It’s no secret that different age groups have different interests. An 8-year-old is not necessarily interested in the same things as someone nearing 80 … nor should they be. But when it comes to the holidays, it’s time for finding activities that every family member can participate in and enjoy.
We’ve put together a list of family-friendly activities that everyone can appreciate, no matter how young, old or mobile they are.
Food brings people together, and holiday baking has a special appeal for all ages. Whether you cook together for hours creating sticky buns or latkes, or you buy ready-made sugar cookies and decorate them together, the important part is pulling your family together to make new memories, share old memories, and enjoy a little sugar. As an extra bonus, make enough goodies to share with neighbors and friends!
There is a craft out there for everyone. No, really. The trick is finding crafts that make everyone feel successful. While creating wreaths and dreidels are classic projects (check out sites like Pinterest for inspiration), don’t underestimate how building a gingerbread house can pull a family together … even those who don’t do crafts. And there’s no shame in buying the kits from the store; just make sure to also buy plenty of extra candy and frosting so you can have endless decorative options.
Pull the family together to enjoy an evening of reminiscing as you pore over pictures and videos of years past, remembering younger selves and lost loved ones, as well as filling in the younger generation on family tales. Add cookies, hot chocolate, music and a fire, and it’s a solid, cozy evening of memory making.
In many families, the task of holiday cards usually falls on one person. While everyone gets involved in taking the picture, one person usually makes sure they get printed, addressed, stamped and sent.
Wouldn’t it be more fun if the whole family got involved? Those with the most beautiful penmanship can address the envelopes, while those with more challenged motor skills can stuff envelopes or put on stamps. You can even take it up a notch and personalize the cards by writing handwritten notes.
This is a great at-home activity. Just grab some family members, popcorn and blankets, and you have a night of family bliss. The hardest part will be choosing which movie to watch! (Hint: Everyone comes with one suggestion, and everyone votes for their top two choices.)
While music tastes vary wildly with each generation, holiday music can pull everyone together. If your family is musically talented, hold a concert at home. Or if performance is not your thing, go out into the world and find a concert where the singing is done for you, and your family can just enjoy the show together. And if going out isn’t an option, there are plenty of options available on TV.
At this time of year, everything is lit up. Load up on coffee and hot chocolate, find a local place that has particularly festive decorations, and revel in the displays. This can be a walking tour or you can pile everyone in the car and drive around to see lights. Another option is to find a restaurant that particularly gets in the spirit and enjoy a meal there.
The holidays are a time for gratitude, and what better way to share that than to help those in need. While more mobile families can participate at food banks or cooking holiday meals for the less fortunate, not everyone can stand on their feet for hours or lift heavy things.
For families struggling with mobility, there are still plenty of volunteer opportunities. For example, many businesses and churches host giving trees, where people facing tough circumstances ask for help with the holidays. Your family can adopt another family, and together shop, wrap, and deliver the presents.
JUST DO IT
It doesn’t matter where you are or how you spend time together. The point is to do it. So create a plan and make this holiday season festive and memorable for everyone!
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