When our children are young it’s easy to create holiday memories around writing letters to Santa and talking about flying reindeer. As our children get older, it can be more challenging to keep the magic alive. But just because family dynamics change, doesn’t mean that you can’t create lasting holiday memories.
Ideas for Creating Holiday Memories
Volunteering is especially meaningful this time of year. As we take a moment to feel grateful for everything we have, we can also reach out to those who are less fortunate. As a family you can research where the needs may be in your community, whether that is a food pantry that needs donations or the local animal shelter that could use help walking dogs.
Try a completely new activity as a family! Maybe this year is the first time you take your family to go caroling or attend a cooking class to learn to fry the perfect latke. Trying new things helps stimulate creativity and get to know yourself better. These experiences can create powerful memories and create new traditions for you to carry on in years to come.
Friends and family love getting a holiday card or newsletter. And while letter writing duty tends to fall to one member of the family, this year, get everyone involved. Sit down as a family and share your joys and accomplishments from the year. Everyone has an opportunity to share as you reflect back on the year you’ve had. Take the time to gather your list of newsletter recipients together and address the envelopes as a family.
Many of us have happy childhood memories of experiences we’ve had during the holidays. This year, try reliving those memories. It can be something like recreating the family photo that is displayed on the mantle or making a trip back to your family’s favorite Christmas tree farm. Reconnecting with those old memories can also have a positive effect on your mental health. A 2019 study from the University of Cambridge in England found that the ability to remember pleasant events in detail is associated with lower cortisol levels and fewer negative self-appraisals in young people at risk for depression due to early life stress.
As you create these holiday memories, be sure to take photos and videos as you go along. You’ll look back in a few years so happy you have these videos of your family to treasure and reinforce those memories in your mind.
Journey Home East Can Help
Journey Home East provides key supportive interventions in a home-like setting. We include various types of interventions including group, individual, and family support. As a transitional independent living program, we also help our residents work on independent living skills, develop positive peer and community relationships, help them with academic success, and provide exciting recreational activities.
Journey Home East helps provide the opportunity for greater freedoms and responsibilities entailed in pursuing further education or having a job. Residents are being supported in this process by our skilled staff. For more information please call (828) 408-0767.