Penny's Passion: Thinking Out Loud Thursday - November 21, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - November 21, 2019

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Today I'm letting my mind drift to the Christmas holiday and am coming up with a little bucket list of things I hope to do.  Join me!  

With all the holiday frenzy, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget to slow down and truly enjoy the season.  Hopefully by making a list and checking it twice our household will be able to capture the spirit of the season.

Write a letter to Santa
That's right, write a letter to Santa is on my Christmas bucket list.  I'm a firm believer that to live intentionally you need to figure out what you want.  So, this Christmas I'm going to spend some time thinking through my wish list for the coming year.  Some of the things on the list will include material things, but others will include things like host more dinner parties and find some new podcasts.

If you have little ones around, writing a letter to Santa and getting a response can add to the enjoyment of the season.  Here's a blurb from the USPS website on just how to do it~

How to get a letter postmarked from the North Pole:

  1. Have the child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.
  2. Write a personalized response to the child's letter and sign it "From Santa."
  3. Insert both letters into an envelope, and address it to the child.
  4. Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.
  5. Ensure a First-Class Mail stamp is affixed to the envelope.
  6. Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope, with appropriate postage, and address it to:

    4141 POSTMARK DR
    ANCHORAGE AK 99530-9998
We recommend sending your letters by December 7 so that they can be received by the Anchorage, AK, Postmaster no later than December 14. Santa’s helpers in Anchorage, AK, will take care of the rest!
Volunteer for a Good Cause
For me, there's nothing like the feeling of doing something good for someone else.  This time of year opportunities to help others are everywhere!  Most churches have wish list trees and many area businesses and libraries support a canned food drive.  What's your favorite thing to do for others?  I have a project that's happening in late November I'm excited to be a part of.  I'll share more about it later.

String Popcorn for the Tree
When Ian was little, we would string popcorn, Cheerios and cranberries for the garland on our tree.  And then our dog would usually eat it off the tree and I would spend every evening restringing popcorn, Cheerios and cranberries!  We are pet free now and I'd like to get back into making this garland.  I'm imagining it will bring back so many happy memories of when we had a small child in the house and that happy, happy feeling of Christmas.

See a Christmas Light Display
Looking at Christmas lights is truly one of my favorite things.  I want to load up in the car and head out to see the twinkling lights.  A few years ago I actually rented a big van and mapped out several places to take my family to see the lights.  While we won't be doing that again this year, Eric and I will be cruising around with hot chocolate and Christmas music playing enjoying as many lights as our eyes can see!

Attend a Christmas Festival
A town very close to me (Belleville, Illinois) each year hosts the most adorable Chistmastkindlmarkt.  I like to go for the unique shopping, but there's entertainment and activities for the kids.  There's even live reindeer!  Meandering through the booths with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand makes me feel like I'm in a Hallmark movie.  Do you have something like this close to where you live?

belleville christkindlmarkt logo 2.jpg

Have the Holiday Shopping Done by December 15]
You know, I say this every year and sometimes it happens and sometimes it just doesn't.  I do like to have my shopping done early so I don't feel the pressure of finding that special gift at the last minute or fretting about when the postman will be delivering it to my door.

Participate in a Secret Santa Activity
I'm signed up and have my person for the Secret Santa at work.  This is such a fun thing to do with coworkers.  We have a questionnaire you fill out on yourself and one person is in charge of gathering them.  Then at a designated place and time, we each draw to see who we will be surprising with a gift each week leading up to Christmas.  It's so fun!

Mail Christmas Cards
Because I'm typically such a procrastinator, I'm extremely proud of myself because I actually have our Christmas cards designed, purchased and in my hot little hands.  Now I just have to get those envelopes addressed, stamped and in the mail.  Can I do it - YES I CAN!

Have a Pajama Day
Somewhere in the chaos of the season, I'm dreaming of one day that I hang out in my jammies all day and do nothing but watch movies and read.  I'm picturing sitting by the fire, apple cider or hot chocolate in hand, wrapped up in my favorite blanket.  Ahhhh, doesn't that sound great!

Host a Party 
I love having people in the house during the holiday season.  It's fun to talk about what their plans for the holidays are and hear about their traditions.  Planning the party and preparing are things I love to do.  Hosting a party will be so fun!

Okay - there's my list.  Wish me luck!  I'm linking up with some other blog friends today who are also sharing their Christmas bucket lists.  What's on your list?  I bet if you check out some other bloggers lists you will get some fabulous ideas!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday Link Up
What are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Christmas Bucket List Link Up
Do you have a Christmas Bucket List to share?  Link it up here!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. That sounds like a wonderful bucket list!

  2. Very nice tips and bucket list. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful Thursday.

  3. What a fun bucket list for the holidays! Enjoy checking off all items on your list in the next few weeks. Thanks, Penny, for hosting TOL.

  4. I am getting the goosebumps from all of the sweet suggestions everyone has for making the holidays more meaningful. I love the idea of writing to Santa. You are so smart! Great idea.
    Would love to think I can have my shopping done by 12.15 but not sure how likely that is. Since we are buying for little ones only this year, it should be easier.
    YES to pj day. Wanted to get us all matching pjs but that may not happen. We could all have the same pj bottoms, maybe? And stay in them all day long. Heaven!!
    Thank you so much for joining me for this Christmas bucket list post!