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Having More Fun at Christmas

By Ted Schredd

Well we certainly know how to stress out at Christmas – but why don’t we know how to have more fun? Why take Christmas so seriously anyway? Your friends and family will enjoy your company rated upon how happy you are not by how many butter tarts you make and how sparkly the floors are.

Christmas is such a whirlwind of activity we rarely set aside time for the things we enjoy doing, I mean really enjoy doing. We become consumed in the chores of Christmas and forget about the joys of the season. Each year it seems there is just a little more consumerism and manipulation shoved down our throats. In the last ten years the tradition of enjoying each others company is being eroded by evil forces.

There are so many unique and personal ways to celebrate Christmas but in a weird twist, low level enjoyment traditions (aka evil forces) are becoming a regular part of every Christmas. I don’t know how it happened but the most popular low level enjoyment Christmas tradition is watching television – Whether its football games, video games, sitcoms, Christmas specials or those Classic Christmas movies.

Maybe it’s the easy way out. You know the “grow your ass technique”. Television takes away all the conversations, connections and interactions between us. We watch Christmas movies to experience what it might be like to have feelings of closeness, sharing and wonderfulness. It seems silly to watch actors have fake warm fuzzy feelings with each other doesn’t it? Why watch other peoples having happy Christmas traditions when you could be having your own?

Instead of overeating and television why not create a Christmas that you will remember for the rest of your life. Or, five years from now, your conversation will go like this, “Remember when your family came out to visit?” “Yes that was fun, do you remember when you changed videos and I made more turkey sandwiches” “Boy I sure do then I fast forwarded past those annoying previews while we all laid horizontal” “Good times” “Ya, I gained 12 pounds that Christmas.” “Whee!” Being bloated and gaseous while watching television can’t be that much fun is it?

But if you can think outside the Christmas Tradition Box add in some imagination, uniqueness and spontaneity you are half way there. Think of something that you and your family can all enjoy. My happiest Christmases are not the ones where I count my bounty of these so called “Gifts” I receive. My favorite Christmas gift is realizing how wonderful it is to be alive and to enjoy the people that I love. When you make giggling and playing are part of your experience on Christmas it will get you closer to your spiritual self than any Tim Allen movie ever will.
Snow Big
The great news is that you don’t have to cut out any of your regular traditions. Sure you can chop down a tree, buy plenty of over packaged goods and cover them with plethora of wrapping paper. You can still expand your pants to the point of being uncomfortable, feel free to gluttonize. But if you want a Christmas to remember for years to come go out and get some fresh air and bond in a joyous way with your friends and family. You will all go home with a big fat smile on your face and have something to remember for the rest of your life.

Here are a few suggestions to liven up your Christmas

Outside Games:

  • Tobogganing
  • Three legged race in the snow
  • Build a snow fort
  • Play football in the snow
  • A walk or a hike
  • Play soccer on a hockey rink
  • Everybody builds their own snowman
  • Make snow angels
  • Have hot chocolate and a fire (Remember outside not inside)
  • Play horseshoes in the snow
  • Street hockey
  • Ice Hockey
  • Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • If there is a big snowstorm get all dressed up play in the snow
  • If you live in a warm place go play basketball, baseball or any sport that everybody can play. If you have access to a ping pong table, pool table, darts or shuffleboard and play teams of two – team the very best players up with the very worst players so that everybody gets a n even chance to play

Inside things

  • Have a massive arts and crafts session – where everybody can make a Christmas decoration – it is amazing how people open up and get to know each other over just cutting up some colored paper and sparkles.
  • Try other styles of Christmas - Do Mexican, French, German or any other culture – add food, dance, music etc.
  • Get a digital camera and try to take as many fun pictures as you can – Get a Santa beard and have everyone put it on. The great thing about digital is you can enjoy it immediately
  • Read a Christmas story to the kids – don’t just plunk a video on so that you no longer have to deal with them. Get others involved so they can read different character voices
  • Have a mandatory disco dance – everybody must dance even if they use a cane or walker get them out there wiggling their butts or waving their arms. Sing and dance till you find your party pants

  • Have a talent show – could there be a more supportive environment?

One thing to think about when you are picking your activity, avoid heavy competition. If the focus of the activity is competition and not participation you are looking for trouble. If you tackle Granny into the hedge because she has the ball you may never get mittens for Christmas again. If you crush everyone how will that build warm fuzzy feelings? With outdoor activities like tobogganing or hiking everybody wins and can go at their own speed. Encourage everyone to participate in the gentlest way – even if they sit on the sides after a while they are going to jump in. Take extra care with the beginners so they are inspired and not ridiculed for their lack of skill.

Try to get away from the magic of presents and believe in the presence of people instead. Make an effort to attempt something completely new this Christmas. Catch the spirit of joy and run it in all the way for a touchdown. Celebrate your playfulness and you will have something to laugh at after dinner and for years to come.




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