Myra Faye Turner, Writer
When my son Tyler was a wee lad, we instituted a fun ritual that continues today. Periodically we have a movie festival. We would watch a bunch of movies that we both really wanted to see. We would usually head to the library and check out the maximum number allowed ( 6, I believe) and add that to our stash of Netflix movies (2). I made sure we had enough snacks and we were all set. As time progressed, we continued our tradition but it has evolved. One day Tyler suggested that we only watch bad movies. At first I didn't want to waste my time but I decided what the hell. And you know what? It was actually a lot of fun. When you're a single parent and all of your relatives live in other states, you have to find ways to amuse your child when you spend so much time together.
Fast forward to the rise of streaming movies. Now that we have more options, our movie marathons have become more frequent and a lot more fun. And since Tyler is old enough to stay up later, we have had several all night events. We have watched bad Christmas movies, entire seasons of television shows and have alternated between one movie that I like and one that he likes.
If you're looking for a fun way to connect with your kids, a family movie festival is an idea worth considering. Here are some tips to get you started.
Choose a theme: You can select movies from one genre, movies starring your favorite actor or actress, movies with low ratings, etc. It's okay to mix it up. If you decide you're going to watch movies by one actor, for instance, watch the movies in order from earlier to latest. If you select musicals, watch both old classics and new musicals. And trust me, you need to have a Christmas movie festival. Again, mix it up with old classics and some of the newer movies.
Make a schedule: To keep the festival moving smoothly, make sure you plan the order of the movies you are going to watch. If you are binge watching a television series, the schedule is already set. The same holds true if you are watching movies in order, Star Wars for example. Otherwise, you will have to decide the order you want to watch the movies.
Have enough snacks on hand: You also want to do a little planning in this area. You don't want to get hungry in the middle of your marathon, only to realize that your cupboard is as bare as Old Mother Hubbard's. If we're pulling an all- nighter, we usually have an intermission around 1 or 2 am for me to make some breakfast food. We normally have either pizza, sandwiches or hot dogs at the beginning of the festival. There's usually chips, popcorn, candy, cookies and or other snacks, also.
Finally, if you're planning to stay up all night, now when to say when. Sometimes we don't make it and that's okay. If we feel like we're getting sleepy, we call it a night (or technically a day). If we haven't watched all of the movies we planned to watch, we save them for another day.
Now I'm off to plan our Christmas movie festival.