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Vanessa Druckman

Vanessa, also known as Chefdruck, is a foodie, writer and mom living in Chicago with her husband and four children. Whether you're planning a holiday dinner party or small impromptu get together with friends, Vanessa has easy menu ideas and helpful tips to minimize your time in the kitchen so you have more time to spend with your friends and family. Vanessa's personal blog can be found at chefdruck.com

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Family Quality Time

family movie night

Sunday night is family movie night in our house. This is a tradition that my husband and I established early on in our relationship, long before we became mommy and daddy to our three kids. To keep the weekend going as long as possible, we would go to a 10 P.M. movie every Sunday night, walking home slowly down the quiet New York City streets afterwards, discussing the best movie scenes, and then slipping straight into bed.

Family Movie Night

Now that we share our movie night with the kids, we begin a little earlier to maintain our bedtime routine, but we still see a movie every Sunday night. Our dinner conversations often center around what to watch on Sunday. As appropriate movies for our three year old are rarely in the theater, we have most of our movie nights right at home, from the comfort of our couch. But that doesn't mean that we don't revel in the full cineplex experience!

In addition to popcorn, I like to set up the kids with some goodies just like they would get at the concession stand. Our recent movie snacks included fruit flavored snacks, Fudge Stripes cookies, frosted animal crackers, Rainbow Chips Deluxe, and Nutri-Grain Bars. The platter was colorful and fun, and the kids loved the variety. There was something for everyone, and smiles on all faces as we started the DVD for our selected feature.

5 Fun Tips for Family Movie Night

  1. Make it an event. Make the evening something special by creating a platter of goodies for everyone.
  2. Roll out the Red Carpet. Have the kids work on decorations throughout the week to hang in your TV room and get a cheap bolt of red cloth that you roll out by the entrance only on family movie night.
  3. Put the kids in charge! Provide the kids with a few colorful treats and let them put the platter of goodies together.
  4. Build up the excitement. During family dinner, debate movie options throughout the week. You can even organize a family vote, complete with secret ballots, to do your own best picture award nominations.
  5. Create a movie series. Focus on a theme for the month to tie your movie nights together. Last month we featured only dog movies. The previous month kept us singing with only musicals. Other good ones are fairytales, super heroes and old family favorites.

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