We recognize that it’s redundant to say that 2020 has been an unconventional year. For some, the year is rife with significant roadblocks and hardships. For others, the year has presented more manageable but still significant challenges. Now more than ever the question is, how do we embrace our circumstances to make life meaningful, rewarding, fulfilling, and fun?
With the holidays fast approaching, we believe we can embrace these events as opportunities to plan unconventional family activities and celebrations. Rather than lament not being able to spend in-person time with extended family and friends, instead, why not virtually join with the people we care about to make this a special time…especially for young children?
The first upcoming holiday is Halloween. Trick or treating is not something that’s safe to do this year and in some counties is prohibited. Instead, why not combine costumes and sweet treats with some fresh ideas like:
Join with a few other families to participate in a virtual Halloween party. Everyone in the family, (including Mom, Dad and even your dogs and cats…not just the kids) dresses up with makeup and wigs, and hats, and masks, etc…then takes pictures, videos and post them to social media accounts, and join in a Zoom, Facetime, or other video sharing platform. Photos can also be mailed or emailed to local magazines, newspapers and even TV stations so the media might post these on their websites for everyone to see.
Another idea which can be done as part of the “party” or separately, is a cooking activity. Families are encouraged to make special and creative pumpkin treats. Do these ahead of Halloween, and mail homemade treats to all participants. Think about how much fun the kids will have getting special treats in the mail from lots of family and friends!
And how about extending the idea to include sending Halloween care packages to our women and men in the Armed Services?(Here’s a link to Operation Gratitude’s Halloween Candy Give-Back Program: https://www.operationgratitude.com/halloween-candy-give-back-program/
Thanksgiving is next on the calendar. One very fulfilling activity, like our Halloween suggestion, is to donate to a food bank and/or actually deliver food to seniors and other people. Go online to find organizations in your area that need volunteers and contact them to sign-up. (All have pandemic safe protocols in place.)
Pre-order some coloring books for the kids that tell the story of Thanksgiving as a before indulging in your turkey, stuffing & pie dinner activity. Books like these are available on Amazon.
After dinner, maybe watch a movie together like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow, or A Family Thanksgiving. Check your local listings on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. to discover what’s showing this year.
HANUKKAH AND CHRISTMAS
For Hanukkah and Christmas, decorating the house is the first thing to do as a family. Haul out the decorations and/or order new things online. Do this early and make it a family shopping experience.
Like most holidays, good food makes the celebration special. Again, make it a family activity to try new foods and plan the meal. Here are couple of cookbook suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.
And don’t forget the holiday gifts. Make a list and shop early online to be sure packages are received in plenty of time.
These are just a few suggestions to make the rest of the year a special time for everyone. Remember, children pick up on adult cues and so creating these positive and special moments is key to reducing stress and bringing some normality into their (and your) life.