There are so many wonderful things about the holiday season—time spent with family, the gift-giving (and receiving!), the overall sense of cheer and goodwill! But it can be easy to get swept up in all of the celebration, and forget the real reason for the season.

Whether you’re a religious person or not, you likely agree that the holidays are a reminder to come together, serve, and celebrate in community—not just tear open piles of presents tucked under the tree.

This year, let’s commit to enjoying this special season by slowing down and replacing some of the hustle with meaningful activities. Here are few ideas to help you do just that!

1. Holiday Movie Night

Spend some time this holiday season introducing your family to classic holiday movies with a heartfelt, happy ending. The Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, and Charlie Brown’s Christmas are just a few of our favorites! Pull out the holiday pajamas, hot chocolate, and make a memorable event out of it.

2. Bake & Share Cookies

Gather the family in the kitchen and bake some of your favorite cookies—then share your delicious bounty with family, friends, teachers, and neighbors. Better yet, contribute them to a homeless shelter in your community, if they allow homemade treats.

3. Grab Your Neighbors & Go Caroling

Round up your neighborhood kiddos and and spread some joy around the neighborhood by singing them from door to door. You don’t need to be a professional singer to provide some holiday happiness! Not up for caroling? Arrange for a local music teacher to come by your party to lead the kids in an old school holiday sing-a-long and instrument session!

4. Engage in Ways to Give Back

Going shopping for holiday gifts? Why not throw a few extra toys, a new book, or a fun trinket in your shopping cart to donate to anyone who wouldn’t otherwise get gifts this year? Better yet, adopt a child or a family. You’ll get their names, ages, needs, and sizes—which makes the experience even more personal and meaningful.

5. Decorate Holiday Cards

Pull out your arts and crafts supplies and create a collection of your very own holiday cards! Fill them with loving messages to all of your family members and closest friends. Cover them with glitter and color on them to your heart’s desire. Plus, create a few for your local nursing home or hospital. You’re sure to brighten up the rooms and hallways with this personal touch!

6. Simply Take It All In

Be sure to leave some white space in your schedule! With all that’s going on during this special (but quick) season, it’s important to allow time to rest, to take it all in, and to get cozy with your family. Look back at your kids’ old Santa pictures, talk about your favorite holiday memories and traditions, and admire your tree!


What activity are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Share your family’s favorite in the comments below!