FOMO Movie Friday: A New Tradition

Do you get FOMO (fear of missing out)?

Does chilly weather make you want to get cozy?

Well then, friends, I have an idea for you born of my ability to always feel a little left out AND my desire to practice hygge without the nationalist xenophobia: FAMILY MOVIE FRIDAY!

I thank goodness everyday that we didn’t have social media when I was in junior high and high school. I cannot even imagine how terrible it would be to feel like I was always being left out of something cool and then be confronted with actual visual evidence that I was being left out of something cool. My teenage years were awful enough without that heartbreak. I mean, I am almost 40 years old, and Facebook and Instagram still give me a wicked case of FOMO every darn day.

When the kids started back to school, which is a natural time for me to go out with friends less often because unlike summer aren’t all just lolling around making plans in the sunshine, I implemented family movie Fridays, and they serve three key purposes.

  1. They cure my FOMO because I always have Friday night plans. And these plans involve my favorite people in the universe plus my couch plus my favorite food.
  2. They guard against my own middle schooler feeling left out because he also has automatic plans. He’s also way cooler than I am and has already missed family movie Friday to hang out with his friends.
  3. They satisfy my need to hunker down with some pillows and blankets on the couch in my jammies, lights dim, candles burning, popcorn popping. I mean, who doesn’t love a cozy night at home when the weather turns crisp?

My husband and I are notorious slackers, the king and queen of starting a tradition only to abandon it when the going gets tough. So far, though, family movie Friday (which sometimes gets moved to Saturday) has endured because we like it as much as the kids do. (Yes, he has missed a few for sportsball. Yes, I ducked out early for margaritas with a friend. But the other partner picks up the slack because TEAM WORK).

Think this sounds like a wholesome good time? It is, and did I mention it’s easy. Here’s how you do it.

Pick the movie.

This is harder than it sounds fr me because my kids range in age from 11-4. Some crowd pleasers in our house: RV, Lego: Ninjago, Napoleon Dynamite, Teen Wolf, Hocus Pocus, Beauty and the Beast, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Road Trip, Wonder Woman, and Power Rangers. This book has a number of awesome suggestions as well.

Pick the venue.

So far, we have done one in the theater and the rest at home, but my husband is taking all the boys to see Star Wars in the theater, and all of us are excited to see Wonder on the big screen. Usually, though, we turn to our antique (kidding—sort of!) DVD collection, Netflix, iTunes, or our cable on-demand options.

Pick the pizza.

I like to mix it up. Sometimes we have takeout from a greasy chain. Sometimes it’s gourmet delivery. Sometimes we do frozen. I also really like to make dough in my bread machine, and the kids loved to twirl it in the air and slather it with toppings. They also really like to make their own on French bread or English muffins.

Pick the snacks.

We like popcorn popped in this awesome glass microwave pitcher or in the Whirley Pop. We also usually have M&Ms because I have a wicked sweet tooth. I have served crudités and dip, but they aren’t as popular (BIG SURPRISE)

Set the scene.

I am kind of a neat freak, so we usually start the movie right at 5 or 5:30 with our pizza and popcorn. Then we pause it when we’re done eating so the grown ups can clean up the food and the kids can take showers and put on their PJ’s. Everyone brings their pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals back to the couch when they’re done, and we bust out the candy to watch the rest of the movie. That way, when the movie’s over, it’s time for the little kids to go right to bed, and the heavy lifting of the nightly routine is all done.

We keep saying that after the little two go to bed, we’ll have a double header with the older 2 kids, but so far, we have all been so blissed out by our cozy night that one movie is plenty, and we all head to be early. PARTY ANIMALS.

Let me know if family movie Friday cures your FOMO and keeps you cozy. It works for me.

Sarah Jedd has a Ph.D. in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches and studies the rhetoric of Planned Parenthood. Sarah has 5 (F I V E) children: teens Harry and Jack, elementary schoolers Cooper and Dorothy, and sweet baby Minnie, born in August 2020. Sarah blogs about being a mom of many at and overshares on IG as @sarahjedd. Sarah, her husband, and their kids live in Verona with the world's laziest dog.


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