In keeping with my theme of simplicity this holiday season, I’m looking forward to spending cherished time with my family doing the simple things that remind us of the true spirit of Christmas. It’s all about slowing down the pace, spending precious time with family, and making memories. To imagine what’s on my mind, think about all the classic Christmas songs you’ve ever heard, and then add a crackling fire, rosy-cheeked kids and mugs of hot cocoa all around. Perfect, now read on.
Keep family traditions alive or create your own (it’s never too late to start). One of my family’s most favourite traditions is to cut down our own Christmas tree. We are allowed to cut anywhere in the forest where we live, as long as it is under, or in the vicinity of, the hydro towers. We plan the day ahead of time and pack hot cocoa in a thermos along with snacks. My kids still remember the year we all slid down a frozen creek bed with our freshly cut tree to get to the bottom of the mountain we had scaled.
Baking, arts and crafts and home decor are simple and fun ways to create festive memories with your family. Make a wreath, decorate the tree, and build gingerbread houses together. It’s easy to make a simple wreath or swag for your door when you use fresh branches trimmed from your very own tree. Homemade cookies and spicy gingerbread can be given as gifts to friends and family.
Enjoy family fun time. Ice skate on a frozen lake or at the public rink, sled on a local hill, snowshoe in the woods, or simply take a leisurely walk through the park. As long as you are all together and having fun, that’s all that really counts.
Have the kids wrap some toys to give to a local charity, put together a wholesome food basket for a family in need, or donate some time to a worthy cause. Give to others in need to better appreciate what you have and you’ll end up with a warm, fuzzy feeling to last the whole winter long.
Unplug and recharge. Silence your devices and put them away, then spend long periods of time without them. I’m talking no laptops, tablets, e-readers, iPods, smart phones, etc… Break-out the cards, chess board and Scrabble game and show your kids how to play, the old-school way.
And finally, spread the good cheer! Go carolling in your neighbourhood with your family or grab some neighbours to take with. Sounds kind of corny, but nothing gets you more into the spirit than belting out your favourite songs for all to hear.
By Kristen Wint