10 Ways to Spend the Holidays with Your Family


Listen carefully, you’ll hear more than sleigh bells in the air this time of year. A hum of energy flows through the holiday season. Schedules get busy. Time is at a premium. So carving out moments to spend with family may seem impossible. Here are ten ways to add some togetherness to the season:


Share an Activity

Try taking a walk together after a meal. If you’re more serious about it, a comfortable family hike or bicycle ride could be an option everyone could enjoy. Pick a favorite holiday story to read together. Children love having adults read to them. Turn decorating for the holidays into a party for the entire family. Take up a new hobby. You can find art, painting, even classes to design centerpieces that you can do together.


Donate your Time

This could be as simple as donating to a holiday food drive, or it might be a volunteer activity you take up on a regular basis. Find a cause the whole family can support. You might volunteer at a local shelter, human or animal, or help provide meals for shut-ins or the homeless. Check with organizations in your area to see how you can help, and remember helping hands are needed all year long.


Plan A Family Getaway

Want to leave some of the holiday hustle and bustle behind? A family vacation to someplace warm and beautiful might be just what you need. But if a once in a lifetime getaway isn’t on the table, think about simpler options. It might be a family trip to the zoo, a museum, or a theme park.


Carve Out Time for your Spouse

This time of year is a great way to reconnect with your significant other. It might be as simple as leaving a message or a note, or as grand as a holiday vacation to soak up some fun and sun. Meet for coffee and set your phones to silent, or plan a morning when the two of you can have a quiet breakfast together.


Video Chat

Maybe you have family members who can’t be home for the holidays. One way to bring some togetherness with them is to arrange a video chat. Consider adding an activity to it, such as everyone watching a favorite movie and then connect with services like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Skype.


Share a Meal

This seems like a no-brainer. There are plenty of holiday dinners, but consider other meals, too, and more than just the eating. You might consider preparing a meal and making the preparation part of the shared time. If you have an older relative who has a dish that is their specialty, this is an excellent opportunity to pass that recipe on to the next generation.


Give the Gift of Keeping in Touch

Older family members may benefit from the gift of a tablet or laptop that can make communication easier at all times of the year, not just the holidays. Helping them set up easy-to-use apps is another opportunity to spend time together.


Keep a Tradition Alive (or invent a new one!)

Making and decorating cookies together is a tradition for a lot of families. Not only can it involve everyone from the very young to the very old, but it’s tasty too. Traditions are an essential part of celebrating the holidays. If you don’t have one for your family already or find old stand-bys take up too much time, create new ones. Maybe setting aside one gift to open together on a different day.


Play Games

Whether it’s a video game you play as a group or a dedicated board game night, this is a great way to bring the family together for an hour or an entire evening. You can set up the real thing and video chat, or choose an online version if the family can’t come together in person. Play long-distance chess or something like Words with Friends.


Exercise Together

Let’s face it, we probably all need to move more. Maybe getting up a half hour earlier to work out together or merely take a morning walk. This can be an opportunity for just you and your spouse or something to involve the entire family.


The holidays can be the best time to cement family traditions, but the key is not to try to do everything. What do the members of your family need? Pick one or two ideas your family can continue on a long-term basis.