This INCREDIBLE list of 100 stocking stuffers offer the perfect gift ideas for everyone on your list. We have included men, women, teens, tweens, and toddlers!
Are you looking for the perfect small gift to tuck in your family member’s stocking? Today I’m sharing my Christmas stocking stuffers that everyone will love.
My family never did stockings, when I was growing up, and I was always so enchanted by the tradition at my boyfriend’s (now husband) house.
Each stocking was uniquely made and cut from felt with adorable details on each one. I loved watching them open their stocking and the fun things that their parents came up with to give to them.
In their house, they had scratch-off lottery tickets, car wash gift certificates, toll road gift cards, and their favorite candy.
As with ALL my holiday gift guides I want to give you a list of useful gifts to share with a loved one on Christmas morning.
100 Unique Stocking Stuffers For Everyone On Your List
We want to acknowledge that 2023 is expensive, and we have done our best to include families in ALL budgets for this year’s list.
If you are on a budget, I recommend that you sign up with Rakuten to do your shopping. We’re sharing some instructions below for ways to apply this to bigger ticket items in our list. This app gives you cash back on all your qualifying purchases.
These tote bags featuring U.S. landmarks have been a stocking stuffer bestseller over the years.
Made from 100% cotton canvas, these make such fun library tote bags.
Roll this up with a gift card to their favorite independent bookseller.We recommend two of our local indie bookstore options- Brain Lair Books or Fables Books to get your Midwest tote started. Please tell them that I sent you!
THE BEST STOCKING STUFFERS FOR TEEN GIRLS
You don't need to be a teen girl to love these stocking stuffer options, but Google likes us to have gender specific category titles for our gift guides. Why? We don't know!
This rainbow straw set includes four straight and four bent rainbow stainless steel straws that fit all tumbler sizes.
The set comes with a storage bag and two scrub brushes to keep your straws clean. This is perfect for your eco-conscious Gen Z kiddo. Pair it with fun drink mixes and vinyl stickers to decorate their water bottles.
Teens will love these shoe charms in their stockings for decorating their Crocs.
This package includes 35 different styles of shoe charms. These install instantly and can be switched out with their outfit. If this style doesn't work, shop for shoe charms that fit your teen's style and personality.
The Wearable Nail Polish Holder Ring is a convenient accessory for easy nail polish application.
Designed to stretch, this fits on your fingers, securing the nail polish bottle in place as you paint your nails, eliminating the need to move your hand. Pair this stocking stuffer with a few fun polishes from the drugstore.
If it is cold where you live, these fake translucent tights make the ULTIMATE winter stocking gift. Although they appear like sheer pantyhose, they are super thick and fleece on the interior of these tights.
My daughter discovered these for her winter formals and has worn them to all the festive fancy occasions. Pair these with a few fun hair accessories for a holiday gift.
For the guy that needs a few ZZZ's after gaming, this sleep mask features memory foam for comfort.
It also offers a fully adjustable buckle strap and an ideal for blocking out light. This is the go-to option we love for our family! Consider pairing this with other cozy gifts under the tree like a new robe, slippers, or cozy pillow.
This Reversible Octopus Plushie is the perfect gift for kiddos that love a cozy plushie. This offers a uniquely satisfying flipping feature, to help your child display their feelings through its reversible design.
TeeTurtle created the design and it has gone viral on TikTok! These snuggly stuffed animals have rave reviews and come in many different animals, but we have a soft spot for the octopus this year.
The original never-ending Pop It! bubble popping game is a great sensory toy that provides hours of entertainment and relaxation for kids of all ages. It also happens to be perfectly priced at just $5.99!
For busy toddlers, this can be a soothing way to keep them busy at doctor's appointments, errands, or when traveling.
Not only does this Octopus Kite have rave reviews for being easy to fly, but it takes just about ten seconds to set up.
If you live in an apartment or are short on space, this does not have kite sticks, so it only takes up a little space in your home. Users shared that they had hours of enjoyment out of this kite experience.
The Bluey Wackadoo watch features four entertaining games inspired by the show, promoting imaginative play with characters like Bluey and Bingo.
One smart mom shared in her review that she can start a timer on her child's watch that lets her know when they need to head home, reducing tantrums significantly. For that reason alone, we think this is a winner this year.
An advent calendar for teens and tweens can make the holidays special. Shop this curated guide for fun ways to countdown to Christmas this year.
One of my favorite gifts to give my teen is their advent calendar as a Christmas gift each year. This year, we wanted to offer this year’s best calendar ideas for your kiddos in this age category, as well as those college-age kiddos that deserve a fun way to celebrate the season.
We have you covered with a few of our favorite ways to countdown Christmas in 2023.
To keep it economical, be sure to read our suggestions for ways to reuse keepsake boxes or diy advent calendars for the season with our smart ideas for saving.
Do we ever outgrow LEGOS? I hope not! Our team loves this limited edition LEGO advent calendar because it can be reused year after year.
This year's LEGO kit includes 9 Star Wars characters like Emperor Palpatine, an Ewok and a Pit Droid in holiday outfits, a Gonk Droid dressed as a reindeer, Omega with a sled, a 212th Clone Trooper, B-1 Battle Droid, and Princess Leia.
It also contains ten mini vehicle building toys and five additional mini builds for 2023.
Searching for other 2023 LEGO advent calendar options? Here are a few others to discover this year:
These sell out so fast- we have missed the experience in the past- I recommend ordering right away if this is something you want.
For the last two years, we have gifted this experience to our daughter, and we have the best time doing our nails together for the holidays.
The Olive and June Christmas Advent Calendar offers 25 mini mani surprises. You'll find everything you need for beautiful nails, from polishes to nail art stickers, making it the perfect treat for the holiday season.
The company also offers a Hanukkah Calendar with eight nights of mini mani surprises!
Discover the best Halloween TV episodes and where to stream them now. From heists to haunted houses, these Halloween shows deliver hilarious fun for viewers.
From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.
When I was little, I started having nightmares. My mom eventually realized they were caused by something she’d allowed me to watch on television. The terrifying show? Scooby Doo.
I’m no longer scared by a silly cartoon, but I could only watch one season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before I got too scared.
I don’t see horror movies in the theater, I don’t read Stephen King novels, and when our local amusement park starts playing its “fright night” commercials every year, I lose my mind because HOW DARE THEY?
Suffice it to say, I’m not really here for the scary parts of Halloween. But the candy bars and costumes?
Oh yeah, that’s my jam.
I love dressing up my kids and seeing other kids’ clever and cute costumes. Sometimes I even dress up with them.
But luckily for scaredy cat couch potatoes like me, that’s not the only Halloween fun to be found on TV.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As the licensing deal with Netflix expired on your favorite sitcoms, we have updated this list on where to stream these shows in 2023 with a Halloween Cheat Sheet with season and episode names.
Browse today’s updated list of Halloween episodes and where to stream them.
The Best Halloween TV Episodes to Stream Now
Skip the scary movie, pop some popcorn, and join me on the couch for these sitcom Halloween episodes.
Join your favorite characters for costume mishaps, ghostly fun, and non-stop laughs. It's a scream-worthy season you won't want to miss!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is a hilarious comedy series centered around the quirky detectives of the 99th precinct of the NYPD. Their annual Halloween Heist has become a beloved tradition among fans, showcasing the team's wit, competitiveness, and camaraderie.
In Season 1's "Halloween," Jake Peralta's (Andy Samberg) prankster antics set the stage for the first Halloween Heist, igniting an annual battle of wits and trickery.
"Halloween II" sees the heist tradition intensify as Jake and Captain Holt go head-to-head once again in a high-stakes competition.
"Halloween, Part III" continues the annual Halloween Heist, with intricate plans, unexpected alliances, and hilarious betrayals within the precinct.
In "Halloween IV," the Halloween Heist gets even more outlandish as Jake and the squad pull off elaborate schemes to claim the title of "Ultimate Detective/Genius."
"HalloVeen" in Season 5 takes the heist to a whole new level, featuring unexpected twists, heartfelt moments, and a surprising engagement, uniting the precinct in the most chaotic and side-splitting affair yet.
With each installment, the Halloween Heists are not only a test of detective skills but also a testament to the show's ability to deliver humor, suspense, and heartwarming moments all wrapped up into one.
STREAM THEM ALL HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
Halloween - Season 1, Episode 6
Halloween 2 - Season 2, Episode 4
Halloween, Part III - Season 3, Episode 5
Halloween IV - Season 4, Episode 5
HalloVeen - Season 5, Episode 4
WHERE TO STREAM BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Prime Video or Peacock
"Modern Family" is a heartwarming sitcom that follows the lives of the Pritchett and Dunphy families, and when it comes to Halloween, they spare no expense to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year.
Modern Family Halloween Episode Descriptions:
In "Halloween" (Season 2, Episode 6), the families embark on a costume competition, setting the stage for their annual Halloween extravaganzas.
The Halloween specials get even more outrageous as the seasons progress. "Open House of Horrors" (Season 4, Episode 5) turns their home into a haunted house with unexpected twists.
"Halloween 3: AwesomeLand" (Season 6, Episode 6) brings the family to a theme park for a Halloween adventure.
"Halloween IV: Revenge of Rod Skyhook" (Season 8, Episode 5), brings the competitive spirit to its peak as the families vie for a limited edition movie prop.
"It’s the Great Pumpkin, Phil Dunphy" (Season 9, Episode 5) sees Phil trying to create a magical Halloween for his daughter, but chaos ensues as usual.
"Good Grief" (Season 10, Episode 5) showcases the family dealing with the loss of a beloved relative in their own quirky way, all while celebrating Halloween.
These Halloween episodes of "Modern Family" showcase the show's ability to blend humor and heart, making them a cherished annual tradition for fans.
STREAM THEM ALL HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
Halloween - Season 2, Episode 6
Open House of Horrors - Season 4, Episode 5
Halloween 3: AwesomeLand - Season 6, Episode 6
Halloween IV: Revenge of Rod Skyhook - Season 8, Episode 5
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Phil Dunphy - Season 9, Episode 5
Good Grief - Season 10, Episode 5
WHERE TO STREAM MODERN FAMILY: Prime Video, Hulu, or Peacock
Parks and Recreation is a delightful comedy series that takes us on a journey through the quirky world of local government in Pawnee, Indiana, and they certainly know how to celebrate Halloween!
Parks and Recreation Halloween Episode Descriptions:
In "Greg Pikitis" (Season 2, Episode 7), the episode revolves around Leslie's relentless pursuit of a notorious teenage prankster, making it a memorable Halloween adventure filled with humor and clever twists.
"Meet N Greet" (Season 4, Episode 5) sees the characters participating in a public forum on Halloween night, blending political satire with festive Halloween elements.
"Halloween Surprise" (Season 5, Episode 5) truly steals the show. This episode features a heartwarming moment by Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) to Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), making it the best Halloween surprise for both the characters and fans.
STREAM THEM ALL HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
Greg Pikitis - Season 2, Episode 7
Meet N Greet - Season 4, Episode 5
Halloween Surprise - Season 5, Episode 5
WHERE TO STREAM PARKS AND RECREATION: Prime Video or Peacock
"New Girl" is a comedy series that follows the lives of quirky roommates in a Los Angeles loft, and their Halloween episodes are a hilarious mix of comedy and relationship drama.
New Girl Halloween Episode Descriptions:
These "New Girl" Halloween episodes offer a perfect blend of laughs and romantic entanglements, making them a fun addition to the series for fans.
In "Halloween" (Season 2, Episode 6), the gang throws a Halloween party at their loft, resulting in a series of amusing misadventures and costume choices. The episode captures the essence of the show's humor and the characters' quirky personalities while celebrating the spooky holiday.
"Keaton" (Season 3, Episode 6) takes the gang to a haunted house, where the scares aren't limited to the spooky setting. Relationship drama ensues, making the Halloween adventure even more entertaining and relatable for viewers.
Personally, I love the one at the haunted house, where the relationship drama is scarier than the special effects, even more.
STREAM THEM ALL HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
Halloween - Season 2, Episode 6
Keaton - Season 3, Episode 6
WHERE TO STREAM NEW GIRL: Prime Video, Hulu, or Peacock
"How I Met Your Mother" is a sitcom that revolves around Ted Mosby (played by Josh Radnor) recounting the story of how he met the mother of his children to his friends, featuring a series of humorous and heartfelt adventures in dating, friendships, and career pursuits.
How I Met Your Mother Halloween Episode Descriptions:
Who commits to a bit better than this gang? Nobody, I tell you! Ted’s search for “the slutty pumpkin” (not to mention their costumes through the years) never fails to make me laugh!
"The Slutty Pumpkin" (Season 1, Episode 6) - Ted attends a Halloween party each year in the hopes of meeting the mysterious girl he met at the same party years ago, known as "The Slutty Pumpkin."
"Canning Randy" (Season 6, Episode 7) - Marshall and Lily struggle with their desire to start a family while Barney helps Ted realize that he has a unique talent for identifying the perfect burger.
"The Slutty Pumpkin Returns" (Season 7, Episode 8) - Ted finally reunites with "The Slutty Pumpkin," but he must grapple with the fact that she isn't exactly who he had romanticized her to be over the years.
"Community" is a sitcom about an eclectic group of students at Greendale Community College and their quirky adventures in classes and campus life.
Community Halloween Episode Descriptions:
"Community" is also known for its clever and inventive Halloween episodes, which added an extra layer of hilarity to the already quirky show.
In "Introduction to Statistics" (Season 1, Episode 7), the gang attends a Halloween party, and we're treated to memorable moments like Britta's squirrel costume and Jeff Winger's foray into eyeliner, all while navigating their own interpersonal dynamics.
"Epidemiology" (Season 2, Episode 6) takes a spooky turn when a mysterious virus outbreak occurs during a Halloween party at Greendale Community College, leading to hilarious zombie-like chaos and revealing even more about the characters.
"Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps" (Season 3, Episode 5) showcases the study group telling scary stories, each reflecting their deepest fears. This episode is a brilliant homage to classic horror tropes, and Abed's Batman costume steals the show.
While the later seasons of "Community" might have had their ups and downs, these early Halloween episodes remain standout examples of the show's creativity and humor, making them essential viewing for fans.
STREAM THEM ALL HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
Introduction to Statistics - Season 1, Episode 7
Epidemiology - Season 2, Episode 6
Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps - Season 3, Episode 5
"The Office" is renowned for its hilarious and cringe-worthy workplace humor, and its Halloween episodes are no exception.
The Office Halloween Episode Descriptions:
"The Office" Halloween episodes are a testament to the show's ability to infuse humor into everyday office life and are a treat for fans. You can enjoy these episodes and relive the hilarity of Dunder Mifflin's Halloween celebrations.
"Diwali" (Season 3, Episode 6) brings a cultural twist to Halloween as the staff joins Kelly Kapoor's Diwali celebration, blending workplace humor with cultural exploration.
"Employee Transfer" (Season 5, Episode 6) showcases Pam's Charlie Chaplin costume that turns into an unintentionally awkward affair when her grease-painted mustache won't come off,. The costume of the year includes Creed, Kevin, and Dwight ALL channeling Heath Ledger's Joker from "The Dark Knight,"
"Murder" (Season 6, Episode 10) takes Halloween pranks to new heights with a murder mystery theme.
"Costume Contest" (Season 7, Episode 6) showcases the staff's competitive spirit in creative costumes.
"Spooked" (Season 8, Episode 5) features Erin's fears of losing her job when the Halloween party she organized for Robert and his son becomes a disaster.
"Here Comes Treble" (Season 9, Episode 5) brings Andy Bernard failing to create a successful Halloween party at the office despite facing numerous obstacles and distractions. Complicating plans further, his college, a cappella group, "Here Comes Treble," arrive bringing chaos.
STREAM THEM ALL HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
Halloween - Season 2, Episode 5
Diwali - Season 3, Episode 6
Employee Transfer - Season 5, Episode 6
Murder - Season 6, Episode 10
Costume Contest - Season 7, Episode 6
Spooked - Season 8, Episode 5
Here Comes Treble - Season 9, Episode 5
WHERE TO STREAM THE OFFICE: Prime Video or Peacock
"Frasier" is a sitcom that follows the life of Dr. Frasier Crane, a successful psychiatrist and radio show host, as he navigates the challenges of his personal and professional life in Seattle, often getting entangled in humorous and complex social situations with his family and friends.
Frasier Reboot: Did you know there is a New Frasier series on Paramount Plus? The new Frasier show will start streaming on October 12th! You can watch the new Frasier trailer here.
Frasier Halloween Episode Descriptions:
Of course, our favorite stuffy Seattle-ites would throw a fancy Halloween costume ball. And, of course, misunderstandings and laughter are aplenty!
In "Halloween" (Season 5, Episode 3), the Crane brothers, Frasier and Niles, host a high-society Halloween costume party. As expected, misunderstandings, social faux pas, and comedic situations abound as the characters navigate their way through the evening in elaborate costumes.
"Room Full of Heroes" (Season 9, Episode 6) explores the world of comic book collectors, adding a unique twist to the Halloween festivities. The episode combines Frasier's signature wit with a dose of pop culture humor.
In "Tales from the Crypt" (Season 10, Episode 5), the Halloween theme continues with the Crane brothers' ongoing humorous misadventures as they find themselves in peculiar situations at the party.
STREAM THEM ALL HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
Halloween - Season 5, Episode 3
Room Full of Heroes - Season 9, Episode 6
Tales from the Crypt - Season 10, Episode 5
WHERE TO STREAM FRASIER: Prime Video or Peacock
The MomAdvice editors curated these additional Halloween sitcoms that you might be searching for.
"Glee" is a vibrant musical comedy-drama series set in the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio. It revolves around a diverse group of high school students who unite to form the "New Directions" glee club.
Through the power of music, the show explores themes of acceptance, diversity, and personal growth as the students face the challenges of adolescence.
Glee Rocky Horror Picture Show Episode:
In the memorable episode "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" (Season 2, Episode 5), the glee club takes on a unique Halloween project.
Will Schuester, their teacher, decides to stage a "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" production to help the students confront their fears and insecurities. As they prepare for this daring performance, they grapple with personal issues, relationships, and the complexities of growing up.
GLEE HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
"The Rocky Horror Glee Show"(Season 2, Episode 5)
This homage to the cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" features iconic songs like "Time Warp" and "Sweet Transvestite" as the glee club members transform into characters from the film.
WHERE TO STREAM GLEE: Disney+, Hulu, or Prime Video
"Freaks and Geeks" is a cult classic coming-of-age television series set in a suburban high school in the 1980s.
Unfortunately, the show only had one season, but it featured a memorable Halloween episode titled "Tricks and Treats" (Season 1, Episode 3).
Freaks and Geeks Tricks and Treats Episode:
The Halloween Freaks and Geeks episode follows the main characters, including Lindsay (Linda Cardellini), Sam (John Francis Daley), and their respective groups of friends, as they navigate the challenges and adventures of the holiday.
Lindsay is torn between joining her "freak" friends on a night of Halloween mischief or spending time with her family and her "geek" brother Sam. Meanwhile, Sam and his friends embark on a quest for Halloween candy and a chance to impress some girls.
FREAKS AND GEEKS HALLOWEEN CHEAT SHEET:
"Tricks and Treats" (Season 1, Episode 3)
The episode beautifully captures the mix of teenage angst, rebellion, and the innocence of childhood that often accompanies Halloween. We recommend this for anyone who appreciates a nostalgic trip back to the '80s.
WHERE TO STREAM FREAKS AND GEEKS: Hulu or Prime Video
This remote control Kindle Page Turner is perfect for reading with hand pain. Learn how to use this gadget with your Kindle Paperwhite or the Kindle app.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve dedicated a post to a single product, but the Kindle Page Turner is the kind of gadget that deserves its own post.
How a Kindle Page Turner Improved My Reading Life
This is your reminder that Instagram is an optical illusion- this is my Glamour shot with a chronic illness. This is not for sympathy, but it was important to offer a real user perspective for today’s post.
Longtime readers know I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affects my joints and causes chronic pain. An ongoing problem that has increasingly become harder to navigate is the joint pain in my fingers.
I can no longer hold a book comfortably, so I’ve been troubleshooting my reading life with various gadgets to make reading easier.
Many readers have asked that I share all of the tried-and-true items that have helped my reading life (scroll down for a full list).
As someone who would refer to herself as a “professional reader,” I have to read for longer periods of time than an average reader.
In addition to today’s post, I am hosting a Book Gang podcast on Literary Wellness with Chronic Pain with Alexandra Orfanide, Creator of The Hypermobility Helpline Podcast & Osteopath on November 10th to discover new ways to manage reading with chronic pain. I will update this list with her suggestions after we record.
For now, the Kindle Page Turner is new to my arsenal of tools but has singlehandedly made even my worst joint days manageable with reading.
This tool allows me to change the placement of my fingers on this remote based on which joint is experiencing the least amount of pain.
I wanted to explain how this gadget works for you today!
What is a Kindle Page Turner?
This remote control allows you to turn pages without touching the screen, making it a convenient option for those who require a hands-free approach to reading.
The demonstration for this Booktok reading sensation is that it is usually paired with a reader cozied under a blanket, clicking the remote while lying in bed.
What I Love About the Kindle Remote:
This ergonomic remote stays charged with a USB charging cord, which lasts for a week on a single charge.
The remote itself does not require charging, but the sensor that is clipped to your gadget is charged with the cord.
What impresses me the most about this tool is that the remote is unbelievably light, so light, in fact, that I’ve been known to walk around my house all evening with the remote still attached to my wrist.
As someone with wrist issues, this element alone made this gadget a winner.
The biggest win for hand pain sufferers or people with carpal tunnel is using this in either hand and selecting which finger needs to do the page turning for that day.
I will switch from the thumb to my trigger finger or other digits when I’m having a difficult day.
Page-turning is quick and pushing the large button doesn’t take too much finger strength.
What I DON’T Love About This Kindle Remote:
This device is imperfect in its design construction, and I want to share my minor grievances with it.
If you have hand pain, getting the wristlet threaded for the first time will require assistance.
The holder must be threaded through with a pin and requires a steady hand to achieve.
As someone who lacks fine motor skills, assembling it took me a long time. It surprises me that this element does not come pre-assembled for users.
The page-turner remote only moves forward, not backward, so you must swipe if you need to manually reverse direction.
The biggest hurdle is that the device placement takes a little getting used to. It will hide a word of text, typically wherever you place it.
I use context clues to decipher.
Sometimes, I fill in my own words, especially if the book is terrible.
Quick Tips for this Kindle Page Turner Remote:
Keep in mind, if you have a case with a large lip, you may need to pop it off to use this ebook remote.
It would be best to position this lower than where you would tap to access your Kindle menu. If you set this too high, it will go back to your Library, and you must confront how many books you have bought and still need to read.
Once you find the optimal placement, you are off to the races.
How to Use a Kindle Remote Page Turner
Let’s walk through the process of pairing your Kindle Page Turner Remote for the first time.
Be sure to scroll down for more fun reading gadgets!
Step 1: Check Compatibility Before Purchasing a Kindle Page Turner
Before purchasing a Page Turner Remote, ensure it is compatible with your reading device.
While I use this, specifically for my Kindle Paperwhite, the remote control can also be used on an iPad, Android tablet, or Barnes and Noble Nook.
If you use the Scribd app, Libby app, or Kindle app for reading with your wireless device, this device should be compatible once you have opened up your book for reading.
Step 2: Pair the Remote with Your Kindle
Enable Bluetooth: On your Kindle device, go to “Settings” > “Bluetooth & Wireless.” Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
Put the Remote in Pairing Mode: Follow the instructions provided with your Kindle Page Turner Remote to put it in pairing mode. Typically, this involves holding down a button until a light indicator blinks.
Discover Devices: On your Kindle, tap “Pair a New Device.” Your Kindle will start searching for nearby Bluetooth devices.
Select the Remote: When your Kindle discovers the remote, select it from the list of available devices to pair them.
Confirm Pairing: If prompted, confirm the pairing on both your Kindle and the remote.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Kindle page-turning remotes:
Does the Kindle Have an Auto Page Turner?
Kindle devices primarily rely on manual page turning, either by tapping/swiping the touchscreen or using physical buttons if equipped with them.
That is why a remote can be a helpful device for people with hand pain.
Do You Have Any Page-Turners for My Page-Turning Remote?
I host the Book Gang podcast that celebrates debuts, under-the-radar books, and backlist selections! We host an author or literary hero to help co-host our shows.
Below I am sharing my favorite reading tools for hand pain. Sending love and comfort to any reader who faces these kinds of challenges!
The Best Reading Tools for Chronic Pain
You can read more comfortably beyond the Kindle Page Turner! These are the items that help me the most with reading and chronic pain. As a professional reader with hand pain, I rely upon these items daily.
Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
This helpful reading device inspired today's post. This reading gadget can reduce hand pain by allowing you to turn pages on your Kindle, Nook, or iPad without physically touching the screen or buttons.
Be sure to see today's post for navigating how to use the Kindle remote.
This gift guide features the best retirement gifts for men that they will love and use. These gifts for retired men include ideas for adventure, travel, and fun.
This oddly specific retirement gift list has been one of the most requested by our readers.
I wanted to have a spot to point to friends and family, and hope you’ll enjoy these thoughtfully curated gifts.
While many lists I’ve found are filled with clutter and gag gifts, these recommendations lean into style and are gifts that they will love and use over the years.
So, join me in honoring this milestone and finding the perfect way to say, “Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement!
Retirement Gifts for Men
Whether they're looking forward to more time on the golf course, cozy evenings with a good book, or grand adventures in far-off lands, these thoughtful retirement gifts are designed to make their retirement unforgettable.
OUTDOOR GIFT IDEAS FOR MEN
Explore the ultimate outdoor gift ideas list for backyard adventures at home or out on the golf course.
This carry-on suitcase is an ideal gift for retirees ready to explore.
For parents retiring together, a matching set would be the perfect send-off.
This lightweight design fits perfectly in overhead bins, perfect for short getaways.
Packed with features like interior panels, a removable laundry bag, Japanese-crafted Hinomoto 360-degree wheels, a TSA-approved lock, and a smooth telescopic handle, this affordable suitcase ensures hassle-free airport navigation.
Give him a true wardrobe staple that will keep him cozy at home or out and about with this cashmere crew sweater. This budget-friendly cashmere sweater is lightweight, soft, and comes in loads of colors.
Treat him to this delicious Milk Bar cookie assortment as a sweet send-off.
I promise, gifts from this shop are always memorable.
This cookie tin includes one of each delectable flavor: Compost Cookie, Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie, Chocolate Confetti Cookie, Confetti Cookie, Corn Cookie, and Blueberry & Cream Cookie, all individually wrapped for freshness.
The new learning adventures have just begun. I recommend a Skillshare annual subscription as a great group gift from everyone at the office.
Your favorite former co-worker can pick up a new skill like digital photography, a new instrument, cooking, or even find strategies to tune up that classic car in the garage.
Our family keeps an annual Skillshare subscription to share in our home, and I recommend it as a fantastic gift to give. As a paid subscriber, this should give you access to a $50 off coupon when you head to the site.
Learn how to make classic cranberry sauce with orange juice and brandy. This make ahead recipe includes freezer instructions and leftover cranberry sauce ideas.
This tried-and-true recipe is the most requested Thanksgiving recipe.
The tartness of cranberries pairs well with the natural sweetness of oranges for a winning combination for your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.
Is Cranberry Jelly the Same as Cranberry Sauce?
Cranberry sauce and cranberry jelly differ in texture, ingredients, and usage.
Cranberry sauce features a chunky consistency with whole or crushed cranberries, often combined with other ingredients like sugar and spices.
On the other hand, cranberry jelly has a smooth, gelatinous texture achieved by using strained cranberry juice or puree, often mixed with sugar and pectin.
Both canned cranberry sauce and cranberry jelly are available at your local grocery store, but the flavors of homemade cranberry sauce are worth the effort, especially when you can add your own flavor combos
Cranberry Sauce Tips and Tricks
When a recipe instructs you to cook cranberries until they “pop,” you should continue cooking them until they burst open. Fresh cranberries have tough outer skin; as they heat up, the moisture inside them turns into steam, causing them to expand and burst.
This bursting is often accompanied by a distinct “popping” sound.
Cooking cranberries until they pop creates a smooth and well-textured sauce, as the burst cranberries release their juices, flavors, and natural pectin, which helps thicken the sauce.
The process of popping and releasing their juices transforms the firm cranberries into the soft, saucy consistency that we associate with cranberry sauce.
What is a microplane?
A microplane is a kitchen tool with a razor-sharp, fine-grated blade designed for effortless zesting and grating.
We will use this tool for the orange zest in this recipe. The zest adds a fragrant aroma, while the juice provides a tangy sweetness that complements the cranberries.
A microplane is commonly used to extract the colorful and flavorful outer peel (zest) of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons.
You an also use this tool to finely grate ingredients like cheese, ginger, or nutmeg.
To zest an orange, take your microplane or fine grater and gently scrape the outermost layer of the orange peel.
Be cautious not to include the bitter white pith underneath, as the vibrant outer layer contains the aromatic oils and flavor you want.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce
Scroll down to see the complete ingredient list and step-by-step instructions.
Wash Your Cranberries: Give the fresh cranberries a good rinse under cold water. This cleans them up and makes them ready for cooking.
Zest & Juice Your Oranges: Extract both the zest and juice from your oranges.
Combine Orange Zest With Water: Cook for fifteen minutes, reducing the liquid.
Simmer and Stir: To the cooked liquid add cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, orangie juice, and lemon juice. Let the cranberries simmer in the pot for about 10-15 minutes. You’ll see the cranberries start to soften and hear them pop.
Add Flavor: Remove the sauce from the heat and stir back in the zest and brandy into the cooked cranberries.
Cool Down and Store: When the sauce is completely cool, you can serve it in a bowl. You can keep it in the fridge if you’re not using it immediately.
This is a brief overview of my recipe. For comprehensive instructions, refer to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions for this recipe:
Is Cranberry Sauce Served Warm or Cold?
Cranberry sauce is typically served cold.
After it’s cooked and has thickened, allow it to cool down to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator.
This chilled cranberry sauce is then served as a condiment alongside various dishes, especially during holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Is it Necessary to Add Brandy?
Adding brandy is optional, but it does enhance the depth of flavor. It adds subtle warmth and complexity to the sauce. If you prefer not to use alcohol, the sauce will still be delicious without it.
Can I Make This Sauce Ahead of Time?
Cranberry sauce is the perfect make-ahead recipe.
This cranberry sauce recipe is better if you can prepare it beforehand. It allows the flavors of this sauce to meld even more.
After cooking, cool the sauce completely, then refrigerate it in an airtight container.
It will keep well for about a week.
Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?
Homemade cranberry sauce freezes well.
Allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container.
You can freeze it for up to three months.
Thaw the sauce in the refrigerator or by placing the container in a bowl of cold water.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberry Sauce?
Fresh cranberries can be a healthy dog treat in small, stem-free, and plain portions. Cranberries are safe, unlike grapes and raisins, which are toxic to dogs.
As for cranberry sauce, it’s not toxic but should be given sparingly due to its sugar content, especially for dogs with diabetes or sugar sensitivity.
Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific diet needs and what they recommend.
What to Do With Leftover Cranberry Sauce?
Cranberry sauce is the perfect topping on leftover turkey sandwiches.
The calorie and nutrition information provided with our recipes is intended to be an estimate based on commonly used ingredients and serving sizes. However, individual nutritional needs may vary, and the actual values can depend on factors such as specific brands of ingredients, preparation methods, and portion sizes. Please use these figures as estimates.
Looking for more great dishes to make ahead? Check out these other ideas from MomAdvice.com.
These jigsaw puzzles for adults offer unique designs in 500, 1,000, or 2,000 piece counts. This list has easy puzzle designs to more challenging jigsaws shapes.
As soon as the weather turns crisp, we designate a table in our home as the puzzle table for the season. I love to have a puzzle that we can work on in those early morning hours with coffee or at the end of the day with a cup of tea.
Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite puzzles we’ve done at our house and some that made my wish list this this year. We have had the best time updating this guide for you.
Make sure to bookmark this list for gift-giving this year. Puzzles make incredibly unique hostess gifts, housewarming presents, and holiday gifts.
The artists were inspired by how a geode’s crystalline structure is created in nature and used a special simulation program that develops the puzzle’s image by layering color that radiates from the puzzle’s edge.
Celebrate Galentine’s Day with these 13 books about friendship in fiction and nonfiction for book club.
Looking for a friendship story for your next book club selection? What could be a more perfect excuse than a fictional holiday that will give you an excuse to brunch AND discuss a great book about friendship.
What is Galentine’s Day?
I think of Galentine’s Day as an official holiday, but its origin story might surprise you. This catchy holiday wasn’t created by Hallmark.
Instead, Galentine’s Day was created by the fictional Leslie Knope in an episode of Parks and Recreation.
Aptly titled the same name as the holiday (Season 2, Episode 16), Leslie gathers a group of her closest gal pals for brunch full of waffles and love.
In this memorable scene, Amy Poehler delivers these lines, “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast style,” she explains in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies.”
When is Galentine’s Day?
On February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, you can devote a day to celebrating your friendship with your best gal pals. We encourage our readers to embrace a book club selection together and have gathered 9 friendship stories you’ll love to celebrate.
That’s not all though, if you are looking for great movie or tv recommendations, we have you covered with today’s podcast with Mary Carver. Mary is a regular contributor on MomAdvice and the host of The Couch With Mary Carver. Her podcast celebrates TV, movies, music, and books all year-long.
Last Summer on State Street is a haunting coming-of-age story recommended for Jacqueline Woodson and Brit Bennett fans and one of the most moving stories of friendship that I have read.
This powerful and emotional journey is told poetically through the eyes of Felicia "Fe Fe" Stevens, a young girl living in Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes during the summer of 1998.
Alongside her friends Precious and Stacia, Fe Fe experiences the joys and struggles of growing up in a community on the brink of destruction. But everything changes when a mysterious new friend, Tonya, enters their lives.
As Fe navigates the shifting dynamics of her friendships and family, she must confront the painful reality of who she can trust and who she must let go of.
Set in the housing projects of Chicago, this tells the story of four girls living there as each family faces unique challenges and as they jump rope through the constantly changing shifts of their neighborhood.
Toya Wolfe writes like a seasoned writer, not a debut novelist, and uses her life story to shape these pages. She grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago's South Side. It is hard to remember you are not reading a memoir because of the detailed intimacy in her storytelling.
If you need an audiobook, Shayna Small's magnificent narration enhanced the experience so much that I held my breath as she delivered these poetic lines.
Lisa See is masterful at complex and moving stories of friendship and sisterhood, so I would be remiss if I didn’t include one of the best books from her backlist.
In Hunan (a remote county in China) in the 19th century, a young girl named Lily forms a powerful and lifelong bond with her "old same," Snow Flower.
In Chinese tradition, this term refers to a type of emotional bond between two women, usually formed in childhood, that was formerly practiced in this region of China.
This bond is as solid and enduring as a sister & typically involves a close and intimate friendship, with the women communicating and supporting each other throughout their lives.
As is customary in their tradition, Snow Flower & Lily are paired together to be lifelong friends and to see each other through their marriages, children, and the ending of their lives.
They write back and forth in a unique secret language called nu shu on a fan to communicate with each other. This keeps their stories away from the prying eyes of men, releasing their true feelings about their new roles.
The messages written on their fan start in their girlhood and begin as an introduction to one another.
It is a friendship that endures through a war, through many pregnancies and miscarriages, through difficult marriages, but can it survive until the end of their lives? You will have to read this one to find out!
If you need an uplifting story about female friendships, The Kitchen Front is a wonderful historical fiction pick that will check all boxes.
In this story, four determined women compete for the opportunity to host a popular wartime cooking program (on the BBC) called The Kitchen Front. The prize is not just a job as the program's first-ever female co-host but also a chance to better their lives.
The backdrop of this story is WWII; the Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the food supply.
This contest is meant to educate the public on how to cook their rations, but it means so much more to the contestants.
With the stakes high, these four women are giving the competition their all and are determined to come out on top, while the contest aims to bring the community together and uplift the spirit of the nation during trying times.
Of course, they find love and friendship between one another along the way, and it grows into some REALLY heartwarming ways.
Let’s celebrate female friendships and empowerment in the most unlikely places- the bare-knuckle boxing ring of 18th century England.
This page-turning novel combines the gritty atmosphere of Fight Club with a smart feminist angle that is a surefire winner for any Sarah Waters fan.
Born in a brothel, Ruth discovers her true calling as a bare-knuckle boxer. While Ruth wasn't born with the looks necessary to get those paid patrons, she does discover a hidden talent for getting these patrons to pay her to fight the other girls in the house.
Scarred by smallpox and trapped in a life of power games, Charlotte seeks an escape. While her path could be different, her scarred face means she doesn't meet society's beauty standards.
When the two women meet, their perspectives are forever changed, and they team up to fight for their places in society.
This sweeping historical fiction novel tackles how women creatively navigate societal hurdles and can lift each other to gain momentum in a male-dominated world.
As so many of us have caught the Royal bug these days, I wanted to mention another lovely historical fiction book that might allow you to immerse yourself further in this Royal-adjacent story.
Instead of exploring the story of the royal family and all of its mystery, Robson decides to explore it from another viewpoint: the women who made the wedding dress.
This captivating historical novel takes the reader on a journey through the lives of three strong and determined women hired to embroider the dress of Princess Elizabeth.
The story is set in London in 1947 against post-World War II Britain, a time of hardship and uncertainty.
Ann Hughes & Miriam Dassin are talented embroiderers tasked with the intricate stitching that will adorn the royal bride's priceless wedding gown.
After the royal ceremony, Ann moves and never tells her family about her life in London and the work she did for this famous gown.
In 2016, when Ann's granddaughter stumbles upon a box of her late grandmother's belongings, she finds a set of hand-stitched flowers with no background information.
What she discovers, though, is that these motifs are the same that decorated Queen Elizabeth's gown, and she begins to wonder if there was more to her grandmother's story than she realizes.
Heather travels to London to unravel the past that Ann never shared with her family and her secret friendship with Miriam, a celebrated artist, and Holocaust survivor.
An excerpt of the interview with Betty Foster, a woman who aided in the actual embroidery of the dress, appears at the end of the book and showcases how much her voice shaped Robson's writing and the gorgeous characters she has crafted.
With rich historical details, readers will appreciate this story of friendship, perseverance, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Looking for a guide to building and strengthening your friendships? Look no further than this thoughtful tool from debut novelist Laura Tremaine.
This powerful book, part memoir, and part guidebook, provides readers with the tools they need to foster authentic and meaningful connections with the women in their lives.
Laura is a gifted colleague that I've followed over our many years of online adventures and I can attest that this is a fantastic pick for building and facilitating meaningful friendships.
In today's hyper-connected world, women still feel ashamed for sharing their personal experiences and being vulnerable. This book, written by Laura Tremaine, encourages readers to break through these barriers and build deeper relationships through openness and vulnerability.
Drawing on her experiences, including her childhood in Oklahoma, her shifting faith, and her marriage to a Hollywood movie director, Laura shares her journey toward building authentic connections. Each chapter includes reflective questions and prompts to help readers uncover their lives' unique details and stories and cultivate deeper connections with others.
Although I’m familiar with Laura’s story, I was still surprised by the beauty in her vulnerability as she shared the moments that shaped her. She’s not afraid to tackle big topics like postpartum depression, anxiety, and heartbreak.
What I appreciate the most is the sincerity that pulls through on every page. Although many of us may have been attracted to her life because of their Hollywood background, we stayed because Laura’s authenticity shows up in every space she touches.
This book selection is less a CELEBRATION of friendship but acknowledges the REAL challenges of female friendships in a laugh-out-loud format. Some of you MAY be familiar with one of these authors, Caroline Moss, because she now runs the Gee Thanks Just Bought It podcast!
For a quick backstory on this book, though, Bustle had a great article with the authors that shared a little about the inspiration for this book.
"There’s a certain kind of email familiar to many women in their 20s and 30s. Its purpose is usually to plan a night out, a holiday weekend trip, or maybe a bachelorette party.
A lot of people are CC’d who are tangentially connected to each other — a cousin, a BFF from childhood, a college roommate — and they all have differing opinions.
These emails may include a detailed packing list (“Jean shorts. White pants. Hair ties.”) and itinerary (“6:25 p.m.: Pre-game with margs and cucumbers. 6:45 p.m.: Get cab to Brooklyn.”).
After five or 30 more messages and dozens of exclamation points, you end up owing someone money for a share house or matching thematic tank top you didn't plan for, payable by Venmo by EOD. These emails open with a greeting that elicits both stress and delight: Hey, ladies!"
In this ALL TOO RELATABLE plotline, this story follows a group of eight 20-and-30-something friends as they navigate through one year of holidays, summer house rentals, dates, brunches, breakups, and the planning of a VERY disastrous wedding.
The story is told entirely through emails, texts, DMs, and every other form of communication known to man, making it an instant classic for anyone who loves to read about the ups and downs of friendships.
The characters in the book include Nicole, who’s always broke and tries to pay for things in Forever 21 gift cards. There’s Katie, the self-important budding journalist, who thinks a retweet and a byline are the same things. And there’s Jen, the DIY suburban bride-to-be.
This satirical punch of a book will have you cringing and laughing as you recognize your friends and even yourself in these scenarios.
The email sign-offs and correspondences were so funny that I started sending screenshots to my husband.
I loved it from start to finish and hoped there would be a sequel where these women have kids and have to start thinking about someone besides themselves.
As a side note, if you are a Kindle reader, it is best served up through the Kindle app on your iPad because of the fun illustrations included within this book.
This story also celebrates the number 100, but it centers around 100 special days together to celebrate those little moments in life.
The story follows Annie Hebden, a 35-year-old woman stuck in a rut and struggling to move on from a tragic loss. That is until she meets Polly Leonard, an eccentric and bubbly woman determined to help Annie find joy and happiness in her life.
Polly, who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, will not take no for an answer to her repeated aims at friendship, and this diagnosis makes Polly more determined to make the most of every day.
Polly has been told she has one hundred days left and decides she wants to pursue one hundred new ways to be happy... and she wants Annie to help her with this mission.
However, Polly doesn’t know that Annie needs this happiness push as much as she does.
Eva shared her inspiration for this novel in past interviews. "I’d been through a couple of tough years in my life and found that things like life lists and gratitude lists had been very helpful.
I then saw some Facebook friends doing the #100HappyDays challenge and started to wonder: would that work if you’d genuinely experienced terrible tragedy? What if you only had 100 days left to live? From there, the story took shape quite quickly."
The book is told in 100 chapters (one per day) which ended up being a unique writing challenge for the author but added to the experience for the reader.
It reminded me of the importance of pursuing happiness, the power of forgiveness, and the beauty in healing old relationships.
I also love a persistent friend who will check in on you even when you are pushing them away- a perfect theme for Galentine's Day.
Other Backlist Favorites that Celebrate Female Friendships
If you have been with your gal pals as long as I have, I did want to offer some great backlist friendship stories that you might want to host a “reunion” book club together. These are three modern day classics that you might have read in your earlier years of friendship that could be revived for your next gathering.
This friendship classic novel tells the story of four best friends who share a pair of magical jeans that fit each of them perfectly. Despite being separated for the summer, the friends maintain a strong bond through letters and the jeans that bind them together.
The Red Tent is very loosely based upon the Biblical story of Dinah and a familiar classic passed on in many book clubs. The red tent is the gathering place where the women would commune during their cycles, to give birth, and where they went when they were ill. This little tent is a sorority of sorts where the women sit to share their stories and sing songs.
This dystopian novel contains a beautiful blossoming friendship between our main protagonist, Katniss, and her friend Gale. The two garner each other support as they work to survive the game and the inevitable rebellion that comes after.
This backlist series follows the friendship of four Louisiana women, known as the Ya-Yas, over the course of several decades. The story explores the ups and downs of their friendship and how they support and rely on each other throughout their lives.
What friendship stories would you add to this list?
Looking for more great books? Check out these lists!
Don’t let the crazy of 2020 mess up your holidays. Create new Christmas and holiday traditions with these easy and inexpensive ideas!
From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.
“Can you imagine a COVID Christmas?”
“Are we really not getting together for Thanksgiving?”
“The holidays just won’t be the same.”
I’ve heard all those things, more than once, over the past several weeks.
I’m sure you have too.
Many of our holiday traditions won’t be practical or even possible this year, and even when we hold those beloved customs loosely and know we’re making hard choices for good reasons, we still feel sad.
So, this year, when everything is different and uncertain and just plain weird, it’s the perfect time to create new family traditions with your family!
And take note: Some of these traditions will translate to any year, so you truly can start now and continue year after year.
But others are specific for a season when you’re separated from loved ones and family members or unable to get out and about as much as normal.
While I’m hopeful we won’t have another pandemic holiday season, other things can keep us at home.
So maybe keep some of these ideas in your back pocket for the next time family is out of town, money is short, the weather doesn’t cooperate, or someone is sick during the holidays.
Even though things aren’t the same as usual doesn’t mean you can’t experience something special.
20 New Holiday Traditions for Your Family
Give each other homemade gifts.
You don’t have to be super crafty or artistic for this one.
A “homemade Christmas gift” could be anything from a jar of cocoa mix to a personalized playlist to a decorated frame to hold family photos.
Remember to give everyone involved plenty of notice (and you could even start a group Pinterest board or slack channel for sharing ideas).
Get—and play—a new board game or card game each year.
My family loves playing Yahtzee and UNO, but I think we’re about due to add a new game to the mix.
We’ll be adding this tradition in 2020.
Let the kids have a Christmas Eve slumber party under (or near) the Christmas tree.
Or the grownups.
You do you.
Celebrate with a “reverse Advent calendar,” filling up a box with a new item to donate each day.
Simply search “reverse Advent” on Google, and you’ll find plenty of suggested calendars and lists to follow.
Go old-school with a red and green paper countdown chain.
Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason!
This might seem like a little kid activity, but I suspect even older kids or adults appreciate the anticipation built by breaking one ring each day before Christmas.
Get outside! Bundle up and take a walk together after a big meal.
Depending on what’s safe and best for your family and community, this might be a way you can see local friends and family without cramming into one home for the meal.
Meet at the park after eating in your own homes.
Wear layers and bring your own thermos of hot cider or hot chocolate!
Buy a new ornament each year.
This would be a great way to support small businesses.
Shop for your annual Christmas ornaments on Etsy or in local boutiques.
Pick something personal or something that reflects the past year, or simply select something lovely to hang on your tree for years to come.
Take time to journal answers to yearly reflection questions or make an annual time capsule.
I know several families who do this each New Year’s Eve, asking their kids and each other about the most significant parts of the year and what they’re hoping for in the next year.
If you created a time capsule instead, you could start a tradition of opening last year’s or perhaps only open every five years for a bigger surprise and walk down memory lane!
Buy—and read—a new holiday book each year.
Or, collect 25 holiday books from the library and your own collection, wrap them, open and read one each day in December.
Have a gingerbread house contest via Zoom or FaceTime with your friends or family.
Don’t forget the prizes!
Buy a new Christmas mug each year.
Display your collection in a special spot.
Host a virtual movie night with friends and family.
With the free Teleparty extension in your Chrome browser (formerly the Netflix Party extension), the host shares a custom link with each participant.
Then, you all watch the same Christmas movie at the same time, discussing the movie (or whatever you want!) in a chat box while watching.
Teleparty works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO. (Amazon Prime has its own free app that does the same thing.)
This Icelandic holiday involves exchanging book gifts, chocolate, and an evening spent reading. Doesn’t that sound lovely? (Read more about it here.)
Put together a puzzle together.
If separated, send same puzzle to each person/family and have a contest to see who can complete it first. The winner must provide a photo as proof!
Watch a holiday movie or special each year.
Some families watch Elf or It’s a Wonderful Life , or Polar Express together each year. Many of us probably watch the Peanuts Christmas special.
My family is a little quirky and since my brother and I were little, we have made time to watch The California Raisins’ Claymation Christmas Special every single year.
Whatever your tastes, it’s fun to have something you watch together each year.
Declutter and donate.
Before adding lots of stuff (aka, gifts) to your house, make room and make a difference while you’re at it.
Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
It’s a classic for a reason!
Put on PJs if you want, take along bags of Christmas cookies, crank up your favorite holiday tunes, and cruise through those neighborhoods that are famously festive! (Or, drive around a new town or neighborhood and try to spot the best-decorated homes.)
Buy—and listen to—a new holiday album each year.
Speaking of tunes…!
It’s always fun to hear our favorite musicians sing or play holiday music, but this could also be a way to support indie or up-and-coming artists as well. Who doesn’t love Christmas music?
Cook (or buy)—and eat, of course!—a special food.
This could be a family favorite (I always make my late mother-in-law’s apple cake for my husband and his family at the holidays, and my mom makes her mother’s pound cake for family gatherings.).
But it could also be a food that reminds you of your family’s heritage or simply something you love eating together. (Popular foods showing up in my informal poll were fondue, tamales, and Chinese food.)
No matter what kind of year you’ve had or what the holidays will look like, you can find a way to give back—and that will enrich your holiday like possibly nothing else can.
Sponsor a family in need with gifts or a meal, purchase gifts for foster children or children whose parents are imprisoned, take breakfast to a fire station on Christmas morning, mail cards to a nursing home, or purchase and hand out holiday care packages to the homeless in your community.
Will you be creating any new traditions this holiday season? If so, share them with us in the comments or over in the Facebook group!