Going to the Movies

In my family the first movie you see in the theatre is kind of a big deal. My parents still tell the story of taking me to the movies for the first time. We saw An American Tale, about Fievel, a cartoon immigrant mouse who is separated from his family. I fell asleep before the happy ending and then cried all the way home because I didn’t think he found his family.

This weekend I needed to get my daughter out of the house. We are having new tile installed in our kitchen, so my husband had some prep work (college basketball watching) to do.

So off we went for a girls’ date to nearby Rapid City. We went to the historic theatre downtown that shows movies at a discounted rate right before they are released on DVD. We saw Norm of the North, about a charming cartoon polar bear. I was happy she got to experience her first movie at that the Elks Theatre, which is in a really cool old brick building, and has always held a special place in my heart.


It was the perfect setting: A Sunday afternoon, delicious popcorn, only a few other people in the small theater, and a very nearby bathroom for those of us in the throes of potty training.


The spring weather called for a nice walk downtown pre-movie.


I thought taking a 20-month-old to the movies might be a circus, but she was glued to the movie for at least 45 minutes. The last quarter of the film she did a little running around in our aisle, but she was quiet and the theatre was so empty we had the aisle to ourselves.


I love sharing in these special milestones with my girl. And she stayed awake for the entire movie, so she knows (spoiler alert) that Norm the polar bear was reunited with his Grandpa.

In My House

My Five Favorite Christmas Movies

The weather is going to be cold here this weekend. We have a Christmas party to attend and I am in dire need of a pedicure and hair trim, but then it’s all about curling up with a blanket and one of these gems.


5. Love Actually: This is a beautiful movie. It has drama, romance, and comedy courtesy of Bill Nighy’s hilarious performance as the washed-up rock star trying to resurface with a holiday hit.


4. Elf: You’re a cotton-headed ninny muggins if you don’t like Elf. This is my husband’s favorite and it always puts a smile on my face.


3. Home Alone: I am old enough to remember when this movie was released in theatres and I talked my family into taking me twice because I loved it so much. Kevin outsmarts Harry and Marv in the most hilarious ways. Keep the change, you filthy animals.


2. The Family Stone: I went to this movie in the theatre by myself when I was just out of college and living away from my family at Christmas time. The all-star cast is reason enough to watch it, but the underlying theme is how, even as adults, we all kind of return to our childish ways when we go home at Christmas. Craig T. Nelson is absolutely perfect as the father.


1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: This television special is an all-time classic. It celebrated its 50th birthday last year and is still going strong. My daughter loves the music, so we’ll be watching this several times this season.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

(All images from