Yes! Go Ahead & Decorate for Christmas Now

Many recognize November as the beginning of the holiday season. On social media, posts suggest celebrating the Christmas season before Thanksgiving is not acceptable. After a long year of COVID restrictions, celebrating with your family should be a daily event. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Simply have fun and enjoy the season in a way that makes you happy.

Are you looking for ways to start celebrating early? Check out the following list for ideas.

Decorate

Begin decorating early. Do you have boxes with Christmas decorations in storage? Take your time to look through each box. Decorate as you go. Overdecorate. Use all of your decorations. Spread your Christmas decorations throughout your entire living space.

  • Put up your Christmas tree.
  • Decorate hallways and doors.
  • Purchase small trees for your young children’s rooms. (Dollar store Christmas trees work perfectly for this set up).
  • Set a small Christmas related plushie on the dash of your car.
  • Decorate outdoors, including your porch, trees, or mailbox.
  • Set up a nativity scene indoors or outdoors.
  • Arrange a centerpiece on your dining room table.

Get Crafty

Do some of your ornaments lack sparkle? Add some glitter and revamp old ornaments and decorations.

  • Make salt dough ornaments
  • Make cinnamon dough ornaments
  • Create ornaments out of clay
  • Make paper chains
  • Thread popcorn and cranberries for garland
  • Make Christmas wreaths to share or keep
  • Make homemade Christmas cards.
  • Create a centerpiece.

Watch Holiday Movies

The Hallmark Channel began streaming holiday movies over two weeks ago. Go ahead, watch, and enjoy the uplifting holiday programs. If you do not have the Hallmark Channel, start searching your other streaming services to find the perfect Christmas programs for you or your entire family. Remember, you can always dig out your DVDs.

Turn watching holiday movies into a special event for your whole family. Serve snacks, hot cocoa, or order pizza. If you cannot be with your family or friends in person, host an online movie event.

If celebrating Christmas early makes you happy, then do it. Enjoy every minute of the holiday season.

 

No, Halloween is Not Canceled

Let’s repeat, Halloween is not canceled. Due to the pandemic, Halloween celebrations are different this year. Many areas are experiencing wide-spread cancellations of community events, including trick-or-treating. But, Halloween, a recognized holiday by millions, is not canceled.

Staying close to home provides the perfect opportunity to engage in other activities for your entire family to enjoy. Instead of celebrating Halloween on one night, spread out the activities during the whole month for extra fun.

Ideas for Halloween Fun

Do you need some inspiration to help celebrate Halloween? Check out the following list.

  • Decorate: Spend time decorating your yard, house, or room. Even small figures or handmade decorations provide a Halloween feel.
  • Halloween Crafts: Check out Pinterest for numerous family-friendly crafts for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Visit a Pumpkin Patch: Before heading out to your local pumpkin patch, check out the times and guidelines.
  • Pumpkin Carving:  Whether you went to a pumpkin patch or local supermarket, spend an afternoon carving your pumpkins.
  • Roast Pumpkin Seeds: Save and roast your pumpkin seeds for a delicious snack.
  • Look at Halloween Decorations: Walk (or drive) around your neighborhood to look at Halloween decorations.
  • Halloween-Themed Dinner: Make a spooky-themed dinner for your family or friends. Mummy hot dogs, ghost pancakes, blood-red juice, or pumpkin pie are just a few examples for a Halloween breakfast or dinner.
  • Movie Night: Host a family movie night with Halloween themed movies. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is always a traditional favorite.
  • Halloween Books: Read a Halloween story or make up a scary one of your own.
  • Halloween Playlist: Make a playlist of your favorite Halloween songs to play. Dancing and singing along to fun Halloween songs are a great way to enjoy the holiday.
  • Photo Session: Set up a backdrop (a plain old sheet works well). Get dressed up in your Halloween costumes, use props, and take lots of photos.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Hide Halloween candy or small toys. Place the items around your yard or home for a fun scavenger hunt.

Yes, repeat again. Halloween is not canceled; the holiday is just a little different this year. Pick one or numerous activities to enjoy Halloween over the whole month.

Christmas in July: Make Sugar Cookies

Are you looking for another simple way to celebrate Christmas in July? Dig out your favorite sugar cookie recipe, find a new one on Pinterest, or grab a tube of dough at your local store. Regardless of your method, sugar cookies are a fun way to celebrate Christmas in July.

  1. Bake your cookies from the method of choice.
  2. Allow your batch of sugar cookies to cool.
  3. Frost cookies.
  4. Decorate

Do you want to get the kids involved in making sugar cookies to celebrate Christmas in July? Set out different types of holiday sprinkles, marshmallows, nuts, and other toppings. Then, ask your children to help decorate the cookies. Making up new designs and colors provides added fun.

Finally, time to eat the cookies. Put a plate of cookies out as part of family night.

You can always add a nice cup of hot chocolate or milk to the celebration. Now, the next challenge, who gets to pick the Christmas movie?

Christmas in July: Family Movie Night

Time to unplug, step away from the local news, and enjoy Christmas in July with a movie night. Order pizza, make some popcorn or other tasty snacks to make movie night extra special.

Do you need some movie ideas for your family, friends, or just you and your dog? Check out the following list of 50 movies to celebrate Christmas in July. 

 

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  • Holiday in the Wild (2019)
  • Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (2012)
  • The Star (2017)
  • Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002)
  • Elf (2003)
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas (2012)
  • If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie (2016)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
  • The Litte Drummer Boy
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Micky’s Once Upon a Christmas
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
  • Polar Express (2004)
  • A Fairly Odd Christmas (2012)
  • Home Alone (1990)
  • I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (2003)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s a Sponge Bob Christmas
  • Paw Patrol: Pups Save Christmas
  • The Knight Before Christmas (2019)
  • Klaus (2019)
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)
  • The Flight Before Christmas
  • Jingle All the Way (1996)
  • The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Noelle (2019)
  • The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
  • ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
  • Disney’s Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  • The Year Without Santa Claus
  • Trolls Holiday (2017)
  • Santa Hunters (2014)
  • Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
  • My Dad is Scrooge (2014)
  • Chilly Christmas (2012)
  • Saving Santa (2013)
  • Bah, Humduck: A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)
  • Merry Christmas Drake and Josh (2008)
  • Arthur Christmas (2011)
  • Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale 2007)
  • Yogi’s First Christmas (1980)
  • In Search of Santa (2004)

 

Enjoy your movie night!

Creating a Christmas Season Bucket List

Ushering in a magical time of year, the holiday season is now in full swing. Soon, your schedule will be busy with all sorts of work, school, and other Christmas time commitments. Taking time to enjoy every moment is vital to making long-lasting memories.

Before you realize, Christmas vacation will be here. Get the best out of your holidays, make a Christmas Season Bucket List. Ask your family or friends for ideas on how to make the holiday season more fun. 

Ideas for Your Christmas Season Bucket List

Do you need some inspiration to get your bucket list started? Consider the following activities for your Christmas Season Bucket List. 

  • Decorate for Christmas
  • Put up the Christmas Tree
  • Decorate and hang stockings (don’t forget to add one for your dog)
  • Make your own Christmas ornaments
  • Go to the library to get Christmas-themed books
  • Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
  • Attend a Christmas parade
  • Visit Santa (Yes, even adults can have their picture taking with Santa. Enjoy the season!)
  • Write Santa
  • Make homemade Christmas cards
  • Go to a community event
  • Go caroling
  • Volunteer
  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Make holiday goodies to deliver to friends and relatives
  • Go ice skating
  • Host an Ugly Christmas Sweater party
  • Build a snowman
  • Host a Christmas tea
  • Have a Christmas movie marathon 
  • Make homemade hot cocoa (perfect for the movie marathon)
  • Sponsor a child or donate to a local charity
  • Make a Christmas wreath (make an extra one to give to a friend)
  • Ride around to view Christmas lights and other holiday displays 
  • Donate toys and gently used coats to your local charity
  • Make cookies or cupcakes for your local fire department
  • Get a professional Christmas portrait
  • Attend a live Nativity 
  • Go to Christmas services at a local church
  • Host a Christmas craft day
  • Go sledding or snowboarding
  • Play in the snow
  • Build a snowman
  • Call loved ones who live far away

Regardless of what you decide to do, spend quality time with those you love. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures of your activities. Make a Christmas scrapbook. Have fun, and enjoy the Christmas season. 

Celebrating Sweetest Day on a Budget

Did you know today, October 19th is Sweetest Day? Did you plan ahead? Are you scrambling to find the perfect date within your budget? Celebrating Sweetest Day does not require a lot of money. In fact, with a little creativity and planning, many activities can be free or cost very little. 

Low-Cost Ideas for Sweetest Day

  • Picnic: Pack a lunch and head out to your local park for a picnic. If the weather is too cold, have a picnic inside. When eating indoors, you can also have candles and music to set the mood. 
  • Go for a Walk: Autumn brings bright colored leaves, harvest, pumpkins, and more. Get outdoors, go for a walk to view the changing colors. Head out to the nearest pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Enjoy the day together. Hold hands. Drink warm cider. Buy a pumpkin for Halloween. 
  • Go Hiking: Hit your favorite trail. Do not forget to bring your dog along. Hiking is a great way to spend time together. Being outdoors is beneficial to your physical and mental health. Your dog will be happy to be part of the celebration. 
  • Be a Local Tourist: Check out your local tourists’ sites. When was the last time you went to the hometown art gallery, museum, historical landmark, brewery tour, apple orchard, cider mill, or other tourist destination? Spend time exploring your town.
  • Make a Card: Remember getting a note with the words, do you like me? Check yes or no. Get creative. Make a Sweetest Day card. Write a poem or include a special memory. 
  • Make a PlayList: Put all of the songs that are special to your relationship on a playlist. 
  • Make a YouTube Video: Okay, it’s not what you think. Video the place you first met, your first kiss, your wedding location, or other memorable locales. Take the video pieces and create a documentary about the two of you. 
  • Make a Meal Together: Cook together to make the perfect meal or dessert. 
  • Movie Night: Cuddle on the couch, make popcorn, and binge-watch your favorite movie series. 
  • Unplug for the Day: Turn your phone to vibrate, step away from your computer, and just spend the day together.

31 Days of Halloween Fun

Cooler nights, changing leaves, pumpkins, October is the perfect time to enjoy Halloween fun. Whether you participate in activities with friends or family, try out these ideas for 31 Days of Halloween Fun. 

31 Halloween Themed Activities 

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch. Bring home a pumpkin or several 
  2. Decorate for Halloween.
  3. Go to the library or bookstore to find Halloween themed books. 
  4. Make homemade Halloween cards. 
  5. Make monster cookies.
  6. Plan and make a homemade Halloween costume.
  7. Make two loaves of pumpkin bread. One to keep and one to give away to a friend. 
  8. Create a Halloween diorama. 
  9.  Watch classic monster movies. 
  10. Paint zombie, monster, or pumpkin-themed rocks to hide around the neighborhood. 
  11. Make a Halloween themed meal.
  12. Make orange tye-dyed t-shirts.
  13. Go on a haunted hayride.
  14. Walk or drive around to see the different pumpkin and Halloween decorations. 
  15. Tell or write a spooky tale. 
  16. Host a Halloween cartoon movie night. 
  17. Drink freshly pressed cider or warm apple spice cider. 
  18. Create a Halloween playlist. 
  19. Carve pumpkins.
  20. Roast pumpkin seeds.
  21. Visit a haunted house.
  22. Host a Halloween themed craft day. 
  23. Attend a pumpkin weighing contest.
  24. Go through a corn maze. 
  25. Attend a trunk or treat event. 
  26. Go on a haunted tour or ghost walk. 
  27. Host a bonfire night. 
  28. Have a Halloween themed photoshoot for you, your friends, your family, or your dogs. 
  29. Attend a Halloween parade or other community event. 
  30. Host a Halloween party. 
  31. Trick-or-treat. Happy Halloween!

Staycation Ideas for the Holiday Weekend

What is a staycation? The term refers to staying at home or close to home during vacation time. The Labor Day weekend generally provides three days off without school or work commitments. The time can be spent on the road heading toward a travel destination. Or you and your loved ones may participate in staycation activities. Spending a leisure weekend with your family may turn into a lasting memory.

25 Staycation Ideas for Labor Day Weekend

  1. Host a family BBQ
  2. Go hiking
  3. Visit a local landmark
  4. Attend a community event
  5. Go on a picnic
  6. Visit a dog park
  7. Volunteer
  8. Go swimming
  9. Read a book
  10. Eat ice cream
  11. Make banana splits
  12. Go for a walk
  13. Go stargazing
  14. Go miniature golfing
  15. Visit older family members
  16. Go to a farmer’s market
  17. Visit a petting zoo or farm
  18. Relax in a hammock
  19. Host a bonfire
  20. Visit an art gallery or museum
  21. Host a craft day
  22. Go for a bike ride
  23. Go on a local tour
  24. Visit mom and pop style restaurants or businesses
  25. Have a movie or game night

 

Celebrating UFO Day

Did you know July 2nd is World UFO Day? UFOs or Unidentified Flying Objects have been the subject of curiosity since the beginning of the recorded word. Whether you believe or not, celebrating World UFO Day is a great way to learn about unexplainable sights in the night sky.

Ways to Celebrate UFO Day

Celebrating UFO can be a way to bring family and friends together. Remember activities should be age appropriate for your children to enjoy.

Go to the Library

Some libraries are hosting special events to celebrate World UFO Day. Teen night, game night, reading groups, and other related activities may be a part of your local library’s events. Check your library’s social media page or website for details.

Even if your library is not hosting a UFO event, find a book to read. UFOs and aliens have been the subject to many storylines. Do not hesitate to ask your librarian for suggestions.

Write a UFO Story

Write a story about viewing a UFO. Or ask your children to tell you a story about UFOs and aliens. Writing down their words may result in a memorable tale.

UFO Crafts

Spend the afternoon making UFO crafts. The crafts do not need to be complex. For example, paper plates glued together make a perfect base for a UFO. Decorate the UFO with different types of art mediums including:

  • Paint
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Glitter
  • Stickers
  • Macaroni
  • Pom-pons
  • Jewels

The type of UFO creation is only limited by your imagination.

If you want to do make a more involved project, build the solar system.

UFO Treats

UFO or alien themed treats are a perfect snack. A cake or cupcake can be your starting point for UFO treats. Or a cookie decorated with MM”s can easily transform into a UFO. The treats are a perfect addition to a movie or game night.

Movie Night

From 1950’s classics to modern cinematic blockbusters, watching  UFO or alien-themed movies is another way to celebrate World UFO Day.

Movie and television ideas include:

  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Men In Black
  • Aliens
  • Pacific Rim
  • Iron Giant
  • Signs
  • Doctor Who
  • Roswell, New Mexico
  • E.T.
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • War of the World
  • Thing from Another World

Host a Stargazing Party

Gather your friends and family members together for a night of stargazing. Spread out blankets, lay back, and look at the stars. You may not see a UFO but the night sky has other amazing sights to view.

90 Summer Bucket List Ideas

When most people think about a bucket list, images of faraway places generally come to mind. A summer bucket list is simply a way to enjoy each day to the fullest. Creating a list with your family or friends is a wonderful way to inspire a fun-filled summer.

90 Bucket List Ideas for Summer

  1. Plant flowers
  2. Keep a summer journal or scrapbook
  3. Attend summer activities including VBS, Science Camp, Library Events, or Art Classes
  4. Learn tennis or other summer outdoor sporting activities
  5. Play in the rain
  6. Visit a state or national park
  7. Go berry picking
  8. Make tye-dyed shirts
  9. Listen to a free, outdoor community concert
  10. Play a game of catch or Frisbee
  11. Take silly selfies with your family or friends
  12. Go to the library
  13. Ride a Ferris wheel
  14. Watch fireflies
  15. Read a book under a tree or on the beach
  16. Try kayaking or paddle boarding
  17. Go camping
  18. Roast marshmallows or make S’mores
  19. Attend a festival or fair
  20. Go to an amusement park for the day
  21. Go on a canoe or boat ride
  22. Play hide-n-seek
  23. Walk your dog or volunteer to walk dogs at the local shelter/rescue
  24. Try rollerblading or skateboarding
  25. Nap in a hammock or lawn chair
  26. Visit a waterfall
  27. Throw pennies into a wish fountain
  28. Create a summer playlist of your favorite songs
  29. Take a tour
  30. Go to the park for the day
  31. Watch a parade
  32. Visit a splash park or splash pad
  33. Try a Pinterest craft
  34. Go to the zoo
  35. Volunteer
  36. Make Root beer floats
  37. Go to the lake
  38. Go for a bike ride
  39. Have a water balloon fight
  40. Visit an aquarium
  41. host a scavenger hunt
  42. Go swimming
  43. Make sandcastles
  44. paint rocks
  45. Host a movie night
  46. Make homemade popsicles
  47. Go on a day trip
  48. Make homemade lemonade
  49. Host a photo shoot in your backyard
  50. Go Geocaching
  51. Do sidewalk chalk art
  52. Eat banana splits
  53. Watch a sunrise
  54. Make homemade playdough or salt dough
  55. Watch fireworks
  56. Use sparklers
  57. Visit a historical site
  58. Go to a drive-in or outdoor movie night
  59. Eat watermelon
  60. Go to a farmer’s market
  61. Avoid social media for a day or week
  62. Play in the sprinklers or on a slip-n-slide
  63. Go bowling
  64. Make homemade ice cream
  65. Play laser tag
  66. Fly a kite
  67. Host a BBQ
  68. Host a rainy day craft day
  69. Go on a picnic
  70. Watch a sunset
  71. Go horseback riding
  72. Go miniature golfing
  73. Go tubing, float down a river
  74. Lay out a blanket and star gaze
  75. Go on a nature walk
  76. Make a YouTube video
  77. Host a family board game night
  78. Join a summer reading group
  79. Paint picture of something in nature
  80. Make and host a paper airplane flying contest
  81. Make sun catchers out of Pony beads
  82. Go hiking
  83. Go to your local botanical garden
  84. Try a snow cone
  85. Eat a funnel cake or elephant ear
  86. Collect and send postcards
  87. Blow bubbles
  88. Go on a train ride
  89. Spend an afternoon visiting family members
  90. Sit outdoors and just listen to the sounds of summer

 

School’s out. The weather is warmer. Have fun and enjoy the upcoming summer days.