In the world of social media and Pinterest, it can be really easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of ideas for creating family memories, traditions, and building connection throughout the holidays. Add in trauma and parenting challenging behaviors, and it can make us want to fast-forward through the holidays and hope they don’t even come around next year. But we know connection is important. It’s what our kids need the most, especially during a time where trauma can rear its ugly head and come out at the worst possible times. When we are prioritizing connection, we are prioritizing our kids. For more practical tips for parenting through the holiday season, check out a recent blog post: Thriving Through the Holidays.
We’ve compiled a list of 16 ideas (plus a free download for a fun Cootie Catcher of connection activities & more ideas at the bottom of the page) that are simple and easy ways to promote connection in your home throughout the holiday season. Whether you decide to do one of the activities or all of them, just remember that it’s not about the activity itself – it’s about the connection.
Okay, are you ready for our ideas?! Here we go:
Pop popcorn & watch a Christmas movie together
Decorate your windows for Christmas with window or Expo markers
Do something kind for a neighbor Some ideas: bring them cookies, take their trash to the curb, drop a Christmas ornament on their front porch with a note. The ideas are endless for this!
Hot chocolate tasting with a Christmas story! Make 3-4 different kinds of hot chocolate (add caramel to one, add marshmallows to another, add whipped cream, and one regular) Kids have to guess which is which! Follow up with a Christmas story!
Paint Christmas rocks & deliver them. Go find some medium or large sized rocks. Paint them in Christmas themes and then go leave them in neighbors’ yards or public parks!
Bake or decorate cookies together!
Work on a Christmas puzzle while snacking on a candy cane. Here are some printable ones (for older kids)
Create a popcorn bar with Christmas additions to add in (candy cane pieces, gingerbread pieces, red & green M&Ms, etc.)
Have a Pajama Pancake Party! Make Christmas-themed pancakes in pajamas & watch a Christmas short film on Youtube (Suggestion: A Shorter Letter)
Last-minute Secret Santa! Do a quick draw to buy a present for another family member. Hop in the car & run to the dollar store. Everybody pick out a gift for their person for under $5. You could also just find something in your house to wrap and give to your person!
Create a silly Christmas TikTok, short video on Toontastic, or just a play or musical (think short & sweet!)