The holidays can be stressful, and oftentimes people worry more about what they need to buy for the holidays rather than what they can do to make the holiday season a family-filled, joyous time of year. Prioritize time spent with your loved ones this holiday season by taking on some of these activities that the entire family can enjoy doing together.

Prioritize Time Spent Together With These Family-Fun Activities This Holiday Season

Make a Holiday Meal as a Family

Between work, school, and other extraneous activities, your family is busy – and the holiday season makes it crazier. Instead of ordering a pizza and spending ten minutes at the dinner table together, plan a night to cook dinner as a family. Not only will this allow bonding time for your family, but you will find happiness and gratitude in making and baking a meal together. When the meal is ready to be eaten and everyone has taken part in its preparation, the food will be appreciated even more.

When it comes to holiday cooking, try to find a unique recipe or an old family favorite that everyone will enjoy. Keep in mind, though, your family’s food restrictions. Maybe you have several kids with braces; with an average of two years spent wearing braces, surely you can find a meal that won’t get stuck in those metal contraptions but will still satisfy the whole family. Foods that won’t be an issue with braces include mashed potatoes, meatloaf, beans, and quesadillas, to name a few. Despite this small limitation, your family can prepare a yummy, memorable meal together and remember it as a night the family spent quality time together. Perhaps making dinner as a family can even become a weekly activity.

Plan a Family Outing

On the other hand, getting your food made for you is pretty nice, too. Get away from your own home and the stresses associated with it by planning a family outing. This can be as simple as dinner and a movie. Get dressed up, pick your family’s favorite restaurant, and then visit your local movie theatre. You could even rent a movie and watch it at home with a bowl of popcorn and some fun snacks the family can enjoy together. Remember to take a family picture at some point in the night.

You can go even further than this by being a little more extravagant and renting a limo. Did you know that traveling by limo can be 10 times less harmful to the environment than traveling by the average SUV, as long as there are more than a few people traveling in one vehicle? Well, how cool is this – you are being environmentally conscious as well as enjoying a night out with your family. You can have the limo take your family a little further than your local town or city. Travel an hour or two away and enjoy the limo ride all the while stopping at new shops and a new restaurant. Take a stroll in a park as a family. A limo ride and a night in a different place will surely be a night your entire family will cherish and remember in the future.

Volunteer as a Family

Aside from cooking, eating, and shopping as a family, there are other activities you and your loved ones can partake in that will not only make you feel good but also allow you to help others. Consider volunteering. This can involve volunteering at a soup kitchen, a hospital, a nursing home, or a local elementary school.

As of July 1, 2015, more than 70 million people have criminal records indexed by the Interstate Identification Index (III). With this statistic in mind, also consider volunteering at a prison. Inmates will truly appreciate your time spent with them. There are a variety of volunteering opportunities where you live and beyond, so consider getting you and your entire family involved in your community. You will be making a difference while also spending time together and creating a memory no one will forget.

Decorate the House Together

Finally, decorate your home together as a family. If you have busy teenagers who are in and out of the house, you may consider decorating the house on your own – but don’t. Decorating the house with holiday decorations as well as picking out a tree, candles, and other holiday knick-knacks can serve as a family-bonding activity. Remember, your kids will move out someday, so be sure to take the time to do things as a family now.

The holidays are a stressful time for many families, but it can also be a time dedicated to spending time with your loved ones. Be sure to plan time with your family. Whether it be a night in, a night out, or time spent helping others in your community, creating memories together will surely be cherished for years to come.