The stress of prepping for Christmas—shopping for gifts, booking travel, planning the menu, preparing your home for guests—can easily steal away the simple joy of the Christmas season itself.
We invite you to slow down and plan for some Christmas activities that will add meaning and memories to your holiday season.
As we continue our sustainable Christmas series, we offer you 8 ideas for enjoying a meaningful holiday season.
1. Include a letter in your Christmas cards.
Rather than sending impersonal and generic Christmas cards this season (which inevitably get thrown away), include a family “update” letter in your holiday mailing.
We send these letters each year, sharing some of the highlights of our year with friends and families. We always get comments about how much people appreciate knowing what’s going on in our lives!
2. Host a neighborhood holiday game night.
Bring back the neighborly spirit this Christmas season by hosting a holiday game night, complete with hot cocoa and fun Christmas-themed games. Invite neighbors and their children over so you can get to know them better and building lasting relationships with the people in your community.
3. Bake Christmas cookies or other holiday goodies.
When many of us picture the Christmas season, holiday baking comes to mind. But when was the last time you took a few hours to have fun baking Christmas cookies or other holiday treats?
Children especially love to help out in the kitchen, and this makes for long-lasting memories for all of you.
It’s not just Santa who delights in a plate of cookies on Christmas Eve! Consider sharing your newly-baked goodies with neighbors and friends. Haven’t met the new neighbor who moved across the street earlier this fall? This is your perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and share some Christmas cheer!
4. Visit a nursing home or homebound neighbors and friends.
The Christmas season can feel extra lonely for our neighbors who are homebound or living within a nursing home community, especially if they don’t have family members nearby to visit.
Taking an hour or two outside of your day to visit will be the highlight of their day.
Help Santa out by bringing along a small gift with you that will brighten their day, like a vase of brightly-colored flowers or hand lotion. Your children or grandchildren are also welcome to join you!
5. Plan a Christmas caroling party.
The lost art of Christmas caroling… help revitalize this cheery tradition by making the circuit around your neighborhood singing favorite Christmas carols. We love this guide for organizing a Christmas caroling party!
Have young children or grandchildren? We can guarantee they’ll be your most enthusiastic caroling choir members!
6. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or other organization.
Share your blessings this holiday season by giving to those who have fallen on hard times.
If you’re local to the Nashville, TN area, the Nashville Rescue Mission offers several different volunteer opportunities, including kitchen volunteers, leading nightly children’s programming, and sorting donations. We are supporters of Graceworks Ministries and One Gen Away in our hometown of Franklin because of the tremendous outreach they have in our local community.
Does your church or local community center host a special Christmas meal or clothing drive? Consider making volunteering a part of your yearly Christmas family tradition!
7. Spread some happy with your words.
Spread Christmas cheer with a big smile and “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” on your lips all season. It’s easy to go through our days on autopilot, not noticing the other people you encounter, so your warm greeting may make someone’s day!
8. “Ohh” and “ahh” over Christmas light displays.
Pour some hot cocoa in to-go cups (reusable, of course), bundle up, and pile in the car for a tour of twinkling Christmas lights with the whole family. Your playlist for the drive? Christmas songs, naturally.
If you’re in the Middle Tennessee area, Gaylord Opryland always goes all out when it comes to their “Country Christmas” light display! Take photos in front of their mighty tall Christmas tree and marvel at their 3 million light display spread across the hotel’s inner and outer courtyards. It’s also free to view the lights!
Cheekwood Botanical Gardens also offers a beautiful Christmas light display.
But nothing beats an old-fashioned tour of your neighborhood, admiring the lights adorning the homes that surround yours.
We hope that you’ll make time to share meaningful moments with your family and friends this Christmas season!
KEEP READING: We have the final installment of our sustainable Christmas blog post series coming next week; be sure to check back to the Stoney Creek Farm blog for more sustainable Christmas ideas!