Family fun nights take on a whole new “glow” and deeper meaning in December, as the holiday spirit ramps up, and the number of days until special events like Christmas, Kwaaza, Three Kings Day, Hanukkah, Omisoka, and St. Lucia Day, dwindle and draw us nearer to the most relevant celebrations of the ending year. Family bonds are strengthened and taken to a whole new level of closeness during the month, as excitement and expectation are heightened by the traditions and rituals which are practiced, re-invented, and hacked to bring greater happiness to loved ones, extended family, and cherished friends.
In this ever-spinning world, change is constant, often earth shaking, but those warm and fuzzy feelings which surround us in December, as expectation and joy build within each family member, are to be shared in unique ways that bring a “wholeness” to the family unit.
Embracing Holiday Spirits of Connectiveness - Being Present
Getting fully engaged in the sights, sounds, fragrance, foods, music, magic, lights and love, hopes and hugs, goodwill and giving of this special season, evokes an incentive to be truly authentic and present, as families come together on their designated family night. Putting away the digital devices, and making special “selves” or “Groupie” holiday pictures, in a backdrop the whole family has helped to design and create, is an epic activity for sharing with all of those who are cherished, and it is a tangible activity for inventing a new tradition to bring into the coming years. Baking and decorating delicious eatables and family favorites like gingerbread, and caramel apple spice cookies, together, enhances the “hands-on” spirit of this festive time: fills the home with sensory scents of comfort and the joy of tasting, and perpetuates the unique warmth that each family exudes as they come together to play. Vintage recipes, handed down from older generations, revitalize and carry forward cherished traditions that are truly part of family history, and priceless to preserve.
Immersed in the Magic of Holidays
What better time to fully experience the festivities of the season by attending the special events that coincide with it? Family nights are the perfect time to visit holiday markets and seek one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items for those who will be gifted. The musicals and concerts held in December often celebrate the holidays in incredibly beautiful vocal and instrumental strains. Choosing an event to attend, such as: Elf the Musical, or a Christmas Carol, attending a concert of Mannheim Steamroller with its incredible sounds and flashing multimedia effects, and dashing off to Disney on Ice, World of Enchantment, which is always glowing with holiday atmosphere for families from around the globe, enhance the mesmerizing special events of the season. Engaging in new events such as caroling in the neighborhood, ice skating, snow tubing, taking a horse-drawn sleigh or carriage ride, or inventing a new desert recipe that incorporates ingredients the whole family picks, together; bring each member the glowing and deeply personal holiday memories which last forever.
Being Selfless as a Family
The anticipation and excitement of the holidays is captivating for families and slowly builds during the “advent” days as decorating, cooking, baking, and the search for “perfect” gifts, becomes all-consuming. However, “giving-back” by volunteering in community service projects, lets every family embrace the true spirit of the season by volunteering where help is most needed, being thankful for blessings not everyone has, and truly experiencing the feelings of brotherhood with the community, as those who have less are given their chance to enjoy the wondrous and magical holidays. Adopting a family in need at Christmas, gathering and distributing vital supplies like warm blankets, and stuffing stockings for the homeless, donating or serving hot food at a food bank, teaches by example, the invaluable lesson for children, tweens and teens, that empathy, compassion, and caring are the priceless gifts that each person can give to others, to improve lives and spread happiness at the holidays and beyond. Selflessness, caring more about people than things, can become another priceless and epic tradition to establish and practice throughout the year.
Epic Holiday Family Fun -
Let this December be the most enjoyable family time imaginable by participating in uniquely meaningful, new, and very special activities that embrace the season and enhance the connectivity that shapes strong and lasting bonds. This list of adventurous and purely fun “to-do’s” is designed to bring lasting joy for everyone:
1. Take a holiday vintage train ride to see the lights, and scenic sites of surrounds. From East to West, these Polar Express style rides expose the wonders not seen at other times of the year.
2. Pull out the sleeping bags or make blanket tents and camp out near the twinkling, solar string, sea glass or meteor shower strings of lights picked out by the family for an unusual/trendy Christmas tree.
3. Pick up the very 1st versions of Lucky Poke Games Advent calendars and take turns poking holes for unexpected surprises and prizes, from near and far, all 24 days until Christmas.
4. Play “hands-free hang the ornament” with a partner and decorate your tree in a challenging way. This game ensures laughter and creates a totally different tree look, for a memory making event like none other.
5. Build a holiday backdrop together with hand-made snowflakes, glitter, the latest lighting shapes like meteor shower, greenery, ribbon, personal favorite tree ornaments, or large outdoor stars and orbs from past holidays, and new ones, and take groupies and selfies, in specially chosen holiday attire, to share with friends and family near and far.
6. Take a well-planned Christmas break family trip to resorts like Smugglers Nest, in Northern Vermont, for bonfires and snow tubing at a mountain side lodge; Santa Claus town in Indiana, Chocolate Town in Hershey Pennsylvania, or a merry- cruise on a Disney ship. Arranged ahead, each family member gets a vote for their favorite destination, and everyone makes priceless memories.
There are only so many special occasions throughout the calendar year. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and numerous other December festivities have very rigorous events and agendas which all families strive to attend. No plan is perfection, but if plans are made early, decorating is done during advent, a budget is followed, and time is designated specifically for special family nights, all month long and into the new year, success will be achieved.
For ALL and From the Heart
All of us at the Lucky Poke Games wish every family the unbridled joy of the celebrations they love and engage with during the final month of the calendar year. May your special observances be wondrous, beautiful, and filled with love and peace, and may the New Year bring every family a multitude of blessings.