On Friday night, my kids never ask what’s for dinner or what we are doing. Somewhere along our family’s history, Friday was dubbed Pizza Movie Night. Every Friday, with very few exceptions, we order pizza and all settle in on the brown sofa with some overflow onto the love seat. We pour our soda into cups, always with lids because clumsiness is wound tightly in my genes (and sticky runs deep in my sofa cushions). The movie changes from week to week–sometimes an animated classic, sometimes a new release, and sometimes a marathon of Phineas and Ferb. One thing never changes; we are together on Friday night.
This family tradition is so routine and familiar, my two-year-old could lead it in my absence. In fact, he falls right in line with the other kids. He puts a slice of pizza on his paper plate (no dishwashing allowed on Friday night), grabs his sippy cup of “pizza juice,” and heads to the living room. He asks someone to turn on the television and waits for the feature presentation to begin. If there is any variation to his Pizza Movie Night routine, we can anticipate a small tantrum on the floor courtesy of the terrible two’s.
When my son began to narrate our Friday nights step by step the way toddlers do, I began to grasp how very comforting our Pizza Movie Night is to every member of our family. It is the simplest of nights in our household. But each of us find our family center here; it is our ground zero.
You may have similar traditions that anchor your family: Taco Tuesday, biking around the park every Saturday morning, breakfast for dinner on Sunday night. These small pillars of our week help create a small respite in the midst of chaos.
Family traditions have benefits extending far beyond answering the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question.
Read the rest of The Importance of Establishing Family Traditions at ChristianParenting.org.
If you are looking for movie selections for your Pizza Movie Night, I share five of our favorites here, including discussion questions for each.
Also, consider a PureFlix movie subscription. It is a faith-based, family friendly movie service similar to Netflix.
One of my favorite finds for family entertainment is the VidAngel app. VidAngel lets you set filters for language, violence, and sexual content in the movies you watch. This allows you to enjoy quality films with your family without all of the junk. The best part? The movie “rentals” are just $1! Check out the details here!