What to Watch on Family Movie Nights

Movie nights with the family can be more of a hassle than it is worth, if everyone has different tastes in movies. The kids may be interested in the latest superhero sequel, while mom would prefer a comedy, and dad has his eye on an older James Bond flick. There seems to be no middle ground here. The family could spend half an hour or more arguing about which movie to watch, and go through the endless list of choices available for online streaming or on-demand.

Just when it seems like everyone is happy with the selection, one member of the family complains, and then the whole process starts all over again.
Why Not to Always Let Kids Choose the Movie

In these situations, what usually ends up happening is that one member of the family gets to choose the movie, and everyone else accepts it, along with more or less silent suffering. More often than not, kids get this privilege, since they are the ones with the least capacity to sit through anything. If that system doesn’t work, the family may give up on movie night altogether. This is the situation more and more these days, since everyone can just watch what they want on their own computers or tablets. The drawback, of course, is that family time gets sacrificed.
Try the ‘Pick System’

There is one system that works well for some families, and avoids all the problems mentioned above. I like to call it the ‘pick system’. The pick system is surprisingly simple and effective, and it even has the bonus of teaching some good lessons to the younger members of the family. The system works like this: each member of the family gets one pick, and movie night rotates, so that each member’s pick is shown on a movie night before the rotation is reset. The only hard and fast rule is that, if it isn’t your pick, you must sit through the movie that’s showing, without complaints. When it is your pick, you can choose whatever movie you want, and you know that the rest of the family will have to watch it with you. Depending on the specific needs of your family, you could include a few other rules related to kid-friendliness, subtitles, or other very broad regulations.
Learn Some Positive Life Lessons
When it’s described in writing, the pick system seems so obvious, that it sounds a bit silly, but it’s a proven method that eliminates all the arguing and agonizing, and makes movie night fun again. There’s a bonus which you might not see coming: if you have kids, it will teach them a lesson in consideration and patience. Using the pick system, you will be surprised to find that your kids will start choosing movies that they think will be crowd pleasers. The reason this happens is simple. Imagine it’s your pick, and you choose a movie that everyone in the family ends up loving. They will praise you for having made such a great choice. These words of praise are powerful positive reinforcements-it feels great when the people we love tell us that we did a good job. Of course, sometimes, there will be a movie that someone really, really wants to see, no matter what the others think. The beauty of the pick system is that, that’s always okay.
It Really Works!
In my family, the pick system revolutionized movie night. We used to avoid watching movies together, because it would take ages to find something everyone wanted to see. Now, we watch movies together on a regular basis, because we like sharing our unique tastes with each other, and it’s fun to see what the others will come up with on their turn. We also add a twist to make it exciting: whoever has the pick, can’t tell the others in advance what the movie is-it’s a surprise!

Unique Ideas to Celebrate Parents’ Day

Parents are a source of joy, hope, stability, security and love for their children. They play an important role in imparting values, and there is no doubt why there shouldn’t be a day to revere them.

Parents’ Day was formulated in 1994 by the then President Bill Clinton, who declared the fourth Sunday of July as a day to commemorate the role of parents and to promote ideal parenthood. According to the National Parents’ Day Council, it is not just a day to honor Moms and Dads, but also a day when parents can rededicate themselves to their children. The idea behind the concept of Parents’ Day is to celebrate a day of unconditional and true love.

The Roman Catholic Church venerates 26 July as the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The church dedicates this day to parents and grandparents the world over. Considered to be the grandparents of Jesus, Saints Joachim and Anne are venerated as exemplary models for all parents. According to the American Catholic organization, 26 July is celebrated as the ‘Feast of Grandparents’. It is a day to remind grandparents of their responsibility and it also acts as a foundation for future generations. It is a day to remember the role of parents in each one’s life.

As the world gears up to celebrate Parents’ Day with gifts and cards, you can make this day extra special for your parents in a unique way. It’s a day you get to honor your father and mother in a way that you have never done before. After all respecting parents is one of the commandments given by God. Take a look at how you can make this day a special occasion for your parents.

10 Ways to Make it a Special Occasion

“There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child.” – Henry Ward Beecher

» Happy Wanderers
Pack your backpacks and wander off together as a family. Take along some eatables and some games too and have a wonderful time bonding with your parents. Knapsacking as happy wanderers is a good way to reminiscence your childhood days.

» Dine Out
Surprise your parents by booking a table at a nice little restaurant and treat them to their favorite cuisine. If you are capable enough, reserving a table in a plush multi-cuisine restaurant won’t do you any harm. You can add a little bit of charm by asking for some special music, or better still, surprise them by playing a song or two yourself.

» Bring the Restaurant Home
Set up a nice little tent in the backyard or the garden and decorate it with drapes, wind-chimes or beads. Then cook a nice meal and dine out in the open along with your parents. To make it even more special, ensure you include the things they love to eat, or maybe try out a dish that they have never tried before. You can ask an older relative to help you out with your preparations.

» Organize a Theme Party
Get your family together by organizing a theme party. It would be fun to revisit the good old childhood days when you and your siblings wore matching ensembles. Only this time match your outfit with that of your parents’ so it would be ‘like father like son’ and ‘like mother like daughter’.

» Book a Yacht
If you are capable enough, you can book a private yacht for a day and set sail with your parents. If this seems too costly an affair, opt for a day cruise which will allow you to spend quality time with your parents. You can spend the day catching up on good old memories.

» Book Tickets for a Show
Present your parents with tickets for a concert or a theatrical or even for a movie that they like. You can even book tickets for a game that they enjoy. You would have to ensure that you keep spare tickets for yourself to make it even more special. Try to rope in the entire family for the event to make it a day for the entire clan to remember.

» Plan a Nice Little Holiday Together
Seems too far-fetched an idea, but if it brings a smile on your parents face, it would be worth the effort. The amount of time you spend with your parents, no matter how old they are, the better their day is bound to be. You could drive down to a place they would love to go to, or hiring a caravan could do the trick.

» Organize a Surprise Potluck
The greatest gift for a parent is to see all their children spending happy moments together. You can do your bit by organizing a surprise potluck party in honor of your parents. Get each of your siblings to prepare a dish that your parents enjoy. Then get together and see their happy smiles when you shout “Surprise!”.

» Gather Memorabilia
This would require a little bit of hard work on your part. Gather all your childhood pictures, prized possessions and trophies that have made them proud of you in the past and display it in your garden. Invite your parents to visit a museum and surprise them with a mini-museum right in your backyard or attic. This would be a true walk down memory lane for your parents and the best possible way of showing you are grateful for all those memories.

» Make a Promise to Keep
Put on your thinking caps and come up with a handful of vows that you promise to keep for your parents. They can be simple ones like ‘I promise to be there for you’, or ‘I promise to spend a day in the week with you’. Whatever the promise, remember to diligently follow it. Dedicate your time, energy and love for the people who never cease to love and care for you. Time is the only supreme gift that you, as their child, can give to your parents.

Ideas for the Perfect Parents’ Day Gift

Time and love are the only gifts your parents will be satisfied with. However, you can show your love and gratitude for all they do for you with a present or two as well. You will never go wrong with some of these personalized gift ideas.

Say It with a Scroll » Prepare a scroll by artistically sewing or painting a good quote or an excerpt that expresses your love. Display the scroll once your parents have gone off to sleep, so the first thing they notice on Parents’ Day is the beautifully done up scroll.

Gift a Frame » Create a collage of all the best pictures of moments spent with your parents and put it together on a chart. Do remember to personalize it with a few splotches of palm prints, or fingerprints and a few phrases to complete it. Present this as a memoir of the best days of your life.

Quotes Diary » Compose a nice little poem, or gather some of the best quotes on parents and fill up a few pages with them. Present this diary as a sign of gratitude for all the sacrifices they have made to keep you happy.

Photo Album cum Scrapbook » Recollect all the best moments you have spent with your parents and compile them into a scrapbook. Add your personal touch by describing each captured moment the way you remember it. Presenting a scrapbook is a good way of remembering the old days.

Become a Music Jockey » Hunt for the songs that your parents love and put them together on one disc and present it to them. You could even record few of these songs with the help of a few friends and compile a disc and present it to your parents.

Say It with a Card » A homemade card makes a nice gesture to show your love for your parents. Make it even more special by pasting their pictures along with a few of yours to remind them how much you love them.

Cakes, Chocolates and a Bouquet » Flowers have the capability to put an instant smile on anyone’s face. Think of the many ways you can decorate the house with flowers; for a more ethnic touch, prepare a garland and present it to your parents. Chocolates are known to be heart warmers and have no age bar to enjoy. Take along some cake, chocolates – and there you have it – you can make the day the most special day ever.

Finally, tell your parents how much you love them with a nice bear hug. And if you’re still not satisfied, say a prayer for your parents, that’s one of the best gifts you can ever give them this Parents’ Day. This hymn should be able to sum up all your heartfelt gratitude for the gift of your parents “I thank my God each time I think of You, and when I pray for You, I pray with joy.”