If the media is to be believed, family holiday traditions consist of drama and a post-Thanksgiving football game among family members. But families are more diverse than that. Avoid drama and couch potato syndrome this holiday season by incorporating some new family activities everyone can enjoy.
Weather permitting, divide family members into teams and have a photo scavenger hunt in the neighborhood. Enough people have smart phones to make picture taking a breeze. Add videos to the mix for added fun. Use Apple TV to share the pictures and videos with everybody after the game is over. Some ideas about items to include in the hunt:
- A picture of your team with a pile of raked leaves
- A picture of your team with a pumpkin
- A picture of your team with an out-of-state license plate
- A picture of your team helping someone hang Christmas lights
- A picture of your team with a neighbor wearing a Santa hat
- A picture of your team helping someone unload shopping bags from their car
Have trouble getting family members to have their pictures taken? Set up a family photo booth. All you need is a bunch of dress-up items (goofy glasses, feather boas, crazy hats, etc.) and a camera. Add props like fairy wings, pirate swords or bubble pipes for more fun. You can take the pictures against a blank wall or hang a backdrop made from a sheet, curtain, or wrapping paper if you choose. Family members of all ages laugh and explore their goofy sides when there are props to play with. The pictures you get may not hang framed on your wall, but the memories will last a long time!
A Chef’s roll of the dice
This activity requires a little more preparation, but it’s worth it. Find a small gift someone of any age could enjoy (gift card, chocolate, etc.) and wrap it in a box. Place that box in a larger box and wrap it, too. Continue adding more wrapped boxes until you have a big box filled with gradually smaller boxes. (Think of the boxes like Russian wooden nesting dolls.)
The game works like this: Participants take turns rolling two dice. The first person to roll doubles puts on the following articles of clothing: an apron, a chef’s hat, and two oven mitts (one on each hand). Only after they have donned all the pieces are they allowed to begin unwrapping the present. They continue to try to unwrap the pieces until somebody else rolls doubles. Then the garments exchange to the person who rolled doubles, and they try to unwrap the gift. This continues until somebody opens the innermost gift and gets the prize, thus winning the game. It may start slow, but if your family members have any competitive nature in them it quickly becomes an all-out battle. Have the video camera ready for this one!
Holidays should be about time spent together making memories. Sometimes you have to mix things up to make the best memories.