When it gets cold outside, there’s nothing better than making it cozy inside. That’s why January is the one of the best months for a “memory night” in with the family. At our house, Family Memory Night means watching family films of the Ridd’s over the years (full disclosure: my company, Smitten Films, makes these kind of films for clients all over the world). But if you don’t have a Smitten Film yet, your family can still host a Family Memory Night with an assortment of photos, video clips from your iPhone, or any other footage you have on hand. What is most important is sharing all the photos and videos usually stuck on your devices, and enjoying them together! Below we’ve listed some suggestions for how to create this cozy night together.
1. Make invitations with the kids. If your kids are anything like mine, they love arts and crafts. Here’s a great activity where they can make (and deliver) invitations to all family members to come join for the big night! If you have extended family nearby, include them in the festivities too.
2. Prepare family favorites to eat. Do you have any special family meals you love to cook/order in? Tonight’s a great night to whip them up/order them in. Or let the kids choose the menu!
3. Set up a cozy area in your home. Let the kids gather all of the pillows in the house and set them up in the living room. They will love to snuggle into this cozy space and will also get a kick out of upsetting the natural order of the house for a night (Why is that such a thrill for them?!!).
4. Cue up the footage. If you’ve made a Smitten Film with us, this part is a breeze. Just play the film from whatever streaming device you have and your film will start playing on your television (don’t forget to grab a box of tissues!). If you haven’t made a Smitten Film, just set up your iPhone to mirror whatever streaming device you have (Apple TV or ChromeCast) and your footage will appear on your TV screen. You could also play it off a laptop if that is easiest.
5. Share the stories. Take the time to tell the stories behind the footage. Make sure you take time to listen to your kids tell you what was special to them about those memories as well – their perspective is always so interesting.
6. Share a few videos or photos from before they were born. If you have some of these to share, your kids will get such a kick out of them! It never ceases to amaze me how funny the kids think our lives were before they existed. Pulling out that wedding album is always a sweet moment for them.
Have a blast! We can’t wait to hear about the Family Memory Night you host! (And when you have yours, we’d love if you would tag #smittenmemorynights so we can inspire other families to do the same!) xo, Lisa
Lisa Ridd lives in Tribeca with her husband Seb and their three children. Her company, Smitten Films (@smittenfilms), takes the memorable videos and photos stuck on a family’s various devices (phones, computers, and backup hard drives), edits them down to the best bits, picks out the best accompanying music, and weaves it all together into a keepsake custom family film.