Thanksgiving is over. Look outside and what do you see? Lights, blow up snowmen, people rushing about furiously, insane traffic, and crazier shoppers. We all know how commercialized the Holidays have become, and it’s all too easy to get caught up in all the mayhem and forget one of most important aspects of this season — family.
This season, take a moment out of the madness to take a deep breath and prioritize. Is Christmas really about making sure you are spending enough on everyone equally, or trying to one up another gift giver by making sure you spend more. Is it about beating the shopper next to you to the last XBOX 1 or PS4? Has it become so commercial and hurried that we can’t stop for a moment and make some awesome Christmas memories? I hope not.
So, this season spend a little time thinking about how you can make some new and lasting holiday Xmas memories. Let’s take a look at some ideas from others across the internet…
White Elephant Gift Exchange
On my step-fathers side of the family we have always do a white elephant gift exchange. If you are not familiar, this is where everyone finds one gift to give from something either around the house or something under a set spending limit. The gift can either be funny or useful. I tend to lean toward the funny or gag gifts just to watch the reactions. That’s what makes the fun memories for me and everyone else seems to like smiling and laughing, as well. We wrap the gifts properly and then everyone brings their gift to our family Christmas get together and places it in the pile.
During our gift exchange, the first person selects 1 wrapped gift from the assortment and unwraps it. The next person can then, either select a wrapped present from the pile or they can take the unwrapped gift that the previous person opened. If they chose to steal, then the person stolen from takes the next turn.
- A gift can not be “stolen” more than twice. Whoever steals it 2nd gets the gift.
- A gift can not be immediately stolen back by the person it was stolen from.
- All gifts must be kept in plain sight.
Get the Kids Involved
It doesn’t matter if you are preparing a feast or stringing up Christmas lights and decorations to rival the Griswald’s, be sure to involve the children. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and push the kids aside and do things ourselves in the name of efficiency. It seems there is so much to do that we don’t have time to teach or show our children how important family actually is.
Bake some cookies or make some candy and let little hands help as they learn tasty skills that they will pass on.
Involve children in decorating the home and tree. Make some decorations with your kids, or even just 1 decoration, then repeat every year to create a tradition. Stockings and ornaments are always a decent choice.
Let the kids learn from Grandma in the Kitchen. I know it’s busy, but remember Grandma won’t ALWAYS be around. This is the chance for her to spend some real quality time and pass down her years of knowledge in the kitchen. Start with something simple like rolling dough into a ball for the dinner rolls. They’ll love it.
Volunteer or Give
There are people in every community that have less than the majority of us. This brings a multitude of ways that you can help out and create new memories for your family. All you have to do is give… It doesn’t matter if you volunteer time to help distribute food at a shelter, serve meals at a soup kitchen, or just stop and ask someone if the “need anything”. Get involved and try to do something that will make an impact in someones life. You’ll be surprised how it will benefit YOU and your family, as well.
Saving the Memories
I can’t stress the next part enough. With all the smartphones running around your household, there is NO reason to not take some snapshots to remember your time together. Capture the moments that touched your heart. Print the images. Protect them in a frame, and everyone visits your home can share in a little piece of your favorite moments. Shop for Picture Frames