* Make your most stressful holiday events a celebration in and of themselves. If you hate to decorate a tree, make it family fun tree night. Proclaim dinner to be elf pizza (easy to order and it’s what the elf’s do) so you don’t have to cook, pump up the music and start a tradition. Give everyone old and young a task. The family will look forward to it each year.
* Make Sunday afternoon or some day – bake day. Have fun baking with family and friends. Host a cookie exchange to increase the variety of cookies during the season.
* Start a new tradition for each holiday each year. Family members love the traditional aspect of holiday celebrations. Each year add to your own traditions by trying something new. For Thanksgiving, make it a pre-dinner tradition to tell each family member or guest at the table one thing about them that makes them special. For Christmas, have each individual select a figure from the nativity scene and one-by-one tell the story of Jesus’ birth from the figure’s eye. Include animals, angels, shepherds, wisemen and their unique point-of-view. This is an excellent activity for children of all ages 2 – 99. Or, prepare a birthday cake for baby Jesus and sing happy birthday on Christmas day. For Hanukkah, have the youngest and the oldest tell the family the meaning behind the celebration and the importance of each element. Enjoy the differing views. For New Year’s Eve, create a box of wishes for the New Year and select a wish out each week throughout the year. A wish for a family movie night, for a day without arguing, a parent’s night out – be creative.