Holiday Activities for the Whole Family

As the holidays approach, many of us dream of spending quality time with family and friends. But too often, we get swept up in a long list of things to do and stuff to buy. Here are some ways to bring back the love and joy.

  1. Play a Board Game. Bust out the board games or the Wii and enjoy some game time with the kids. 
  2. Do Some Karaoke. It’s not the same as singing around the piano while grandma plunks out the melody, but it’s still a fun way to strike a chord with multiple generations.
  3. Have a Chili Cook-Off. You can do this with your immediate or extended family pitting men and boys against women and girls or draw names for the teams. Another option is to have each family bring their chili to the larger extended-family gathering. If you don’t have relatives in the area, this can be fun for a group of neighbors or friends. 
  4. Take in the Lights. Put the little ones in their jammies and drive around town looking at the festive lights and decorations. If you’ve got teenagers, let them make a playlist for your outing to entice them to join you.
  5. Broaden Your Horizons. Research holiday traditions from around the world and incorporate a few new ideas into your family’s celebration. 
  6. Stalk Santa. Okay, stalk might be a strong word, but you and your kids can follow his flight around the earth on Christmas Eve. The folks at NORAD create magic with updates on Santa’s travels every year. 
  7. Get Crafty. Go to a nursing home or organization that serves the disabled and help the residents create some ornaments, greeting cards or simple treats. Check with the home’s administrator ahead of time to see if this is something that would work well in their environment.
  8. Roll Out the Fun. It’s always fun to decorate (and eat) holiday cookies. Instead of making cookie dough from scratch, parents of little ones find they can get to the fun faster when they buy refrigerated dough that simply needs to be rolled out and shaped with cookie cutters. Purchased frosting can also streamline the parts of the process that are boring for kids.
  9. Chill Out. Build a snowman, make snow angels or find a hill for sledding. These classic traditions are great to pass down to the next generation.
  10. Ice Skating. Look up local ice rinks and take the family skating.
  11. Love Your Neighbor. Host a neighborhood holiday get-together with a twist. Send the invitations now with a party date in January or February. Not only are people super-busy during November and December, but some of us feel blah after the holidays and would enjoy having something to look forward to. Keep it simple so that it doesn’t create extra stress. 
  12. Serve Each Other. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in work, school, parties and other celebrations that we overlook the needs of those we share a home with. Think of ways you can lighten the load for your spouse or kids—and ask them to do the same for you. Even trading chores with someone else in the family can be a nice change of pace.

- By Stephanie Clark , Nov 27, 2018