The Soup Dragon Big Night In

It’s a challenge many of us face when we become parents – how do you have a special night, when most of your nights are spent at home?

I think most parents can associate with this quote, and I find I am no different. This is the question asked by LittleStuff in their competition with brand new bingo review portal Two Little Fleas.

I have never been a particularly social person preferring a small group of good friends and a good chat rather than a big room full of people. I have had to change how I think about going out, with my change of lifestyle. As a new work from home mum if I didn’t talk to friends at the school gate or in shops I might go a bit crazy. I have even had to plan actual nights out with friends which has never come naturally to me.
So to be asked to plan a BIG night in is actually a dream scenario for me, as some of my favourite nights have been those spur of the moment ones at home. You know the type, where you bump into someone and say “what are you doing tonight?” The ones where you end up laughing so much you need a lie in, in the morning to recover and no alcohol was involved!

If I have £750 to spend on my Big Night In , where would I start?
I think I would have to start with the guest list, inviting my oldest and longsuffering friends. They are great friends as we have known each other since we were in our teens, sometimes I think we know each other too well. Now we both have families and other commitments we have less time to catch up, so a great excuse to find out what’s been happening…

Next the food, well that would normally be difficult, as we are all very different in what we like. We have a tradition of getting together on Christmas Eve and so the Mums don’t end up cooking (we will be doing lots of that over the following days) we order take away. Instead of a Christmas gift we will order any take away a person wants rather than having to just choose one and split the bill as our gift to each family.

This usually results in the following:

One Kebab order including chips and sides for one Dad.
One Chinese order of crispy duck, pancakes for the other Dad, one Mum, and noodles for smallest boy.
One Curry order of tandoori chicken for the teenager, and sides for the boy,
Finally pizza and sides for this Mum and the boy likes a bit too.

We love to place the orders all at the same time and see who can get the delivery of food to turn up first. This is ok if you win, but torture if yours is last!
We find one of the above will have some offer for pudding so this will consist of ice-cream or cheesecake, which inevitable gets left for breakfast the next day.

Next on the list is entertainment, I think one of the best nights we had recently was playing Just Dance on New Years eve 2012/13. I can still remember the bad Dad dancing, and the kids beating us. It was the laughter that sticks in my mind most, as they say there is nothing better to heal the soul. I think this could be true as it was the best way to start a New Year.
I think investing in some new games and a console with all the bits would be something the boy would like, as I know he wants an Xbox. I would get a Kinect as well, I love the idea of using your body to move the game. Plus points, no wielding controllers around my living room, and some funny Dad moves. Negatives, I might have to join in as I cant say “I don’t know which buttons to press?” There are some great games online and I had trouble choosing once I started looking. The boy of course wants Minecraft, I’m not sure I want to loose him to the dark side just yet so I would choose some family fun games. As a Disney fan I would choose the Disneyland Adventures, I think sports are always good for a laugh and a little Star Wars for the three boys. I would of course have to add Just Dance 4, as none of us have played it before know one would have an advantage. When we get together there is some major competition so this would be good to watch, especially the dancing to Barry White!

The fun and games would take up a large portion of the budget, add in all the popcorn crisps and drinks to keep us going on a marathon games night. Maybe a soda stream to keep the fizzy on tap? Then I would need somewhere for us to all flop, when the fits of laughter subside. I think a couple of huge beanbags, the type once you are in you cant get out of.

Anyway which we spent the money on a Big Night In would be irrelevant when we are old and grey and sitting in a café somewhere we can say

“Do you remember the night we played games till 2am and you fell over the cat!” “Yes those were the days”

The fantastic memories will live on long past the money.

This is my entry into this months, LittleStuff competition with brand new bingo review portal Two Little Fleas to provide you with some inspiration on how to have an incredible night – without having to book a baby sitter!

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