The holidays can feel like one long celebration, involving friends and strangers alike. No matter where we go, there are glittering decorations and festive music. People seem cheerier. It feels as though the whole world is going to the same party.
I love the feeling of community and celebration, and the holidays make it an easy time to help my sons experience that idea. It happens naturally, when strangers passing on the street wish a cheery, “Happy holidays!” but it’s also something I seek out and try to emphasize.
While seeing family and friends over the holidays tends to be our focus, this time of year offers even more opportunities to teach my children about community engagement. Here are a few ways to spend time with those in your area:
- Attend a tree-lighting event. Depending on the size of the town or city you live in, there may be several! Dress warm, have some hot cocoa in tow and enjoy the lights with family and friends.
- Throw a community gift drive party. Invite neighbors to your home, restaurant or event space and collect toys and gifts to donate to local gift drives during the holiday season.
- Volunteer as a group. Giving back throughout the year is important, but there is always a strong need during the holidays. Look for volunteer opportunities that allow for a group – and help others within your community!
- Support your local theater. Many theater groups put on holiday-inspired plays throughout the season. Gather with neighbors and enjoy a show as you help support your local arts community.
We also remember the members of our community we see all year. I make sure to include my toddler son when I make homemade gifts or baked good for our neighbors, the mailman, garbage man, and the school crossing guard. We bring tiny treats to folks we see daily, at the coffee shop, library and post office.
How do you use the holidays as an opportunity to celebrate your community?
About Liz Moorhead
Liz Moorhead is a high school teacher turned work-from-home mom. An illustrator and writer, she blogs for a top wedding site and shares her own personal experiences on her blog Happy Sighs in between walks to the park with her toddler son - all just outside of Philadelphia.