Links to Love: A Christmas Edition

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday… we sure did at the Rowley house, with plenty of turkey, cinnamon rolls, and delicious desserts for everyone! We even had the chance to enjoy (or in one case, not enjoy!) a few holiday movies! On Wednesday, Gramma took my three oldest kids to see “Hugo”- the movie based on the book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”. My son Spencer who adored the book thought that the movie was just “pretty good” and was a bit disappointed that the storyline strayed so far from the book that he loved. The other two boys “liked, but did not love” the film.

Then on Friday night, we all settled in with big bowls of popcorn to watch one of the holiday movies we rented from Netflix called “A Christmas Story”. Set in the 1940’s (but filmed in the 80’s) it is a story about a 9 year old who desperately wants a BB Gun for Christmas. All of the reviews that I had read about this film made it seem like a Christmas classic. But in my opinion, it was awful…. and not at all a family movie about Christmas! At one point the main character has his mouth “washed out” with soap for uttering the “F”-word…. which was not actually said in the movie (thankfully), but my older kids understood exactly what Ralphie supposedly said… which made me very uncomfortable! Throw in some cultural stereotyping about eating Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant,. and there was plenty in this movie that was cringe-worthy! My advice… cross this film off of your holiday must-watch list!

But on Saturday, we went to the theatre as a family to see “Arthur Christmas”… and we loved it! The film was creative and funny, and contained a great storyline of how every child counts at Christmas. I loved it… and my family did too! If I was actually writing a full review on the movie, I would have given it 5 out of 6 stars!

But, since today is Sunday…. I would like to bring to you my regular Links to Love feature…. with a focus towards the upcoming Christmas holiday!

Some Decorations to Make:

I love this idea from PinkSuedeShoe for a Christmas tree countdown calendar…. each tree has a small gift hidden inside for each day in December leading up to Christmas.The only problem that I have with these countdown calendars is how am I going to make this work- each one of my kids gets a day to open the tree and have the gift? And what am I going to give them…. candy? We’re still eating our way through the halloween stash! Coins? Little love notes from Mom & Dad? These countdown calendars just add too much work!

Now here is a countdown calendar from Eighteen25 that I can actually manage! Just tear away a sheet each day and toss it out! No little gifts to plan and distribute…. and it’s even on a clipboard. How much more “up my alley” could it be?

I love love love this craft idea that I could easily make with my kids! Cupcake Liner Christmas trees from Tatortots and Jello! Now I just need to see where I can find these cute cupcake liner patterns!

Something to Gift:

I always keep an eye out for great ideas for homemeade gifts to give out for the holidays… and I love these peppermint cookie lollipops from Bee In Our Bonnet! So cute!

Something to Watch:

My friend and fellow Parenting Squad writer Kelli Robinson wrote this article “The 2011 TV Schedule of Holiday Favorites“. I have printed it out and added some of these TV events to my family’s must-watch list (skipping the Christmas Eve TBS “A Christmas Story” marathon of course!)

And a few more good articles!

And I would be remiss to not call to your attention a few articles of my own that ran over at Parenting Squad in the last week or so! Please check them out!

A 7-Day Plan to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

5 Games to Play on Family Game Night

Turkey Roasting 101

*Please note that all photos shows here are the sole property of the blogger whose link is provided above, and are meant to show you how cool these ideas are!

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