Austin Christmas Bucket List

Christmas is coming! I can't wait. I've been itching to go out and look at lights and decorations since Halloween. I have a pretty hard and fast "no Christmas until I see Santa at the end of the Macy's parade" rule. Wanna know a secret? I get teary every time I see Santa at the end of that parade. Every year. I just get so excited for the holidays and it's such a happy thing. So, the parade ends, we turn on the Christmas music and Thanksgiving dinner happens.

Christmas is Doug's favorite holiday. It's quickly becoming one of Phee's as well, though, as she once said, all the holidays are her favorite, "Valentine's Day, Christmas, fall..." Last year, Phee really got into everything, helping us decorate, singing so many songs, baking cookies. We traveled last year, so we didn't get to do everything that I wanted to do in town. Plus, with Phee's birthday at the beginning of the month, we lose a bit of time to birthday activities.

This year, I'm ready to go. I've got a big list of Christmas activities that I want to tackle in and around town. There are so many awesome things going on in December in Austin. Pack up the family, grab your friends, and go out and have some awesome holiday fun!

Driskill Hotel gingerbread display
Trail of Lights
Hot chocolate & lights at Mozart's
Austin steam train North Pole Flyer
Ballet Austin Nutcracker
Make gingerbread houses at the Thinkery
Snow at the Hill Country Galleria
Ice skating at Whole Foods
Round Rock Rock'N Lights
Luminations at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Paramount holiday film series

And my personal favorite: A drive around the neighborhood with hot chocolate and Christmas music to see people's lights.

Click on the picture to enlarge it and save it, or click here for a printable PDF.

What's your favorite Austin holiday event? What awesome Austin thing have I missed?


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Life in Random Bits #thanksgiving #vintage

Wishing you a holiday full of fun, laughter, friends, and family.
Enjoy those delicious meals and have a great time relaxing and enjoying the holiday!


Elegant Thanksgiving place cards

Do you have your Thanksgiving menu planned yet? Are you ready to get started on the food prep and cooking? I know I am! I just love Thanksgiving and everything that goes with it. The planning, the buying (but not the crowded stores!), the endless chopping at the kitchen counter... it's all fun.

This year, we're having Thanksgiving a day early with friends. For years our holidays haven't been on the actual calendar holidays. It's something we're used to and this year we're continuing with what has become tradition for us. Doug is on a more regular, Monday-Friday schedule these days, which is something we're quite grateful for. But not all of our friends have that same schedule and here, with no blood family nearby, these friends are our family.

I like to get the china out for Thanksgiving and this year will be no exception. Phee's old enough to handle it and we'll have a table of almost all adults. With any luck, I will be able to handle it, too, and I won't drop anything on the floor!

My meemaw's place cards from Thanksgivings past ~ Life in Random Bits

When I was a kid we spent a few years alternating holidays between Ohio and Virginia so we could see both sides of the family. The first year we had Thanksgiving in Virginia, I remember Meemaw getting out a bunch of cute place cards that she had made for past Thanksgivings. As a finishing touch for our table this year, I created these elegant little place cards. They aren't quite like the beautiful ones Meemaw made, but I can't wait to print them out and put them on our dark green tablecloth. They'll look fantastic!

Thanksgiving place cards (with printable) ~ Life in Random Bits #printable #thanksgiving

Grab the file here and print them out on heavy card stock. You can cut them in quarters to have a larger place card with a white border. Or, you can cut them closer to the red border and have a smaller card. Use a fancy pen, or a thin felt tip marker to add names and add that last elegant touch to your Thanksgiving table.

What's your plan for your Thanksgiving table this year: china or everyday dishes? This is about the only time I use my china, though every year I vow to get it out more often!

Thanksgiving place cards (with printable) ~ Life in Random Bits #printable #thanksgiving


Thanksgiving crafts for kids (with printable)

There are lots of great projects out there to get the kids involved in Thanksgiving preparation. Try one of these projects with your kids and then stand back and enjoy the pride on their faces as they see their handiwork laid out on the Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving crafts for kids: get the kids involved in decorating your Thanksgiving table ~ Life in Random Bits #thanksgiving #kids #crafts

Use cardboard cut to the size you want, card stock, or construction paper. Draw a Thanksgiving picture, use Thanksgiving stickers or stamps, or make a Thanksgiving collage from magazine cutouts. After the placemats are finished, you can laminate them or use clear contact paper to preserve them for future holidays.

Place Cards
Have kids draw turkeys, pilgrim hats, cornucopias, corn, pies or whatever autumn and Thanksgiving pieces they love. Print out the name of each person coming to dinner. Cut out those names and affix them to the drawings. Cut the drawings out and glue to small blocks of wood. Or, even easier, just tape the place cards to the kids’ building blocks. Each person can take their place card home as a memento of the holiday and the blocks go back in the toy box!

Napkin Rings
Download this file or grab the photo below and print it on white or ivory card stock and let your kids color their hearts out. It's a little more work on your end to cut each napkin ring out, but they really are pretty darn cute. And the kids will love showing off their work to everyone at the table!

Turkey napkin ring: let the kids color in this turkey to spruce up your Thanksgiving table! ~ Life in Random Bits #coloring #kids #thanksgiving

There are so many options for centerpieces. Using candles? Let your kids use fall colored ribbons to wrap the bottom halves. Using gourds? Let the kids arrange them in a basket or bowl with some pretty fall leaves and pine cones. Or, get a pretty basket, cut out leaf shapes from construction paper and let the kids decorate them with things they’re thankful for.

How do you get your kids involved in Thanksgiving preparation? I love to hear about the ways people get their kids involved in holidays and create new traditions.

Linked up at Memories by the Mile, Home of Malones, Juggling Act Mama.


Get more!

Get more out of life with Coffee (Mozart's Austin) ~ Life in Random Bits #coffee #austin

Saw this over the weekend while we were out writing and working on projects at Mozart's.
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