Yes, the holiday season can be stressful. There are parties you probably don’t want to attend. There is more shopping than most of us can afford. There is the awkward walk through Target clutching not one but three Baby Sharks because every tiny kid in your life really wants one. Best holiday ever? It can be.
You might get stressed over your obligations this season but you can de-stress by choosing to do some of what you might actually find fun—here are 10 ideas to try.
1. Parades and Festivals
You know what parades and festivals have? Food. Lots of it. Is there a better way to ignite the Christmas spirit than by treating your family to holiday treats? Some cities also host snow fests, ice sculpting contests, sledding, or light displays. Check the calendars in your area for events and take your family.
2. Christmas Movie Marathon
Another way to get in the spirit is to host your own festival—in the living room. Break out the blankets, the Christmas cookies, and your favorite Christmas movies ever and host a movie marathon. If you don’t own any Christmas movies, try Netflix or Disney+.
3. Outdoor Activities
It’s cold out. So what? You can handle it. Get outside. If you live where it’s cold enough to sled, ice skate, or build snowmen, do it. If it’s still hot where you live, don’t be discouraged. Find an indoor skating rink or a festival that creates its own snow.
4. Christmas Party
Tired of traveling from party to party? Host your own instead. Call it a potluck, invite your friends or neighbors, and make memories in the comfort of your own home.
5. Serving Others
In order to keep perspective in the proper context, we should also spend time giving back to our communities during the holiday season. There are countless ways to do that as a family.
6. Learning Other Traditions
A lot of people get uptight about the phrase “Happy Holidays,” but it exists for a reason: Christmas isn’t the only holiday. Spend some time as a family learning other holiday traditions and cultivating an appreciation for other cultures. The more we understand each other, the more peace we foster.
7. Day Trip
Money is tight at Christmas for most, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little traveling. Research fun events in your region and take the family on a short getaway.
8. Cooking and Baking
Who needs to buy Christmas cookies when you can bake them (and your wife and kids will love you for it!)? Fill the house with the scents of the season—and teach your kids how to bake or cook holiday treats and meals, too.
9. Reading a Christmas Classic
Gather the family around the fireplace and read Christmas stories aloud. Here are 10 free Christmas stories to choose from.
10. Worshiping TogetherWhat’s the point of celebrating Christmas if we don’t worship?
What’s the point of celebrating Christmas if we don’t worship? Attend and participate in worship services throughout the season (and all year). Rejoice in the good news of the newborn King.
Sound off: What is your family’s favorite Christmas tradition?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite thing to do during the Christmas season?”