Turn Your Holiday Movie Collection into an Advent Calendar

Photo: Jaclyn Youhana Garver

Family movie nights are wonderful in theory and usually in practice—unless it’s a case of too many cooks in the kitchen (or people in the family room). Does this convo sound familiar?

“Let’s watch a movie!”

“Awesome, what should we watch?”

“What about ((popular superhero movie))?”

“No, I want to watch ((that Disney movie we’ve already seen 100 times))?”

“Hey, you picked last time!”

“Did not!”

We’ve got the solution for the above scenario, and it’s especially handy if you’ve got a collection of holiday movies that you like to work through each winter.

  1. At the beginning of the season—so, like, right now—wrap all your holiday DVDs and Blu-rays.
  2. Each night (or a couple of times a week), have someone pick a “gift” and open it. No swapsies for a different movie.
  3. If you expect you’ll run into an “It’s my turn to pick!” “No, it’s MY turn” issue with the kids (you will), establish an arbitrary order up front: youngest to oldest, shortest hair to longest hair, alphabetically by name, whatever.
  4. Dim the lights and enjoy!

It’s like a fresh new spin on the countdown to Christmas. An anti-arguing advent calendar, if you will.

Photo: Jaclyn Youhana Garver

But… I don’t have physical copies of these movies

If you don’t own actual copies of your favorite holiday movies, write down the movie titles and pick them out, one by one, from a large mug or bowl.

Not a fan of holiday movies? This works great with bedtime books, too.

Hate wasting wrapping paper? Assign each title a number in a note on your phone, and let family members pick a number, any number.

Modify as needed to suit your family’s needs and on-hand supplies.


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