One of the best things about being a parent is the enormous power and influence you can wield in your child’s life, especially early on. If you want to pressure your child to become the starting point guard for the New York Knicks, you can. If you want your child to become a troubled chess genius, that is your right. And if you want your child to get an early start on grotesque body building, well, no one can stop you.
Me? I want my child to have an appreciation for movies and Mexican food, two of my great loves.
So when I had the chance to screen the Mexican animation film The Book of Life and make tacos, I had to take it.
And when I realised that the movie screening and taco making would give me the chance to help you, the reader, have as good a time as I was about to have, I also had to take it.
As I’m sure you’ve discovered by now, it’s hard to have a good time with your family. I mean, you’re with these people ALL THE TIME. You got sick of each other a long time ago and every minute spent together feels like an eternity. Especially if booze isn’t involved (for you, not your children – I don’t want anyone to go to prison… though you’d finally get some sleep).
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even if your family stinks and you don’t know how to pick good movies and your cooking makes you and everyone around you depressed, you CAN have a great time.
You just have to follow these 15 unbelievably easy tips…
1. Pick a movie everyone can enjoy
The Book of Life is fun and I loved that it takes place in Mexico. The animation is also excellent. They’ve got a wooden puppet thing happening that’s very impressive. There’s also a lot of voice talent, including Ice Cube, who’s good in everything. Everything!
2. Cook something everyone likes (or, at least, should like)
Tacos de carnitas (pork) are my favourite kind of tacos. Except for maybe steak tacos. It’s hard to keep track. And with the extra pork, you can make nachos!
3. Make a cocktail
If you feel like you NEED alcohol to have a good time, this isn’t for you. Just skip to the next tip. But if you just like to have a bit of a buzz going into an animated children’s movie like any normal person, have a drink. It’s not hurting anyone!
Given the Mexican theme, a margarita is an obvious and excellent choice. Try to use tequila that comes in a bottle with a hat. That’s how you know it’s the good stuff. All good licquor comes in bottles with hats.
4. If tacos and nachos aren’t your thing, just go right in for the chips
5. It’s piñata time – apply your war paint
My boy prefers to disguise himself as a panda before he attacks a piñata. You can choose whatever your spirit animal is.
6. Finish whatever’s left of the food – you’ll need your strength for the battle ahead
7. With eyes widened and maniacal, raise your weapon of choice over your head, then pause, giving your prey a chance to run…
8. Bring your weapon – in our case, it was a plastic lightsaber – down on the beast
9. If that doesn’t work, try to bisect the piñata
10. If you’re still sensing resistance, grab the piñata by the neck and gently assure it that, despite this setback, you will be victorious
11. Now that the piñata is properly intimidated, smash it with a Toy Story laser blaster
12. As the candy spills out of the piñata’s carcass, take a moment to stare into its cold, dead eyes, acknowledging the kill and thanking it for the meal it is about to provide
13. Remove your war paint and, to make extra sure it is vanquished, put the piñata in a headlock and punch it in the face
14. Wear the piñata’s bottom half like a hat to truly show it who’s boss
15. Put on a nice shirt and hat and have a little siesta in front of the TV
[The Book of Life is available on Digital HD now. Order it here.]