1.) Visit a State Park! If you're lucky enough to have sunny skies and moderate temperatures, spend the day outside and work off that second helping of mashed potatoes.
2.) Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree! Create a new holiday tradition when you cut down your own live Christmas tree. Looking for a local Christmas Tree farm? Check out our reader's favorites here.
3.) Enjoy the First Lights of the Season! Check our Holiday Lights Guide or event calendar to find out what displays are already lit or will have their lighting ceremonies over Thanksgiving weekend.
4.) Decorate Your House! Now that Thanksgiving has passed, crank up the Christmas music and begin the process of decorating your house. Starting the process now will make the holiday season feel longer, and you can take the whole day to enjoy it and get everything just so.
5.) Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange! Invite 10-20 of your friends and family members over for a fun party. Each person should bring 3-6 dozen cookies (depending on the size of the guest list) along with enough copies of the recipe for all the guests. Everyone will leave with enough baked goods to last the rest of the season.
6.) Purge Outgrown Toys and Books! Between Santa, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and friends, many kids get a LOT of new things coming in. Sort through the toys and books in your kids' bedrooms and playroom to clear out whatever is broken, outgrown, or just isn't played with anymore. Donate what you can and throw away the rest ... no regrets!
7.) Sign Up to Adopt a Family! Give your children the gift of compassion in a very tangible way and make another family's holiday wishes come true too. You can adopt an entire family or simply donate one new, unwrapped toy.
8.) Plan Your Elf on the Shelf Adventures! Make your plan for your elf's grand entrance on the first day, and then come up with a loose plan for the remaining days or find a guide online that you can follow for the month. Introduce a Kindness Elf with our free printable!!
(Editor's Note: If you haven't started Elf on a Shelf in your house, you should know that it is a LOT of fun but also a LOT of work. DH and I have used most of our brain power coming up with or copying new ideas. We've been doing it for 6 or 7 years and, since it is our boys' favorite tradition of the holiday season, we think we'll be doing it till they go off to college!)