Celebrate TogetherPosted by Whole Earth | 12.11.2018
Are you ready to make some memories this holiday season? Good memories, ones that you’ll remember fondly in the days and years to come. Preparations for the holidays can leave you frazzled. Sometimes when most of the items on your to-do list have finally been checked off, you may still be drawing a blank on memorable ways to spend time with your loved ones besides feasting and opening gifts. Read on for a few suggestions.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Family outings during the holidays can be as simple as taking the kids to a playground or walking around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights and decorations. Why not turn your walk, or drive, into a Christmas scavenger hunt? Before you head out, make a list of items to look for like Santa and his sleigh, reindeer, polar bears, snowmen, a nativity scene, angels, stars, decorated trees indoors and out, decorated agaves (a Texas tradition!) and giant ornaments. Extra points for The Grinch, Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Leg Lamp from a Christmas Story.
Day Hikes or Camping Trips
If the weather is congenial, this would be a great time for day hikes or camping trips that have been difficult to organize because of conflicting school and work schedules. Our Texas State Parks are hosting lots of holiday events throughout the month of December. Check out the Calendar on their webpage and click on the Holidays category. Events include a Cowboy Christmas at Lake Mineral Wells, a Solar telescope viewing at McKinney Falls on the Winter Solstice, and Kissmass under the Mistletoe at Inks Lake!
Family Field Trip
Want to take a family field trip? A little online research may reveal some very intriguing destinations. If you live in or near a city, do a search for “family fun in ____” or “free family fun in ____.” Some cities are lucky enough to have entire websites devoted to local family activities. There’s just no telling what you may find: festivals, museum tours, storytimes, group hikes and much more.
And what about family fun at home? Impromptu gatherings of family and friends might be just what you need to change gears and find yourself in full holiday spirit. Potluck suppers or pancakes for dinner are longtime favorites. Or what about a Nog-off, a neighborhood challenge to see who has the best eggnog recipe? Designating it a neighborhood event is important. Some eggnog recipes are so “doctored” with spirits that no one should be behind the wheel afterwards. An alternative for all ages might be a hot chocolate bar with assorted mix-ins, candies and cookies.
Family Food Traditions
Does you family have a traditional food that helps to mark the holidays? Perhaps there’s a special dessert, a favorite snack or a main course that has been the responsibility of one family member to make for many, many years. As the family has already gathered, this might be a fine opportunity for the next generation to learn how to make this special dish directly from the master. Take copious notes and photos to document the recipe and the process so that the family tradition can be carried on into the future.
Decorate a Tree for the Birds
Some families like to decorate a tree for the birds, and possibly, the squirrels in the yard. Cranberry, popcorn and unshelled peanut garlands with pinecone ornaments rolled in peanut butter and birdseed will be greatly appreciated by your feathered neighbors. Keep a pair of binoculars and a field guide close by the window and create a visitors’ list.
Christmas Tree Slumber Party
And finally, one of the joys of Christmas is spending some quiet time at night in a room lit only by the Christmas tree, awash in the peace and beauty of the season. Share the experience with your family: break out the sleeping bags and have a slumber party with the Christmas tree!