In my three years as a parent, I've found the saying, "Everything is more fun with kids" to be true. Holidays are more fun and every time our kids experience something new for the first time, I feel like it's more exciting for us than it is for them. Recently we've started sharing our favorite songs, books and movies from when we were growing up with the kids and it's been a lot of fun! For years I've had this idea for a family tradition, and now that our kids are old enough to enjoy movies and sit through them, we're ready to make it a monthly thing.
This is one of those activities that doesn't take a lot of planning or work but it's magical for little kids. I hope to continue this tradition forever, through the time when our kids are in high school and would rather spend their weekend nights with friends, or living away from home at college. I know that it will have to be tweaked a bit to fit each stage of life, but our monthly movie nights will serve as a way to bring our family closer together and give us a pre-planned reason to hang out together. That isn't something that we're lacking in our current stage of life, because both of our kids want nothing more than to hang out with mom and dad every single night, but I know that making this habit now will make it easier to "enforce" in the future.
Once a month, we pick a new movie to introduce the kids to, get food for a picnic, lay out the blankets and settle in for a the night. During one of our last movie nights, Mater and Lightening McQueen even joined us, since we were watching their show. This month I think we'll be introducing them to The Greatest Showman. Bensen sat through all of Monsters Inc. and insisted we read the picture book version of the story every single day the next week. This month I think we're going to introduce him to The Greatest Showman. We've listened to the soundtrack together a million times over and he can sing some of the songs word for word so I think he'll love it.
We call this our pajamas, pizza and popcorn night because I like the alliteration, but we're flexible on the type of food, what we're wearing and whether or not we eat popcorn. The general idea is a picnic of yummy food, snuggled up and spending time together as a family. Simple traditions like this one help us be more intentional with our time and give us something to look forward to after the long week.