Can you believe that I'm not out shopping?! Despite my innate urge to save and scrimp as much as possible my aversion to large crowds usually keeps me home on this, the biggest shopping day of the year. I find the best way to save money is to not spend it in the first place --and there just aren't any deals good enough to trade for a nice day at home with the family.
Instead I like to spend my Friday after Thanksgiving getting green: putting up the Christmas tree!! The kids love doing this and look forward to the big day every year. We put on the Christmas music, cook up some hot cocoa, break out the candy canes and lug up the 5 bins and 2 boxes of Christmas decorations from the garage.
We put up the tree first. A few years ago we converted to a fake tree with the lights already attached. We get it popped up within a few minutes time and spend the next 30 minutes fluffing out the branches and looking for burnt out lights. Next we apply the pinecones and ribbon garland and then the kids go crazy with all the rest of the ornaments. The tree will change looks several times over the next few days with kids and parents rearranging ornaments spreading them evenly around the tree and balancing out the vintage decorations and the modern ones.
Once the tree is up and mostly decorated I leave the kids to finish it and I get out on the roof to put out the Christmas lights. Though I'm a little afraid of heights this is one of my favorite things to do, it makes me feel like a dare devil. I also like it because after a rowdy morning of putting up the Christmas tree with the kids it is so quiet and peaceful on the roof, the kids can't join me-too dangerous, and Dave hates getting up on the roof.
Once the tree and the lights are up the Thanksgiving leftovers come out and a movie gets popped into the DVD player or a game appears on the table. We'll spend the rest of the night basking in the light of our freshly set decorations and enjoying the second day of the holiday season. Didn't even have to spend a dime.