is Miracle on 34th Street – they have watch A Christmas story and Elf and liked them both
The original claymation Rudolph or Charlie Brown Christmas from my childhood are what I look forward to. My kids aren’t old enough yet, but Harry Potter movies will be fun in the future. I thought it would be too scary but my daughter also loves the Nightmare Before Christmas!
We introduced Home Alone last year and Elf this year to my two girls (6 and 8) and both were a hit. I can’t wait until they can watch and appreciate It’s a Wonderful Life!