Trying to save a bit of money on Christmas wrapping materials. I bought some ribbons from Dollar Tree, along with some bells, and some “chalkboard” tags. I need to go back and get some more tags because I pressed down with my chalk pen too hard and it leaked a GIANT blob of chalk liquid onto one of the tags, essentially ruining it.
I’ve also picked up some boxes and containers from Dollar Tree to put things inside. I’ll probably save the finished products for AFTER Christmas that way there’s no chance any of the gift recipients see what I’m working on. The tags won’t spoil anything at least. Funds are a bit tight this season. So I’m definitely trying to stretch things out while also putting love and effort into my present giving.
I think I mentioned before that my stepdaughter and I went to see Encanto at the movie theater on Thanksgiving. On Black Friday we stayed home and enjoyed ourselves some more. My stepdaughter had already seen Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings but she was willing to watch it with me again. (LOL, I had to remind her to let me see scenes. She wanted to explain things as they happened.)
I love Disney+. I hate that they aren’t streaming a lot of their movies there along with their openings in theaters. I know it probably cuts into the box office numbers, but after going to the movie theater and comparing it to our little movie night in, I’m just not impressed with theaters. We snuck candy into the movie theater: M&M’s and Sour Patch Kids for my stepdaughter; Reese’s Pieces and Mike & Ike for me. Those were about $4 + tax from the dollar store.
The movie theater experience compared to when I last went (March 2020, as the pandemic went into full swing here in Tennessee)… The tickets were made of cheap thin paper, which was mildly sad because I tend to keep my ticket stubs as a souvenir. Not a huge deal. I know a ton of people are part of the movie club now where you don’t even get a printed ticket, they just scan your phone. Adult admission was about $9 and my stepdaughter’s child ticket was $7. So a whopping $16 for both of us just to see the movie. That wasn’t even 3D. Our smaller (only one screen) local theater was playing Ghostbusters. It’s only $5 for a ticket there, but sadly they don’t always have every film there. (There’s a chance they’ll eventually have Encanto, but they weren’t showing it opening weekend.)
Ever since COVID-19 happened, the movie theater and most restaurants are not doing refills. Unless the drink dispenser is in the lobby. The movie theater was not offering refills. Before the pandemic, they only offered refills for large sizes. NOW they have signage that says due to health and safety concerns, refills are not available. Please take advantage of our large sizes for your convenience. URGH.
As someone that has worked in the industry, let me just say that the cost of the popcorn and soda pop is nothing. The highest cost for the theater is the containers that you receive them in. I’ll always rant and rave about that. Before the pandemic, they had a little ticket you tore off the side of your popcorn container to show you had your one free refill, but not they don’t want to allow containers to be passed back. Understandable. But popcorn is $8. And the soda pop is $6. So a total of $14.
Overall that’s about $35 dollars for the evening. It would have been even more if we had attempted to buy our candy at the theater. The same candy costs about $4-5 a box. $30 is usually the cost of the movie on Disney+ and you have access to the movie for an entire month. We bought Raya and the Last Dragon and watched that a few times back when it first came out.
My SO had complained about movie theaters before we went to see Encanto. And I had defended them adamantly. Now that I can compare the two experiences back to back, I’m going to always vote for watching movies at home. I popped our own popcorn, which was amazing. The only thing I envy about the theater is their butter. I have not found an equivalent yet. We had our leftover candy from the night before. And then endless kool-aid and lemonade from the fridge. The ability to pause the movie for bathroom breaks and refills. DID I mention how gross the movie theater bathrooms were?
I hate waiting for a movie to come out on streaming services, but I think I hate the whole movie theater experience in comparison. Maybe I’m just getting older. Or I’m just more frugal. Either way, going out on Thanksgiving day was an experience. Are there any movies coming out around Christmas that you really want to see? I definitely saw a few that caught my eye in the previews.
Wow, today’s post really turned into a long one. Thanks for reading!