Holiday Entertainment

They’re here again. With a different sensibility. The holidays. And all of the typical events, parties and things that come with this time of year. But this go round feels a bit different. Why? Well, we all know it’s been a tough year in America. As my friends say, it’s a “weird weather” kind of feel.

A lot of people are very gun shy about going out and being carefree these days. Sorry, no pun intended. But in light of all of the news chaos – shootings, ISIS, the feeling of insecurity when it comes to random terror – many of us are re thinking how we do the holiday season. In more. Out less?

As I was driving around town this week, the topic of talk on the local news radio station was all about corporations cancelling holiday parties in light of what happened in the San Bernardino shootings at what was supposed to be a typical staff holiday lunch. The enthusiastic radio hosts drove home the importance of not living life in fear. Go to the parties they say. Live the way you would normally and go out to enjoy all that life has to offer. That’s great if you’re comfortable doing that. If not, that’s o.k. too. This year, our family is just staying close to home. And at home. It just feels safer and more comfortable. And maybe there’s a reason to do this. To remember the original celebration of the holiday season. It used to be about home. Being there. Celebrating the spirit of the season with the people closest to you in the world. Family and friends.

Because, regardless of today’s volatile landscape, a big part of the holiday season – after the parties, the shopping, the Nutcracker, the wind down school events and work day deadlines – is also to just be in your home enjoying holiday cheer. Zoning out and watching the yuletide log burning in the fireplace. Sipping on the nice eggnog and staring at all the lights and decorations you’ve wrapped around the special tree standing in the corner of the family room. Or admiring the illuminated menorah in your front window.

Simple domestic life. Cooking. Putzing. Hanging out with people who are part of your tribe and living in your hood. It’s the piece of the holiday season that seems to be the most enjoyable of all.

It’s supposed to be part of the meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever you’re celebrating. Connecting with the real meaning of the holiday season. So, eat, drink and be merry. And capture the simple pleasures of these moments before you have to go back to the rat race and the rest of this “new normal” world as we bring in the New Year. Maybe safe and simple is entertainment enough for now. Cheers to that and Happy Holidays!

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Do You Go To The Movies?

It was always one of my favorite things to do. Dinner and a movie. In a good old fashioned theatre. Popcorn with butter and a bubbly soda. Cute husband. Great Plot.

Life is good. But, things have changed. Especially in light of recent shooting events here in the U.S. and the recent terrorist attacks on “soft targets” and entertainment venues in Paris. Case in point.

My daughter calls me today and says “Mom, I won’t be going to a theatre to see a movie for awhile. My friends and I went last night and there was a strange man with a black jacket who went to the side of the theatre to stare out and survey the crowd. Two girls ran out, ducking their heads. We slouched down in our seats and were afraid to leave. Movie security came in, but just stood in the back. Because it was dark we weren’t sure who the guy was. I was afraid we’d get shot. It turned out ok, but I was freaked out. Like I said, I won’t be going to the movies for awhile.”

I responded calmly to my daughter as she went on explaining her experience while simultaneously feeling my stomach fall to the floor. This is what it’s come to today, I thought to myself. A “new normal” has kicked in – especially for our children.

And a lot of questions are running through our minds too. Do we need metal detectors greeting us at the multiplex? Would an increased police presence help? Should federal or state governments pass legislation of some sort to give moviegoers a greater sense of security as they pay to sit in a dark theater with strangers? Do we let our kids go see movies by themselves on a Friday night anymore?

Articles from the Huffington Post to the Washington Post have addressed safety issues in movie theaters and proposed new security measures. A lot of discussion and debate but for the moment, no big changes.

So, do you go to the movies? Your decision. For now, though, I’ll take my husband, popcorn and bubbly soda and park on the couch tonight. Netflix and the Home Theatre experience is just the ticket for me.

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What You Like to Do

To be entertained. What does that look like to you?

Is it the weekend getaway, big family vacation, the staycation in town with a pool and cocktails? Or is it cracking out on Netflix episodes and snacks on your extremely comfortable couch? Or just sitting with a good cup of coffee and a real newspaper or hardback book?

It could be doing the arts and cultural events all dressed up, dancing your butt off after years of keeping your groove thing in the closet, or wearing your home team jersey and doing the wave at the stadium. Add to the list – fishing, biking, hiking, running, dinner parties, afternoon movies, nature, aha moments and everything else we do to keep ticking, humming and finding that piece of fun, fulfillment or good time.

Everybody has his or her version of being entertained. Or do you keep others entertained? Hi kids! Amusement parks, play dates, club ball, packed schedules – sounds exhausting.

But for a lot of parents, watching their kids is very entertaining. I used to feel that way when my daughters were little and created Sunday Fun Day in our front yard for all the neighborhood kids to enjoy. Games, activities and a lot of sidewalk chalk. Today, my daughters do the young adult version of Sunday Fun Day – which is day drinking at the bars. Yes, our definition of how we like being entertained does change as we age and grow up. Or maybe we never grow up. That’s fine too.

So, this month we start our Be Entertained blog with our network of family, friends and others contributing their ideas to share with you.

So weekend warrior, fanatic sports fan, busy-bee lady and professional couch potatoes — get ready for some fun! To be entertained or to entertain…that is the question. And we’ve got some good answers coming to you my fellow fun seekers in the months ahead, right here on the Newsladies!

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