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Keep Holiday Stress at Bay Week 3: Create and Enjoy Quality Family Time

This holiday season may be a bit more hectic and make you a little more frazzled than years in the past due to COVID. The silver lining in this pandemic is that this is a great time to create some long-lasting new traditions and memories with your family. Since we will all need to shift how we are going to spend our holidays, why not take the time to create some new traditions and quality time with your family?

Here are some quick and easy ways to create more quality time, new traditions and truly enjoy the bliss of the season:

Check out Holiday Lights

This is a fun family activity that can include a walk around your neighborhood or a drive to another area of town to take in amazing light displays. Some neighborhoods put on competitions and then advertise it so others can come and see what amazing things they did with decorations and lights. Some towns have a drive through light display to dazzle your senses and you stay warm and toasty in your car. Other areas have a botanical garden or corn mazes that they light up for a winter walking wonderland. Find one of these options in your area and take the whole family. Bring some hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies for your family to enjoy as you see all the pretty displays.

Eat a Meal Together

The simple act of sitting down to dinner together is a great way to calm your mind and body from the holiday chaos as well as get some quality bonding time too. Have your kids pick out some recipes over the weekend and then prepare them that week so they can enjoy creating a healthy meal and eating it with you. You could even come up with some special breakfast recipes that they can try while off from school instead of having the same cereal, pop tart or nothing. Since this holiday season will be a little different than others due to the pandemic it is still important to eat at least one meal together every day. Look at your calendar and schedule it in every single day. Let your family know how important it is for everyone to be present at the meal. When they are part of the meal preparation it will excite them to share what they made with you. A great gift idea would be cooking lessons, online lessons or learning how to use spices effectively. Who in your family would have fun with this?

Create a Fancy Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses are a classic holiday pastime. They help you and your family put on your creative hats and create a magical house. You can create one main house, or have each child create their own mini house. They are kits you can purchase, or you can make your own using graham crackers and wafer cookies. Buy candies, sprinkles and frosting to add to it however they want.

If you have older children choose to bake up and decorate cookies. Have them go through a couple of recipe books or look up some recipes online for some fun and unique cookies to create this season. Not only will you teach them some math and baking skills, but it will be good fun quality time in the kitchen. Teaching them good “chef” skills by cleaning up the area after every stage of the process. Cookies that require decorating are a great choice for younger kids as they get excited to see the final product when they are done. Older kids may have fun with more difficult recipes and ingredients. Encourage them to find a couple that they want to try. Have them write down the recipe and the ingredient list. Take them to the grocery store and have them find the ingredients on their own. Such a great learning lesson all around. Once home, clean off the kitchen table and counter tops and have some fun!

Make Play Time in the Snow Fun

Sometimes it is so easy to stay cooped up in the house on snowy days, but going outside is especially important during the winter months to stave off SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and depression, not to mention get the “wiggles” out of everyone who has been staring at a screen for way too long. Find a sledding hill not too far from home and bundle everyone up, bring some hot chocolate and the sleds and have an afternoon of fun. Build snowmen or a snow fort and then have a snowball fight. Learn how to snowshoe and take a day to wander around the trails in the woods. All ages can snowshoe and it is a great way to get some winter exercise. Learn how to cross-country or downhill ski. These are also good opportunities for families to bond. You don’t need to spend a lot of money either as cross-country skiing can be done at most golf courses in the winter as well as in national forests. Renting the equipment is easy too, just call your local sports shop and see what they have available for skis or snowshoes. The fresh air and sunshine will be good to boost moods and even falling snowflakes have a way of bringing giggles and joy as you try to catch them on your nose and eyelashes.

Make Time for the Movies

Have everyone in the house pick out a favorite holiday movie and plan movie nights during their break. Each week they can pick a new one and you decide which night of the week you will watch each movie. Pop up some popcorn and make some hot chocolate and snuggle in for a night of family bonding over laughter and joy watching movies together.

Create a Game Night

Make one night a week a game night and play some of your favorites. Have your kids pick out which game they would like to play, throw their names in a hat, draw a name and each week change it up. This is a great way to take a break from the stresses of the holiday season and get some serious belly laughs. Include your kids in picking out what snacks they want to have and let the competition begin! You can also do a virtual game night with extended friends and family. There are plenty of games you can do online that a variety of people can join in the fun. Here is a great link to try out this season:

Take advantage of this quality time with your family and make some amazing memories this year. It has been a hard year for most of us, why not create a festive and joyous season with your loved ones?

What are your favorite ways to enjoy each other’s company around the holiday season?

The silver lining in this pandemic is that it has provided us some amazing quality time with our family. This year is a great time to create some long-lasting new traditions and memories with your family. Since we will all need to shift how we are going to spend our holidays, why not take the time to create some new traditions and quality time with your family?

Read on to see what tips you can use this season to create more bliss with your family~


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