01 of 07
Plan Ahead for Fun
Going home to visit parents or hosting them at your house can be great over the holidays, but a lot depends on making plans for the group to spend time together not only at home but out of the house as well. It's easy to sit back, relax, and go into a food coma while drinking a little too much eggnog, but getting up and doing things will keep everyone energized and interested. A few months before, start checking out your local city calendar and see if there are holiday themed activities, shows, or other events to attend. Then purchase the tickets in advance so no one can say no to your well-planned schedule!Continue to 2 of 7 below.
02 of 07
Best Decorations Award
It doesn't cost anything to bundle up and go for a walk around the neighborhood to see the decorations your community and local businesses have put up to celebrate. If you want to make it extra fun, create your own family award and present it to a home or a business that you all agree has done the best job - along with some homemade holiday treats. You'll be amazed at how much people will appreciate your kind words and yummy snacks - and it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside as well.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
Host a Get Together With Your Friends
If your family is coming to see you, invite some of your friends over for an afternoon of appetizers, cocktails and a gift grab. Your family will enjoy meeting some of your inner circle, and a gift grab is a fun way for people to get to know each other who have never met before. If you've never participated in a gift grab, check out the instructions and tell everyone coming that participation is mandatory! Just remember - the higher the number, the better.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
04 of 07
Go to Church or Wherever You Worship
Sometimes in the crazy, busy activity of the holidays, we forget what we're celebrating in the first place. If you haven't been to church, synagogue or whatever house of worship you grew up in for a while, spending time with family is a perfect time to reconnect with your religious community. Most Jewish communities will have a Hanukkah celebration with dreidels, jelly donuts and latkes as well as a menorah lighting, whether at a synagogue or a community center, and Christmas Eve services are always well-attended and beautiful, focusing on the true meaning of Christmas and how important it is to Christians around the world. If you aren't a member of the place where you attend an event, make a donation in honor of your family - a nice gesture that will be very much appreciated.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
See a Musical
No matter where you live, somewhere within driving distance there is some group, from professionals to elementary schools, putting on a musical performance about the holidays. Whether it's a full-scale production by the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall or a local community theater performing "White Christmas," nothing is more fun and festive than watching a performance filled with "ho ho ho's" and music that tugs at the heartstrings. Buy tickets well in advance to make sure you get to see the show, then sit back and relax into the sometimes corny but genuinely fun atmosphere of a Christmas musical.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
06 of 07
Adopt a Family
If your family has had a good year and can afford to give something back, adopt a family for the holidays. Find out through a local organization like Soldier's Angels, for example, about families in your area that are struggling and in need of some serious Christmas cheer, and then spend an afternoon together as a family shopping for them - gifts, necessities, even an entire Christmas dinner. There is no better feeling than giving generously to people in need, especially at this time of the year when feeling festive can be particularly difficult for some.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
07 of 07
Start a Holiday Tablecloth
Family heirlooms are some of the most precious possessions many people own, one-of-a-kind items that are handed down from generation to generation. Start your own tradition and create an heirloom for future generations by having a signature tablecloth. Have everyone sign their name each year, with the date, in indelible ink and then, if you are crafty, you can stitch on top of the signature with colored yarn to make it extra special.