Thinking about holidays brings all sorts of positive thoughts to people's minds. Being in a single room, surrounded by friends, family and delicious food is a ritual most people anticipate for months. But why? What makes the holidays such a relevant landmark in the calendar?
First, holidays are a tradition "that provide a comfortable sense of structure and stability" (1) to people's lives. Opening presents and having dinner are two of several ritualistic activities, which become even more meaningful during the holiday season. People gather together from far-flung locations to reconnect with loved ones and honor family traditions.
Sharing, and this goes beyond sharing gifts, helps develop stronger social ties. Of course, some use this time of the year to indulge in items they've been wanting for a while. But the most important function of holiday rituals is to keep families together, thus strengthening their sense of belonging.
If, for different reasons, you struggle with finding your holiday spirit, Local Keeps has created a handy checklist to help you celebrate.
Reading a holiday tale is always a good way to bond with your children.
1. Watch a Film Together
Did you know December is a very exciting time for family films? Most studios release their family-friendly blockbusters at the end of the year, so it's a great opportunity to watch a new film together. However, it's also the time to review old classics, and enjoy again and again those scenes that bring warmth to your hearts.
2. Start Shopping
Take advantage of end-of-year sales to make some serious holiday shopping. As you begin planning your holiday escapades and family dinners, take advantage of all the discounts your favorite stores and shops offer. Is there an item you've been longing for a while? Now's the time to purchase it!
The Books for Kids Bundle ensures hours of healthy entertainment.
3. Give Back
Holidays are not only meant for family reunions, there is also a time for reflection and gratitude. As part of this process of introspection, it is always important to give back. But give back to whom? You can start by giving back to those who have helped you the most throughout the year. This is the perfect opportunity to thank those loved ones whose generosity has helped overcome obstacles and challenges.
But it's also an ideal time to donate and support those initiatives close to your heart. Make a list of organizations or public figures you'd love to contribute to and plan accordingly. You may deposit a small amount or, even better, offer yourself as a volunteer. What truly matters is your intentions and your convictions.
4. Have a Cozy Night In
If you don't live in a tropical country, enjoying the snowfall and the delicious winter weather is always fun. Yet, sometimes, staying indoors can be equally entertaining. Take out your warmest pajamas by preparing a cup of hot cocoa (or mulled wine) for everyone in the house. There are few things as comforting as the warmth of your living room.
The perfect cup of hot cocoa for a cosy night in.
5. Document Your Favorite Family Traditions
Part of what makes the holidays so special are the traditions that are unique to your family and often make sense to no one else. Take the time to interview each member of your family to ask them about their favorite traditions. Write down their answers in a special notebook, or document your holiday traditions in a picture album.
6. Making a Traditional Family Recipe
Home-cooked meals and family traditions go hand in hand during holiday celebrations. How about trying your luck at your grandmother's recipes? This is a great way to honor your family members, preserve tradition and, of course, keeping the holiday spirit alive.
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