We can be so busy making the holidays magical for everyone else that we forget to stop long enough to enjoy them ourselves. Especially THIS year. Let’s make sure we soak up some festive cheer for ourselves and try to spend our energy on holiday activities that truly bring us joy. Of course, it can’t all be fun and reindeer games. So here are some ideas that will help the busiest month of the year unfold as smoothly as possible.
Get out and be merry
Why? We’re well versed in Covid protocols now and safe, socially-distanced activities and events are way better than no activities and events at all. Our cities are cautiously opening up to celebrate the season so even if you’re not feeling particularly festive this year, heading out to enjoy some lights and jingle bells might do the trick. Check out these fun family things to do in December for Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver.
Get your skates sharpened
Why? Outdoor rinks are open now in most of the country and you’ll definitely want to take part in this most Canadian family pastime. You might not be able to imagine having time for lazy circles around the pond (or the flooded tennis court, as the case may be) while you juggle holiday shopping and work, but remember that most kids have two full weeks off school before and after Christmas and you’ll be desperate for active family fun. In fact, it’s not too late to add skates to your own holiday wish list.
An Air Fryer
Why? The air fryer is the latest small kitchen appliance of the moment and, from all accounts, this one is worth the counter space. It’s basically a countertop convection oven that replicates deep-fried food using only hot air and a teeny tiny amount of oil. For heating frozen appetizers to perfection or prepping your favourite roasted vegetables, an air fryer is a kitchen gadget that’s put to great use in families looking to up their healthy meal game without giving up deliciousness.
Classic holiday stories as a family
Why? There’s nothing like revisiting your favourite holiday tales at this time of year to put everyone in the festive spirit. Pile a few of these yuletide picks next to your little one’s bed and bring a some seasonal joy to bedtime throughout the month. We love Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Little Tree by e e cummings, Stick Man by Julia Donaldson, Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko, Simon and the Bear by Eric A. Kimmel, and The Sound of Kwanzaa by Dimitrea Tokunbo.
Elf on the Shelf ideas
Why? Those who love finding new hiding spots for their Elf on the Shelf every night don’t need to be told about how much joy it brings to their families. But even the skeptics will have their frozen hearts melted by pictures of elves hanging from trees, sitting in candy dishes, or passed out in a bucket of popcorn. The official website has a section for kids with quizzes, games, and trivia, and one for parents with craft ideas, recipes, and ideas.
Get a living succulent wreath
Why? The latest eco-friendly trend in holiday decorating uses hardy succulents to create a stunning and long-lasting wreath. The traditional evergreens we love are usually sprayed with pesticides and then they dry up quickly and are tossed as soon as the holidays are done. Enter succulents, living and organic greenery that is beautiful all year round. You can buy a ready-made wreath, or those with green thumbs may have fun making their own.
Why? Homemade gifts are easy on the earth and the wallet, but big on love. These are the perfect token of holiday cheer to give out to friends, coworkers, teachers, coaches, and more. Spend an afternoon with the kids baking batches of holiday goodies to be packaged up in pretty tins or wrapped with a bow, parcel off DIY lavender bath salts in pretty paper bags, or choose any one of the wonderful DIY gift-ideas listed here.