How to Host Your Own Oscar Party


The 89th Oscars will be broadcast live on ABC on February 26th.

If you can’t make it to the red carpet, consider hosting a viewing party of your own. Here are some ideas:

1. Make it a party! Invite lots of friends. The more the merrier. And don’t forget to have designated sitters to hold your friend’s seat when they get up to go to the bathroom.

2. Encourage folks to dress up. No, you don’t need a $10,000 designer gown or tux, but asks your guests to come dressed for the festive atmostphere. You can even have a prize for the Best Dressed.

3. Have your own red carpet ceremony. All you need is the entry way and your phone for this one.

4. Make it a guessing game. When the nominations come out print up your own Oscar ballot and have guests fill them out as they arrive.

5. Make it a pot luck occasion. The food is always better that way and you don’t go broke in the process. You can even have awards for best food items if you’d like. But just ask your friend to bring their favorite party foods.

7. Decorate. If you’ve got some vintage movie posters, use them. Otherwise balloons and streamers along with a few gold stars provide all the atmosphere that you need. You can even consider taping down Hollywood stars for each of your friends as they enter your home. Just make sure they’re secured enough to be walked out without tripping anyone.

And of course,

8. Watch the Oscars Live!

Ten great movies for Halloween

If you love the fun of Halloween you can’t help but love some of the classic Halloween movies. No, we’re not talking about Jason, or Chucky or any of those. But the fun, somewhat more innocent movies that we all love. Or should.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of ten great movies for Halloween. They’re not all officially Halloween stories, but they all have some element of scary.

By no mean is this a list of “best of” movies. Just some favorites.

Young Frankenstein


An all-time movie favorite. It’s hysterically funny and oh how we miss Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle and, of course, the recently departed Gene Wilder.

Rocky Horror Picture Show


It’s campy. It’s bawdy. It’s a cult classic. Truth be told after the first 30-45 minutes (after the Time Warp), it can get a little boring. Still, it’s a favorite.

Little Shop of Horrors


The plant is scary enough, not to mention everyone’s childhood dentist.



Worth it simply for the Banana Boat Song.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown


It’s not Halloween without this. Sure it was a television special and not a movie. But it’s pure Halloween gold.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Any of the Harry Potter movies could be on a favorite Halloween list. They’re filled with witches and wizard and all kinds of creatures. We chose this one because of the Death Day Party.



Spiders! Do we have to say anything else?

Sweeney Todd


How could you not love a movie with Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and the amazing Helena Bonham Carter. Truth be told, the stage version is far superior, but this is an awesome movie.



Included for “Night on the Bald Mountain.”

The Birds


Leave it to Alfred Hitchcock to make birds seem scary. It’s creepy in a fascinating, can’t take your eyes away kind of way. With Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, and Jessica Tandy.

Have some favorite Halloween movies? Tell us in the comments.

This post is based on an original 2013 post from The Write Side of My Brain.

Favorite Thanksgiving Movies

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This post was originally published at The Write Side of My Brain in November 2011.

After the parades, after the tryptophan has kicked in, after you’re tired of football…and if you don’t want to spend a fortune seeing one of many choices of great Thanksgiving movies (see family friend movies here), then here’s our list of classic Thanksgiving movies/videos that are a must watch every season.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947). The best version of course is the 1947 original. Sure it’s in black and white, but it was Maureen O’Hara and a young Natalie Wood. The movie opens at the beginning of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Santa hired for the parade is far to drunk to head down Broadway. So, kindly old Kris Kringle agrees to step in. Is he the real Santa Claus? Do you believe? The 1994 remake
isn’t bad, but we prefer the original.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Deluxe Edition. What’s not to love about the idea of sharing a Thanksgiving feast with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang. When Peppermint Patti invites herself over for dinner, Charlie Brown does his best but it’s not the expected.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Steve Martin and John Candy team up in this hilarious movie where the goal is just to get home for the holiday, by whatever means possible.

And no Thanksgiving would be complete without this classic:

The WKRP Turkey Drop. One of televisions classic episodes. The bumbling sales staff at WKRP radio station flies into disaster when they decide that dropping live turkeys from a helicopter would be a good idea. In the classic ending line, station manager Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson declares “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” See the whole episode on Hulu.