Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Regalo. Please note, this post also contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.
I love the movie Elf, but I think Will Ferrel and I need to have a little chat about the key food groups, especially for kids!
"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup." Buddy, "Elf" the movie
The holidays are filled with special occasions and rare excuses to enjoy a few more "fun foods" than what we include in our everyday diets. That's okay and quite honestly part of why kids get so excited about this time of year.
This being said, as a dietitian mom, I encourage families to offset all of the added sugars and unnecessary "junk" that is offered at class parties, hot cocoa with Santa, and cookie exchanges by making healthier choices when in the comfort of our own homes.
That's why for this month's collaboration with the Littles & Me, Ashley and I wanted to come up with a simple and yet "sweet" take on a family movie night.
We all have enough going on in the month of December that this is nothing to stress out about. Instead, print out any of the adorable invitations Ashley made over on her blog post here, then when it is time, let your kiddos grab their Christmas movie caddy, pop up their Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed, and bundle up in a blanket.
This is a family night that will refuel you and your littles amidst a season that can be so on the go.
How to Host the Perfect Family Movie Night this Christmas
Send the invitation
Ashley over at the Littles & Me has some adorable movie night invitations that can be printed here and used to invite your kids (and friends) over for a fun movie night in. Perfect for whatever Christmas classics are your family's favorite, these invitations will build anticipation over the night to come.
Make sure you serve dinner first.
Want your kids to fill up on buttery popcorn and candy? Then forgo a main meal and let the snack food binge begin. Instead consider making a dinner like Rudolph Sloppy Joes to enjoy alongside a platter of raw veggies and dip. Then once everyone has had their fill of some "real (non-snack) food," you can settle in to snuggle time without endless requests for snacks.
Pack a Christmas Movie Caddy
No one wants to pass the bowl of popcorn between kids who have emerging and yet at time conflicting personalities over what is "mine!" and yours. So instead, pack a simple Christmas movie caddy for each kid to enjoy on their own during the movie. Pack it with healthier options like homemade microwave popcorn (you can use Ashley's cute Christmas popcorn cups here), a milk box or KidsWater water box, a red, green, and white Christmas kabob, and/or one small treat (think no bigger than a fun-sized bag of candy or individually wrapped Reese's tree). If you are giving your child candy, consider something like a small candy cane or all-natural lollipop (being cautious of small hard candy choking hazards with kids under four). Lick for lick or bite for bite, it will take a child much longer to make their way through one candy cane or lollipop, compared to other candy that is easy to mindlessly over eat.
Set up your snugly spot
Be it in front of the fire for Mama Bear or cuddled up with all their stuffed animals for the kiddos, this movie night is the perfect excuse to bust out those Christmas PJs plus a portable cot as an early Christmas present for your kiddos.
Since trying out the Regalo Toddler Bed as an early Christmas present in our home, my family has been able to enjoy many Christmas classics this past month. Besides the simple and yet intimate family time these movie nights afford us in, I appreciate that the My Cot is an easy and effortless addition. My kids love making forts for movies, but without wanting to disrupt too many of our Christmas decorations to do so, this portable bed has become our new go to.
The Regalo toddler bed is plenty long for either of my littles, while still having a small footprint on the floor. I appreciate this, in the essence of keeping movie night cozy, compact, and still comfortably at the base of the Christmas tree. Plus, it folds up easily in a compact carrying case so we can store it in the coat closet or up in the girls rooms in between movie nights. Then when it is time for another family movie night, my oldest can get it out and set it up on her own (no pinched fingers and no lying on the hard floor). Unlike the frustrations of failed fort attempts for an almost four year old, my girls are enjoying a little newfound independence with their own Christmas snack caddies and "special spots" off of the couch on the My Cot.
One of my favorite traditions each year is giving my girls Christmas PJs, a new Christmas movie for our collections, and one gift the night before Christmas. There is something about that last snuggle before Santa that just seals all the joy of this season. What's more, it is one moment when "the stuff" has an intentional purpose of bringing your family together one last, treasured time.
If you want to create this tradition in your home too, I invite you to get your free download and plan for a Family Christmas Movie Night. Go to Ashley's blog post, then think through what special snacks and spot your kiddo will get to have this year. I got the snack caddies at the Dollar Store. The Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed can be purchased through Regalo directly or on Amazon if you want to make sure it gets to you in time for your movie night.