It's one of the great mysteries of American life.
We've just enjoyed a holiday expressing gratitude for family, friends, health and all the other non-material blessings in our lives. At yet the thing that is uppermost on our minds is that we need to wake up at 3am to wait in a long line just to score a cheap TV. And trust me, all the screen-free waiting games in the world won't get you through the hordes of people waiting to get into your local superstore. "Black Friday" is indeed, looking pretty black.
It's all just a little bit nuts, isn't it? There has to be a better way.
And no, I'm not talking about shopping online.
I'm talking about extending that warm family feeling you had on Thanksgiving. You know, the feeling you had connecting with others with these screen-free Thanksgiving activity ideas.
Today I invite you to prolong the spirit of Thanksgiving, put off holiday shopping (yes, even online holiday shopping) for another day and spend some extra time with your family. If you just want to cozy up and watch an old movie and snack on popcorn, great. If you need a few extra ideas, feel free to snag one off my list.
And yes, all of these ideas are free or inexpensive!
15 Black Friday Alternatives to Shopping
Start making Christmas decorations by cutting up all the scrap paper you can find into snowflakes and put them up around the house. Check out my video of how to make paper snowflakes. I also give you idea for how to use them.
Put everyone to "work" building a giant Sierpinski Triangle Christmas Tree!
Mix up a batch of soft pretzels and form them into letters to spell everyone's name.
Cover the dining table with butcher paper, get out the paints, crayons and markers and make free art, family-style.
Make family popsicle stick puppets by cutting out photographs and pasting them on craft sticks. Or draw each other, cut out and glue on the sticks. Then put on a puppet show, reenacting a favorite family holiday.
Take turns with the camera taking goofy pictures of each other. Maybe even use these photos for the stick puppets!
Make a recycled materials marble run!
Put together a 500 piece puzzle. I used to do this every holiday when I was a kid.
Take a trip to the library and ask the librarians to recommend their favorite children’s books.
Head to your neighborhood park to feed the ducks. Bring along uncooked oats instead of bread.
Rake the leaves in the yard into a pile and take turns jumping in.
Go bowling and think up wacky team names.
Visit your local park and go birdwatching. Take photos of the birds and start a hobby book.
Work on a family tree and conduct family interviews. This is wonderful if you have gathered together with extended family for the holiday.
More ways to spend quality time with the family:
- Indoor family games (no board necessary!)
- Brain teasers for family gatherings. Kids, get ready to stump the grown-ups.
- Creative indoor family activities