The holidays are the most magical time of the year. But if you don't plan your days well, it can feel like one big flurry of errands, followed by crashing on the couch. This year, don't go back to work wondering where the time went. Capitalize on your days off by planning meaningful activities with your family and girlfriends. Here's a round-up of seven favorite ways to create quality time this season.
Plan a Baking Day
Family recipes are the best recipes. So if you're blessed with a mom, grandma, or aunt who has her secret stash of recipes...coax her into hosting a day together in the kitchen.
Cold winter weather is the perfect time to gather in a warm cozy kitchen. Brew up a cup of cocoa and start sifting flour and rolling out dough. Fancy cookies with layers, fillings, and cutters can be time-consuming. So setting aside time and celebrating each step of the process makes it more fun and preserves it as a special day together.
And when you wrap up, see if you can snap a screenshot of that heirloom gingersnap formula.
*Find an excuse to host a baking soiree even if your family isn’t protecting a secret recipe. Check out a DipWell team favorite from Jenn Segal of Once Upon A Chef. This 50 year old newspaper clipping of a recipe for pumpkin bread is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Swoop Up End-of-Year Sales
If you're willing to brave the crowds, hitting the mall this time of year can be a festive celebration all its own.
Plan ahead by wearing layers and (not to sound like your mom but you'll thank us later) comfortable shoes. Whether you're just browsing, or snatching up sale deals, make sure to plan for coffee fuel-up breaks.
And remember to reserve time afterward for recovery. Maybe a movie on the sofa with some of those cookies from your baking day…
Trade Dip Manicures at Home
Taking time for pampering during the holidays is important, and taking turns doing your sister's nails makes for great quality time together. And now it's even easier to get great results at home - in fact, you can get a salon-quality nail dipping powder dip manicure at your kitchen table with DipWell's easy nail dipping kit(s).
Each kit comes with all the elements you need to create a gorgeous, full-shine manicure that lasts for up to six weeks (!). You'll be the most popular one at the table when you bring a dipping nail mani kit.
Thankfully you can enjoy 10% off all DipWell products with code HOLIDAY10 (excludes Professional Pick 6 Kit) till the end of December. Its easy price point means you won't be dreading your January credit card statement, either. It’s a holiday win.
Pull Out the Old Photo Albums
The holidays often find us visiting relatives’ houses...the kind of houses that have real, honest-to-goodness photo albums. You remember those? The kind filled with old 4x6 pics printed from Kodak film? Or even older faded rectangles in black and white with scalloped edges?
In a time when we usually don't get around to printing our pics, the holidays are the perfect time to bring out the albums and take a trip down memory lane, reminiscing on the good old days and sharing laughs about those old hairstyles!
Go to a Theme Park
It might seem counter-intuitive to choose a busy attraction during a busy season. But if you go on a major holiday, you'll find lighter crowds and much shorter lines for rides.
Save the big meal for when you get home. Instead of sitting around all day, recruit the cousins for some roller-coaster action. Funnel-cakes are zero calories on holidays, right?
Find a Local Ice Rink & Practice Your Twirls
You don't have to live in a cold climate to ice skate - most metro areas have several indoor rinks, and there are even more pop-up outdoor rinks that start appearing around the holidays.
So dust off your skates, or pay a low rental fee and gather up the family for a day on the ice. Afterward plan a warm meal with hot apple cider, or a hot toddy.
Plan a Game Night
Nothing brings people together like falling over in fits of laughter over charades. Plan a night complete with the classics like Pictionary and Catch Phrase, or choose the games your family loves. Maybe this is the perfect time for Grandpa to demonstrate cribbage, or maybe the grandkids will get everyone in on a Wii game.
Whatever your taste in games, encourage good sportsmanship, and keep moods up with a steady supply of game-time snacks like a classic cereal snack mix, popcorn, or your fam's favorite candies.
Written by Anna Bradshaw