Creating Low-Cost (and Meaningful) Holiday Traditions!
If 2020 has stretched you a bit thin, you may wonder where to find time, energy and funds to make this holiday season festive. Fortunately, you just need a little ingenuity to maximize the fun, minimize the cost and stress — and maybe even start some new traditions.
- Carve a jack-o’-lantern and eat it too. Try a sugar pumpkin that you can roast along with the seeds (like this Roasted Sugar Pumpkin Recipe at https://snack-girl.com/snack/roasted-sugar-pumpkin-recipe/) after carving. Or avoid mess (and knives) by letting kids decorate mini-gourds or pumpkins with paints or markers.
- Do an online Halloween party with an at-home scavenger hunt challenge: Give everyone 15 minutes to come up with the best costume they can. Honors for Most Creative, Silliest and Scariest!
- Arrange a socially distanced neighborhood costume car parade.
- Stay safe during COVID-19. Check out Halloween safety guidelines from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/.
- Change up Thanksgiving dinner. Who says it has to be turkey this year? Try Tips and Recipes for a Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner (https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/190949/tips-and-recipes-for-a-kid-friendly-thanksgiving-dinner. Better yet, let the little ones help you cook.
- Create Thanksgiving decorations together. See First 5 LA’s Learning Between Generations (https://www.first5la.org/parenting/articles/learning-between-generations-695/?language=zh) for “Hand Turkey” directions!
- Play 30 Gratitude Games and Activities for Kids to Practice Thankfulness (https://bestow.com/blog/gratitude-games), or try one of these fun, family-friendly 30 Cooperative Games for All Ages (https://www.ultimatecampresource.com/camp-games/cooperative-games).
Winter Festivals of Light (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Divali and others)
- Return to your roots. What did your great-grandparents do to mark a holiday? Whether drumming, dancing, singing or praying is part of your heritage, give it a try this year.
- Get creative with gifts. Stick to a firm dollar limit, agree on a no-buy holiday (only homemade, upcycled, or previously-loved items allowed — organize a no-contact toy exchange with friends), or give the gift of your time (coupons good for chores or a special time together). Play Homemade Secret Santa — each family member draws a name out of a hat and must create something for the person they pick.
- Reuse wrapping paper or make your own from paper grocery bags that kids decorate. For more information on recycling, visit https://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/rethinkla/recycle/.
New Year’s Eve
- Make resolutions fun. A 10-minute phone call to a friend every day? Ice cream sundaes once a month? More family game nights?
- Dress up. Even if you aren’t going out, looking nice for your at-home celebration makes it feel special for everyone.
- Snuggle up. Get together in a big pile and read together. Give kisses (real or chocolate)!
- Have a family gratitude moment. Even if the past year has been hard, what are each of you thankful for? For more ideas on cultivating gratitude, visit www.first5la.org/parenting/first-5-las-50-ways-to-show-gratitude-during-the-holiday-season.