Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Revamping the Holidays :: Memories in the Making

I sometimes feel that holidays can become rather obnoxious with mundane undertones and silent negativity. We allow stress to overshadow these special occasions which in turn can put a damper on times that should be joyfully spent with loved ones and friends. We take these times for granted and keep expectations higher than they should be.

Why do we allow these things to steal our joy? I enjoy our family; my family enjoys our family. Simply put, I think the real problem with holiday gatherings can be found in the lack of new memories being made and the routineness we face yearly.

Does your Thanksgiving sounds similar to this?

The week before the big day, you sit down and plan out the feast of feasts which no mortal family could possibly consume in one setting, less alone three. Two to three days prior to the event, you make your shopping list, head to store, delegate family members to help circumnavigate everyone else in the store doing the exact same thing only to realize, your a day short on the last can of cranberry sauce.

On Turkey Day, you wake up earlier than you have all year to baste the bird, start the dressing (especially if you live in the South) and proceed with your marathon cooking spree while family members arrive (bringing more food) talking about Black Friday sales, the weather and how last year's aspic was prettier. Just so you know, I don't really make aspics!

After a lunch you were barely hungry for, the guys gather to watch the game, the ladies talk/gossip/yak about the kids, sales, getting ready for Christmas, know, what us ladies talk about! And then, in about five to six hours, we eat again....

{Now, before I go any further, I want to make it very clear that I really enjoy cooking, talking, planning Christmas, and a slew of other things that I do with my family. But sometimes, change can be a lot of fun.}

Every year, our Thanksgiving goes pretty much the same way. Some years, we spend it with different family members or at different locales, but it really is very similar. And, holidays shouldn't just be routine. They are our special times, our several chances a year to gather as a family and enjoy one another. So, why not change it up every once and a while???

How can you do that, you ask? Get creative!

One of my favorite shows as a child was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving - why not have a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving themed day? Don't bother with the turkey and gravy - let the kids prep lunch for a change! I don't know any child who would turn down the opportunity to devour jelly beans, pretzels, popcorn, buttered toast and ice cream sundaes. I know for a fact, this would be one Thanksgiving for scrapbook!

Break out some new games - families that play together, stay together! You don't have to use the old standbys like Monopoly or Clue, unless you just want too. Head to your local specialty toy store for unique games no one has played before. Or, visit the library and check out a book on children's games. You'll find several great games to play outside, including King of the Mountain and Red Rover. Disc golf makes for another great family outing after lunch.

My brother-in-law suggested renting a bounce house and making gourmet Panini's this year. Can I just say, that I LOVE this idea! How fun and easy and unique - definitely new memories being made.

It's easy to change up a traditional holiday and still enjoy the family time. Be sure to let everybody know a couple of days in advance of your plans, to encourage maximum participation and to build excitement. Remember, creativity is key and really, the sky is the limit when reinventing your family gatherings!

How have you change the way your family celebrates not only Thanksgiving, but also other holidays?

1 comment:

  1. It’s an amazing blog with lots of suggestion to make our holidays memorable. And I’m hundred percent agree with you that we have to change the traditions to celebrate our holidays. We should spend some time with family members. We can also go outside with friends. After reading your blog, I have decided to visit yellowstone national park bus tours. My family likes natural places to visit so I have decided this trip according to their choice. Hope they’ll like this.