25 Days of Christmas: Drawing Prompts

December ushers in a month-long season of Christmas cheer. Are you looking to put extra merriment in the holiday season? Drawing is a superb creative outlet to add to this magical time of year.  

25 Drawing Prompts for Christmas

Christmas tree and gifts
  1. Self-Portrait with a Christmas Theme
  2. Christmas Tree
  3. Christmas Gifts, Wrapping Paper, Ribbons, & Bows
  4. Christmas Cards
  5. Santa & Mrs. Claus
  6. Elves
  7. North Pole & Santa’s Workshop
  8. Santa’s Sleigh & Reindeer (Don’t forget Rudolph)
  9. The Grinch
  10. Christmas Ornaments & Tree Topper
  11. Christmas Stockings
  12. Mistle Toe
  13. Nativity
  14. Mary, Joseph, & Baby Jesus
  15. Christmas Star
  16. Angels
  17. Letters to Santa
  18. Gingerbread House
  19. Christmas Sweater
  20. Candy Cane and Christmas Sweets
  21. Christmas Bells
  22. Christmas Wreath
  23. Nutcracker
  24. Peace On Earth
  25. Merry Christmas

Get the most out of your Christmas drawing prompts by turning your creations into ornaments. Consider using small notecards which can easily be laminated. Next, punch a hole in the top to add ribbon to hang on your Christmas tree.

Rebecca Reviewed It: Village of Ashley Country Christmas

Colorful lights, Santa & Mrs. Claus, flame-throwing juggler, Christmas music, and a roaring steam engine, what else do you need on a chilly evening? I went to watch the beautiful Pere Marquette aka the Polar Express thunder into Ashley, Michigan. Carrying passengers to visit a small town completely decked out for Christmas fun.

Where: The train comes from Owosso to arrive in the small Village of Ashley, Michigan. The passengers enjoy about a 1 hour 15-minute ride, stay in Ashley for a couple of hours, then return to Owosso. The public is welcome to enjoy the small town and view the train coming into town.

When: The Polar Express comes into town twice a day every weekend until Christmas.

This is the official pamphlet from the Village of Ashley Country Christmas 2021.

What You View: The town is set up with a variety of little Christmas shops, food, hot cocoa, and activities for the entire family to enjoy. For example Penny Lane has handcrafted gifts to wear. The handmade hats are beautiful and warm.

The lists of little shops and activities within in the town.

Will I Go Again? Most definitely, yes. I would love to see the train arrive after a heavy snowfall. Hopefully Mother Nature and my schedule allow me to do it. Who knows maybe one of these times, I will actually ride the train.

12 Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Shows

Your Thanksgiving feast is history. Now the time is right to just relax and watch television. Are you looking for a kid-friendly show to watch on Thanksgiving? Check out the following list. Please note: As an Amazon affiliate I earn income from qualifying purchases.

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  1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
  2. Garfield’s Thanksgiving (1989)
  3. An Arthur Thanksgiving
  4. Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (2015)
  5. Turkey Town: A Thanksgiving Party (2018)
  6. Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Thanksgiving Parade (2000)
  7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration (2008)
  8. Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving (1999)
  9. Free Birds (2013)
  10. A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving (2016)
  11. Addams Family Values
  12. Beethoven (1993)

Or you could always start the Christmas season early. Watch classic favorites: Miracle on 34th Street, Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Thanksgiving Traditions to Start This Year

Thanksgiving is almost here! Are you looking for a new Thanksgiving tradition to start this year? Or perhaps expand on your existing traditions. Making memories is the best part of the holiday season. If you are searching for new Thanksgiving traditions to start this year, check out the following list.

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  1. Decorate: Get crafty. Decorate as a family project. Thanksgiving decoration ideas include placements, name holders, and centerpieces.
  2. Being Grateful: When sitting around the dinner table, ask your family and friends, why are you grateful this year? If you do not want to say your reason out loud, write on a pumpkin. Or jot your message down on precut leaves to hang on a tree.
  3.  Saying Grace: Start a new tradition of praying before you and your family eat Thanksgiving dinner.
  4. Get Outdoors: Spend some time outdoors. Play football, go for a hike, go on a nature walk, or be part of a fun run (Turkey Trot).
  5. Bake Together: Make the meal together as a family. Dig out an old family recipe to make. Tell a story about the person who originally made the recipe.
  6. Volunteer as a Family: Many organizations cater to the homeless on Thanksgiving. Volunteer as a family to homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other community organization.
  7. Attend a Thanksgiving Parade: Parades are popular on Thanksgiving. If you cannot attend one in person, watch one a television.
  8. Family Photos: Before everyone gets too tired from eating all that delicious turkey, take family photos.
  9. Make Memory Cards: Ask each person to write a Thanksgiving memory. Memory cards are an easy way to learn about your family history.
  10. Record Family Stories: Use your cell phone to record family stories. Or ask each person to tell you the best part of the day.
  11. Board Games: After clearing the table, pull out board games. Old favorites, Monopoly, Life, or Sorry, are always a wonderful way to engage your family. 
  12. Watch Football: Get comfortable after the big meal and watch your favorite team.
  13. Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Who cannot resist Snoopy and the gang? Or you could kick off the Christmas season by watching A Miracle on 34th Street.
  14. Thanksgiving Journal: After everyone is asleep or watching television, take a moment to write in your journal about Thanksgiving 2021.

Happy Thanksgiving! What tradition will you start this year?

50 Quotes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here. Are you looking to add quotes to your social media posts, company email, or your bulletin board at work? The following quotes are great for remembering Thanksgiving.

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  1. “Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude.” – Nigel Hamilton
  2. “In November, people are good to each other. They carry pies to each other’s homes and talk by crackling woodstoves, sipping mellow cider. They travel very far on a special November day just to share a meal with one another and to give thanks for their many blessings.” — Cynthia Rylant
  3. “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  4. “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy
  5. “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward
  6. “If you think Independence Day is America’s defining holiday, think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title, hands-down.”—Tony Snow.
  7. “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” – W. T. Purkiser
  8. “Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” — Kevin James
  9. “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”—Henry Van Dyke
  10. “The more we express thanks, the more gratitude we feel. The more gratitude we feel, the more we express thanks. It’s circular, and it leads to a happier life.”—Steve Goodier
  11. “Thanksgiving just gets me all warm and tingly and all kinds of wonderful inside.” – Willard Scott
  12. “I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased.” — Oprah Winfrey
  13. “Thanksgiving Day is a good day to recommit our energies to giving thanks and just giving.”—Amy Grant
  14. “Although Thanksgiving comes but once a year, every day should be a day of Thanks.” -Monique Hammond
  15. “To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.”—Victor Hugo
  16. “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” — Henry David Thoreau
  17. “I have a lot to be thankful for. I am healthy, happy and I am loved.”—Reba McEntire
  18. “Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.”—E.P. Powell
  19. “Reflect upon your present blessings.”—Charles Dickens
  20. “If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. ”—W. Clement Stone
  21. “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
  22. “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is.”—Ernest Hemingway
  23. “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”—Harry A. Ironside
  24. “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”—Friedrich Koenig
  25. “Good mashed potato is one of the great luxuries in life.” — Lindsey Bareham
  26. “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” — Frank A. Clark
  27. “Over and over I marvel at the blessings of my life: Each year has grown better than the last.”—Lawrence Welk
  28. “We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.”—Neal A. Maxwell
  29. “Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast.”—Melody Beattie
  30. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”—Willie Nelson
  31. “Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.” – Joyce Giraud
  32. “Gratitude, help us to see what is there instead of what isn’t.” — Annette Bridges
  33. “The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about?” — Nora Ephron
  34. “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”—George Bernard Shaw
  35. “I love Thanksgiving because it is a holiday centered around food and family, two things that are of utmost importance to me.” Marcus Samuelsson
  36. “What I love about Thanksgiving is that it’s purely about getting together with friends or family and enjoying food. It’s really for everybody, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from.”—Daniel Humm
  37. “The thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”—Henry Ward Beecher
  38. “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”—Aesop
  39. “There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person.”—Joyce Meyer
  40. “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”—Marcel Proust
  41. “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’”—William Arthur Ward
  42. “I’m thankful to be breathing, on this side of the grass. Whatever comes, comes.”—Ron Perlman
  43. “I do think that Thanksgiving is a very nice holiday because it’s all about saying thank you; it’s being thankful.”—Jacob Tremblay
  44. “A basic law: the more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for”—Norman Vincent Peale
  45. “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.” – Erma Bombeck
  46. “Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.” –  Jefferson Bethke
  47. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart
  48. “Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home.” – Wilbur D. Nesbit
  49. “My fondest memories are generally the day after Thanksgiving. I get the total decorating Christmas itch.” – Katharine McPhee
  50. “What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?” – Erma Bombeck

Happy Thanksgiving!

Halloween Photography Tips for Lasting Memories

The old saying, “they grow up so fast” is true. Capturing childhood moments is essential for lasting memories. Halloween is one of those holidays, many children outgrow quickly. Do not let the opportunity go, take the time to photograph your children at Halloween.

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How to Get the Best Halloween Photos

1. Pre-Halloween Photo Shoot

Before Halloween, let your children try on their costumes.  Use this opportunity to plan a photo session.

  • Go to different places in your community to pose.
  • Use your child’s costume as a building block for finding the perfect place to pose. For example, Spiderman can easily pose on playground equipment.
  • Allow your child to get into character. Encourage impressions.

2. Be Patient

The big night is here, time for all the Halloween fun. Remember as you begin to take photos, be patient. Children are going to be excited about trick-or-treating or other Halloween events.

3. Document the Process from the Start

Do not wait until your children are dressed to take photos. Start snapping photos as soon as you begin to get ready for trick-or-treating. Often, the best photos come during the process of getting ready.

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4. Feature Props

Your photos need to include every part of your Halloween celebration.

  • If your child’s costume has props or special features, focus on them in a photo or two. The details always make the costumes.
  • Include decorations in your photos, your carved pumpkins or other yard decorations.
  • Take Halloween photos with your pets.
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5. Group Photo

Along with individual photos, get a group photo before trick-or-treating begins. Make sure to include yourself in one of the photos. Pose together before the sun goes down. Remember to use natural light to get the best photo. When you can, skip the flash.

6. Trick-or-Treating Photos

The main event is here.

  • Take numerous action photos of your children going from house to house. Avoid using flash.
  • Use streetlights or porch lights to add a glow effect.
  • Find a bright light to create silhouettes of your children in costume.  
  • Get photos from different angles.
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7. Last Photo of the Night

When returning home, get one last photo. Ask your children to show off their candy collection. Of course, some younger children may be asleep by the time you return home. Do not forget to get a photo. This is a perfect picture opportunity for the end of the night.

8. Get Creative with Editing

When editing photos, use special effects.

  • Use fog effect.
  • Convert to black and white photos.
  • Make certain colors stand out. Orange is a Halloween color. Turn photos of pumpkins black and white but keep the bright orange colors.
  • Use the soft-focus option to center on your children.

Happy Halloween! When out trick-or-treating, remember to have fun.

8 Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating

Are you going to pass on trick-or-treating this year? Do not worry, you are not alone. Many families forego trick-or-treating for numerous reasons. Chilly weather, scheduling conflicts, health and safety concerns, or the time of trick-or-treating are often big factors. Even without trick-or-treating, your Halloween can still be lots of fun.

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Trick-or-Treating Alternatives  

  1. Halloween Party: Throw your own Halloween party. Halloween costumes, treats, themed music, and games are a perfect combination for a night of fun.
  2. Bonfire Night: With or without costumes a bonfire night is a fun activity for the entire family to enjoy. Just be careful around the fire and don’t forget the S’mores.
  3. Movie Night: On a cold, rainy Halloween, cuddling under blankets, sipping hot cocoa, and watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a perfect evening.
  4. Candy Scavenger Hunt: Hide the candy. No, seriously hide the candy for a scavenger hunt. Kids love to search for “hidden treasures.” A candy scavenger hunt is a superb way to celebrate Halloween.
  5. Craft Day: Spend the day doing Halloween themed crafts. Even your local dollar store has Halloween themed craft products. Make masks, draw haunted scenes, or paint fake pumpkins for a day of Halloween fun.
  6. Community Event: If you are concerned about safety, attend a community sponsored event. Trunk-or-treat, pumpkin walk, or Halloween at the zoo are great sponsored events for Halloween.
  7. Halloween-Themed Baking: Bake Halloween treats together. Deliver treats to neighbors. Or use the Halloween-themed goodies as part of your movie night.
  8. Halloween Pail:  A Halloween bucket is like an Easter basket. Grab a Halloween themed bucket and fill it with your kids’ favorite treats. Controlling the amount of candy is the best part. Add books, magazines, small toys, or other themed goodies to fill the bucket.

Yes, trick-or-treating is a fun part of childhood. When the weather or other issues get in the way, finding the best alternative to trick-or-treating is a fantastic way to celebrate Halloween

A Game of Halloween Charades

Are you looking for a fun interactive game to celebrate Halloween? Charades is a classic, easy-to-play game. Start by sorting your guests into two teams of equal amounts. Pick a timekeeper. Generally, a person has 2 to 3 minutes to act out the phrase. But if you have younger children, you may need extra time.

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Halloween Charade Ideas

A Halloween-themed game of charades is easy to plan. Simply write out book titles, movies, phrases, or words on pieces of paper in a bowl. If you need some inspiration, check out the following list of Halloween charade ideas.

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  1. Hocus Pocus
  2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  3. Witch’s Cauldron
  4. Ghost
  5. Black Cat
  6. Graveyard
  7. Werewolf howling at the moon
  8. Skeleton
  9. Scarecrow
  10. Carving a Pumpkin
  11. The Monster Mash
  12. Mad Scientist
  13. Thriller
  14. Stirring a cauldron
  15. Vampire
  16. Frankenstein
  17. Bats flying at noon
  18. Full moon
  19. Visiting a haunted house
  20. Zombie walk
  21. Halloween candy
  22. Caramel apples
  23. Bobbing for apples
  24. Monster
  25. Mummy
  26. Mask
  27. Fangs
  28. Night of the Living Deas
  29. Pumpkin patch
  30. Trick-or-treating

Charades require a little acting but gain a lot of laughs.

Fall Family Photos to Capture this Season

Fall is a busy time of year. Apple picking, visiting pumpkin patches, viewing colorful foliage, Halloween, and Thanksgiving are all a part of the fall season. Each day provides numerous opportunities for family pictures. Are you capturing the best photos for lasting memories? If you need a little inspiration, check out the following list of ideas for fall family photos to capture this season.

Fall Family Photo Ideas

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  1. Walking down a hiking trail. (If you can do it, get your children to hold hands).
  2. Searching for the perfect pumpkin.
  3. Sitting in the pumpkin patch.
  4. Going apple picking.
  5. Baking a apple or pumpkin pie together.
  6. Doing leaf crafts.
  7. Attending a football game.
  8. Tailgating before the game. (Food is always a major part of game day photos).
  9. Playing catch football.
  10. Around a bonfire.
  11. Standing in front of trees with vibrant fall colors.
  12. Holding leaves out front of you. (For added fun, write names or wishes on the leaves)
  13. Raking and jumping in the leaves.
  14. Vising a local farmer’s market.
  15. At a community event.
  16. Making Halloween decoration together.
  17. Dancing to Halloween music.
  18. Carving pumpkins.
  19. Roasting pumpkin seeds.
  20. Volunteering.
  21. Drinking homemade hot cocoa in a new mug. (Do not forget the marshmallows.)
  22. Dressing up in Halloween costumes.
  23. A Halloween photo shoot in the back yard.
  24. Trick or treating.
  25. Decorating for Thanksgiving.
  26. Photo with extended family at Thanksgiving.
  27. Photo of everyone sitting at the Thanksgiving table.
  28. Kids choice. (Often children create the best photo shoot for your family.)

35 Halloween Movies for Family Night

Are you getting the mood for Halloween fun? Pumpkins, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night are a major part of Halloween. The time is perfect to pop some buttery, delicious popcorn or order a pizza from your favorite place. Now find the perfect family-friendly movie to enjoy.  

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35 Family-Friendly Movies

  1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
  2. Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2
  3. A Witches Ball
  4. Halloweentown 1 & 2
  5. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  6. The Haunted Mansion
  7. Beetlejuice (1988)
  8. Casper (1995)
  9. Happy Halloween Scooby Doo (2020)
  10. Ghostbuster (1988)
  11. Hocus Pocus (1993)
  12. Harry Potter series
  13. Monster House (2006)
  14. The Dog Who Saved Halloween (2011)
  15. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (Netflix)
  16. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993)
  17. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest (2013)
  18. Goosebumps (2015)
  19. Super Monster Saves Halloween (2018)
  20. The Addams Family (2019)
  21. Toy Story of Terror (2014)
  22. Spookley the Square Pumpkin (2004)
  23. Pooh’s Huffalump Halloween Movie (2005)
  24. Room on a Broom (2013)
  25. The House with the Clock In Its Walls
  26. The Little Vampire
  27. Spooky Buddies
  28. Halloween Town High
  29. Return to Halloween Town
  30. ParaNorman
  31. Monster Family
  32. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  33. Gremlins (1984)
  34. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure
  35. Woody Woodpecker and Friends Halloween Favorites

What is your favorite Halloween show to watch with your family?

Please note: As an Amazon Affiliate, “I do earn income on qualifying purchases.”

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