It’s Christmas morning, the wrapping paper is torn to shreds and now resides in wadded piles at the edges of the room. The kids in your family are getting older now and there’s not quite so much prolonged fascination with the toys; new clothes are fun but only limitedly interesting. Electronics are great, but separating. The TV has somehow powered on and the male/female, kid/adult segregation is starting to happen.
But what do you do with the lull? How do you prevent your lovely holiday from turning into everyone in their corner with their nose in a device?
Well, why not take create some new, healthy family traditions? Might I suggest MOVING together?!
My nieces and nephews have always loved to take the dogs for a walk. They learned early on that when out for a walk, they got un-distracted attention from the adults. So I figure it makes sense to build on that. It’s a win-win. We move, avoid feeling the sluggish haze of rich food + all day sitting, keep the kids’ energy from overflowing, and DO SOMETHING TOGETHER.
So here are a few suggestions for things to do this holiday to get moving together:
- Go for a walk. OK, obvious. Especially since I literally just talked about it, but seriously. The best talks happen while walking. Sure, it might be cold outside, but that’s what coats and mittens are for. You’ll survive (and I’d argue you’ll be better off for it in a number of ways).
- Make a meal. From ingredients. Chop the vegetables. Peel the potatoes. Crush the garlic. Teach a [appropriately aged] child valuable knife skills/fine motor skills. Stir. Reach. Wash. There’s a reason that real cooking a full-on occupation. There’s a lot of work [read: movement] involved when you do it from scratch. Also great bonding time, AND mom doesn’t have to do it all herself.
- Hop on YouTube and do some yoga together. Now, this one might be a harder sell with the adults. I know I’d never convince mine to do this, but the kids are ALL OVER it. Don’t worry about the right clothes or the right mats or about being any good. 🙂 The sillier, the better – this is about making memories.
- Break out the childhood games or build an indoor obstacle course – whether there are children involved or not. How long has it been since you’ve REALLY played a good game of hide-and-seek, freeze tag, or sardines or built a proper fort?! These games are still fun, and a great opportunity to move in ways you probably haven’t in a while – bending down, curling up, hiding inside the bathroom cupboard!
- Eat a family meal on the floor. Serve the food buffet style and sit on pillows. Use a low coffee table if you need to. Getting everyone in a new position can help open up the conversation too.
- Learn & teach. If there are kids involved in your holiday, have them teach you a cool new move they’ve learned. It can be anything from something they picked up in ballet class to something they mostly made up after watching too many episodes of Power Rangers ( I don’t know, is that still a thing now? I’m a 90s kid, so it’s Power Rangers). Once you’ve learned their move, teach them one of yours: a fancy yoga pose, a dance move, ANYTHING really.
- Have a bonfire. It’s cold outside, I get it, but that’s the point of the fire! Grab some wool blankets, some hot cocoa, and the marshmallows (bonus points if you made them yourselves earlier!), and get your butts outside! You’ll have to build it to start – another great movement right there (and a great skill to teach one of the younger in the group, if there are any). Sit around and talk while the marshmallows roast, let your eyes and brain get some movement by finding constellations, if you’re a more introverted crowd try playing an old holiday radio drama by the fire on a Bluetooth speaker – the options are endless really!
No matter how you spend time with your family this holiday season, I hope that it is full of love, joyful chaos, and loads of movement.