It’s winter here in coastal Rhode Island where the days are shorter, the cold weather biting, and the winter doldrums are creeping in. We find ourselves staying home at night, and when our three college kids are home on weekends we try and find something appealing enough for them to stay in with us. Sure, we love our take-out/veg-out nights in front the TV, but it is way more fun to plan a cozy evening at home. Personally, I am an old-fashioned girl and kind of get excited when the electricity goes out so we can only use candlelight.
On that note…
I try to turn back time. My kids are on the active side, so I have always tried to give their brains a rest from the constant barrage of machines. On an evening “in,” the only electronic item on is my daughter’s Ipod. Yes, they select the tunes, but we all vote on what we’re going to do. This is what it usually comes down to at our house.
We have a choice—Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or Poker. They never choose my favorite, Scrabble, because I am a demon at it, and I will never let anyone win.
Yes, we break out the soda and nachos and have a Darts Tournament and/or a few games of pool. All the men in my house fancy themselves pool sharks (not!).
This is going to sound corny, but I promise you it is not. We get the fire roaring, and we cuddle up on the couches, and one of us reads aloud. When they were small, we read to them every night at bedtime, so they think this is perfectly normal. After all, that is what families did before Radio and TV at night, right? Being the educationally minded Mom I like to think I am, I’ll choose a classic like Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” or Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” (one of my favorites!). If my son gets his way, we will pull out a Stephen King book, resurrect a Harry Potter, or even read “The Best of the Best of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.”
As for the food, well, sometimes I don’t even serve dinner but will put out a ton of munchies and yummies. Toward the end of the night, I always whip up some hot drinks like homemade hot cocoa or a hot rum toddie, neither of which disappoints.
As one-by-one drift off to bed, cozy, sleepy, and content, I remember how much work it was to keep the kids entertained when they were little and how easy it is to have fun with them now. I guess all that hard work was well worth it.
Stay cozy friends!