The holiday season is here! Calendars are filling up with places to be and lists are filling up with things to get done. It can seem like a nearly impossible task to fit one more thing into the hustle and bustle we are already experiencing. While it is fun to see familiar faces on various social media platforms in smiling, picture-perfect posts as they go about celebrating, there is nothing like the real thing.
Rather than abandoning the idea of figuring out how to carve out time you feel like you do not have and actually creating stress (One more thing to do! One more place to be!), look for ways to combine that crazy to-do list with quality time with friends and family.
Those of us who host, and even those of us who attend, various holiday get-togethers, school events, work parties, and everything else that gets scheduled during this time, have to bring something along to eat! That is on top of simply feeding ourselves and our families. This is a great opportunity to send out an invitation to cook things up together!
We all have family “must-have” side dishes that often exist nowhere outside of our family. You can host a recipe exchange and get some of your holiday cooking out of the way at the same time. Or, get together and knock out some weekday dinners that everyone can take home so you have one less thing to do when you get home from work.
Good Housekeeping has the 40 Best Make-Ahead Meals to Feed Everyone on Busy Weeknights to give you some cooking club ideas!
There is a whole world of unique, wonderful things that you only see by walking around a store. Make it an event by inviting friends to come on a mini-vacation. Invite your group to “travel” in their own city and the surrounding areas. Explore parts of the city you may not normally go to. See small towns like Ashland with historic downtowns. Find hidden gems on main streets in Papillion, Ralston, Bennington, and Elkhorn, just to name a few!
You can swap favorite local haunts and have each participant plan a stop along the way. You will be catching up, finding out new things about your friends, and knocking things off of your list at the same time!
Take a look at Visit Omaha and shop like a tourist!
You are all together and that rarely happens. Time to take it to the next level! You always learn something unexpected when you are trying to guess what that stick figure is doing or hear an answer to a question like, “What was your most embarrassing moment?” There are all kinds of party games for all kinds of gatherings, whether a small, intimate dinner or a large family party!
Real Simple has 30 Fantastic Party Games to Make Your Next Gathering a Blast!
Think beyond the family photo shoot to the families and friends and pets photo shoot! Consider finding a local photographer that you can book for a day and invite everyone to smile! You gain the advantage of splitting the cost for memorable holiday photos while catching up with everyone.
Once you print all of the amazing photos you take, The Spruce has 22 Photo Display Ideas for Showing Off Your Favorite Moments!
No matter how you choose to get together and what you choose to do, the true joy of the holiday season is in spending time with the people we love and receiving the gift of getting to know them better. We may even discover that the list of those people grows as we reconnect “offline”!
Wishing you the happiest of holiday Seasons!