The holidays are a great time to spend with family. Period. Whether it's in the comforts of your lovely home or spent together in some new exotic place, the holidays are celebrated wherever the heart is.
You're putting away the business for a week and the work phone is being left in your glove compartment as punishment for all the family time you've missed out on. Slippers are your new shoe of choice. You reshuffle your closet to get your flannel shirts ready for a week of action (or rather, inaction). The only reason you'll wear those chinos is for a holiday related party but until then it's going to be a coin toss between your favorite jeans or those amazing fleece pajamas.
Family fun night.
The holidays aren't just for getting good use out of your turtlenecks. And they're more than just watching that one Christmas movie for the hundredth time. Though it's a hallmark for the family, throw in a night where you put the phones away, turn off all the devices, and play some games together.
Write down all the board games and active games that you know on slips of paper. Put them in a hat and pick one out. When you get bored of one game, pick another from the hat. Continue until you're all gamed out.
Have yourself an ornament making party.
It seems that when your kids graduate from elementary school they stop making ornaments each year. Suddenly there's no new ornaments with messy handwriting. Really, can you ever have enough of those?
If you don't want that to fade away, then this might be the year to make it a new family tradition. Buy a bunch of plain ornaments, construction paper, string, and whatever drawing or painting supplies you think you'll need. See if the kids can replicate grandpa's flannel shirt and grandma's sweater. Hey, that's an endearing gift. Have fun with it and even invite a few family friends over.
Have a bake-off!
Just like your favorite TV stars you can have your own baking competition. Spend a day with the family making recipes of your favorite baked goods. At the end, everybody gets to vote on what they liked best about each dish. No mean ratings are allowed. Remember, a burnt cookie is just a first draft of a better cookie.
Adios, hometown. Whether you're heading out to a sunnier place this holiday or if you've got some travel in store to see family abroad, you're ready to get away. It'll be nice to shed the winter coats for the week.
Bring along your favorite family tradition.
Though you're not doing the gift giving in the living room this year, you can still bring a tradition along with you for the trip. It might be funny too if you're all dressed up in family Christmas pajamas in the lobby of your hotel. Family pajamas make it feel a bit like home so don't be shy with your awesome family.
Go beyond the sightseeing.
That town or resort you're heading to is great and all but what else can you see before you head back home? See if any locals know where the best beaches or hikes are. Ask around or do some searching online and maybe you'll get a unique experience you can't find on a postcard.
Avoid your phones!
Announce to the family like you're on a soapbox in the 1920's that there will be limited use of phones and the internet. It's time to hop out of the comfort zone and experience a unique geography that is awe inspiring! It's easier to guarantee a great trip when it's seen with eager eyes. While you can't manufacture that, limiting phones will avoid the constant updating and distracting back to photos of their friends at home where everybody is donning winter jackets.
The holidays are only as stressful as you make them. If you need time spent alone, plan on it. You are in control for the most part. If you're sick of being cooped up in the house all day, well, grab that winter coat and take a nice long walk. This is your time to decompress and don't feel like it has to be a constant social activity. You have a busy year ahead of you and this is your time to let it all go, if only for a few moments.