5 activities to bring your family closer together this holiday season

holiday activities- family playing together
ZQZ Studio/Stocksy

Once the temperatures drop, having fun with the family can become difficult. From the stress of juggling work with your child’s school and extracurricular activities, along with impending seasonal depression, finding ways to have fun as a family can be tough during the holidays.

You may not have time for anything elaborate, and saving money during the fall and winter is on everyone’s minds. Luckily for you, I’ve come up with 5 meaningful, holiday activities to do with your family this holiday season that are easy to implement while costing you very little, or nothing at all.

Start a family book club

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, there is no way you are going to get your spouse, or angsty teen to participate in a book club. But hear me out: this is a great opportunity to see what your family members are interested in, and what topics grab their attention. Not only that but, you are actively engaging in, and promoting, an education-based lifestyle. Perhaps you all read the same book together by taking turns reading a chapter every night. Maybe you all read your own books, and simply take some time to share what is exciting, or what you have learned.

You don’t even have to do books if you don’t want to. Not everyone enjoys reading a 400-page novel, and that is okay. You can read articles, magazines, or any other form of written work. Wouldn’t it be so cool to hear what your spouse has been reading? How about watching your teen tell you all the details of a role model whom they researched? Or, watching your early learner master their favorite Dr. Seuss book? Having a family book club could bring you closer together for the holiday season, and even become a household norm.

Family charcuterie night

If you have TikTok, it’s likely that you have stumbled upon the glorious trend of charcuterie parties. If not, don’t worry, I got you covered. Charcuterie is the assortment of food, typically meat and cheese, on a tray, table, or board that can be served to multiple people. Think of those ham and cheese lunchables, but fancier. The TikTok charcuterie party trend is where a group will get together for a dinner party, but everyone brings their own style of charcuterie to share. You can do ANYTHING. Seriously, I’ve seen Chinese take-out boards, candy boards, taco boards, you name it. I saw one girl who even did a McDonald’s board. Cold fries are gross, but you get the point. The possibilities are endless. Just have everyone decide what they want to make, get the supplies at the store on your next shopping trip and start making memories.

Family movie night

This one is not something new, but trust me, it can be so fun. I think the idea of family movie night was more popular in the blockbuster days. I remember being a kid and going to the local movie rental store (mine was called Video Madness) every Friday night, and we’d get Domino’s pizza to take home. My siblings and I would sit on the floor gobbling down our food as our parents sat in their recliners gently swaying. Looking back, it was so fun and it was something to look forward to. To make sure everyone feels included and engaged, take turns choosing. If you have older and younger children, you could even have a series you keep up on with your older kids after the little ones have gone to bed. The younger siblings often require more attention in day-to-day life, so this gives you a chance to bond with your big kids without distraction.

Family game night 

Again, this is nothing new, but I have a twist for you to reinvent the way you do family game night. As you may have noticed, I keep mentioning ways to keep your family engaged. Especially teens. What better way to get them excited for family game night than by putting something on the line? Whoever wins gets to stay up 30 minutes later that week. Perhaps you let them decide on dinner. Maybe you just let the winner of each round choose their favorite treat from the pantry? Whatever it may be, creating fun competitions with real rewards will make family game nights exciting and full of laughter.

Family craft night

Craft night can be as simple or elaborate as you please. Low on cash? Challenge your family to create something by recycling old materials around the house. Perhaps you test everyone’s fashion design skills and see who can create the best outfit using non-clothing items. That’s sure to bring in some laughs. If you’re able to spend a little extra money, I’ve seen some families get together and make their very own welcome mats. Funny sayings? Cute ghosts? When I say they come out so cute, I mean it. Check out Pinterest and TikTok for more doormat design ideas.

Whatever your family is interested in, these holiday activities are sure to bring you closer, and are customizable for each family. If you try any of these activities, share this article and tell us what tips you have for building closer family bonds this holiday season.