I hope you've been following the Countdown2Xmas here or, especially, through the Quintessential Mommy, who was gracious enough to host this wonderful gathering of 72 bloggers to bring you a fun craft, delicious recipe, or great tradition from 3 different bloggers each day. If you haven't been 'round to visit all these lovely bloggers you really should, there are some wonderful ideas and most of the crafts don't take but a quick minute to complete!
Speaking of traditions, every year around this time we settle in to watch some of our favorite Christmas movies and, since the sun sets so early, we seem to have extra time for playing games as a family as well! So, I want to tell you all about our family's favorite movies and games!
- Elf. We watch the movie year round honestly. It is quirky and embodies everything that the Christmas season is about to our family-quality time and the spirit of giving.
- A Christmas Story. Everyone knows you have to be careful if you want a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas! I think my favorite part is when poor Ralphie gets kicked down the slide by Santa. That part makes the three of us crack up every single time we watch it, and I've watch it umpteen million times since I was 4 years old!
- Christmas Vacation. This one my husband hadn't seen until he married me. It cracks me up and now that the kiddo is 15, it is even better since she gets every single innuendo in the movie we can all laugh hysterically together. All the family dysfunction is more than I can bear, I wish we had an Uncle Eddie in our family. This one is much like A Christmas Story for me, no matter how many times I see it, I will crack up every.single.time!
- Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer. I remember these coming on CBS during the Christmas season as a little girl. I loved the nostalgia with my daughter and am so glad to own this on DVD. I love how this teaches you to never give up and always have a kind, loving spirit.
- Frosty the Snowman. Ah, the 60s, a time of claymation. This one followed Rudolph every year and we still watch them in that same order. No matter how many times you see it you always get a little bit nervous for Frosty because you always want him to come out on top!
- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Oh the nostalgia. A movie for everyone, young and old alike. I think everyone wanted a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree when we were little. A little something to care and nurture no matter what it looks like because it is dear to your heart.
- The Santa Clause. All of them, 1-3. We always binge watch one day a year, we can't help it they are just so darn cute! The first is of course the best, but all are so worth the time. A kid who wants nothing more than for Santa to be real and to believe in his Dad. What isn't to love about that?! Plus, the north pole is dreamy in every movie!
- Home Alone. I remember being 10 years old and thinking this would be the best Christmas Vacation ever! It is why Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree is my favorite carol! When I dance to it I still do Kevin's dance every time!
- Miracle on 34th Street. I will be honest, I never watched this all the way through until I married my husband. He obviously is a much more serious person than I so we always fit in his favorites. I love how this reminds us to believe and it will all be ok!
- White Christmas. This is the final one we always watch a few days before Christmas. This was another I didn't see until I married the man of my dreams, and it always reminds me of my love for dance. The kiddo even loves it and it always sparks some great conversation about some wonderful singers and dancers.
Games.What are your family's favorite movies and games to play this time of year?
- Monopoly. I think by now everyone knows this game. It is one you either love or hate. My husband and I, not fans...the teenager, LOVES it. So, it is our gift to her that at least one time a year we sit and play a full, unhurried game with her. She loves it, our bonds are either solidified or broken depending on how hard core the husband goes after us and in the end we laugh and vow to play again next year! haha But, this is a fun one when the days get dark and cold for a long time this takes a few hours and gets us around the table with nothing but time.
- Pandemic. This is one for families with older kids. It takes some time to learn but once you have it down, it is a blast. It takes a lot of team work and I think that is the best part. No one is working against each other so no arguments should ensue...note, should. I make no promises. ;) But it is definitely one you should check out.
- Yahtzee. This is my favorite game of all time. Simply because it reminds me of lazy days on the beach vacationing with my family. Plus, it is fairly mindless, pretty much anyone can play it and there isn't a ton to keep track of but your simple little scorecard. Grab some cocoa, a blanket, and start slinging your 6 die.
- Singstar. Being a household where the primary breadwinner is a game developer you knew some video games were going to make there way in here! We have loved all of the Singstar's and the newest one we just got, Singstar Ultimate Party, is no different! We gave this to the kiddo for her birthday and played for a solid two hours! The best part about this, the mic is your smartphone! So fun!
- Mario Kart 8. We sadly had to say goodbye to our Wii U when we moved to Europe, but I felt I should include this because we played it all the time. Our "smack talk" was always the best when we'd play and try to beat each other. I remember playing a version of Mario Kart all the way back on the Super NES, this has been a long time favorite and am glad my family had the experience of enjoying it together.
- Mario Party. I usually don't link to Wiki sites, but this one really tells about all the different Mario Parties. We loved Mario Party 8 for the Wii, but played many over the years. These are fun because you not only move around a board game but there are always mini games each round to compete against the other players or sometimes play cooperatively either against another player or the computer.
- The Game of Life. I never played this until my daughter expressed interest in it. We always have so much fun trying to beat each other around the board, knocking each others cars over or complaining about how we got "stuck" with so many kids in our car! haha This one is nice though because it can lead to bigger discussion about school options, career options, and everything in between!
- Ohana Mana. This is one the kiddo and I picked up during our trip to Hawaii earlier this year. It is hard to come by as it is made in Hawaii, but it is so much fun! It is a Sorry style board game and you race around the board, answering trivia and using a little strategy to get ahead in the game. It really fosters friendly competition and conversation about all the native Hawaiian trivia you'll be answering.
- Settlers of Catan. This is such a wonderful game. This is similar to pandemic in that it takes a while to get going the first time or two, but after that it is a total blast. This one is more for families with older kids, but they do make a junior version. We love this because it gets a fun competition going and it is never the same game twice! Plus, it teaches the general principals of trade and that is never a bad thing.
- Super Monkey Ball. This is another game that brought us hours of unique family fun! We'd be up out of our seats just trying to keep our monkeys on track. The getting up never worked, and probably made us do worse, but the fact you can play cooperatively or against each other always meant more fun for us.