Ready or not, there's no denying that holiday season is here. Thanksgiving is around the corner and Christmas is coming up in a little over a month followed closely by the New Year. Of course, the YUMMommy household couldn't let the holidays roll by without creating a list of fun holiday activities we hope to accomplish this holiday season. After all the holiday isn't just about spreading cheer, giving thanks and celebrating the birth of our Savior, but making memories along the way as well.
Our 2015 Holiday Bucket List
Attend Thanksgiving Parade
For as long as I've been in the Queen City, I've never been to a parade. That's awful considering I've been living here for about eleven years. Not to mention, there are more than a handful of parades that happen here. Last year and the year before last year we had planned on attending the Thanksgiving/Christmas parade, but didn't. The Mr had worked the night before which meant I was left doing the cooking and watching the kids.
Also, the year before last we decided to use one of those disposable turkey pans since our rental didn't have a dishwasher and I didn't want to spend all Thanksgiving washing dishes. Bad mistake because our pan ended getting a hole in it somehow during baking. That led to the juices from the turkey splattering on the bottom of the oven and almost caused a grease fire. In the middle of taking the turkey out of the oven to move to a new pan, the bottom gave out and hot grease and turkey juices splattered on my foot. So, no parade because I had to spend Thanksgiving with an ice pack on my foot to take down the swelling from the light burn.
This year we're determined to make it. I've invested in a real turkey roasting pan and I plan on starting my cooking earlier so that I won't be up all night. Unfortunately the Mr still has to work the night before and probably won't be joining us at the parade.
Take Holiday Pictures
My kids might not believe in Santa, but we still love tradition of taking Santa pictures. Well, Moo does. JJ has not been a fan of Santa. Hopefully, that will all change this year since he's made so much progress with therapy and responding better to strangers in general.
In addition to Santa pictures, I'm in the process of trying to schedule our family holiday pictures. We will be booking our pictures with Portrait Innovations. I've talked about them a few times on the blog already. Again, Moo is over the moon about getting to dress up and pose for the camera. I'm excited to because we haven't had professional pictures taken in a while.
Put Up Christmas Decorations
We're halfway through with this to-do on our bucket list because we've already put up our Christmas tree. It's our tradition to put the Christmas on November 1st. Some years it's gotten put up a few days late, but this year we got it up on time. I don't go all out with tons of Fall decorations and I don't like having turkeys everywhere for Thanksgiving. We did put out pumpkins for Halloween, but those are packed up now.
I still have to find hooks for our stocking so that they will stay hanging on the mantle. Also, I need to find a Christmas/Winter wreath for the front door. My mom gifted me one of her Christmas china sets that she had since I was little. So, I want to find a cute table cloth, runner and napkins to really do the table up after Thanksgiving passes. Also, we need some Christmas figurines to decorate the top of the mantle and clings to decorate the windows.
Watch Holiday Movies
Hallmark has already started playing a variety of Christmas and Thanksgiving movies. Plus, ABC has released their 25 Days of Christmas watch list. So, I'm hoping that we'll be able to watch a new holiday movie every night starting next week. I've been working on putting together a list of holiday movies on Netflix too for those days we can't find a family appropriate holiday movie on cable.
Family Holiday Date Night
Remember my list of activities I want to start making more time for that I shared last week? Click here if you missed it. One of those activities was family date nights. Since the Mr probably won't make the Thanksgiving parade, I'm working on planning a Christmas related family date night for one of his days off next month. Right now I'm trying to decide between dinner and a movie or dinner and going to see the lights in Christmas Town USA aka McAdenville, NC.
Serve The Community
Of course, the holidays is a great time to teach the kids more about compassion. Helping those in need is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart because I grew up poor. My mom held down multiple jobs at once and sometimes we still needed assistance with things like bills and food. One Christmas we were nominated to be adopted by this church in a nearby town. They drove over an hour on Christmas Eve to surprise us.
It was hands down one of our best Christmases. It wasn't because of the gifts, but because of the kindest of these strangers. They were driving one of those vans that holds twelve to fifteen people and the back rows were filled to the brim. At first we thought we were getting one or two things and that they had another family to deliver to, but everything in the van was for us. I think everyone's eyes almost popped out of our heads.
I can't afford to go all out like that yet, but I do know that we will be giving back to our community in some way. Somewhere out there some family needs our kindness and generosity.
Make Holiday Treats
Food makes the holidays extra special. Food is definitely my love language and something that I'm passionate about. During the holidays I do find myself baking more and this year we want try to make a different holiday treat every week until the New Year. There will be a bit of challenge to finding recipes that meets everyone's food allergy restrictions, but we're up for the challenge.
Realistically though, some treats will probably be just for me and the Mr though. I actually got a headstart on that with my Frosted Pecan Faux Doughnuts that I made on Saturday. They were delicious. And you can even sub the regular crescent rolls for gluten-free ones if you can find them as well as leave off the pecans for just frosted faux doughnuts.
Do An Advent Calendar
I saw so many families doing advent calendars last year that I just had to try it this year. Moo has her own Barbie advent calendar that she will be getting for her birthday. I'm still on the hunt for one for JJ and I'm looking into Bible/Couple related advent calendar to do with the Mr.
25 Days of Jesus Bible Study
Also, this year I want us to read the story of Jesus starting December 1st to his birthday on Christmas Day. I'm working scheduling out what scriptures we'll read day. More than likely I'll share that schedule here on the blog with a free notes printable for anyone who wants to join in.
Now that I've shared our bucket list, I can't wait to hear about what's on your family's list this year.
Leave me a comment below with one thing that you hope to cross off your list this holiday season.