1) SING: I mean, sing together, not plugged into a little hand-held thing that goes from the box straight to your head. I mean SING. Go caroling in your neighborhood. Just get a group of friends and family together, practice a few songs and walk through the streets together caroling. Yes, people might stare but you can invite them to come along with you and you might be very surprised at the outcome.
2) DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE: Go out of your way to do something special. It can be for a friend or a stranger. Visit someone who is shut-in; take a little homemade bread or bag of cookies and plan to spend an hour visiting and spreading the Season's cheer.
3) PLAY GAMES: No, not video games. REAL games. Remember charades? Cards? Monopoly? These are simple, uncomplicated games that everyone has and everyone can play and everyone already knows the rules to.
4) PUT ON A SHOW: Although this is still a holiday staple in some homes, children writing a short play of their own, singing songs and dancing around the living room has become a thing of the past. A children's program is a great project for the day after Christmas when the parents are tired but the kids are still wanting to relive the fun of Christmas morning.
5) MAKE HOMEMADE GIFTS OR DECORATIONS: The internet and magazines are filled with simple holiday crafts that are inexpensive and creative.
6) ENJOY THE DECORATIONS: In our town of Grants Pass, we are very lucky to have a festive and colorful downtown area. We will bundle up more than once this season, put the dogs in the car with us and venture into town to enjoy the decorations. All the old fashioned lamp posts are decorated, there are wonderful huge 7 foot tall holiday soldiers and fabulous free-standing electronic holiday boards that animate their stories and are accompanied by speakers and holiday music on both sides of the major streets in town. And this doesn't even count all the decorating each local business does. What does your town do for the season?
7) GIVE THE GIFT OF COUPONS: Always a classic, personal service coupons that are redeemable at a later date are the perfect way to give on a budget and they are truly a gift of oneself. Coupons good for babysitting, car washing, or special activities are a great way to give without getting out the credit card.
I am well aware that the success of this experiment depends on the ages of the children involved. Young children will get right on board, have a great time, generate a huge mess and make wonderful family memories. It may take a little more creativity to get the older children involved but it is well worth the effort.
A holiday season spent unplugged, together and engaged will send you and your family into the new year with all the good will and good cheer that you need to stay warm and happy throughout the cold months ahead.
Sending you and yours our very best for the holiday season and wishing you happiness and good health for the new year ahead.
Hugz from all of us at Beadazzled of Oregon