15 Things to Do on a Cozy Holiday Weekend at Home
Stay warm and festive indoors and out with these activities to enjoy with family and friends or on your own
Laura Gaskill November 26, 2015
Houzz Contributor. I cover decorating ideas, Houzz tours & the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life's simple pleasures. Get my bi-weekly email: https://www.lauragaskill.com/thesimplelist/
Houzz Contributor. I cover decorating ideas, Houzz tours & the monthly home maintenance... More
The feel of flannel sheets, the sound of stories told aloud, the scent of something delicious baking in the oven — as the Thanksgiving weekend stretches out ahead, plan on nestling with family and friends in the warm embrace of your home. Whether your idea of cozy quality time is sipping cider or making wreaths, here are 15 activities to take you through the holiday.
1. Wrap up in blankets and sit outside. Take a cue from luxe ski chalets and pass out warm throws and mugs of hot cider or cocoa to visitors. Carry your accoutrements to the porch and light some candles or gather around a fire pit in the backyard.
2. Make up the beds with flannel sheets. Snuggling into a bed dressed in soft flannel sheets is the ultimate in coziness. Layer on the warmth with blankets and throws in mix-and-match plaids, and burrow in with a good book.
3. Put out a pile of unsorted photos. Sure, carefully curated albums are beautiful to look at, but there’s something exciting about dipping into a mixed-up batch of photos and seeing what you get. It’s sure to spark fun conversations.
4. Share and record stories. You know those family tales that get told over and over? Be sure to preserve them for future generations to enjoy. Make an audio or video recording of family members telling their most-loved stories, or go old-school and set out a manual typewriter and a big stack of paper.
5. Settle in for a movie marathon. Kick movie night up a notch with homemade popcorn, hot chocolate and a double or triple feature with a theme, such as films by a single director, ones set during Thanksgiving, Oscar winners or foreign-language flicks.
6. Build a fire. Local restrictions permitting, light a blaze in your wood-burning stove or fireplace and gather round. For even more coziness, pull up a table and have a fireside dinner.
7. Play old records. The interactive nature of LPs gets everyone involved in choosing and flipping them. Try old favorites or pick up a few new ones from contemporary artists — records have made a major comeback in recent years, so you can find just about anything on vinyl that has been released digitally.
8. Pull out childhood books. Charlotte’s Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Velveteen Rabbit, Little House on the Prairie, Harry Potter — share your personal favorites with the younger generation by lending them or reading them aloud. And whether or not there are kids in the house, why not indulge in a little rereading?
9. Test a recipe you’d like to give for the holidays. Thinking of making biscotti, loaf cake or granola as a holiday gift? If you give the recipe a dress rehearsal over the long weekend, there are sure to be grateful tasters on hand, and you’ll gain confidence (and iron out wrinkles) before holiday crunch time.
10. Compile family recipes. Ask each loved one you’ll see this Thanksgiving weekend to share a treasured recipe, then gather all the contributions into a booklet. Make copies to give to your family as a weekend memento.
11. Cook and freeze a few big-batch dinners. If you aren’t tired of cooking (and no one would blame you if you are after Thanksgiving), why not use a bit of your downtime this weekend to whip up a big-batch meal? Many casseroles, soups and stews freeze well and can make quick homemade dinners when life gets busy. You may even be able to work Thanksgiving leftovers into turkey soup, for example, or pot pie.
12. Hold a game tournament. After the big meal is over, bust out the board games, or turn the dining table into a table tennis court, and encourage a little friendly competition. With a big crowd, you could even set up a few game stations and let people gravitate to their favorites.
13. Ask the kiddos to show off a skill. Have the little ones been learning songs at school, or taking piano or tumbling lessons? Encourage them to display their talents with an impromptu performance. Of course, you know your children best, so if they’re on the shy side, you may not want to put them on the spot!
14. Make or buy wreaths. Bring a festive spirit to your home by hanging beautiful wreaths of greenery, berries or pinecones on the doors or windows. If you want to turn it into a group or children’s activity, pick up a bunch of small wreath forms and some twine, and let people forage for natural materials outdoors to make their own wreaths.
Crafts Holiday DIY: 25 Ideas for Make-Your-Own Decor and Gifts
We show you how to create cute and clever Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, ornaments, wreaths and moreFull Story
Decorating Projects 10 Home Projects to Work On Over Your Holiday Weekend
Make the most of your time windfall by accomplishing one of your back-burner tasksFull Story