This year has been full of change, uncertainty, and unprecedented circumstances. (How many times have we heard that phrase over the last 9 months?!) The challenges we face have proven everyone responds to a given experience in a variety of ways.
For some, this season will be a season of grieving; for some, it will be a season of stillness and simplicity. Others will cling to traditions in order to feel a sense of normalcy. However you choose to spend this holiday season, we hope you take time to focus on what brings you joy.
So, between your children screaming for help with their online schoolwork, you frantically ordering Christmas presents and deciding if the family should get all together, pause to enjoy the merriment that comes with this season.
We asked what joyful activities your family participates in each year on our Instagram and here are some of your responses.
1. Tell stories about the ornaments on your tree.
Though your tree may already be adorned, spend one evening telling the story of each toddler creation or piece bought on a special trip.
2. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
Add in some comfy pajamas and hot chocolate or a milkshake. Turn up the Christmas music and it will be a drive to remember.
3. Spend the day baking cookies or other holiday treats.
4. Throw a cookie decorating party with your homemade goodies.
Don’t have time to spend all day baking? All you need is store-bought cookie dough, icing and sprinkles for some sweet fun.
5. Deliver a few of those homemade treats to your neighbors.
To keep it socially distant, leave the goodies by the front door with a little note.
6. Allow the kids to pick out a toy they will donate.
7. Enjoy the daily surprises of an advent calendar.
Even though the countdown has begun, get that calendar anyway. Savor opening each box — whether it’s treats or a small toy for your children. It’s 2020; anything goes!
8. Buy a big box of chocolate and have a piece every day.
Parents: we give you permission to indulge in your own advent calendar with no sharing involved.
9. Make popcorn and cranberry garland to hang around the house or on your tree.
10. Create a Christmas movie bracket.
Find or create a sports-like bracket of Christmas movies. Once a winner is determined, watch the festive movie. Throw in some popcorn and you have a family date night.
11. Help your kids hang Christmas lights in their rooms.
12. Adopt an underprivileged family in your community.
Shop as a family and allow your children to help pick the items.
13. Have a family game night while listening to Christmas music.
14. Build gingerbread houses together.
Are you a competitive family? Take pictures of each gingerbread house, post the pictures to social media and have your friends and family vote on their favorite.
15. Practice gratitude.
Keep post-its and a glass jar in a convenient spot in your home. Have your kids write down things they are thankful for throughout the month (or year). Take turns reading each post-it during dinner on New Year’s Eve.
Bonus: Throw a birthday party for Jesus!
Bake a cake, sing Happy Birthday, blow out candles, blow up balloons, make a birthday banner and create a day to remember. After all, it is the reason we celebrate!
We hope this short list sparks creativity for you and your family. May you find a little more peace and joy this holiday season. From Parents Cue, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy 2021.