Today I want to share a tradition that is getting our family through a tough time. It’s one I learned of from a colleague back when I was teaching, and it’s not really a new idea: family movie night! Right now, when there’s not a lot to look forward to, and there’s little routine, movie night is the thing we all look forward to. For us, the key has been making sure we do it on the same day (Friday), and creating excitement by planning it throughout the week. Here’s how to organize a family movie night:
Rotate who gets to choose the movie
This makes it so much fun because it adds to the variety and exposes us all to movies we might never think to see. My husband and I tend to choose movies we liked from our childhood (last week I chose The Parent Trap) and our kids choose movies their friends are talking about, which keeps us up to date on the new kids releases (a recent favorite is Onward). Because we rotate who chooses, there’s not as much complaining/arguing about the selection. Everyone knows they will get their pick very soon. Other favorite movies are: Mary Poppins Returns, Troop Zero, Trolls, The Sandlot and Mighty Ducks.
Choose a dinner to go with it
Whoever chooses the movie also gets to pick the meal we will eat. Sometimes we choose meals that go with the theme of the movie, and other times it’s just something that fulfills a craving or curiosity. Just like the movie choice, it exposes us all to new foods, and takes the pressure off of trying to think of what’s for dinner. Some of our favorite movie night meals include: sushi, Mexican takeout, barbecued burgers and oven fries, and pizza. I know– not the healthiest choices, but movie night is about a treat!
Don’t forget dessert!
When my son Max saw ice cream combinations in Magnolia Journal, he immediately asked to make them for his movie night. This was on a Monday, and we was excited to have them all week. Every day he thought of a new aspect of this dessert and had fun planning it for all of us. It made telling him he couldn’t have another treat from the pantry easier that a week, because he knew on Friday his ice-cream sandwich dreams would come true! When we have sushi, we love pairing it with Mochi ice cream. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. It’s a super fun sensory treat.
Choose your spot
We used to do movie night on our basement couch with TV trays, but my husband and I would get annoyed with all the spills on the carpet and couch. Now we do movie night at our dining table, and it works great. We all have a spot, spills aren’t a big deal, and we can all relax. When we’re done with dinner and dessert, we all pile into our big bed and cuddle for the rest of the movie. It’s sweet and comforting way to celebrate the end of the week.
What will be your movie night tradition? Already have one? Post yours in the comments below! It would be fun to hear new ideas.