How to Plan Your Christmas Holidays? 10 Best Tips for a Wonderful Christmas Vacation
No matter how healthy we are the rest of the year, our good habits are often destroyed during the Christmas holidays. Social gatherings and travel arrangements keep us from our regular workout routines, and the food—oh, the food!—undermines the healthy eating habits we might typically promote for our families.
However, there is still hope: with a little imagination, you may include a range of family customs in your holiday season that will not only be enjoyable for the whole family but will also help your family’s health objectives. Here are some of the best suggestions for Christmas customs that will keep your family engaged, foster stronger family ties, and advance general health and well-being.
1. Enroll in a turkey run
A Thanksgiving fun run (or walk—you choose your pace) is the ideal way to start a healthy holiday season. Although some turkey trots draw competitive runners, many participants simply sign up for the fun of it—and, of course, to burn off some calories before the Thanksgiving meal.
A turkey trot course’s length varies based on the event; however, many are rather short (say, a 5K). If you’re going somewhere for Thanksgiving, you can even look at turkey trot possibilities there. But don’t just sign up by yourself; enlist your entire family.
Alternative: Don’t want to register for a recognised event? Make your own version by organising a quick neighbourhood walk on Thanksgiving morning with the entire family.
2. Bring in organic ornaments
A real tree may be simpler to set up, but going outside as a family to cut down your own tree will burn more calories and create wonderful family memories. If taking down a tree seems too onerous, spend an afternoon scouting the outdoors for tiny natural objects you may use as accents, such as pine cones or evergreen springs.
3. Family story time should replace family movie night
Okay, so you are not required to miss your favourite yearly Christmas movies. However, reading Christmas stories together can spark everyone’s creativity and entail more in-person family connection than watching a movie, so try a combination of the two. Choose a modern holiday tale or a time-honored favourite.
Alternative: If you have young children, Meg Cox, the author of The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and every day, advises gathering many beloved holiday books and wrapping each one in Christmas gift wrap. (If you don’t want to buy new books, you can use library books.) Invite your children to open one book per day starting a few days before Christmas to serve as the “story of the day.”
4. Go ice skating as a family
Even in regions of the United States with mild winters, indoor skating rinks are accessible. However, if you live in an area with a good snowfall, you can also take the whole family out for sledding or snowshoeing. All of these pursuits provide wonderful chances for family connection while serving as excellent examples of an active lifestyle for your children.
5. Gather everyone in the family for a nightly “tree-sit.”
Holiday customs that encourage activity are wonderful, but occasionally your family needs the exact opposite: a break from the stress of holiday commotion and time to foster the genuine joy that the season is meant to provide.
To that end, try Cox’s incredibly straightforward suggestion: Spend only fifteen minutes each night with your family around your Christmas tree, taking in the lights and the tranquility of the season. Because they noticed they were investing in the effort to erect the tree but not actually spending time in that room to enjoy it after it was up, Cox’s own family established the custom.
“We decided to take it all in and not treat it as a task to cross off our list,” adds Cox. You can sing Christmas carols together, read bedtime stories (if you have young children), or simply talk about the day to give your time together some focus.
6. Increase the nutritional value of your seasonal baking
According to Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in Southern California and a representative for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s acceptable to indulge in favorite foods on special occasions even if they aren’t particularly nutritious. (After all, it is a holiday!) However, adding a little more nutrition without sacrificing flavor is simple to do when baking for the holidays.
Using whole grain flour or almond flour in place of some or all of the flour in the recipe is a simple method to do this, according to Sheth. (Depending on how much flour you use in place of the regular flour, you might need to slightly increase the liquid.) Look for healthy dessert recipes online that incorporate wholesome sweeteners and unanticipated ingredients like flaxseed, chia seeds, almonds, or fruit.
7: Walk outside to check out the lights!
Many families already make it a point to drive around to see the holiday lights at night, but you can elevate this custom by forgoing the car and opting to stroll around a neighborhood that has been decorated for the season. Keep everyone toasty by carrying thermoses filled with hot beverages!
8. Use an advent calendar that is healthy to count down to Christmas
Calendars that count down the twenty-four days until Christmas are known to be favorites among younger children. Every day has a pocket in the calendars, and each pocket usually contains a little gift the child can find that day. (You can purchase a pre-made version or look online for instructions on how to make your own.) While it’s customary for many families to stuff a chocolate bar or other little treat into the pocket, there are other, healthier options. Instead of candy, try including a slip of paper with instructions for a festive activity your kids may do that day, like singing a carol together by candlelight.
9. Present items that encourage action
Healthy children (and parents!) will be encouraged by a bike, rollerblades, or soccer ball not just for the holidays but long into January and beyond. You might also give the gift of an experience rather than a piece of equipment, such as multiple passes to a rock climbing gym or access to exercise courses at a nearby fitness center.
10. Get the board games out
The major holidays of the year usually center around eating, turning us all into gluttons. By bringing out beloved family activities and allowing the day’s focus to be on shared family enjoyment rather than just eating, you may bring balance to these high-energy days.
Christmas Monopoly, anyone? While there are holiday-themed board games, even regular games can take on a unique flavour if they are played with hot beverages and Christmas music playing in the background.
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