Just wanted to take a quick minute to say, Happy Holidays from Santa Monica! This year has been a whirlwind of new beginnings. Kindergarten started in August — days after our oldest turned 5 and left some of her ‘little kid’ fears behind. Fear of ‘going fast’ on the ice. Fear of climbing monkey bars. Fear of leaving her friends from preschool to start Kindergarten at a new school with no familiar faces. Most fears handled with grace and of course, a sh*t ton of reluctance. Then came the holidays which were different too.
This year we drove the concept of giving during the holidays. While our oldest had a laundry list of items she hoped to receive, giving gifts was not top of mind. Why would it be for a 5-year-old? We decided to do a few things differently this year in hopes it might help her (and us) remember to fully give and experience this holiday season. Here’s 5 things we did to help make this Christmas memorable and fulfilling.
1.) #FitFam Activities. This year we took to hikes and ice skating. Hold loved ones tight and enjoy the night (while burning some calories) on the ice or the trails.
2.) The Spirit of Giving. We adopted a family this year! It was our first time doing this and I loved it. I enjoy that that enabled us to be able to provide gifts and meals for others and tool the focus off of ourselves. Harlowe loved helping me pick out warm clothes, shoes, socks and underwear for the kids. It was a reminder to me of what the holidays are truly about.
3.) Volunteering Your Time. The kids weren’t quite ready for this, but I volunteered at a Mission here in LA to feed the homeless. We fed 1,700 men, women and children. It was equal parts tough and rewarding and I couldn’t imagine the holiday season without this. The kids will come along when they are teenagers… I hope!
4.) Customize Your Advent Calendar. We had a DIY type of advent calendar that allowed for us to choose what each day brought and I was able to fill some days with activities like making cookies. In full disclosure, she seemed to still me more excited about small gifts received, but I like to think the activities were more memorable.
5.) Remember Time is Your Best Gift. Whether you can get away to volunteer or not, you may be able to slip away with just the immediate family to share some quality time. Draw, read or watch a favorite flick together just to realign and share a laugh. We love reading The Polar Express each night, but it will get old so share you favorites in the comments below.
Happy holidays you all and thank you for reading!