One of my favorite novels is C.S Lewis’, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. It’s not only enjoyable for children and adults alike, but also references the Bible throughout the chronicles. If you haven’t already read this with your children- it’s a must! If you have, you’re going to love what my dear friend, Julie did with her children. She is one of the most intentional moms I have ever met….
Here’s her story:
I decided to have a fun “Narnia Night” with my hubby and kids. I was going to set it all up and do all the planning and decorating and gave myself a budget of $30.00 (not including dinner because I would have to fix dinner anyways )
We love all things Narnia! We have all 7 books, all the movies, have rented the really old cheesy movies from the library, and have listened to the audio series of all 7 stories countless times! We have our favorite movie posters hanging in our basement and yes, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is by far the most awesome one hanging…sorry hubs but it really is better than Star Wars! Ha!
To create the scene, I started gathering up ideas and talked them over with my hubby and we came up with a fun evening! I knew I wanted the basement to be decorated with trees, snow, and most importantly a Lamp-post! So I got out our Christmas trees, (we have two) and borrowed one more and set them out and put snow on them. Snow was just cotton batting from the craft store! I blew up 2 bags of white balloons and put them all over the floor and covered our 2 black couches with white sheets.
My mom had a cute candle holder that would look awesome with a bit of tweaking as the lamppost. So I asked my dad to build a stand for the candle holder to sit on—real simple—basically a 2×4 attached to a base and a small square piece of wood at the top for the candle holder to sit on. I then spray painted it black. It looked great!!! Just what I had envisioned!
Upstairs, I wanted a regal tent like the one Aslan is in in the Disney version of the Movie! I wanted lots of reds and golds! I found fabric remnants at Walmart (remember my budget!) and tied them up above my kitchen table to look tent-like. I put fabric on the chairs too and set the table as fancy as my poor dishes would allow! I borrowed fancy glasses from a good friend! (We didn’t eat anything fancy—my kids wanted lasagna but we ate it on fancy plates! Ha)
Now the decorations were complete and we could start our fun night of Narnia activities!!!
We started the night off by eating dinner under Aslan’s tent and telling the kids what the night was going to hold! After dinner we had a scavenger hunt with clues all relating to Narnia for the kids to do. At each clue they would find another clue and so forth. We just totally made it up and it took them all over the house and outside! They had a ball doing this little “hunt”!
After that we took them downstairs where they had to walk through the “wardrobe” at the bottom of the steps… okay so it was a whole bunch of our winter coats hanging on a coat rack but hey, they got the point!
We then started watching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe…
When the movie reached the point where Edward is offered some hot cocoa and Turkish Delight we paused the move and enjoyed….yes, some hot cocoa and Turkish Delight!!!! I went to Goodwill and found some cups that I turned into “goblets” by spray painting the bottoms silver and added “jewels”!!! I did NOT spray paint any area where they would drink, just the plastic bottoms! And for the Turkish Delight, well I had no idea how to make that so I found a recipe online and asked my amazing friend, Janelle, who can cook anything to help me out and make a batch!
So we all drank our delicious hot chocolate and tasted the Turkish Delight. Lets just say that my kids said the Turkish Delight wasn’t really a delight! Ha, but we had fun tasting it!! (thanks again, Janelle)
We then continued to watch the movie surrounded by our snowy trees and lamp-post.
When the movie got to the point of Father Christmas giving out gifts we again stopped the movie and all sat on the floor. My sweet husband then pulled out a “Father Christmas” bag and told the kids that he too had gifts to hand out.
Now these Father Christmas’ gifts were not awesome Nerf guns to play with, or the latest and greatest toy….they were gifts that represented each person and their character. Together we decided on a Godly characteristic we wanted to highlight in each of our children’s personalities and what “charge” to give them along with a gift to represent that quality/charge.
For example, we gave one of our daughters, (who is a very loud, fun, and did I say loud child), a megaphone with a written “charge” to always be a loud voice for the gospel. We wrote out the charge as well as a verse to go along with that charge. In this case, it was Ephesians 6:19. We typed them out fancy on resume paper and had them laminated beforehand to give them.
So my hubby would pull out the gift from the bag and address each of our children individually and give them their charge and their gift, just like Father Christmas did in the movie.
This was a very special time and to this day all three of my kids have their “charge” taped on their bedroom wall! I love this kind of reminder and accountability to display Godly wisdom and character!!
After this we finally finished the movie and then for the last activity we moved upstairs to play a game of “all things Narnia” Jeopardy! Now you could make this up on a white board but we had access to an actual jeopardy game that you can play on your TV. I had a separate category for each of the 7 books and then a misc category! The three kids had so much fun competing and playing this…I couldn’t believe how well they did with all the trivia! My youngest ended up winning and we had an amazing night and hopefully lots of memories that will last forever!
All in all, I stayed under budget, borrowed what I didn’t have from good friends, spent fabulous quality time with the family, encouraged each other spiritually, and now how to come up with a Star Wars night…..or not.
Thank you so much for sharing this idea with all of us Julie…your children are so blessed to have such a creative and fun mom. As far as the Turkish Delight….I agree, I am not a fan- hahaha!