Our family is big on traditions, and we have a wide variety that we incorporate throughout the year ranging from a visit from the leprechauns on St Patrick’s Day to watching “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” the night before Thanksgiving. But topping the favorite traditions list in our house are the Christmas movie and dinner combinations that we enjoy throughout December! In early November, I write out our schedule to make sure we have time to get through all of our favorite combos. We do have five kids after all and five kids worth of activities to attend, so the planning definitely gets done early!
So without further ado, here are our favorite Christmas movie and dinner (or a treat…) combos!
Home Alone 1 & 2
With Home Alone, we always have pizza for dinner. Sometimes it’s from our favorite pizza place, sometimes it’s homemade, and sometimes it’s take & bake, but it is ALWAYS pizza. Because really, at its core, Home Alone is a movie all about pizza!
And for Home Alone 2, we have ridiculously big ice cream sundaes. Our kids LOVE ice cream (who doesn’t?!), and while they definitely have their fair share, we don’t usually go all out with the toppings, so it’s a special treat when we break out the hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, and cherries and watch Home Alone 2.
A Christmas Story
While A Christmas Story isn’t one of my favorite Christmas movies, the kids definitely get a kick out of it, and since we get Chinese take-out for dinner, I’m totally down with it for movie night! Our Chinese take-out isn’t quite the same as eating dinner at a Chinese restaurant while being serenaded by waiters (“Deck the harrs with boughs of horyyy, Fa-ra-ra-ra-raaa, ra-ra-ra-raa!”), but it still makes for a fun night!
One of my all-time favorite movies, Holiday Inn, is fun to watch year-round, but we especially enjoy watching it at Christmas. Since the movie goes through all of the holidays in the year, we pick out dinner from a different holiday to enjoy. Our go-to pick is the 4th of July, and we have a summer barbecue in the middle of the Christmas season!
Christmas With the Kranks
When we watch Christmas With the Kranks, we get take-out Peruvian from our favorite Peruvian rotisserie place, Viva Chicken. Why Peruvian, you ask?? Because the daughter in the movie travels to Peru with the Peace Corps!
Christmas Vacation is another favorite in our house. We don’t coordinate dinner with the movie, though the kids said we could do turkey jerky and an asparagus Christmas tree(!!), we ALWAYS have eggnog and green jello since they’re both such a big part of the movie.
The Santa Clause (All Three!)
We always plan a Santa Clause movie marathon on a Saturday in December. We start in the afternoon with the first movie…
And then we head to Denny’s for dinner in Christmas jammies. Why Denny’s?? Because “everyone likes Denny’s- it’s an American institution”! Every year the staff gets a kick out of how festive the kids look in their jammies, and we fill up on all-you-can-eat pancakes. After dinner, we head home to watch the next two movies.
On the longest night of the year, the winter solstice, we always eat dinner by candlelight and make our “Elf” dinner and watch the movie.
Like Buddy the Elf, our kids LOVE sugar!! Our Elf dinner started because the kids were absolutely convinced that noodles with syrup and crumbled-up pop-tarts sounded delicious, and they realllllyyyyy wanted to try it. We added pancakes and bacon to the mix to add some substance to dinner, and over the years, we’ve added more sugary deliciousness like donuts and candy corn (they are one of the 4 food groups for elves!).
Our annual Elf dinner is easily our kids’ favorite Christmas movie and dinner combo since it’s so far from a “normal” dinner in our house. Still, we all look forward to the fun dinner and movie combos that we do throughout December. Family traditions are a great way to get the kids excited for the holiday season’s fun without focusing on the gift-giving aspect. Our dinner and a movie tradition allows us to spend quality time together doing something that we all look forward to and enjoy!
What’s your favorite Christmas movie?? Do you have any fun Christmas traditions??