Gratitude & 16 Things to do This Weekend Other than Shop

houseplants, orchids, clover, joy, unexpected pleasures, tiny delights, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
                              --William Arthur Ward

Ever since this post and my declaration that I feel out of place in the commercialism of this society, I've been thinking about my place in the marketplace.

Do I (and my art) have a place in the frenzy and deep discounts of Black Friday?

Not exactly.

And that is just fine by me.

heart rocks, messages of love, messages from the universe, hearts, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

If you, like me, prefer not to be diving into the frenzy (or even if you will be, but need a bit of a break), here are a few ideas for a peaceful holiday weekend:
  1. Go for a walk. Spend some time in nature (or your neighborhood). Walk off the Thanksgiving turkey. Bring your camera and capture little bits of joy, or just savor the day.
  2. Make some handmade gifts. A basket like this. Or some hand cream. Or some crocheted roses.
  3. Play a board game, cards or dominos.
  4. Bake cookies. These are fast and easy. 
  5. Watch the Star Wars trilogy to get ready for the new movie. And don't forget the popcorn!
  6. Snuggle up with a good book. (Here are some ideas).
  7. Start a sketchbook. Or, even better, start a collaborative sketchbook. (Dana and I would be happy to inspire you!).
  8. Paint with watercolors. Here are some resources to get your started.
  9. Make some hot cocoa. Whipped cream? Marshmallows? Peppermint? Spicy Mexican? What's your favorite way to drink it?
  10. Organize your creative space or if you don't already have a space dedicated to creating, make one (find some inspiration here).
  11. Take a class on Creativebug and it might even spark more handmade gift ideas.
  12. Write a letter to a friend. Catch up. Send gratitude. Or just send thoughts of love.
  13. Have a lazy, pajama-day. Start the morning with coffee (or tea) and whip up some Dutch babies for breakfast.
  14. Garden, indoors. Start some paperwhite bulbs or an amaryllis bulb. Or grow some sprouts or pea shoots.
  15. Armchair travel. Enjoy a visit with your vacation photos or plan your next trip.
  16. Write a Joy List and say thank you for all of life's little beauties and pleasures.

roses, pink roses, flower arrangements, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Enjoy your weekend, however you plan on spending it!


  1. There are some lovely ideas here Anne. There is so much discord in my life at the moment that I may embark on taking up a few of your suggestions. I am still working on my creative space but it has remained tidy as I make sure to clear up after each working session. Wishing you a lovely and noncommercial Thanksgiving weekend. :-)

    1. Thank you, Simone. I hope you find some time to do some of these and that they bring you joy and peace!

  2. As I gear up to go to work on this Black Friday, this post gives me some peaceful things to look forward to doing when I get home. I have also decided to make the day fun. I'm wearing a Christmas shirt and a newly made Christmas bracelet. I'm bringing in some goodies for my fellows. Even though my job is commercial, I can make it more meaningful. I miss you dear friend. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. I miss you, too, dear friend. I'm sorry you have to join the fray again this year. One good thing is that the time always flies. And wearing a fun Christmas shirt and bracelet should bring you some joy throughout the day. And of course, you're making it meaningful. It's the people who bring their love, creativity and humor to the situation that make all the difference.

      Hope you find some time for quiet, too.

      Big huge hugs to you.

  3. You forgot take a nap! Easy to do in conjunction with jammie day :) I am borrowing your collaborative sketchbook idea for my friend's birthday in Jan. We aren't particularly creative but we both like to doodle. Since we live over 2000 miles apart this will be a fun way to keep our connection going.

    1. Haha! Yes, add "take a nap" to the list. :)

      I LOVE the idea of you starting a collaborative sketchbook with a friend. What fun that will be. 2000 is quite a distance, but paper and art supplies can definitely span it.

      Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, Tracey!

    2. Yay! That's so exciting Tracey!

  4. I love your list Anne. I would love to do them all but minus the Star Wars and adding in knitting. We have been cleaning and clearing for Christmas and I have been reading, knitting and I just took out a loaf of banana chocolate chip bread from the oven. Later we will sip hot cocoa in our Santa mugs before the busy rush of the new week starts.

    1. Sounds wonderful, Dana! Knitting is a great thing to add!

      I haven't really gotten to many of the things on my list, myself, but today I'm determined to have some hot cocoa. Might just have to get some now so I don't forget.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you! Missing my garden flowers, but enjoying my plants inside.

  6. Good suggestions, all. I'm not a Black Friday shopper, Anne. It's so easy for me to stay home and find something creative to do instead. Which is pretty much like every day here. LOL Dennis spent the day working on a watercolor commission and I worked on a quilt. In the evening we watched The Princess Bride. One of our favorite movies. Hugs, Nancy

    1. Glad you're having a cozy weekend. Working on a quilt sounds perfect! I haven't watched The Princess Bride in years. Might have to add that to my list of movies to watch.

      Hugs back to you, Nancy!

  7. Perfect!
    I loved your December Newsletter as well.
    xx oo


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