There is a reason why the song “Home for the Holidays” is a seasonal favorite. I think it’s because it captures what we all know to be true–there really is no place like home, sweet home, especially during the most magical time of year.

So if you and your family find yourselves worn out after rushing from activity to activity, why not take a moment to slow down and savor the season right where you spend most of your time? Here are seven sweet and simple ways to celebrate the holidays at home.

  1. Send cards in the mail. Help your kids embrace the tradition of sending Christmas cards. There are tons of online photo sites that allow you to personalize photo cards. Or simply ask your kids to draw or paint handmade greetings. No matter how fancy the cards may be, just imagine how much joy they will bring the recipients, especially Grandmas and Grandpas who love getting good old-fashioned mail!

  2. Bake. Spend time together cutting out sugar cookies, rolling rugelach or making a special recipe that your family treasures. Tell your kids about the relatives who wrote the recipes in cursive on those cards passed down from generation to generation. Maybe you can drop off your homemade treats to homebound seniors or veterans in your neighborhood.

  3. Make music. Host a concert in your own home. Have your child play a solo in front of the family. Or be like the Partridge Family and encourage everyone to pick up an instrument for a holiday jam session. Have a sing-along to your favorite hymns or holiday classics. Most lyrics can be found online.

  4. Read together. Be like Clark Griswald and his clan in Christmas Vacation and gather ‘round to read The Night Before Christmas. There are also classic audiobooks your family could listen to as you wrap gifts or unwind after work or school. Books are the perfect way to learn about different holiday traditions, too. Ask your local librarian for recommendations of books about Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or celebrations such as Lucia Day or Three Kings Day.

  5. Watch holiday movies. There’s nothing like the holiday season to inspire me to create a cozy movie night in my own living room. My family can’t wait to don comfy pajamas, snuggle up in throw blankets with snacks and hot cocoa and laugh our cares away watching Elf and A Christmas Story. There are so many great shows and movies celebrating the season that your family is sure to find one that inspires festive spirit in everyone!

  6. Celebrate outside. No matter the temperature, it’s always an excellent idea to head outside. Go for a walk and listen to the wind whistling through bare trees or whipping around buildings. Or check out the holiday lights and outdoor decorations in your neighborhood. Notice the birds that winter in your area. Decorate a tree outside, whether in your backyard or on your balcony. Get warm by a backyard bonfire or stargaze on a frosty evening.

  7. Go Virtual. It’s likely impossible to see all of your loved ones in person during the holidays, no matter how hard you try. So take advantage of virtual ways to shower season’s greetings on friends and families using Facebook Messenger, Zoom or other mediums. Plan that video chat with Aunt Susie or hang out online with your long-distance best friend. Reaching out and connecting from your own home, even in a virtual format, benefits everyone, especially during the holidays.


Katy M. Clark is a writer and mom of two who embraces her imperfections on her blog Experienced Bad Mom.