During the holidays, it’s a great time to gather up the family and start a simple, yet heartwarming, Christmas tradition. We’ve pulled together a list of free (or cheap) indoor and outdoor activities that would make great family holiday traditions.
For our FirstLight Home Care caregivers, these are some of their favorite things to do with clients and families to bond and create lasting memories over the holidays. These 12-holiday traditions are designed to be fun for everyone (and that includes your wallet).
- Take a holiday light tour: Pile everyone into the car, put on some Christmas tunes, and go find the Clark Griswold-like light displays around your community.
- Go caroling: Everyone sounds great when caroling. Yes, we said everyone. Gather family, neighbors, residents in your senior living community and go caroling in your local neighborhood…or right inside a senior living facility. Add an ugly Christmas sweater contest to the caroling adventure to spice things up!
- Do some wreath making: Take a quick walk around the neighborhood and gather evergreen branches and pine cones. You could even trim some from the bottom of your Christmas tree or, if all else fails, buy some at the store. Attach your greens to a foam or wire ring (a bent metal coat hanger works well too) and decorate with ribbon, holiday flare, family photos, or whatever you fancy.
- Binge on Christmas movies: One of our favorite traditions! Put on your warm and cozy pajamas and spend an afternoon or evening watching your favorite Christmas movies. Make if fun for everyone by letting each family member choose their own favorite holiday movie to make it the ultimate movie fest.
- Spend time in the kitchen: What’s Christmas without some cookie baking? Spend the afternoon baking cookies and then hold a cookie swap! Invite family, friends, neighbors, or bring the treats to a local senior center and share the love.
- Volunteer: This is something you and your family can do all year long, but it seems the need is greater during the holidays. Volunteer at a local hospital, senior center, or serve meals in a local shelter to help those in need. Spending time with people who could use some holiday cheer is a great way to connect to those in your community and make your season brighter.
- Donate to a charity: Have your family help another family in need. Find a local Toys for Tots or Angel Tree in your community and host a toy drive. You could also gather up canned goods and donate to a local food bank.
- Check out local Christmas festivals: Throughout the holidays you will find lots of local Christmas festivals, markets, tree lightings, free holiday concerts and more around your community. Take advantage of any free activities.
- Take a holiday hike: Find a local trail near you and get outdoors on a clear and crisp winter day. Take time to stop, look around and enjoy the peace and quiet that you can find when hiking.
- Pen notes of appreciation: Gather everyone around the dining room table and write Christmas notes to family, friends or to our service men and women who will not home for the holidays. This is a great opportunity for you to give and say thanks to others who are important in your life. Your Christmas notes will be a welcomed surprise during a time when family is most important.
- Spend time with the elderly: Especially those who are homebound or in assisted living communities. Help an elderly neighbor with Christmas decorations, grocery shopping, yard maintenance — or simply spend some time with them talking and being a companion. This will mean more to them than you will ever know.
- Lend a helping hand: Look around at the people in your lives. Do you have a family caregiver that could use some respite care? Do you know stressed or tired parents who could use a date night? Give your time to help them out. It could be the best gift they receive all year.
What free (or cheap) family holiday tradition do you and your family do each Christmas? Share below or join our conversation on Facebook.
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