If you’re anything like me, once you get home from work, you’re exhausted and tend to fall into the same routine of making dinner and watching TV before you fall asleep on the couch. But the Holidays are for spending time with those you love and creating family memories. Let’s face it – watching TV together every night doesn’t exactly create lasting family memories. So I challenge you to stray from your mundane routine and really focus on spending quality time with your friends and family.
And what better way to relax and enjoy a cold winter night than a roaring fire? Gather your loved ones to create family memories around the fireplace this season and enjoy the warmth and brightness it brings. It’s sure to attract young children, teenagers, and adults alike.
Here are a few ideas to keep your family entertained around the fireplace, great for free-entertainment when all your relatives venture into town!
Pass-Along Story Telling
Time to get those creative juices flowing! Start off by one person telling the beginning of a made-up story. Once he’s talked for a few minutes, have him “pass the story along” to the next person in the circle. This person will pick up where the last person finished off and will continue. The story keeps going until the last family member concludes it.
To make the pass-along story more challenging, try having each person tell just one sentence at a time, or even one word at a time! There’s usually lots of giggles when we play this game because my family likes throwing in some crazy story details.
Decorate for the Holidays
A roaring fire is the perfect backdrop for some family holiday decorating! Bring in the tree, tinsel, ornaments, and more. Turning your home into a winter wonderland will be fun for the whole family! Let the kids place ornaments on trees and string the cranberries and popcorn on string to make garland. Make it a real experience by baking some holiday cookies and turning on some Christmas music. This is sure to become a yearly tradition that your family looks forward to each year.
We’re all soooo busy taking care of our everyday duties that sometimes we forget to sit down and just chat with our loved ones. Carve out some special time for this alone! Turn off the distractions, make some hot cocoa, and sit next to the cozy fire. Everyone is sure to really relax and the conversation will flow.
This one goes along with the last. Chatting with your family all cozy around the fireplace, creates the perfect opportunity to share memories. Maybe even pull out those old photo albums (the kids might be shocked that you have them all printed, not on any electronic device) and reminisce. Here are some ideas:
- Your favorite birthday party as a child
- An embarrassing moment as a teenager
- The day you met your spouse
- Your happiest memory of your parents or grandparents
- The day one of your children was born
When you share these memories, you help your children relate to you and will them stories they can pass on to their children. While your children’s limited years on the planet might not give them as many memories, they might still enjoy sharing childhood experiences or laughing about funny family moments.
Do Some Crafting
Arts & crafts make for fun activities to pass the time and make some wonderful memories. You can keep the crafts as simple or complex as you’d like and you can tailor them to the ages of the kids. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:
- Pull out the paint and canvases. Maybe paint some Happy Little Trees.
- Make some paper snowflakes
- Make some fun additions for the garden. Like these cute plant markers!
Board & Card Games
There are so many fun games you can play with your family and friends that will keep everyone engaged and entertained. Some of my favorites to play with the fam:
- Pictionary. Always a great one if you want to laugh. Sub-par drawing skills make things even funnier.
- Catan. My favorite! A super fun strategy game.
- Cards Against Humanity. For the teenage and adult family-members only.
Read a Book
Find a good book a read it aloud. Picture books for the kiddos, or choose a fun novel and read a chapter each night together. Short stories and poems are great too!