There is so much you can do around the holiday’s. Your schedule is always full, whether it is shopping or trying to attend all the parties, or doing your own family activities. It can be costly and time consuming. This year I had a goal that the holiday’s weren’t going to stress me out like in the past. I wanted to relax and enjoy myself and love christmas like I used to. I started by doing most of my christmas shopping before december even started. This has lowered my stress level quite a bit. The other thing I did was try to limit our activities. We have a few activities that we do as traditions in our family and the rest I said no thank you to or just didn’t plan on doing.
The few things that we kept were walking down christmas tree lane, caroling at the senior centers, and our christmas eve family gift exchange. Christmas tree lane is a street that decorates their houses every year and people can walk or drive down it and see all the lights. They have music playing and it is so much fun and good exercise too. The kids especially like looking at everything and running around.
Caroling is something we do as a family and with a small group of friends. We practice singing the songs and then with the group of friends we go out the weeks before christmas and visit some of the senior centers in the area and bring them some christmas cheer. Then with the family we go caroling around the neighborhood a few days before christmas and drop off a small goodie to the neighbors. When my family lived on the military base, when I was little, we would always make it a point to visit all the MP’s standing guard of the base on christmas eve and bring them treats too. This is a time that helped us all to feel the love and spirit of the christmas season and to take some time out of our life to enjoy the holiday.
Each year we also do a family gift exchange. this is a tradition started in my family when I was young. My dad had a copy of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert and we were forced threatened given the chance to watch it as a family and then at the end we were able to pick one present each ( or a family gift if everyone agrees) from a family member to open and enjoy on christmas eve. Now that we are older, we don’t watch the tape anymore.(And who has a VCR to watch it on anymore anyways??) We now sit as a family and read the christmas story or we just share family memories while listening to christmas music and then each pick a gift to open.
Each of these are free for us to do and they are memory building activities that we never forget and hoep the kids wont forget either.