New Holiday Traditions – don’t be tied to food!!!!

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Health, Nutrition

The holidays are well known for bringing feelings of love, family, fun, and good will. Everyone has a favorite memory from growing up, or a family tradition that has been passed down over the years. I want you to take a moment and really think about these special moments that you can remember, these traditions that your family has. Now ask yourself, how many of these memories involve food? Perhaps you recall the warm, welcoming feeling of grandma’s house when she would make her cookies each Christmas. Or maybe it’s the ham that Uncle Joe baked after cutting down the Christmas tree. As Americans, SO many of our traditions involve food. The warm feeling of love and comfort we associate with the holidays are tied to food.

I challenge you this holiday season to create new traditions with your loved ones that do not involve food. So many times emotions are linked to food. That is not only a recipe for disaster when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship with food, it also leads to mindless eating and consuming large amounts of empty calories. So why not create new traditions that involve activity and DOING something? Here are a few great ideas I found to get you started!

Remember the Animals
Legend has it that on Christmas Eve, all animals are granted the ability to speak until daybreak. On Christmas Eve put a bird feeder outside or a peanut butter sandwich out for the squirrels. Decorate a tree outside with stringed popcorn and apple slices. I may do this one with my kids this year!

Read the Holidays Away
Read a different holiday story together each night. Here is a list to get you started:
• Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
• A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
• The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
• Seven Candles For Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney
• Inside-Out Grandma by Joan Rothenberg
• How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
• The Twelve Cats Of Christmas by Kandy Radzinski

Celebrate the Solstice!
Wake up the family at midnight on the night that Autumn turns into Winter to do some stargazing. Punch holes in paper bags and place a battery operated candle inside to use as a flashlight. Don’t forget to bundle up!

Light a Remembrance Candle
Gone are the days where families lived close together. Today grandma is just as likely to live across the country as she is to live across town. To bring the family together in spirit, have a candle lighting ceremony. To make the tradition your own, set a date for the big event and send invitations to all involved. Ask that everyone light a candle and send out wishes at an appointed hour (take time zones into account).

These are just a few ideas to get your brain thinking. Family Fun is a great website that has a lot of different ideas that you can try out this year. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are creating some fond memories with your loved ones that you will have for years to come.

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