What can you do this Holiday season to keep the family at peace without family time feeling like a chore or running up a huge credit card bill? Try one of these fun, festive activities that shouldn’t cost you a thing!
It’s a tradition that spans generations. Family and friends get together to spread joy and good will with cheery music. Caroling is an iconic part of the holiday season. If you live in an area where you know your neighbors and the streets are safe, you can carol in your neighborhood. If you don’t, consider making an appointment with an area nursing home or assisted care facility. These homes are often in need of some cheer during the holidays.
You can find sheet music for most holiday classics for free online. You can also find “karaoke” mixes to download onto a smartphone or tablet to help keep your merry ensemble on key. Spending some of your time together practicing is also a good idea. What’s important isn’t how good you sound, though. It’s the fun you have and the joy you spread.
Many churches, food kitchens, and other outreach centers offer Christmas dinners for the less fortunate. Spending some of your holiday caring for those who have little-to-nothing can also help keep your family focused on what’s really important. After your kids have unwrapped their presents on Christmas morning, consider taking them to help out at a community pantry. It’ll help them treasure their gifts all the more.
There are plenty of other causes that could use your help, too. In the days after Christmas, many animal shelters are overwhelmed with “presents” that didn’t quite work out. The overworked volunteers at these shelters need help cleaning up and exercising scared, confused animals. Consider doing some good for the animals this Christmas!
3.) Spit-paper game
If you’d rather have some light-hearted fun with your family at Christmas, consider this easy game. Each person gets a sticky note or a small piece of scrap paper. On that piece of paper, they write a person’s name – a celebrity, a political figure, even a fictional character. Put all entries in a basket or hat, then have each person take a turn drawing.
Without looking at it, every player sticks the piece of paper on their forehead. Here’s where the fun begins! While you’re mingling, ask each other “yes-or-no” questions about your person, with the objective of guessing your “new” identity. Questions like “Have I ever existed?” or “Have I been alive in the last 100 years?” are good ways to narrow the range of options. It’s a fun way to interact, do something a little different, and have a conversation about current events in a general, light-hearted way.
4.) Re-watch old family movies
Someone in your family may have a huge cache of old tapes in a closet or basement somewhere. These tapes don’t do much besides gather dust for most of the year, but they contain a treasure trove of family memories for the Holidays! If you’re like most families, someone recorded treasured times to document them for posterity, but either never watched them or hasn’t blown the dust off them in years.
Make this Christmas a time to break that tradition. Pick a year and watch the Christmas or birthday parties. Think back to what life was like then and how much things have changed since. Embarrass the kids a little bit in front of their spouses or significant others. You might find it’s a great way to start a new family tradition!
5.) Check out community or school theatre events and concerts
There are a great many works of theatre that everyone recognizes as “classics”, despite the fact that very few people have seen them. Though many know of “The Nutcracker”, most people have never seen it. Often, performing arts schools and amateur dance troupes will put on productions of “The Nutcracker” around Christmas-time. Check it out!
“A Christmas Carol” is another classic you can usually find somewhere around town. Local colleges and churches may also host choirs or bands that perform Christmas concerts throughout the month of December. The ticket price is usually low on these types of events and some organizations even offer free admission with a donation of canned goods. Look for posters in your local grocery store or other community establishments!
No matter what you do this holiday season, it’ll be made special because you do it together. Are you going to try one of these fun, festive things? Share with us!
Have a safe and Happy Holiday!