How to Have the Best Family Christmas Movie Night

When I think about how to have the best family Christmas movie night, I immediately think of Chevy Chase saying they were going to have “a fun old fashioned family Christmas!” Theirs didn’t turn out so great, but yours can. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

family Christmas movie night

When the kids were little, it was much easier to sit down together and have a family Christmas movie night that was just spur of the moment. Now that we are empty nesters, it takes a little more planning to pull it together. However, when it comes together, it is worth it! It is just the thing to get you into the holiday spirit.

Planning Your Family Christmas Movie Night

There are a few things to think about when planning your family Christmas movie night. First of all, you need to decide how much time you will plan for the evening and get a date on the calendar that works with the whole family. The amount of time you decide on will determine what all you can do besides watch a Christmas movie or two.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Food or meal ideas
  • Snacks during the movie
  • Christmas movies to watch
  • Games to play
  • Miscellaneous family Christmas ideas

Food or Meal Ideas for Family Christmas Movie Night

family meal time

If you decide you want to have a meal before the movie begins, I suggest keeping it simple. No one wants to be cooking and cleaning while the family is having together time.

Because this has been a problem in the past, I did a little survey and wrote a post about it, How to Host Family Gatherings Without Missing Your Family. Here are a few ideas from that post that would work well for a family Christmas movie night:

  • Chili
  • Individual Pizzas
  • Take-Out
  • Baked Potato Bar
  • Salad Bar
  • Nacho or Taco Bar

There are so many other options and ideas. The main thing is to keep it quick and easy.

Snacks to Serve During Family Christmas Movie Night

Everyone knows that you have to have snacks while watching Christmas movies. These are some of our favorites!


These drinks taste even better if they are in a Santa mug! I saw a bunch of vintage Santa mugs at an event recently and wished I still had mine from childhood. I bought a new one last year, but it isn’t quite the same.

  • Hot Cocoa or Chocolate with Candy Canes for stir sticks
  • White Mint Hot Chocolate (This is one of my ultimate favorites! See the link for the recipe.
  • Hot Apple Cider

Best Snacks

There are so many options you could use here. Any yummy treat will work, just pick your family’s favorite things.

homemade popcorn for movie night
  • S’mores (You can now get indoor table top S’Mores Makers.)
  • Popcorn is always good! You can get pre-packaged, microwave popcorn, or my favorite is homemade. Instead of using a pan and doing it like we did when I was a kid, we use one of these popcorn poppers that goes in the microwave. We actually eat popcorn throughout the year now. It is so fresh!
  • Christmas Cookies
  • Ice Cream
  • If you have never seen a “Marshmallow Bar,” you have to see this one from The Crowned Goat! Not only is it adorable, but it looks like a fun activity for the kids.

Best Family Christmas Movies

What would a family Christmas movie night be without your favorite Christmas movie? We used to have to wait until certain nights at specific times to watch our favorite holiday movies – that was before VCRs. 😂

Now the options are almost limitless. You pick the day, time, and the movie, and it is pretty much at your fingertips. Of course there are still some who have DVDs or even VHS movies. I have a cabinet full of them. However, we usually use a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime to get the movies.

Because there are so many Christmas movies you could use for your family movie night, I am breaking them up into three sections – For Kids, For Adults, and Classics. Although they are in these categories, I have found that you never outgrow the Christmas movies you grew up watching.  Many little kids like the classics, and the adults tend to like them all. The lines cross quite a bit, but they are all family favorites.

Some of the Best Christmas Movies for Kids

family Christmas movies for kids
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (one of my favorites!)
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Klaus – Great movie that is not that well known
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Many varieties)
  • Home Alone (All of the series) However, I have to say that the one in New York City is my favorite!
  • The Polar Express
  • The Star (I love this story of the birth of Christ, told from the perspective of the animals!)

Favorite Christmas Movies for Adults and Older Kids

Christmas family movies for adults
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Four Christmases
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Fred Klaus
  • Jingle all the Way (Jay’s favorite)
  • Elf
  • The Santa Clause (All of the Series with Tim Allen is great, but the first Santa Clause movie is a favorite of many people.)
  • A Christmas Story – You can usually find movie marathons of this one on Christmas Day.
  • Christmas with the Chosen
  • The Noel Diary – A love story

Best Loved Christmas Movies – Classics

Family Christmas movies classics
  • White Christmas
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • A Christmas Carol (with Ebenezer Scrooge)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Holiday Inn

Family Games and Activities

Evelyn cookie house for Christmas

Depending on the amount of time your family plans on spending will determine if you have time for other games and activities. You could go all out and have a family slumber party if you wanted.

Two years ago, we had the best time making Oreo gingerbread houses, playing board games, and making simple crafts.

If your tree isn’t decorated, this could be your chance to get lots of help getting all of the Christmas decorations up.

You could also make some popcorn and string it to put on the tree. That was always fun back in the day. Does anyone still do that?

Sign up below to get updates about new posts. The candy recipes are delicious but so easy!

Miscellaneous Ideas for Your Family Christmas Movie Night

Family Christmas movie night with matching pajamas
family pajama party for Christmas

This picture was a family night I hope I never forget. We had a great time, and yes, I even got all of the men in matching pajamas! Of course this is Texas, so we had to turn the air conditioner on in December that year with all of that flannel. It was memory-making fun though!

One other quick note – To set the stage for your family Christmas movie night, let Christmas music play before the movie, put a simmer pot on the stove with the best Christmas scents, have the room filled with Christmas lights, and have a cozy blanket or two ready for people to snuggle up with as they watch the movie.

For other ideas, see my Christmas board on Pinterest. Just click the link here.

I hope you will be able to plan a family Christmas movie night with your family. Pick out your favorite family Christmas movie, and start a new tradition.

Related Posts

12 Days of Christmas Fun at Work
110 Simple Things to Do to Get Ready and Prepare for Christmas
Family Pajama Party

Until next week…

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“Let the whole earth shout to the Lord; be jubilant, shout for joy, and sing.” Psalms 98:4

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  1. This is such a cute idea and I love all the movies you chose too, Susan. They’re total classics. I need to add a few of them to my watch list! Thanks so much for including my marshmallow bar in your post. They’re always fun to make and they’re super easy which makes it nice. Giggling about the flannel pajamas, we have the same problem in Florida. It feels like a sweet rite of passage though so we’ll keep the tradition going. It means so much to my Mom. Big hugs and thank yous, CoCo

  2. I love this so much. What a wonderful idea. I noticed that your section on keeping it simple included a picture of the meal on paper plates. YESSSS!! I think that’s brilliant. Such a great way to focus on the party and the people and not making more work for yourself. This looks like a delightful family event! Pinning. Thank you so much for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #17 linkup. Hope to see you next week as well.

    1. Thank you so much! Last year I went out and bought all new Thanksgiving dishes, and they were beautiful! Then I used my Christmas China, and again, beautiful. However, I spent more time away from my family than I wanted. I will still use them on occasion, but this year, it is all about family time! Thank you for your encouragement, these times are so much fun! Have a wonderful Christmas!!

    1. I would love to go to the link up! I love all of the variety of ideas! I learned the hard way about keeping it simple. It is not that easy to do most of the time though, but I am trying. 😊 It is so easy to get carried away.

  3. What a lovely family you have in your matching jammies! I love your suggestions about Family Movie Night. We watch almost all those movies during December every year (we only love the original Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood). I have never heard of The Star, so we are definitely checking that one out! And I can’t wait to try your White Mint Hot Chocolate! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post, and have a Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you so much! I love the original version of Miracle on 34th Street also. I had never seen it until we got married. It was my husband’s favorite Christmas movie. I hope you enjoy the White Mint Hot Chocolate. I LOVE it! Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

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