A "Little Women" Literary Dinner Party
Rikki and I live like five minutes from each other (seriously, it's the best) and last year started having standing dinner + a movie "date nights" as our husbands are both gone Wednesday evenings. We get our kiddos together to play and discuss our buddy read for the week over wine and preparing a meal, and usually watch the movie that goes with it. As we've gotten into a good rhythm with these casual get togethers we've also started putting more thought into theming the night. It started with picking a wine that had a label that matched our book, and has evolved to having the whole night be a lightly set scene revolving around our book that week.
This past week we had chosen "Little Women" as our buddy read and decided to watch the 1994 version of the film with Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Clare Danes, and a very young Kirsten Dunst. The table was set with glass bottles full of flowers and simple white taper candles, and on the menu was a rustic cheese plate, comforting slow simmered stew, bread fresh from the oven, and pretty little cakes and cookies on a tea tray. Oh and a bottle of rosé of course, because what else could be so fitting for "Little Women"? We were going for simple, cozy and quaint (you can find my inspiration board for the night here), which fits the whole vibe of the book.
We always gather in the kitchen and begin by pouring ourselves a glass of wine and talking about what we liked and didn't like about the novel, parts that stuck out to us, how we liked the ending, and favorite characters. This is such a great way to get a lot of out of the time put into reading a book. It's pretty much just the most casual book club ever as we work on finishing up dinner and the kids play in the next room. Usually the conversation veers back to daily life things and dinner finishes up. That's our cue to shoo the kids to the table and grab the remote.
The rest of the evening is spent watching the movie, commenting on the differences from the book, noting what worked/didn't work and obviously, eating dessert! This little ritual of ours has carved out a relaxing evening where we get to fangirl about novels, enjoy catching up with each other, and has added so much cheer to these dark, freezing winter nights we've been having!
With just a little effort, fueled by our love of the story, we made an exceptionally enjoyable night for ourselves. Taking everyday activities and elevating them a little bit this way, making them mini celebrations, really adds so much richness and fun to life. Books create endless opportunities to do this if you're willing to think outside the box just a smidge and let them bleed off the page and into your everyday life!