Healthy Holiday Traditions

The holidays are here – the perfect time to make memories with friends and family. Finding healthy ways to enjoy festive holiday bonding may seem like a challenge at this busy time of year. Making cookies and candies can be fun, as long as you don’t overindulge, but the truth is there are lots of healthy holiday traditions you can add into your holiday happenings and carry them forward in the years ahead with your family and friends.

Go Caroling

Caroling is a great way to get your kids involved and boost everyone’s holiday spirit. Learn some simple Christmas carols and head out into the neighborhood. At each house, invite your neighbors to join in the fun as you make your way around the neighborhood. Even the most resistant teens will likely enjoy the fun as you gather with friends and neighbors for a night of singing and smiles. In the end, you might discover some hidden singing abilities, but everyone will have joined in a family walk around the neighborhood and a memorable time of holiday bonding.

Deck the Halls

This year, rather than decorating by yourself, get your family involved in the process. Sit down for a creative night of planning and let everyone contribute. Your family will be a part of the holiday preparation and everyone will get in the holiday spirit as they work together to deck your halls! Decorating can be fun, and in case you were wondering is great exercise too. Adults only get the ladder jobs while others can string lights along porches and walkways, decks and shrubbery.

Benefit a Local Charity

There are lots of ways to contribute to the less fortunate at Christmas. In doing so, your family will have made another family’s season that much brighter. Think about all the options! Your family could take your newly discovered caroling skills to the local retirement facility or to the local children’s hospital and have the residents or patients sing along! Maybe your family can volunteer at the local homeless shelter or foodbank serving meals on or around the holidays. Perhaps your family can have a food drive or a coat drive and once complete donate your collection to local churches or food banks for distribution. You could also use the holiday season to collect usable but unused clothing, toys, and household items and donate them to local charities and churches who will see they make their way to families in need. Consider contributing to your local Angel Tree, national Toys for Tots campaign, or packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. By paying it forward, your family will be actively helping your community and its less fortunate members. The opportunities are endless and your will foster a giving attitude in every member of your family!

Enjoy a Lighted Walking Tour

If you live in a neighborhood that really gets into the holiday decorating spirit, take a 30 minute walking tour of your neighborhood. If not, do a little research and head to your local botanical garden or park for a walking tour of lighted holiday displays. Everyone in the family will enjoy the tour and get some exercise in the process. For added fun, have everyone choose their favorite display along the way.

Get Out and Play

Instead of hanging out indoors eating cookies and watching sports, head outside with the family for a rousing game of touch football or head to the holiday ice rink and enjoy skating together. If the weather is nice, there are lots of outdoor activities to enjoy and who knows, you might just start an annual holiday tradition in the process.

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