Family Challenges: Holiday Favorites

Hello Readers!  Can you believe that Christmas Eve is this Saturday and that we only have two more weeks left of 2016?  I can hardly believe how fast this year has gone by, and this blog has certainly helped me express my passions and my love of all things family oriented!  So, today I want to keep that going by discussing a favorite topic for me: holiday favorites.  So let’s jump into them!

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
Okay, this truly is a classic story that we all know by heart.  This is a favorite for a reason: old Ebeneezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas and becomes a better person for it.  This story teaches a great lesson to kids about keeping the memory of Christmas and charity alive.

Now, there are a lot of variations of this story, especially on film.  Personally, I love the original book by Charles Dickens.  But my favorite film variety of this is the CGI version from 2009 featuring Jim Carrey as the voice of Ebeneezer Scrooge.  It’s quite festive and creative, and the CGI characters emulate the actors who voice them.  And the actors among the cast include Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.  I highly recommend this movie for readers to share with their kids today.

A Christmas Story
Okay, I include this because I know this movie is a favorite for many, but it isn’t a favorite for me.  I don’t know what it is about this story, but I never have gotten into it too much.  Maybe it’s that I’ve never been able to see the beginning of this movie, so I always feel a little lost from the beginning, and I’m not sure I’ve ever made it to the end.  However, I can appreciate that this is a favorite for many, and it’s a great way to teach kids to think twice about their wishes.  You know, the old adage “be careful what you wish for” applies with this one, so it can be a great film for all families, although young kids may not get it.

White Christmas
Of all Christmas movies, this is my absolute favorite one.  This film features Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney and is a musical comedy that came out in 1954.  In this film, two retired soldiers from the army who perform together travel with two traveling sister performers to Vermont in order to perform for the holidays.  Aside from featuring comedy and romance, as well as Bing Crosby singing his famous song “White Christmas”, this movie features a heartfelt message of doing for others during the holidays and about Christmas miracles.

This film has always been a favorite because it was the Christmas movie we always watched as a family when I was younger.  It always holds memories of my late father for me, so it is a film I hold near to me.  However, it’s a great film to watch with kids of all ages as it is a very clean film.  To give you an idea, when we first watched this film with our son Sean a couple of weeks ago, he spent the time clapping and laughing at the singing and dancing at 15 months.  So, I highly recommend this movie for any family.  As a bonus, this is currently being showcased nationwide as a play that you can see live.

The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
This, of course, is another classic holiday favorite that you can enjoy as a family.  f course, the book is a favorite to share with kids and features a strong message about the miracle of Christmas for kids.  But the movie is just as magical, and it is a story that can be shared with little ones, too.  Now, I have a confession to make: I have never read this story nor have I seen the movie.  However, I do know about it because we did take the Polar Express ourselves this year with Sean, my sister’s family, and my mother.  And even our little one Sean enjoyed the trip.  There were lights and singing and dancing everywhere.  And he loved the butter cookies and the hot chocolate we received.  And then there was the infamous bell that jingles when you shake it.  I loved it!

I highly recommend any of these variations for your own kids.  My husband Ryan grew up with the story, so he was familiar with it.  And it really was a fun experience to ride the train.  As I have mentioned before, however, this can be an expensive train ride.  So, I highly recommend doing the train ride once or twice at most.  But I highly recommend the movie or the book for your own family.

The Nutcracker
I highly recommend watching this on Netflix or reading the story variation of this with your own family today, but I can also say that there are live versions of this play every year in theatres nationwide to attend.  While I don’t remember seeing it, I apparently was taken to this when I was a little girl and I apparently loved it at the time.  And my husband Ryan remembers reading the story every year during the season as well as being taken to the ballet with his family as a kid.  So, this is something for both boys and girls.  However, I highly recommend waiting until your own kids are older before taking them to see the ballet live.  Also, the tickets for these events can run between 15 dollars and 75.  So, bear that in mind when you’re looking to attend.

 

And these are the favorites I would recommend today.  As a bonus, these are the classic stories that come with a ton of Pinterest-worthy projects and ideas to get kids excited and involved in them.  I highly recommend looking into them a little more.  And tell me, what favorites do you like to share with your family?  I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,

-BBM

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