For many people, the greatest joy of the holiday season is spending quality time with family and loved ones. While this idea is always great in theory, the truth is – after several days of being together, restlessness and tension can occur – causing bickering or disagreements.

5 Inspiring Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Family

One thing I’ve learned is that people often get cranky with each other when they don’t have enough positive stimulation in their daily lives. That’s why fun activities that bring you together and help you form a deeper, joyful bond with family is the best way to handle the holidays. To help you make the most of your time together (and minimize any challenging moments), here are 5 inspiring ways to celebrate the holidays with your family.

5 Inspiring Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Family

Host a Holiday Happy Hour at Home

A happy hour at home is a fun way to celebrate the holiday season. Set the mood for a good time by turning on upbeat music, light the candles, and create a warm and inviting atmosphere for your family to relax in. Open a few bottles of wine, whip up refreshing cocktails, and put out delicious appetizers. A holiday happy hour brings everyone together in a fun, light-hearted way. Plus it’s especially great for visiting family members who you haven’t seen in awhile, as it instantly puts everyone in a jolly mood. Just make sure to keep the conversation light, and don’t tread into “heavy” subjects – the whole point of a happy hour is to make everyone happy.

5 Inspiring Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Family

Satiate Your Soul

If you’re religious, invite your family members to attend church with you as a way to feel more connected with them on a deeper, spiritual level. If you consider yourself to be “spiritual, but not religious”, perhaps you’d feel joyful by giving back to your community. In that case, get your family together to pitch in at a soup kitchen to help feed the homeless. When you do activities that stir and satiate your soul (as a collective unit), you develop a stronger, more fulfilling bond with your family members. The holidays are always a great time to do things for others and to remember the deeper meaning behind the season.

5 Inspiring Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Family

Support Local Businesses

While we all love shopping online (for ease and convenience), shopping for gifts at local Mom & Pop shops and boutiques is a fun way to support your community, while spending time with your family. If your family hasn’t seen you in a while, show them your favorite nearby stores that carry unique items you can’t find anywhere else. When you support small businesses, you feel especially good knowing that you’re truly helping these family-owned companies.

5 Inspiring Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Family

Host a Family Game Night

Who can resist the silliness that comes along with a family game night? Whether you get a little competitive with your brother or you can’t wait to prove your smarts to your Dad, a game night is always a fun way to celebrate the holidays with your family. The whole point of game night is to loosen everyone up and get them laughing. Humor always helps to diffuse any tension and to help your family enjoy their time with one another.

5 Inspiring Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Family

Share Family Recipes

Every family has their own traditions, especially when it comes to cooking. Whether you love your Mom’s juicy meatloaf or you crave your Grandma’s home-made apple pie, the holidays are a great time to share family recipes with each other. Spend time in the kitchen learning and teaching each other how to make your favorite recipes. Not only will you satiate your cravings, but you’ll also create lasting memories that will nourish your spirit.

For more inspiring ways to celebrate the holidays with your family, check out this activity guide on I&C. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year!

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