10 Simple Ways to Add Joy to Your Holidays

  1. Streamline gift giving: Buy fewer gifts, give homemade or “shared experience” gifts (activities you can do together through the year) or shop online.
  2. Just say “no:” Strike non-essential commitments from the to-do list this month.
  3. Help others in the community: Choose a worthy local cause and find out how your family can bring joy to someone less fortunate.
  4. Make family fun a priority: Look into seasonal activities in your area, select two or three that appeal to your family, and schedule them on the calendar to enjoy together.
  5. Exchange holiday memories: Make a cold, dark night more cheery by warming some hot cocoa, lighting a candle and reminiscing about favorite holiday memories. If relatives visit, include them in the sharing.
  6. Play in the snow: When wintry weather strikes, make it an occasion for fun by building a snowman, going sledding, or just catching snowflakes on your tongue.
  7. Share a family tradition: Choose a hands-on activity to do with your kids (baking, creating a decoration, etc.) that ties into the family’s heritage, and share ways that activity was incorporated in past generations.
  8. Create new memories: Think of a new holiday tradition to reflect the interests of your family. Possibilities include reading a holiday story together, preparing a special meal, collaborating on a creative project, etc.
  9. Find peace in the chaos: Despite your best intentions, there are times when the craziness of the holidays interferes with family bliss. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this, too, will pass.
  10. Celebrate the positives: Wrap up the festivities over New Year’s by holding a “family year-in-review” event. Scroll through photos together on your phone, recap the shared trips and events, and celebrate the special times that defined your year as a family.

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