Creating Your Joy This Holiday Season

by Renee Franklin 

Traditions remind of us to immerse ourselves in the blissful present,celebrate connections with our loved ones and bring our hearts front and center as we give to others. The following activities will help you place togetherness at the center of your holiday celebration to create an enchanting season of joy.

Annual Ornaments

Throw a family craft party where everyone makes one new handmade ornament each year. This way the tree is always evolving and everyone can track milestones.

Cookie Day

Devote one day to making Christmas cookies. Invite friends or family members over and go to town with decorating the delicious fruits of your labor.

Christmas Concert 

Take in a local performance of “A Christmas Carol” or enjoy a choir concert to relish in the magical mood of the season.

Dine Out 

Take a break from cooking, shopping and hosting, and stop into a local restaurant to treat yourself to lunch.

Lend a Hand

Volunteer with your family, friends or co-workers. Whether you choose to deliver meals, run a coat drive or distribute gifts to less fortunate families, spreading goodwill will put you in touch with the true meaning of the holidays.

See the Sights

Gather a group and tour your city’s neighborhoods to take in the stunning Christmas lights and elaborate displays. Remember to pack a supply of hot chocolate and cookies!

Trim a Tree

Get together with friends for a tree-trimming party. Rotate the hosting house each year, bust out the wine, bring out the appetizers and crank some holiday tunes while you deck the halls.

Take a Hike

Take in the refreshing crisp air and hike local trails in the snow to enjoy the beauty of nature under a blanket of fresh snow.

Acts of Kindness

Choose an of kindness and make it happen this season; help shovel a neighbors driveway or send a gift basket to a co-worker.

Kids’ Secret Santa

Inject some mystery into the gift giving by having the kids choose a sibling or friend’s name from a hat for them to make a gift for.


The first night the tree is decorated, sleep beside it under the glow of Christmas lights.

Surprise Box

Wrap a gift, and on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the person who finds a hidden gift tag under their chair at dinner gets to open the box.

Family Portrait

Wear your favorite holiday finery and pose for a portrait to print, frame and hang-up in your home.

Story Time

Revisit the holiday classics with your nearest-and-dearest. Curl up on the couch for a marathon of  your favorite season films, whether your stlye is “It’s a Wonferful Life” or “A Christmas Story.”



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