Category Archives: Holidays

Things to Do On Christmas Day

Christmas comes around every year. Often times we find ourselves doing the same things year after year, just because. This year let’s get intentional as we discuss things to do on Christmas day.

Ever wondered what are things to do on Christmas Day? Here are lots of fun and frugal Christmas family traditions you can start this year!

Posts use affiliate links. Please see disclosure page for more information.

Christmas normally means opening presents, eating food, and maybe seeing extended family but there are other ideas we can build into our family culture and enjoy making into traditions.

Life is all about finding what works for us and the life our family has been called to live. The same is true when we brainstorm things to do on Christmas day.

Things to Do on Christmas Day

Read the Christmas story. Read it straight from one of the gospels. Afterward you could also read it from a children’s bible. Something like Jesus Storybook Bible or The Big Picture Story Bible.

Special Breakfast. We grew up having homemade cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning. Add in a breakfast casserole to have some protein on the table and you are all set. Set out hot chocolate and hot tea to have throughout the day.

Opening Stockings. This is the first thing we open Christmas morning. There is something exciting, as a kid, about opening up stockings filled with little gifts. You can find many, many options for purchasing or making stockings. My stocking is the one my mom made me when I was born. I have now made all of my family one using the same pattern.

Open Presents. Of course, opening presents will still need to happen. Unless, of course,  you decided to go for the experience gifts. You just have to think about if you are going to have a free for all or have everyone take turns opening one present at a time. With my kids, they each take a turn giving out the presents they purchased for everyone else and they are opened one at a time. It also helps made opening presents last longer than 60 seconds. 😉

Fancy dinner or supper. Go all out for a formal dinner with turkey, ham, or even steaks or go simpler with something like a soup buffet. Lighting candles always makes meals more special. Have Christmas music playing softly in the background.

Snack supper. If you don’t want to spend the day in the kitchen, there is nothing wrong with putting on an snack feast! Pull out all your easy to throw together or make ahead appetizer recipes and I think you won’t find your kids complaining. 

Have Company Over. Find a family or individual that doesn’t have anyone to spend the day and invite them over for food and fun.

Watch a movie. Pull out a family favorite Christmas movie (Elf is a go-to for us) and spend a couple hours relaxing as a family.

Board game competition. Play any new games that were received for presents and get out some of your family favorites and let your competitive sides show.

Christmas themed games. Try some fun Minute to Win It style games or one of these Christmas games.

Play in the snow. Get outside for at least a short while. If you happen to have a white Christmas, build a snowman, go sledding, or have an epic snowball fight. No snow, still get outside for a brisk walk of a family football game.

Drive to look at the Christmas lights. You are in the last week of being able to enjoy all the bright lights. If you didn’t do it Christmas Eve, drive around and see the sights one last time.

Serve Christmas dinner with a food pantry, church, or other local ministry. There is most likely at least one or two organizations in your town that are serving a Christmas meal to those who can’t afford to cook their own. See if you can help!

Go caroling. Go caroling around town – stop by your friends’ homes to sing a song outside their front door. Don’t stay, just sing and leave you won’t have to worry about imposing on anyone.

Visit the nursing home. Not only will there will be individuals in the nursing homes that don’t have family to celebrate with but also employees that have to work. Stop by with some goodies and sing carols or just visit a while and give out hugs.

Bake cookies. Whip up the last of your cookie recipes you didn’t get to on Christmas Eve or earlier in the season!

Drink hot cocoa. Hot beverages are perfect for winter and especially Christmas day.

Write thank you cards. If you have time, get a jump start on those thank yous. Have everyone sit around the table and tackle them together.

Go technology free. Commit to Christmas being a family day – put up your phones and any other hand held devices. Enjoy giving your family your undivided attention.

Call or video message your family. Connect with your family that you aren’t able to spend the day with. Do at least a quick group video call to say Merry Christmas.

Share memories. Share stories from Christmases past. Tell about when you where a child and even when your parents were children. Let your kids share about their favorite Christmas memories.

Birthday Party for Jesus. Make a cake, put candles in it, and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. If Christmas day is too crazy for this, have a little party on Christmas Eve.

These are just a few things to do on Christmas day this year. Get your kids involved and see what would make Christmas special to them. None of these things cost much (or any) money – you can make them work on your budget.

What are your favorite things to do on Christmas day?

Ever wondered what are things to do on Christmas Day? Here are lots of fun and frugal Christmas family traditions you can start this year!

Tips to Enjoy the Holidays and Reduce Stress

Do you want to actually enjoy the holidays this year and ditch the stereotypical Christmas stress and chaos?

Christmas tree with ornaments. This year reduce the Christmas stress and actually ENJOY the holidays! These simple tips will transform your Christmas season.

This post uses affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more information.

Does a relaxing Christmas season and spending time making memories (fun ones, not those where the kids remember how mom went crazy) sound like a dream?

This year, you can take some simple steps to reclaim the season and make it something you actually look forward to! Yes, you might have to make some changes and even sit down and have a family meeting but you won’t regret the stress free (or lower stress) days!

Tips to Enjoy the Holidays and Reduce Christmas Stress

Watch Your Spending

For many families, finances can be one of the biggest causes of Christmas stress. It doesn’t have to be that way. Dare I say, it shouldn’t be that way!

Don’t overextend yourself. It’s not worth it – come January you will be regretting your choices.

If you need some more cash to get through the season, consider finding a few ways to earn some extra money. This post has ideas to get your started.

Even more than earning money, find ways to save money and spend less! There is no rule that  you have to go crazy buying presents for your kids. Here are some great ideas for spending less on presents. You can also spend less on your Christmas and Thanksgiving feast. Find small ways to save throughout the season.

Say No

You don’t have to do everything! You don’t have to participate in every event. We know there are a lot of them between friends, family, work, church, and even volunteer work. Only commit to the few you have to do. You can always add more parties in later if you feel up to it.

Keep it Simple

Going all out with decorating, baking, parties, clothes, presents, while it might seem like a good idea, doesn’t have to be done! Think simple instead of elaborate and find a middle ground that helps you actually enjoy the holidays and have less Christmas stress.

Choose a Few Things

As we talk about keeping things simpler and spending less, it’s important to find out what your kids’ and spouse’s favorite activities are. Let each member of your family say their single most important thing and try include those in your holiday plans and say no to the not so important.

Keep Visits Short

Another huge cause of holiday stress can be being around people. Maybe people you don’t always get along with so well. Whether you have a hard time with certain co-workers or even your extended family, a simple tip is to keep the visits shorts.

Don’t stay until the end of the party. Plan for a day trip to visit family or just one night instead of a lengthy visit. For those out of town trips, maybe even consider a hotel for a night or two if needed.

Eat Well

Christmas season almost always means lots and lots of sugar! Limit the sweets. Feed your body good, nourishing foods when you are home and make the best choices you can when  you are at parties. Giving your body the vitamins and minerals it needs, especially in the form of lots of fresh vegetables,  can definite influence how we feel physically and mentally.

Exercise

Don’t neglect physical activity when things get busy and the weather is cold. Even if it’s something as simple as pushing your kids in the stroller – go do it! Squeeze in a 20 minute run first thing in the morning or do a 15 minute workout in the living room. Find ways to exercise several times each week. Again, this helps your body physically and mentally!

Play Music

Play music you love, or a favorite podcast, to lift your mood and take your mind off of your stressors. Sometimes a little distraction like this can help immensely.

Diffuse Oils

This uses another one of your senses. Seasonal and stress relieving aromas can change the atmosphere in your home and mind as well. This is one of my favorite places to purchases oils from. High quality and affordable. If you don’t want to do oils, try making a potpourri on your stove.

Remember the Reason for the Season

Through all the craziness of the holidays, take time to remember the reason for the season and to look beyond yourself and your family.

Find somewhere to volunteer, include attending church in your plans, or even just take a few minutes to read the Christmas story with your kids. All are things that can help change your perspective.

There are 10 things you can do as you learn to actually enjoy the holidays and reduce the typical Christmas stress. Let this be the year that you learn to make intentional choices for you and your family so you can have memories you want to remember.

What are your other favorite ways to combat holiday stress and chaos?

Pretty snowflake on a pile of snow. This year reduce the Christmas stress and actually ENJOY the holidays! These simple tips will transform your Christmas season.

Family Experience Gifts that Don’t Break the Bank

Family experience gifts that don’t break the bank are such a great idea!

Wrapped presents on wood floor. Your family will love these family experience gifts and you don't have to spend a fortune either! You can create memories, not clutter this year.

My posts contain affiliate links. For more info, read the disclosure page!

It’s present season. So many gifts. Not only are your kids receiving gifts from you but most likely there will also be gifts from friends, grandparents, and other relatives.

Our kids only need so much stuff.

Our houses can only hold so much stuff.

Often times we find ourselves buying things because we have to get our kids something or because we find a good deal.

All the gifts, even if we are trying to find good deals, can eat away at the budget.

What if, instead of buying all these little un-needed gifts, we pooled the money and gave family experience gifts instead? Things that we otherwise wouldn’t splurge on but we know that our kids would love.

For the first time we are doing a family experience gift this year and the kids are so excited. We were gifted a week stay at a timeshare and are purchasing the attraction tickets to use on our trip.

Family Experience Gifts

Day Trip

Take a day trip to a near by city. Spend money going to museums, amusement parks, state parks or whatever the local attractions are. If your family is like ours and eating out is not something you normally do, splurge on a fun restaurant experience to finish off your day.

Museum Membership

Museum memberships are typically well worth the cost if you just go 2 or 3 times and are perfect for a family experience gift. All three of my kids absolutely love the science museum an hour and half from our house.

Zoo Membership

If your kids are not yet teens, the zoo is another great place to get a membership for a family gift. Maybe throw in some gift certificates to get ice cream or a special treat after a few of your visits.

Sporting Event

Choose your family’s favorite sport (or team) and purchase tickets, or season tickets if you can afford it. Baseball, football, basketball, soccer, or hockey are all fun ideas! Hockey games are a fun memory from my childhood.

Game Basket

Put together a basket of age appropriate board games for your kids. Include snacks, drinks, and everything you need to throw a super fun game night. Throw an all day game tournament over Christmas break and then the gift continues giving over the next months.

Hotel with Waterpark

Watch Groupon for deals at Great Wolf Lodge or other such hotels. When you find a great deal, book a few days at the lodge and wrap some beach towels or other small water themed items up for Christmas morning.

Camping

Plan a camping trip for when the weather is nice. It could either be to your favorite location or try some place new. Does your crew need any new camping gear? Wrap that up along with a brochure about your camping destination.

Mini Vacation

Don’t have the budget to plan a week long trip? That’s okay. Put together a mini vacation. Whether it’s one, two, or three nights, plan a trip that your kids will think is awesome and they won’t question the length! My kids would love a long weekend in Branson, MO and going to Silver Dollar City or going just an hour away and spending a few nights in a hotel, swimming, and hitting up the local sights.

Trip to the Beach

Most kids love the beach. I mean what’s not to love about sand and water?! Can you swing a day trip to the closest beach? Or maybe you can even spend a few days there. Considering my son has called the dirt around a pond a beach, I think he needs this present. 😉

Jump Gym/Bowling/Movie

Living on a tight budget can mean saying no to a lot of these types of things. Use Christmas as an opportunity to purchase gift certificates to any place like a jump gym, bowling alley, or movie theater and go have fun as a family.

Are presents for your kids a struggle year after year? Try something different this year and wrap up family experience gifts! Not only will you prevent new clutter in your house, you will get to create memories with your kids.

You can find a family experience gift that will work on your budget!

Family on a road trip! Your family will love these family experience gifts and you don't have to spend a fortune either! You can create memories, not clutter this year. Wrapped presents on wood floor. Your family will love these family experience gifts and you don't have to spend a fortune either! You can create memories, not clutter this year.

Earn Money For Christmas Now

Santa bag full of gold coins! If you could use some extra cash for presents and parties this Christmas, check out these easy ways to earn extra money for Christmas! Enjoy not stressing about where the money is going to come from.

My posts contain affiliate links. For more info, read the disclosure page!

Do any of these these things leave you wanting to earn money for Christmas:

Does the thought of having to buy Christmas presents leave you stressed? Maybe the budget is tight and you really don’t have much wiggle room but you want to have a special holiday season with your kids, family, and friends?  Do you find yourself wondering where the money for Christmas is going to come from?

What should be a fun time of year often times isn’t because of the financial burdens and other obligations. We’ve talked before about taking the emphasis off of gifts at Christmas (something I’m all about) but having no money for Christmas is a whole different matter.  To help you out I have 10 ways you can come up with some cash for Christmas.

Start these things today to help with this season but then continue doing them in January and through the rest of the year and set aside the money you earn into a “money for Christmas and birthdays” fund.

This list mostly consists of money making ideas to help you earn extra money for Christmas, but I’ve thrown in a couple bonus ideas on saving money and stretching your dollar too.

Ways to Earn Money for Christmas

Swagbucks

There are several ways to earn with Swagbucks – everything from surveys, games, watching videos, and searching on the internet. You can see some of the details on earning Swagbucks here and here. Sign up using my link and you can get 300 Swagbucks!

Seasonal Job

I know this one is hard, especially for us moms with little kids.

But it is worth looking for a seasonal job you can work around your husband’s hours. Find a weekend or evening job at a retailer hiring extra help the next few months.

Watch the classifieds, ask around, and also pay attention in Facebook groups for tips on these seasonal jobs.

Babysit

Have date night babysitting you offer monthly. Plan a babysitting night so parents can go out and buy presents and shop for holiday events without having to take the kids along. Adult only Christmas parties mean still another need for babysitters.

Present Wrapping Service

I can’t be the only one that is horrible at wrapping presents and gets absolutely no enjoyment out of it. But I know that some of you love it. Sell your gift wrapping skills – there will be people out there excited to pay someone (you) to do it for them!

Sell Baked Goods

I enjoy baking and cooking. Some people don’t. If you are skilled at baking bread, Christmas cookies, dinner rolls or fudge, considering selling your goodies.

Many busy families and people that really don’t enjoy spending time in the kitchen would prefer to buy homemade treats instead of purchasing grocery store items.

Please research Cottage Food Laws for your state before you get started. Rules and regulations greatly vary. You will also need to register with your state to file sales tax.

Rake Leaves/Shovel Snow

Get your kids involved and, depending on how early in the season it is,  rake leaves or shovel snow.

Print up flyers and hand them out around your neighborhood and town. Post on Facebook groups. Even if you do this for just one snow storm you can earn a chunk towards your Christmas expenses.

Help with Holiday Parties

November and December are busy months. Individuals and businesses are both hosting parties. If you are a skilled organizer and hard worker, market your services as either an event planner, event host, or an event assistant.

Sell Stuff

I dare say the majority of us have too many things. What do you have that’s quality and something that others will want? Considering selling on Ebay, Facebook groups, decluttr.com, or even having a garage sale. This is a quick way to earn money for Christmas. You will also be organizing and decluttering items you don’t use before more stuff arrives from the holidays.

Donate Plasma

I’ve never done this but I have a sister that has sold plasma to save money for presents and other splurge items she wanted. You can donate twice a week.

Find Ways to Save Money

One of the best ways to “earn” money is to find ways to spend less and rework your budget! I’d say it’s one of the easiest ways as well – because it doesn’t involve finding extra hours each week to work. Make a menu plan and spend less on groceries, say no to coffee, drink water, have a no spend challenge. Here are some ideas on ways to save even on a tight budget!

I don’t want you to stress about finances this Christmas. Instead, sit down and plan on spending less on presents this year. Maybe have a simpler meal, and participate on fewer costly holiday events.

Then, use a few of these ways to earn money for Christmas and earn some extra cash to use to purchase the presents and attend the events that you decide to do!

Enjoy a debt free Christmas this year!

A pile of cash. If you could use some extra cash for presents and parties this Christmas, check out these easy ways to earn extra money for Christmas! Enjoy not stressing about where the money is going to come from. Santa bag filled with cold coins. If you could use some extra cash for presents and parties this Christmas, check out these easy ways to earn extra money for Christmas! Enjoy not stressing about where the money is going to come from.

Art Gifts for Kids That They Will Love

There is something about kids and craft projects! They love the hands on, and sometimes messy, aspect of them. So what better present is there than art gifts for kids?!

paint set for art gifts for kids. Great ideas for the creative kids in your life.My posts use affiliate links. See the disclosure page for more information.

For all the creative kid art lovers in your life, I’ve rounded up an excellent list of present ideas for you.

In our house, most birthdays and Christmases involve getting at least one art and craft gift.

The Best Art Gifts for Kids:

How to Draw Books

There is a general how to draw guide like this:

Or pick something based on your child’s interest, like these:

(There are books for every subject, animal, style that you can imagine. We currently have dinosaurs, princesses, and pets.)

Pencils

For the responsible child, get them a set of these colored pencils. They are the best!

If your child is younger, a set of Crayola pencils will work just fine. (This is what my kids still get. When they start being more careful with their materials, I’ll upgrade them!)

Pastels and Charcoals

Kids always have access to crayons and markers and sometimes colored pencils. Expand their collection this year by getting them something new. Pastels or charcoals would be a fun thing to experiment with.

Paints and Accessories

Painting is always exciting. From toddlers to teens – there is something for everything:

Finger Paints for the littles

Set of 18 washable paints or this set of 6 is super cheap as an add on.

Watercolors

Here’s a set of 25 brushes for kids.

Here’s a set of brushes for watercolor and acrylic paints.

Paint tray. This gets used every time the bottles of paint get pulled out.

Modeling Clay

Another fun item to have in your craft closet! Whether to build and reuse like play-dough or build and bake to keep, this will be a project they beg you to do.

Modeling Clay:

White clay that doesn’t dry out

Oven Dry Clay

Paper

Yes, your artist needs more than computer copy paper. 😉

Sketch Book

Watercolor paper for paint, pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, and acrylic

Craft paper on a roll. My kids love having this.

Construction Paper 

Craft Kits

There is a myriad of options. Search according to what the child’s interest are, but here are a few ideas:




Glue

Of course you need something to stick things together when you build and create. Most people already have glue sticks and basic Elmer’s glue in their house, so try these:

Glue dots

Hot glue gun

Tacky glue

Art and Craft Essentials

Don’t forget all the childhood essentials. These are the items that most of us probably grew up using:

You can also find a variety pack like this with pipe cleaners, pom pom balls, and googly eyes:


What are the essentials in your kids’ craft closets? What are your favorite art gifts for kids?

Be sure to check out these other gift guides for more ideas:

Best Experience Gifts for Kids
Educational Gifts Kids Will be Excited About
The Best Craft and Art Gifts for Kids
Gifts for Kids Who Have Everything
Gifts for Teen Girls
Gifts for Teen Boys
Gifts for Preschool Boy
Gifts for a 2 Year Old
Gifts for Preschoolers
Gifts for a Home Cook
Gifts for a Fitness Lover

sketch book, paint and brushes for art gifts for kids. Great ideas for the creative kids in your life.

paint set for art gifts for kids. Great ideas for the creative kids in your life.

Thanksgiving Checklist and Planner

miniature pumpkins and pinecones. This thanksgiving checklist will make hosting the big dinner a breeze!

In the United States, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Being organized means less stress so it’s time to make a plan! After all, none of us need more stress. 🙂 Use this Thanksgiving Checklist and Thanksgiving planner printable that’s in our resource library to simplify your life (and make sure you aren’t forgetting anything).

If this is your first year to host Thanksgiving or if you are a seasoned pro, I hope that planning ahead makes it the best year yet.

Thanksgiving Checklist

Location

Are you hosting but don’t have space? Most people don’t mind squeezing in. If it’s nice, set up a table outside. Put a kids table up in a bedroom. Be creative. If using your house isn’t an option, check with your church and see if they would let you use a gathering area with a kitchen.

Guests

Who are you having over? Make a list of everyone you invite and make note of how many will be coming from each family.

You also need to decide if you will be asking everyone to bring at least one dish. (They will likely offer, so you might as well make it easier on yourself!). Be sure to write down what food/beverage each guest will be bringing.

Thanksgiving Menu

When you plan the menu be sure to consider these categories:

Appetizers (Ideas: Veggie or fruit platter, cheese and crackers, dip)
Sides and Salads (Ideas: mashed potatoes, green beans, lettuce salad, cranberry salad, rolls, sweet potatoes)
Main Dish/Meat (Ideas: Turkey or ham)
Desserts (Ideas: ice cream, pies, whipped cream, cookies, tart)
Drinks (Ideas: water, tea, lemonade, cider, coffee etc)

Shopping List

Once you have your menu made and know what other people are bringing, you can make yourself a shopping list. If you aren’t using glass dishes don’t forget to add paper plates & napkins and plastic silverware and cups to the list. A bag of ice too.

Buy or Borrow

Are there items you need to make hosting go a little more smoothly? Beverage containers, extra chairs, platters etc. You might have friends who would let you use their folding table so you don’t have to buy one.

Activities

What are your plans for the day? Spending time eating and visiting? Do you want to have any games available? Activities for the kids? There is no right choice, but just think it through.

Other Meals

Your family will probably want to eat something for breakfast and the second supper/lunch (whichever you aren’t having Thanksgiving dinner at). Maybe have some easy fend for your self breakfast options available.  Do you want to plan on leftovers of the lunch feast for supper? Turkey sandwiches? Just have a plan so you won’t get frustrated when your kids come to you hungry.

To Clean

Make a list of what needs to happen before company arrives at your house. Running the vacuum, cleaning the bathroom, and mopping the kitchen are givens, but what other areas do you need to be sure to tackle?


Now that your brainstorming and organizing is done, it’s time to get detailed. Break your lists and need to dos down by timeline.

What needs to happen

A month before the event: Invite guests, choose a location, and plan your menu.

Two weeks before: Plan games & your shopping list. Purchase non perishables.

One week before: Start those cleaning tasks that you can do in advance. Finish grocery shopping. Round up what your are borrowing from friends. Thaw the turkey sometime after the point!

2 days before: Clean (bathrooms, pick up the toys and clutter, mop etc)

Day before: Start the cooking (make your desserts, salads and cold dishes, prep the relish tray etc) You could even put out tableware and set tables.

Thanksgiving Day: Put the turkey in the oven, make all of the hot dishes, put drinks out. Finish any last minutes items and enjoy the day with your guests.

When you have everything written down and planned out into bite sized tasks, hosting thanksgiving dinner won’t seem so intimidating.

I have a free Thanksgiving planner printable to help you put all of these things organized on paper.  Sign up for the resource library and download them today!

printables from the thanksgiving checklist

printables from our thanksgiving planner printable. Get this Thanksgiving checklist today and make hosting the big day a breeze!

 

Gifts for Kids Who Have Everything

Do you struggle with coming up with gift ideas for the kids in your life? Do you especially struggle with coming up with gifts for kids who have everything?

wrapped boxes taking about the best gifts for kids who have everything

My posts use affiliate links. See the disclosure page for more information.

You are not alone! So many kids have the latest and greatest gadgets and everything that they could wish for. It definitely makes it a challenge to go shopping.

It’s time to start thinking a little outside of the box!

If presents are a problem at your house during the Christmas season, you might even want to consider de-emphasizing gifts this holiday season!

Gifts for Kids Who Have Everything

Experience Gifts

An experience gift is a great option. You can create memories with the recipient or they can create them alone. This could be anything from a fun adventure to learning a new skill.

This post has some great ideas for experience gifts.

Money

No kid will ever turn down money. Perfect for them to spend or put towards a savings goal. If you are looking for a unique way to gift money, check out these posts!

Gift Cards

If you know restaurants, stores, hobbies, etc that the child likes, you can pick up a gift card or two! Here are some ideas on how you can wrap a gift card to make things a little more interesting.

Shop for Others

Only you know the recipient and if this idea would work for them. But if their personality and the situation is ideal, this is a fun idea if they truly don’t want or need anything. Instead of spending the money on them, you can either donate in their name or, better yet, give them a budget and let them help you shop and donate the items.

Here are some places to look into:

World Vision and shop their online catalog

Angel Tree or another similar organization

Pregnancy Center – donate cash or buy items for their clothing room

Book

Think back to when you were the recipient’s age and what your favorite books were. Purchase the book and include a card saying why you purchased that particular book for them and what you enjoyed about it.

Themed Gift

Put together a bundle of goodies according to a theme.

It might be craft supplies, coffees, food, game night fun, rock climbing, cooking essentials or one of many other things. Gather the must haves and put them in a basket or bucket to gift.

Mission Trip

What a great idea for a teenager! This can get pricey, so it’s probably not the best option if you are on a budget. There would be a lot of details to this, so it might not work for it to be a complete surprise but how fun. If you aren’t the parent, you could coordinate with the parent before gifting the money for a mission trip and then work out when, where, and with what organization after giving the gift.

Sentimental Gift

Is there something special to your child, something that belonged to a grandparent or another important person in their life? If they are mature enough to appreciate it, this gift might be treasured for the rest of their life!

Have you found any great gift for kids who have everything? Do presents end up being a struggle in your house year after year or have you found a method that works well?

Be sure to check out these other gift guides for more ideas:

Best Experience Gifts for Kids
Educational Gifts Kids Will be Excited About
The Best Craft and Art Gifts for Kids
Gifts for Kids Who Have Everything
Gifts for Teen Girls
Gifts for Teen Boys
Gifts for Preschool Boy
Gifts for a 2 Year Old
Gifts for Preschoolers
Gifts for a Home Cook
Gifts for a Fitness Lover

smiling girl next to tree and gifts for kids who have everything

square picture of wrapped boxes for gifts for kids who have everything
smiling girl next to tree and gifts for kids who have everything

Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas Your Family Will Love

Thanksgiving. What comes to mind when you think of the holiday? For me I think of family, food, being grateful, travel, cool weather, beautiful leaves, cranberry salad. What Thanksgiving tradition ideas do you have?
dinner plate setting and the ultimate list of Thanksgiving tradition ideas

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If I’m honest, I am a bit torn when it comes to traditions. On one side, you know what to expect, the kids love it and look forward to them, it’s easy to plan. On the other side I don’t like always having to do the same thing.

I guess my balance is traditions that are held lightly. Traditions that we can take a year off of or tweak if needed.

Traditions that work for our family.

If you are looking to tweak your Thanksgiving traditions or add some new ones, I have a great list of Thanksgiving tradition ideas for your inspiration!

pile of pumpkins and the best Thanksgiving tradition ideas

Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas

Writable Tablecloth

Whether you get a cloth table cloth you reuse each year or simply cover your tables with butcher paper, have sharpies, pencils, or crayons available for everyone to write down one thing they were thankful for the past year. If you use the cloth cloth, have everyone initial and put the year next to their item.

Thanksgiving Tree

Gather some sticks and arrange them in a vase to make your Th. Set out a basket with leaves cut out of paper and some yarn. Again have everyone record what they were thankful for the last 12 months and hang on the tree. At some point during the evening someone can read them aloud.

Write Cards

Take a moment on Thanksgiving to have everyone write a card (or draw a picture) to let someone know how much you appreciate them.

Say What You are Thankful For

Go around the dinner table and have each person say 1-3 things they are grateful for from the last year.

Activity Sheets for the Kids

Set out different activity sheets for your kids to work on through out the day. It will help the times of waiting go a little more smoothly. Perfect quiet, not messy activity for when the kids are getting a little rambunctious. Here are some ideas.

Games for the Kids

Take sometime for fun and giggles. Plan a few special games for the kids (and adults even) to enjoy. You can find lots of ideas online!

New Dish Every Year

This would be so much fun! Something new and probably nontraditional making an appearance each November. If your Thanksgiving involves multiple families, I think it would be fun to rotate who brings the “surprise” dish each year.

Volunteer

Spend a part of your day volunteering. Look around your town for organization that serve Thanksgiving meals and see if they need help. Growing up we volunteered at a local church that served a meal in their facility and delivered meals to people that were working or home bound. We loved it!

Take a Walk

Spend 30 minutes or even an hour an a stroll around your neighborhood sometime after your meal is eaten and the kitchen is cleaned. As simple as it is, I can remember this happening in my home growing up.

Movie Theater

Going to the movies was a rare occurrence in my family. We did this once when I was still home and I’m pretty sure they have done it since I’ve been married. It was special enough that I even what movie we watched! (Treasure Planet, in case you are remembering.)

Pizza

Okay, it doesn’t have to be pizza but there’s nothing wrong with not having a turkey dinner. Mix it up an do the traditional feast one year and something completely different the next. Pizza and ice cream always seems like a good option though. 🙂 One year it was just my husband and 2 kids for Thanksgiving and we had fajitas.

Visit the Nursing Home

There are people in the nursing home with no family coming to see them for the holiday. Spend a little bit of time wishing the residents of your local nursing home happy thanksgiving. Have the kids draw pictures to give away.

Watch a Thanksgiving Movie

Instead of going to the theater put a BluRay in at home and let the kids relax for a while. There’s always A Charlie Brown Christmas or Miracle on 34th Street. 😉

Read Thanksgiving Books

Books are the best. Read aloud a few picture books – even over breakfast in the morning. I’m a fan of Read Aloud Revival, so be sure to check out this post for some great ideas!

Trivia

Have a little fun with a trivia game (and probably learn something while you are at it)! While you are preparing the questions for one year I’d go ahead and make them for the next few years. It won’t take much longer and your can separate out the questions into a list for each year. Check out these lists for some ideas.

Turkey Trot

I’ve only actually done this once, but it was so much fun! Cold and exciting. It was nice to start a day that involves so much food and sitting with some physical exertion. If you live (or travel to) an area with a Thanksgiving morning race, I highly recommend you give it a try.

There are just 16 Thanksgiving tradition ideas out of countless options. You can get as creative as you want.

I’m curious, what fun Thanksgiving traditions do you have in your family? Are you going to try any of these Thanksgiving tradition ideas this year?

fall tree and the ultimate list of Thanksgiving tradition ideas! pile of pumpkins and the best Thanksgiving tradition ideas

The Best Fall Activities for Kids

It’s my favorite time of year! I love all things autumn, including thinking about an exhaustive list of fun (and easy) fall activities for kids – AKA a fall bucket list!

picture of pumpkin patch on list of fun fall activities for kids and 3 free printables

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Fall to me means cool evenings and mornings along with the perfect daytime temperatures. It’s when I can make soups frequently and baking calls my name. The trees paint beautiful pictures. All things pumpkin are celebrated.

It just makes me excited.

Autumn is also the perfect time of year to purposefully have a little fun and make memories with your children using a fall bucket list.

road with fall leaves on list of fall activities to do with kids

Isn’t it easy to get caught up in to-do lists and the chaos of life? Having a list and plan can help me slow down and enjoy life and my kids more.

They don’t even have to be big, expensive things on your list. Take the time to appreciate and get in the moment of even the little things. Your kids will love you for it.

If you are overwhelmed at the thought of just one more thing, pick just 4 and do one a week. See if you can turn something you have to do anyway (being in the kitchen) into a fall theme.

I’m all about simple, but there is nothing wrong with being elaborate and doing it all. We each need to do what works for our families.

Pumpkin patch on list of fun fall activities for kids and 3 free printables

Fall Activities for Kids

Have a taste testing of several apple varieties

Make apple crisp, bread, muffins, pie, bars, or cobbler

Make apple cider

Make applesauce

Make dried apples

Go to an apple orchard

Make pumpkin puree from scratch

Roast the seeds from the pumpkin

Make pumpkin bread, muffins, cookies, or pie

Deliver a fall baked good to a neighbor or shut in

Carve a pumpkin

Visit a pumpkin patch

Go on a hayrack ride

Corn maze

Make chili

Have a soup potluck at your house

Take a hike in a nature park

Drive to see the colorful leaves

Make hot chocolate and star gaze

Have smores

Leaf prints. Try one  of these

Jump in a leaf pile

Rake leaves for someone who can’t

Practice drawing autumn trees and leaves

Do a fall science experiment

Stovetop popcorn

Fall movie (Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or Great Pumpkin or maybe a football movie like Rudy)

Fall themed book. Here’s a great list of picture books. For a chapter book try this one or Read Aloud Revival recommends this one.

Go on a picnic

Feed the ducks

Fly a kite

Attend a football game

Start a Thankful tree

Pumpkin Spice playdough

Camp out in the backyard

Switch over the clothes

Mail an “I’m thankful for you card”

Pumpkin on list of fun fall activities to do with kids!

Isn’t the idea of a Fall Bucket List fun?!

What have I missed? Do you have any favorite fun (maybe even easy and frugal) fall activities for kids I should add to the list? Have you done a fall bucket list before?

There’s no way we will get all of these done, but I’m confident that numerous ones will happen. 🙂

Pictures of 3 free printables on list of fun fall bucket list for kids

I’ve made a few printables for a fall bucket list in my resource library. One has every one of these ideas on it and another is blank so you can include exactly what you want – after all, you want to enjoy fall not be stressed out! You can get access to them for free when you sign up for my newsletter!

Pumpkin patch on list of fun fall activities for kids and 3 free printables

Love Tree

Love Tree - Perfect idea to use in February up to Easter. Easy, memorable and affordable!

In an effort to avoid having to store (or rebuild every year) my Thanksgiving Tree, I am trying to find ways to re-theme it throughout the year.

In November you could find this on our table: Valentine's Tree @ From this Kitchen Table Then at Christmas it looked like this:

Love Tree - Perfect idea to use in February up to Easter

The past month it’s been on our table bare and I decided it was time to revitalize the tree.

Now, it’s become a love tree. The perfect theme for February and leading up to Easter.

If you already have a tree, putting this together will be simple – skip ahead to step 2.

I’m not a crafty person. My crafts have to be affordable and fairly easy otherwise they won’t happen. This one meets both of those requirements.

Love Tree

1. Find sticks of varying sizes and arrange them into a vase. Use small rocks or glass pebbles to weight down the vase or else it will topple over on you.

2. Cut hearts of varying sizes out of different color construction paper or card stock. I used pinks and red, but blues, greens, and grays would work too.

I have a pdf of 3 different size hearts you can use if you’d like.

Love Tree - Perfect idea to use in February up to Easter. Easy, memorable and affordable!Love Tree - Perfect idea to use in February up to Easter. Easy, memorable and affordable!

To access the pdf, click here!

3. Hang the hearts. I used a needle and white thread. On the large hearts, it would look pretty to use a hole punch and hang it up with ribbon.

4. Between now and when you use your tree for Easter, take time each day to write something/one you love, someone that loves you, a way you showed love or were shown love, or a scripture verse about love on the hearts. Toddlers could color on the hearts or dictate to you.

What a great time and memorable way to focus on God’s love for us and the way that He and others show love for us.

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