Creating Christmas magic is easy when your kids are little and Santa looms large. It gets harder as kids get older and that mythology goes by the wayside. How do you connect when some of the magic is gone? One way I connect with my kids and try to create lasting memories with them is by doing weekly family movie nights. You can see my post explaining movie night here for a little more background.

As we move toward the end of November, our movie nights often take on a Christmas theme. This week for movie night, we did Christmas With The Kranks. Keep reading to see what we did and how it fit together.

Movie night at our house has three main components:

The Movie: Christmas With The Kranks

Image shows the "Christmas With The Kranks" movie poster.
Something different your kids might not have seen!

Starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, this movie was released in 2004, so it’s an oldy. It’s available to rent and buy on Amazon; you don’t even have to track down the DVD!

This is not a Christmas classic, it’s kitschy and pretty cheesy. But, isn’t that part of what makes a great Christmas movie? And some of the best movie nights are when we’re watching a movie we can roast a little. The Kranks are trying to “Skip Christmas” (the title of the book by John Grisham this movie is based on) and things go awry. If you have a scrooge in your house, this is a good movie to threaten them with! I had planned on getting fancy and printing out all the fun stuff from Ridge Top Digital Shop’s post, but I ran out of time! I am most definitely going to use the Christmas Movie Bingo in that post for another movie night though!

The Food: Ham and Assorted Sides

Image shows a dinner plate with ham, hashbrown casserole and a roll.  On the side is a salad bowl and a glass or wine.
Christmas Dinner, complete with ham, casserole, and wine!

Ham plays a fairly central role in the second act of the movie, so it was a pretty obvious choice for dinner here. I overcooked the rolls, but everything else was delicious! We also had pie for dessert, because who doesn’t have pie with Christmas dinner?

The Activity: Painting Gingerbread Ornaments

I’d made a dozen gingerbread ornaments earlier in the week for a YouTube tutorial, so that was an easy, low prep activity. Be on the lookout for the tutorial to hit the blog and YouTube channel in a couple weeks. I’ll link back here when it does.

I laid out some tissue paper to protect the table cloth and everyone went to town. We used paint pens and puff paint and it worked pretty well on the rough gingerbread. This took around 20 minutes and now I have ornaments for the tree. My boys would never do it if I asked them to sit down and make ornaments any other time, but throw it in a movie night and…poof, it’s part of the theme. I’ll paint their names and the year on the back, and it’ll be like elementary school all over again. Keeping the tradition going over here!

I bought everyone matching Christmas jammies for movie night. Obviously, I do not buy new PJs for every movie, but since this was our first Christmas movie of the season, I thought matching jammies seemed appropriate. Maybe I’ll demand we wear them to every Christmas movie night for the rest of the year! The boys would just love that.

Try This At Home!

Pick a Saturday night and watch a Christmas movie. It doesn’t have to be this one, it can be a family favorite. This dinner and activity would be a great fit for any Christmas flick. Whatever movie you pick, take a couple hours and make some memories!