The holidays are often the busiest time of the year. There are so many things to do and such little time to take it all in. It can also feel like you’re stuck doing the same things every year, which can cause traditions to feel stale and unexciting. If you’re looking to ease holiday stress and still make fun memories, here are a few simple activities you might consider doing with your friends and family that will spread holiday cheer.
- Invite friends over for an open house hot cocoa bar with mix-ins and pot-luck treats. Allow people to add as much whip cream and marshmallows as they want. This is a great excuse to get people together and socialize in an easy and relaxed setting instead of feeling pressure to play games and stay the entire night.
- Before the kids get new toys, have them go through their playthings and pick out a few gently used items to give to a women and children’s center or a child in your neighborhood who could use the comfort of a ‘new’ toy. Have them be involved in the donation process. You could even volunteer together at the center you donate to so they have a better understanding of where their toys are going and why it’s important.
- Play a “pass the gift” game. In this game you wrap a gift (typically something small like a gift card) in many layers and put cards between them that tell who to give the gift to next. Start the gift with someone in the room and they unwrap a layer then read the note on the card telling where to pass the present. Keep passing the gift around until some lucky winner unwraps the final gift! The instructions can be things like “give to someone who’s smiling”, “give to someone wearing a sweater”, etc.
- Give decorating a gingerbread house a fun twist with a friendly competition. Choose a few people to be judges and have a prize ready for the winner. You can split into groups or have each individual decorate their own.You can even use graham crackers in place of gingerbread to make it a simpler activity with less prep required.
- Play Christmas movie trivia. Rewatching the same Christmas movies every year can make them feel a bit stale. Instead, put your memory to the test and see how well you remember the classics! You might be surprised how little you remember despite having watched them a million times.
No matter what activities you decide to do, the best thing is always trying something new. You never know, you could start a new tradition you’ll look forward to every year.