Celebrating Christmas at Home

Traveling for the holidays is always a blast, but there’s something special about celebrating Christmas without leaving our winter wonderland home that is Reading, MA. So if you plan on staying local for the holidays, here is our Reading Christmas survival guide for making the most of this season.

Create new Christmas memories with your loved ones.

Christmas is all about spending time with family and friends while everyone’s on break from work and school.

Here are a few examples of activities you can do to create lasting memories or even a new holiday family tradition.

  • Attend the Festival of Trees at Parker Middle School. This holiday fundraising event benefits the community and gives your family a chance to win a stunning decorated tree. Kids will also enjoy the pajama party and Polar Express reading in the evening.
  • Drive around local neighborhoods for a cozy in-car Christmas light show. We recommend checking out local Facebook groups to find the inside scoop on the best-dressed locations. Don’t forget to bring along some cocoa for the drive!
  • Take advantage of the snow by building snowmen, going ice skating, or hitting the trails for snowshoeing, skiing, or snowboarding.
  • Make DIY wreaths, garlands, and ornaments to decorate your home. We recommend visiting some of our local craft shops to find all of the supplies you need.
  • Host an annual classic Christmas movie night complete with a hot chocolate bar where kids and adults alike can create their own decadent cocoa creations.

Think about what kinds of activities and crafts appeal to your loved ones, and go from there. Consider stepping outside of your comfort zone a bit as well. For example, if skiing isn’t your thing, something slower-paced like snowshoeing can be a wonderful group activity for your family.

Take care of your whole-body health.

The holidays are certainly a season of decadence. From Thanksgiving dinners to Christmas feasts and New Years’ parties, it’s safe to say that many of us are eating a bit more than usual. While you should certainly enjoy yourself—after all, the holidays only come once a year—it’s also a good idea to make sure you’re taking care of your body too.

Here are a few ways to protect your overall health.

  • Balance out the decadent meals and treats by making your daily lunches and dinners healthier than usual. Keep an eye on liquid calories and sugars, such as soda, juices, cocktails, and hot drinks. Here are a few tasty but healthy holiday dishes to try.
  • Prioritize self-care when you need it. The holidays are a time of excitement, but the natural stress that comes with family gatherings, shopping, and planning big meals can be overwhelming. Always make time to take care of your mental wellness.
  • Polish your dental hygiene routine. Make sure you’re brushing twice a day minimum, for two minutes each time. Floss at least once daily, ideally before your bedtime brushing. If you eat something particularly sweet or sticky, feel free to brush afterward to clean off any stuck food particles. Also, if you’re due for a checkup or cleaning, you can book your appointment here.
  • Take a multivitamin and ask your doctor if you should supplement with extra vitamins as needed. For instance, our winters are long and the seasonal changes can impact our vitamin D levels. If you’re low, you may need extra vitamin D to help boost your immune system.
  • Be aware of your sleep schedule. Make sure you get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep and your kids are getting adequate sleep for their age range. If you are having trouble sleeping, feel tired despite getting in your hours, or you are a chronic snorer, chat with your doctor or dentist about the possibility of sleep apnea.

With winter often comes a higher risk for catching a cold or experiencing unusual symptoms related to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Remember, if you ever feel a bit off—whether it be physical or mental—always inform your doctor.

Be present, find joy, and bask in the warmth of the holidays.

Our modern lives are quite hectic, and during the year it can seem like there’s a lot more bad happening in our world than good. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and the holidays are the perfect time to reflect on the most important things in our lives—our families, our community, our success in a career or hobby, and our health.

Whether you’re gathering with friends and family or spending a quiet evening alone, practice being present and experiencing the moment rather than thinking about the past or the future. Look for things that bring you joy and happiness, whether it be something major like your kids opening presents or something as small as that first sip of coffee on a chilly morning while you look out at your snowy yard.