What Will You Do with the Bonus?

Thanksgiving is a few days away. Can I help you up from the floor? There is a reason why it has crept up so fast. November 22nd is the earliest date possible. The holiday is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month. Every once in a while, another Thursday sneaks in. The good news (and you can usually count on me for that), is there are also five weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Yay!

That means we will have several extra days to prepare for the holidays.

There will be…

…time for shopping.

…time for family traditions.

…time for baking.

…time to take a break from our regular activities.

…time for making new friends.

…time for outdoor fun.

…time for decorating.

…time for… Hey, wait! I still need to make this year’s family Christmas card. I’ll take some photos at Thanksgiving, work up an idea and then maybe I won’t struggle to get the cards out before the holidays.

Will I create another extremely time-consuming pop-up card? We’ll see. All I know is this year at Thanksgiving, I will be especially grateful for the extra weekend since we have five of them until Christmas!

How I created last year’s card

We are still in the midst of birthday week!

Illustrations and photos by Susie Lindau

What will you do with the extra time?

55 thoughts on “What Will You Do with the Bonus?

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    1. Sounds so peaceful! Only two of us as well, but the kids and my sister will come home. I decorate the house like a madwoman on steroids, bake, and shop til I drop…I guess I am a holiday girl!


      1. It’s been a rough decade, and life is on the rebuilding climb. In a good direction, some reason to celebrate, but it’s modest because I’m a student and unemployed. It’s a strange place to be at 58. I’m hoping next year I can do a bit more.


  1. The last couple of years, I’ve done all my gift shopping online. Thanksgiving has really snuck up on me this year. We are staying here by ourselves. Some of it is the dog (hate to leave him alone all day and can’t take him to my aunt’s). Some of it is not wanting to spend 4 hours on the road Thanksgiving day. But you know what? A lot of it is just wanting to say away from the drama. We have the best time when we do our own thing.

    Now. Tell me something. Did you draw those cards? Gosh, you’re talented.


    1. Thanksgiving is coming as early as possible! It is taking everyone by surprise. 4 hours on the road for drama would be a dilemma for me too. Or no dilemma since I would avoid it too.
      Online shopping. What a concept! I have got to start doing that. My daughter and son buy stuff all the time and it is usually cheaper! Last night at the CU Stampede, I stopped in a shop looking for a buffalo hat. They were sold out. My daughter’s boyfriend said he got on through Amazon for $10! That would save time too. Thanks for the reminder!

      I was a medical and botanical illustrator back in the day, so yep, those are my yearly art project. Thanks so much! Some really crack me up! I think I’ve done 22-23 of them now.


    1. It is crazy here in the US! It is super early and we just got through Halloween. The day after Thanksgiving has traditionally been the kick off to shopping for the holidays, but this year, even though it is early, some stores are having their sales ON Thanksgiving! Ridiculous!
      The down under doesn’t have a holiday where you give thanks for something or another? I know there are similar holidays in Europe and Canada…


    1. I just don’t watch that much TV anymore! I am too busy trying to keep up with all of your blogs! In fact I am behind since it is birthday week here. Two more to go….the last is Danny’s on the 20th!
      Thanks Guapola! I will be over to read yours soon!


  2. Wow, Susie, you are one talented lady! My extra time (and Hubby’s too-many-vacation-days-to-cram-in-at-the-end-of-the-year) means we’re going to take a week’s vacation right before Christmas and let me de-stress from the semester. Of course, leaving for a week will add its own stress. We’ll see if I get cards out on time!

    I try to do some small store shopping to support local businesses, but I hit Amazon for the things I’m shipping. Saves money and a lot of time – I don’t have to wrap, box, label and visit the long post office lines!


  3. Susie, those are beautiful! I love how the detailed illustrations are set against a solid color. It really draws all the focus to your fine work. Does Hallmark know about you? 😉


    1. That is so great! Thanks Leann! I am thinking of doing a give away this year. If anyone would want them… 🙂
      Love the PJ idea. I have managed to wear them all day without realizing it. I must have really been in the zone…


  4. Extra time? My Dear, I don’t work on a regular basis, so time is different for me; however, I also forget and don’t get things done well (I am even worse than before the stroke – now, it is an actual brain problem!).
    Though, I will manage.


  5. Susie! What talent! Thank you so much for sharing the fabulous illustrations and pop-up cards. Now we will all be waiting to see what you come up with this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.


    1. Thanks so much Patricia! I was a medical and botanical illustrator back in the day. I always thought after raising my kids that I would be illustrating books, not writing them! So funny how life twists and turns. We’ll see…. 🙂 Have a great weekend and fabulous Thanksgiving too! Thanks!


  6. I am seriously impressed with your drawings. Wish I had half your talent! I am not a crafty person so I will save time this year by buying my cards. And I’ll spend any free time sitting in front of the Christmas lights sipping hot cocoa with my kids.


    1. Awwwww! That is such a great plan Darla. I love the idea of taking the time for the simple pleasures.
      Thanks so much! All of us got the gene from my dad, although he was and is an amazing artist! He almost 87 and just painted a picture of his collie. I can’t wait to see it!


  7. The only thing I’ve done thus far in preparation for Xmas is buy my ticket to the San Francisco Bay Area, where my family resides. Air fares are sky high this year. I feel violated and have yet to put any thought into gifts or cards.


    1. Maybe you could make your gifts this year. Make a wall hanging. Just pick up some macaroni and glue it to cardboard in a decorative pattern. Or string it and create a nice necklace!! It would be a great way to use up some carbs! : D


    1. Thanks so much Laura! I kind of go overboard with a lot of things! The pop-up cards took forever, although I simplified the design last year. I still get a lot of cards, probably out of curiosity of what I’ll come up with. Some of them have been pretty ridiculous! Hahaha! Have a great week and holiday!


      1. I go overboard too… and swear by making my own cards, although this year with my book launch I did opt to do a photo card for the first time ever. One of my favorite years was having my preschooler help me collage old cards to make new ones. Some were odd in that charming preschooler way, but she ran out of patience and interest eventually. (I have more than 100 people on my list…)


        1. I have around 75! If they are handmade, 100 is a crazy amount! That must be a relief to opt for a photo. I did that the year we moved.
          Thanks Laura and congrats again on your book!


  8. I want one of those cards this year!

    I get back the day before Thanksgiving. I am doing nothing, except pay for the Turkey… my daughters get to do the work. I used to create a dish, until the Oyster Disaster… now I just buy the Turkey.

    The extra weekend… probably working to catch up for the time I spent ‘working’ in Hawaii.


    1. Thanks Ted! I will have to come up with a contest or something so I can send some cards out to my blogger friends. Hmm……
      I bet Hawaii was fantastic!
      I think there could be a blog post in your future titled, “The Infamous Oyster Disaster.”


  9. WOW – I used to work food retail in a large regional mall and was burned out by the time Christmas rolled around. I was a serious Scrooge. The extra time…. hmmm …… we have our traditions and travel, hopefully with an extra week it won’t seem so compressed, so frenetic. Even though I TRY to make the days count, I often end up letting the days pass me by at this time of the year and wonder what happened! Thanks for the reminder to be purposeful with my days!


    1. We have a few extra days, so maybe that will help! I think we all get a little burned out and with nearly an extra week, I am going to pace myself with the decorations. If I put them up too early, they will be full of dust and spider webs making it look more like Halloween than Christmas!
      Thanks Clay and have a fabulous Thanksgiving!


  10. My birthday every once in a while falls Thanksgiving week and yes Thanksgiving is early this year. I am still trying to get in the Christmas spirit and maybe Turkey day will get me in the spirit:) Happy Sunday!


      1. I remember reading your post about your dad, but I didn’t realize that you’d inherited his talents! Do you ever post your art?


        1. Oh thank you! My dad is very talented and can create anything!
          Last year, I wrote a post about how I made my pop-up card. This is the most I have revealed about my artwork. I am starting to get into photography and am thinking of compiling some images for a book. I have so many ideas and not enough hours in the day!
          Thanks so much DD!


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