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‘Tis the Season for Holiday Traditions

We find comfort in rituals—did you know one of the most universally sung song is, Happy Birthday? Activities around special occasions can communicate the feeling of being loved and belonging and is a wonderful way to make fond memories. It is good to pause and plan with intention. You can make holidays be more about eating food! What traditions do you want to experience and pass on? Here are some ideas.

  1. A good tradition for any holiday gathering would be taking the opportunity to share the good qualities you see in another. Have everyone write their name on a slip and put in a basket. When everyone has arrived, all choose one person. If they do not know the person, they can make a point to get to know them! At some point, everyone takes a turn to share the unique gift the person is.
  2. Thanksgiving is about being thankful. At the end of the Thanksgiving banquet and before dessert is dove into, everyone shares at least 3 things they are thankful for in the past year.
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    People tend to eat more than usual, so it is a good time to plan a physical activity for later in the day. Some ideas are:

    • Flag Football: where the person has 2 long tube socks tucked in both sides of their waistband and is “tackled” when they lose a sock as they are running with the ball.
    • Balloon Volleyball: Stringing a rope or cord as a net (if you don’t have one) to hit a balloon to go over the net. Have more than one balloon in play to increase the challenge with both sides starting at the same time. A point is gained by the other team when one side lets the balloon touch the ground. Even those who are little or need to sit can participate.
    • Plogging: That is taking a walk and picking up trash. Pick an area that needs attention, and make it a community project for the family.
  1. The Christmas Season stretches from Advent to Epiphany, which offers lots of opportunities to make family traditions even as it is a busy time. Here are some traditions you may want to adopt that will expand the heart.
    • A Nativity Manger activity. Prepare for the birth of the Savior by having a supply of straw set aside from the empty manger, and every time one does an intentional good deed that they make no mention of, they can take a straw and put it in Jesus’ crib. It can include not voicing a complaint, offering special attention…On Christmas day you can set the baby Jesus in the comfortable bed everyone made.
    • Sponsor a family for Christmas fulfilling their wish list, or contribute gifts to those collecting for the needy.
    • Go caroling at the Senior Center or assisted living center. Gather a bunch of volunteers to sing to those favorites.
    • Make food together. Divide up healthy energy protein ball recipes to make to have a healthy treat on hand to have and share. You also may want to make savory labor-intensive dishes to freeze such as fajita meal kit, pesto, ravioli, pierogi, tamales, or empanadas to name a few.
    • Schedule a time to pack food boxes at Feed My Starving Children as a group. They have a major event to pack 2 million meals Dec 6-8th at the Phoenix Convention Center (you still need to sign up for that too).
    • Make Blessing Bags for the homeless. Everyone brings an item to put in a gallon ziplock bag: soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, socks, tissue pack, and snacks.
    • Collect Christmas cards and using the front flap to write a note of encouragement and good wishes to be distributed to those in prison.
    • Sponsor a group home for foster children, ask the directors for a wish list for an event, and raise the money to send them to it! Remember to negotiate that the vendor matches your effort by selling to them at cost.

There are many great ideas that you can be known for doing each year. Make the holidays about giving more love. What a legacy you can create about what you did every year to make the world a better place!

 

..all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father… James 1:17

 

Read More:
Make Your Home More Welcoming
Gain No Pounds for the Holidays!
Turkey Vegetable Soup

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