Holidays

Holiday Traditions That are Healthy and Fun for Families

The holidays are a time to be with family, so why not enjoy your time together in a healthy way? For example, instead of spending a day baking cookies with your kids (which is okay, as long as you don’t eat them all too fast) why not get outside or find something else that’s fun and still encourages bonding while feeling festive?

While the season has been unseasonably warm for most of the northern U.S. and Canada so far, it doesn’t mean you can’t find wintry things to do that include all members of your family from young to wise. Here are five ideas for new festive family traditions you can start this year and keep going next year (and beyond)…

 

1. Decorate the Property

Instead of just stringing up a couple of lights from the garage and calling it a day, why not get your kids involved? That could include a bit of planning and creativity, but your entire family will feel part of the process of your home’s holiday makeover that will surely put them in the spirit.

Everyday Health says that while decorating the home with the family is fun, it’s also good exercise. “You can burn up to 250 calories every hour of decking those halls,” notes the article. The source also recommends the kids focus on placing the ground-level ornaments while you take on the ladder jobs for safety.

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2. Find a Worthy Charity

There are many people less fortunate during the holidays that don’t have family to spend time with, let alone a decent meal on the table. Perhaps you and your family can commit to some time collecting food or needed items (such as toothpaste and soap) for those less fortunate, which can then be distributed by churches and food banks.

You can really roll up your sleeves and volunteer to serve Christmas dinners to those who need it most. Not only will you get the exercise of serving dishes to the homeless and underprivileged, your family will also have the collective satisfaction of making someone’s season brighter.

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3. Play Sports

Rather than sitting around the living room munching chocolates and watching sports on television, why not get outside the home with the family to play some touch football (you can even sneak a quick game into the half-time delay, says the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

As mentioned before, the weather may be warm but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the family to an indoor rink for some skating practice. If the thermometer dips low enough, you can even build a backyard hockey rink and invite the neighboring kids over for a tournament. No snow just means less work to clear the ice!
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4. Take a Lighted Tour of the Neighborhood

Some people put a lot of time and effort into making their properties look the most festive during the holidays, and they’re begging to be looked at, especially at night when the lights really shine. This is a great way to delight your kids while getting some brisk exercise in the fresh air.

Healthline suggests setting your watch or phone timer for 30 minutes, and then dash into the evening to see how many great displays you and your family can take in during that time. If your own neighborhood is a bit light on light displays, do some research to find the best areas for Christmas decorations and drive there to do the walking tour.

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5. Get Rid of Last Year’s Clutter

Perhaps a more practical tradition is to gather up the family and start rummaging through those nooks and crannies in the home where “stuff” has been collecting all year, says EcoParent magazine. This is a great way to clean up and find that screwdriver you’ve been missing, or your daughter’s favorite doll that somehow ended up behind the couch.

It’s also a great way to collect usable items and older toys your kids have outgrown, and donate them to other families that can make of them. This will help foster the spirit of giving in your kids, who will no doubt have new toys waiting for them under the tree. Also, what better way to welcome a new year than with a spotless home?

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6. Learn some Carols

Kids love to sing, in case you haven’t noticed, so why not harness that raw talent and energy and put it to use in your neighborhood? Learning some Christmas carols with your family can be fun and challenging, and you might learn some hidden talents.

Don’t stop there! Once you’ve perfected the lower harmonies, bring your kids on the road (or at least, the sidewalk) and join others in an outdoor caroling session. It will make everyone who hears it smile, and it’s a great way to spend time outdoors with your loved ones and make new friends.

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