5 Fresh Ways to Celebrate Family Holidays

Don’t let this holiday season turn into a chaotic stress-fest like I used to do.

Cheryl Butler
5-minute read
Episode #355

Tip #3: Celebrate the Winter Solstice

December 21st is Winter Solstice—the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. It’s been celebrated across the globe for thousands of years and signifies the return of light and life.  Winter Solstice celebrations are a meaningful way to gather with friends and honor the true spirit of the season.

I love the theme “Lighten Up” for a Winter Solstice. Use candles (flameless ones are great!) to illuminate your home and decorate with nature such as pine cones, branches you find in your yard strung with white lights and evergreens.

Solstice celebrations don’t need to be complicated, overly serious affairs; a solstice ritual can be as relaxed and simple as sharing a potluck meal with your neighbors and, for dessert, serve solstice cupcakes which you can place with candles and have your guests make a wish for the upcoming year.

Or go on an energy fast for the day by lighting candles and spending the day without television, cell phones, computers, or other unnecessary appliances and electronics. This is very calming right before Christmas arrives.

Tip #4: Gift Experiences

Instead of accumulating more stuff this holiday season, plan on giving some gifts that your family can enjoy together such as a trip to the theater for a play or a children’s museum or a weekend away that you can look forward to sometime in March or April when your natives are getting restless from being cooped up inside all winter. (Indoor water parks are a great get-away in mid-winter.)  Gifting experiences may not yield a material possession, but it does create something far more important—a treasured memory.

Tip #5:  Holiday Meditations

The holidays are a time of celebration and gathering with family and friends, a time to remember and appreciate our many blessings. But unfortunately sometimes our schedules are so jam-packed that we completely miss the point of why we celebrate to begin with. This year you can add a fresh, healthy twist to your holidays by meditating—you can do it alone, but I highly recommend you include your entire family. Meditation is a great way to enhance your sense of joy and peace, so this holiday season make time to take a deep breath, go inward, and refuel.  You can do this as a family right after breakfast with holiday music playing softly in the background.

You can also introduce your family to a guided meditation which brings a visual component to a very simple deep breathing exercise.  For three wonderful examples of kid-friendly guided meditations visit www.chopra.com and type in kid-friendly guided meditations.   See Also: 8 Ways to Keep Your Family Stress This Holiday Season

How do you keep things calm and bright in your household during the holiday season?  Share your thoughts in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


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.