Whether you are age 9 or 99, there are plenty of ways to spread and receive holiday cheer this year — without breaking the bank. Here’s a list of 20 personal favorites from your friends and staff of Wider Circle. Which ones will you try? 

  1. Channel your inner artist: Design hand-made cards with a personal message inside. Hand-deliver them to your neighbors with a smile or a hug.
  2. Hunt for the holidays: Organize a holiday-themed treasure hunt at a local outdoor space for participants to find as many hidden objects as possible (think gnomes, elves, Christmas ornaments, etc.). This activity is great for brain health and physical fitness.
  3. For the young ones in your life: Wrap up seven children’s books and put them under the tree.  Each night of the week leading up to Christmas day, unwrap and read one book. These can be books you already have!
  4. Cook up a family tradition: Make old family recipes together. For example: Auntie’s Tamales, Mom’s Cookies, Grandma’s Famous Meatloaf!
  5. Take a neighborhood light tour: Drive around and see who (or which side of the car) can find the most holiday lights.
  6. Turn #5 into a walking tour: Invite family and friends for a walk around the block. Put away the phones and just enjoy the lights and each other’s company.
  7. Share your heritage and traditions: Invite neighbors over for hot cider or a cookie exchange and learn about holiday traditions in other countries.
  8. Celebrate those no longer with you: Remember the relatives and friends that have passed by sharing stories. Talk about how they liked to celebrate the holiday and any joyful memories.
  9. Give back, it feels amazing: Help pass out food at a local shelter or make a hot meal for a neighbor in need. 
  10. Help a busy parent of young children: Read stories to or play a favorite game with children who are out of school so the parents can get ready for the holidays.
  11. Hold a holiday game night: Have hot chocolate with marshmallows and a candy cane while you enjoy a favorite game, old or new. How about Holiday BINGO? 
  12. Surprise the kids on Christmas Day: Make reindeer food (oats and colored paper confetti) and Santa footprints (flour or baking powder) and leave a trail outside for the kids to find when they wake up in the morning. 
  13. Don’t forget the delivery workers: Set a basket of goodies by the front door — water, cookies, fruit, nuts, chips, etc. — with a sign that says: “Thank you and help yourself!”
  14. Try a new game: The Canasta card game or Azul board game are a few of our favorites. 
  15. Attend your local town holiday parade: If you can, walk to the parade for exercise and to avoid the parking hassle. 
  16. Offset the winter blues: Start a shared gratitude journal with those who live in your family unit. It’s a great reminder of all your blessings.  
  17. Decorate your front door (or your child’s) like a present: With a bit of wrapping paper from the dollar store and any decorations you like, you can transform your door into a giant gift. 
  18. Spruce up the house with homemade garlands: Popcorn garlands double as a fun family activity and an inexpensive decoration for the tree or windows. Add some color to your popcorn garlands by using red cranberries.
  19. Sweeten someone’s holiday with homemade cookies: Although you may not want to keep too many treats in the house, there may be others who would love the kindness of home-baked goodies or a traditional treat from your culture. Consider those who may not have family nearby or have to work over the holidays.
  20. SMILE at everyone: It’s an instant spirit booster for all involved!

Happy Holidays from your friends at Wider Circle!

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About the author: Editorial Team