With the commercialization of the holidays well under way, the Curry Coastal Pilot humbly offers a few tips on how to make wonderful holiday experiences and memories that will last long after the current fads fade away and toy batteries have died.
andbull;Give the gift of time: Make a commitment to spend one-on-one time with your children; go on a date night with your spouse; turn the TV off one night a week and play board games with your family or friends.
andbull;Make homemade decorations together.
andbull;Bake cookies and share stories from your childhood holiday experiences.
andbull;Learn and sing holiday songs.
andbull;Write a family newsletter with your family and mail it out with Christmas cards.
andbull;Write down everything you love about your children, spouse and friends, and then share the list with them as a holiday gift.
andbull;Implement a "One In, One Out" program: For every present a family member receives, she or he donates one of their previous possessions to charity. (Pssst, It helps reduce clutter, too!)
andbull;In place of presents, ask everyone in your family or group of friends to put up a set amount of money ($5, $10, etc) and then play a board, trivia or skills game. The winner gets to choose which local charity gets all the money.
andbull;"Adopt" a family through a local nonprofit. For each person in the family, collect one practical item (shirt, socks, jacket), one toiletry item (bath soaps, shaving kit, toothbrush) and one fun item (game, book or stuffed animal).
andbull;Volunteer at a local charity. Create a "menu" of worthy organizations (Oasis Shelter Home, South Coast Humane Society, etc.) from which children can choose.
These are just a few tips to make the holidays more meaningful. It only happens once a year andndash; and it goes by fast! Do what you can to make it memorable, make it valuable and make it last.