Monday, December 3, 2018

Family Christmas Ideas to Bring You Closer

Despite how Christmas seems to be characterized these days, you don’t have to spend lots of money on extravagant gifts to have a good holiday season. When you’re celebrating Christmas with friends and family, you’ll want the memories to be of the good time you had, not the things you unwrapped. So instead of stressing over the gifts you’ll give on Christmas Day, spend this December coming up with new family traditions to make each and every holiday something fun and memorable for everyone.

1. Volunteer in the Community

Get the family involved in the community! Local churches or charities often do outreach programs that need numerous volunteers, and you can usually get everyone together to spend a night helping out in charity drives or soup kitchens. This idea won’t work with families with lots of small children, but if you’ve got some older kids, pitch this as a way to spend quality time together in a constructive way that helps out your local community.

2. Go Caroling Together

A fun Christmas activity that has fallen out of fashion, but is great for a group, is caroling. It’s a little more enticing to the musically inclined, but most Christmas carols are simple to sing and as long as the holiday spirit is there, no one cares if it’s not perfect. It’s also completely free, intimate time with the family as you tour your neighborhood. Just remember to bundle up for the cold and pick out a few of the classic songs, like Jingle Bells or Deck the Halls, and you’ll be set for some holiday cheer.

3. Take a Winter Trip Somewhere Warm

While it would take some planning in advance, a good option for family time during the holidays is a family vacation. If you live somewhere chilly, consider a trip south for a warmer Christmas. Places like Myrtle Beach can be exciting in the off-season, and weather permitting, you may be celebrating on the sandy shores. If that doesn’t seem plausible, you could plan this vacation as a family Christmas gift to take in the summer and have everyone looking forward to it throughout the rest of the winter. Present this trip as an alternative to the traditional gift-giving, and look into fun things to do at your destination that each member of your family would be interested in. Develop a specific itinerary of all of these things, along with plenty to do as a group, and you’ll have a great plan for a memorable and family-fun ridden Christmas.

4. Have a Family Movie Night

Christmas movie nights are a good way to get in the spirit of the season. One night a week (or so) for the month, sit down with the whole family and watch a Christmas-themed movie picked out by a family member. The Polar Express or A Christmas Story are good picks for family films that pair well with a good cup of hot chocolate and a candy cane. Come Christmas Eve, pick out a special one that everyone will enjoy and spend the night before Christmas gathered round, all together in a new family tradition.

5. See a Winter Light Show

Take a night out with the family to a Christmas lights show. Plenty of places in your area will probably have them, and they vary in style and size. Some are drive-through light shows, allowing you and your family to see fantastic decorations at a leisurely place from the comfort of your car. If it’s a walking tour of lights, bring along a camera to snap photos of the whole family for their night on the town. In future Christmases you’ll be able to break them out for some good memories of the kids when they were younger.

6. Make Your Own Advent Calendar

Make your own advent calendar with the whole family pitching in. Have everyone write down just small things to do throughout the days leading up to December. Just keep them relatively simple, with ideas like “bake Christmas cookies” or “build a snowman.” Then mix them up, put each one on a calendar day, and you’ve got a completed advent calendar. Go out of your way on each day to do each task as a family and have fun with it. They don’t have to be serious, either! Tailor the suggestions in the advent calendar to the sort of things you and your family like.

7. Enjoy a Night of Board Games

Have a board game night. While this one isn’t Christmas-specific, and you can certainly do it year-round, it’s a cornerstone of good, family fun. Don’t just break out monopoly each week, either; use the season to expand your board games to other ideas that will get everyone excited about trying something new. The important part is that everyone starts to look forward to the games each week! Take the time to talk about more than just the game as you play, as it’ll be one of the best ways to decompress from the week and talk about everything going on in everyone’s lives.

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