With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of crowded shopping malls, long lines, online shopping, gift wrapping, holiday parties, and scrolling through fun updates on friends’ feeds. Don’t forget to take time as the year wraps up to step back with your family and friends and spend some memorable moments together. Here are some ideas from Team DijiWise and our families for unplugging from tech and spending quality time together.
From Stacy, DijiWise Development
Visit a senior care center
“My daughter’s favorite memories of spending time together unplugged are our annual visits to local senior care facilities. Over the last several years we have gone to various locations with different groups of friends and families. Armed with care packages, poinsettias, and hearts filled with giving spirit, we sing carols and visit with the residents. The smiles and gratitude that we receive are so rewarding. This is a great way to give back to your local community and bring the holiday spirit to those who need it.” To arrange, give your local senior center a call, ask for their wish list and schedule the best time to visit.
Adopt a family
In every community, there are families that have fallen on hard times or are having difficulties making ends meet. What better way to unplug and give back than to adopt a family in need. “One year, we contacted a local church that had a list of several families that could use some holiday spirit. The family that we chose had a very simple wish list of winter gear to keep them warm and just a few toys for each child to make their season bright. Seeing the faces and meeting the children that received our package was a great memory for our family.” Contact your local church or shelter today to see how you can help.
From Cindy, DijiWise PR
Have a hot chocolate party
Spend an afternoon as a family creating and trying different hot chocolate flavors. “It’s a little out of the ordinary, but is a fun and tasty thing to do. My kids enjoy it and it’s especially fun to do with a few relatives or friends.” It’s a great theme for hosting a small gathering, too. Have everyone bring a different type of hot chocolate - purchased or “invented” - for sharing.
Discover a local event or festival
Check calendars near where you live for festive events or displays you go can go to together that only happen this time of year. “We try to find something new each year, and even look beyond our city but within reasonable driving distance. It breaks up our daily routine, and by doing this, we’ve even found a historical Christmas festival with Santas from around the world that we now look forward to each year.
Get together one-on-one or as a small group
Sprinkle small meetups throughout the holidays and enjoy special quality time, attention, conversations and fun you might not get when you're all together as a big group. “I come from a large family and this is something my brother started doing this time of year with family and friends. The time together with just our families was so enjoyable and special, that I’ve followed suit and make an effort now to have one-on-one time with people during the holidays.” It can be an afternoon date alone with your child, the two of you getting together with an uncle or cousins you don't see often, or inviting your child’s friend to come along. Grab a bite to eat, relax at home together or check out a holiday display. These small get togethers will fill your heart and become one of your favorite traditions to this time of year.
From Diana, DijiWise Marketing
Host a winter potluck
Have a fun, low-stress potluck party where everyone brings a dish to share. “I love getting together with friends and trying our different homemade dishes. A lot of family recipes get made, from potstickers to double chocolate cookies, so it’s really neat learning about and getting a taste of everyone’s backgrounds.” Have the kids help you with the cooking and they’ll feel accomplished when everyone’s raving about the dish.
Take a walk and enjoy the holiday cheer
Bundle up and head outside to enjoy the fresh air and holiday lights! From your neighborhood to the town center, holiday decorations are popping up so go ahead and take a family stroll at dusk. “I’m an outdoorsy person, so when the cold weather rolls in, I try not to forget that there’s a whole world outside of my window! Walking around the neighborhood in the winter is such a treat with lights twinkling on rooftops and inside homes. It’s great quality time, either by myself or with family, and I always feel rejuvenated.”
Other ideas for special time with family and friends during the holidays:
Spend family time learning a new skill. This is a popular new trend and fun to do together, regardless of your talents! Many local painting studios have special sessions during the holiday season with families in mind. Classes are designed for novice painters and taught in a simple step-by-step manner so that everyone can become an artist and create some beautiful work. Even better, give your finished art as a gift, contribute it to a local business or and deliver it to a local senior center to brighten up their common area and resident’s rooms.
Check out your community newspaper for musicals, plays and family concerts in the area, especially if this isn't something you already do together. Many groups do free shows during the holidays which makes this an affordable activity for all to enjoy.
It’s not about the presents or the parties (or capturing every moment with a selfie). It’s about the season of giving and making memories with your family that will last a lifetime.
Happy Holiday’s from our family to yours.