5 Ways to Experience the Holidays Differently

Mighty Mommy shares five ways you and your family can break out of your regular holiday routine this season and instead experience the holidays differently. 

Cheryl Butler
3-minute read

The holiday season is a magical time filled with excitement and anticipation as families prepare for special moments with their loved ones.

Traditions rich with meaning, such as baking great-grandma’s gingerbread cake, are enjoyed. Families also enjoy starting their own traditions, such as creating whimsical gingerbread houses decorated with colorful gum drops and tinted icing that the kids help decorate.

Regardless of how you’ve celebrated in the past, it’s always fun and refreshing to shake things up and try new experiences.

Whatever you choose to do, see if you can do it together as a family.

Before you get swept away with the holiday rush, here are five festive ways you can experience the season in a whole new light.

5 New Experiences to Enjoy During the Holidays

  1. Try a New Ethnic Dish or Restaurant
  2. Attend a Community Event
  3. Bake New Recipes
  4. Volunteer Together
  5. Get Crafty with Snowflakes

Here they are in closer detail.

1. Try a New Ethnic Dish or Restaurant

One of the best parts of the holiday season is indulging in all the delicious treats and goodies that surround us. Pick one of the days or evenings you’re out Christmas shopping or running holiday errands to try a new restaurant, one that showcases a culture you’ve never tried before. If you love Chinese food, try a Thai place or a Japanese steakhouse instead. Get recommendations from friends and co-workers.

If cooking is your passion, whip up a culinary delight from Germany or France and dim all the lights except the Christmas tree and enjoy the serene ambience as well.

2. Attend a Community Event

Whether you live in the heart of a beautiful city or live in a quaint country town, during the holiday season your community probably offers a variety of entertainment. Tree lightings, local plays, a taste of the town where restaurants and bars come together to offer samples of their signature beverages and dishes, book signings at your library, art shows at nearby galleries, winter concerts at schools or churches, or even outdoor winter festivals with ice skating and horse-drawn carriage rides.

Check your chamber of commerce or town paper for a list of fun and festive attractions that you can enjoy in your own backyard.

3. Bake New Recipes

No matter the winter holiday that you and your family celebrate, grab your mixing bowl and favorite cookbook or online food site and choose some delicious new recipes to bake. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you tend to stick to brownies and bar cookies, get a hold of your rolling pin and give cutout sugar cookies a try. Maybe you’ve dreamed of making a pie from scratch or have always wanted to make homemade chocolate walnut fudge.

Take a break from all that shopping at the crazy malls and make time to do some baking as a family. While you’re at it, double your recipe and you can share with neighbors and co-workers. Yum!

4. Volunteer Together

It’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday season when we get caught up in the hype of shopping, running dozens of errands, and burning the candle at both ends trying to keep it all together while decorating, cooking, cleaning, organizing, and everything in between. It’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” not the most stressful time.

Rather than add one more task to your already overflowing plate, instead trade that time volunteering at a local charity or community spot in need. Food pantries need extra hands on deck during the holidays and so do pet shelters and soup kitchens. You might talk to your kids about adopting a local family in need and shopping for their Christmas gifts together rather than shopping for one another.

Whatever you choose to do, see if you can do it together as a family. This may even end up becoming a new tradition that you’ll all look forward to for years to come.

5. Get Crafty with Snowflakes

One of the highlights of the holiday season is the glitz and shimmer of all the beautiful decorations that surround our homes. Shiny ornaments, twinkling trees, the glow of a lovely Menorah—all these decorative items and accessories help to make our homes warm and festive.

A popular and timeless item to decorate with is snowflakes. These classic paper cutouts can be made as simply or elaborate as you’d like and are a really easy and fun way to entertain your kids for an afternoon.

Decorate your windows, mirrors, walls, and even hang them from your ceiling with invisible fish line.

Make them sparkle with glitter. And just as no two actual snowflakes are alike, your handcrafted ones will also be unique.

For some spectacular patterns and instructions for making snowflakes, visit this link.

For more ideas visit the Mighty Mommy Page at Quick and Dirty Tips.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.