Sometimes through all the hustle and bustle, it’s hard to figure out exactly how you want to spend time with those you love. Sure, you can tag along with one another while you rummage through crowds on Black Friday, or you can enjoy beer and peanuts while watching football on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t equate to quality time.
If you truly want to spend time with your family this holiday season, the following are seven things you can do with your family.
1. Spread some holiday cheer.
The holidays may be stressful, but they’re also known to put people in a good mood. Grab your family and head out to spread some holiday cheer. Go caroling throughout your neighborhood, bring cookies to your neighbors, or even spend the day decorating your home. Use this to not only spend quality time with one another, but to also spread some holiday cheer to other people.
2. Do some good.
‘Tis the season for giving, and a great way to spend time with your family during the holidays is to do some good. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or other non-profit. Shovel driveways for your neighbors after a snowstorm. Donate food to those in need. Donate money to local charities. You can even spend the day doing some random acts of kindness. You’ll not only be able to spend time with those you love, but you’ll also be doing good for your community and those in need, and that’s a memory you and your family will remember forever.
3. Go for a walk (or drive).
Spend the day taking in all the holiday decorations throughout your neighborhood. Go for a walk (or drive) at night to see all the Christmas lights and decorations adorning your neighborhood, or spend the day walking past the holiday window displays in your neighborhood. While enjoying the sights, you’ll also be able to have some great conversations.
4. Attend holiday festivities.
Shops, non-profits and plenty of other companies and organizations are constantly offering some type of festival or “thing to do” during the holiday season, so find out what events are occurring in your neighborhood and attend with your family. Maybe you can take in a holiday parade, see a Christmas movie marathon or even attend a cookie competition. Check your town’s park district or YMCA for the happenings in your town.
5. Take a mini vacation.
Find someplace close to home that you can visit during the holidays. Maybe there’s a house a few hours away that goes crazy with Christmas decorations, or maybe you simply want to head out to the country to get some peace and quiet before the holidays start. Either way, taking a mini vacation as a family is a great way to unwind and spend quality time together.
6. Do some crafts.
There are plenty of holiday crafts you can do with your family. You can create gift baskets to pass out to neighbors. You can make ornaments to decorate the tree. Or you can create your own games to play with each other on Christmas. There are plenty of great holiday craft ideas you can find on the Internet, so decide what’s best for your family and dig in. Just make sure to have some hot chocolate and cookies nearby too.
7. Record traditions and memories.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what your ancestors did during the holidays, or even how they lived their lives in general? While you may not be able to dig back too far, you can certainly help create some information for your future family members. Use the holidays as a time to sit down with your grandparents or parents and interview them on their lives and favorite holiday memories. Use a video camera or voice recorder (you can use voice record apps on your phone or tablet too) to interview and record what your family members have to say. You can do this every year and create a compilation that you pass down through your family. This way, years from now, your great great grandchildren will be able to learn more about their family and hopefully continue to keep the traditions alive.
Dana Kern is a family and lifestyles blogger and transcription professional for Rev.com. Dana shares her imagination and enthusiasm for the holidays by writing guest blog articles.