Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Easy Hospitality :: Movie Nights

by Carrie

This holiday season my husband and I were interested in finding a few fun ways to host friends during this rather busy time of year. We know that there are so many activities available and parties to attend, but we wanted to make sure we provided an option for ourselves and for our friends as to how we might keep touch during this upcoming Christmas season.

Coupled with the fact that we are now expecting a new family member this spring (yup, I'm following the way of half of the Offering Hospitality staff and am pregnant!) we also knew that we wanted to come up with something a bit more low key that wouldn't demand so much of our energy.

In the end, we decided to host a series of Holiday Movie Nights. Here's what we did:

  • We selected an assortment of dates for our movie nights;
  • We choose family friendly films that families wouldn't worry about coming over to our house to view together;
  • We sent out an e-mail inviting our friends to join us for any or all of the selected dates;
  • We said that snacks would be provided; and
  • We set the time frame for evenings when we knew we wouldn't be as busy the next day so that we could rest and recover.

At the time of this posting, our movie nights are underway and it's been a great experience. For one, we had one family that we weren't familiar with so we invited them to join us for dinner before hand and had a fabulous time getting to know them! The next one promises to include several families which will provide some variety and a different sort of fun.

Think about it - a lot of people watch the same Christmas classics year after year. (I know I do!) Why not watch them all together and make a little party out of it? Not very much preparation is needed and the entertainment is provided! We invite people to come over about half an hour before the movie begins so that we can chat a little and basically just work to stay in touch with others during a time when we might not otherwise make a connection.

For us, this system is working very well. It doesn't demand too much of me right now and it allows us to have our friends over. We are able to enjoy our favorite Christmas movies and it give me an excuse to bake sugary treats that I know will be consumed by others and not just myself! This year this is turning out to be a win-win situation for us. We never see the same faces, nor did we expect to. It's just something a little different we decided to try this year.

Furthermore, the response has been quite favorable - precisely because everyone is busy but taking some time out to watch your favorite Christmas movie is something most people do anyway.

I'm glad we decided to do this this year. I'm not sure if we'll make a regular habit out of it, but for this season in life, (i.e., pregnancy and planned events), taking some down time with friends was important to us and it gives us something to look forward to every few weeks.

What about you? Do you have any holiday tips or tricks as to how you are managing to keep in touch with friends during the Christmas season? I'd really love to hear them if you do! I hope you'll consider sharing with us in the comment section below or in an e-mail.


  1. That is a great idea! It's fun to watch those old familiar movies with friends.

  2. What a great idea! I might be able to host one movie night like that...with hubby in school, I can't infringe on his study time too much. But I think I will plan on doing that...maybe making a pot of chili & inviting a few friends over to watch White Christmas.

  3. I echo the others--this is a fun idea! You've got my wheels turning. =)

  4. I love this idea. I come from Jimmy Stuart's hometown so am partial to "It's a Wonderful Life." Love your book reviews. I'm going to follow you so I don't miss any of them.

  5. What a great idea! So, what movies are you showing?

  6. We started with White Christmas and then planned for Miracle on 34th Street.

    Next up is The Polar Express and we're ending with an "adults only" film (scheduled for after bedtime) of The Christmas Carol. Still a very safe and tame movie but we wanted to have one night where we could put our kids down and provide some adult interaction. (The Ghosts of Christmas past/present and future are still a bit much for our children, in my opinion.) But the option is still open for people who want to bring their families.

  7. Great idea! Did you make any of them pajama movie nights when everyone can come in their jammies? I am planning to host some friends for morning coffee. Pretty easy, just some coffee and maybe muffins, the kids play and we talk. I pray that my home will be a haven for them during what can be a very full season--and of course, I can't wait to spend some time slowing down and enjoying their gift of friendship!

  8. I also meant to say, Congratulations!!!

  9. Thanks, Amy!

    And I think a morning coffee idea is also a FABULOUS idea because not many people have morning plans and so it's easier to make a moment to catch up. Great idea. I'm going to sock that one away.