How to Unplug this Holiday Season with Your Family

By Kim McDevitt, MPH RD on November 15, 2016 , categorized in Inspiration

family activities

The holidays are upon us.

We’ve made it through the hectic start of the school year, have celebrated figuring out (and mostly) managing our school routine and have finished off the last of the Halloween candy.

Most all of us are in full swing of planning, and seeing/feeling everywhere around us, the upcoming holidays. While it’s easy to get wrapped into busy holiday shopping, nonstop holiday parties, and more, this is arguably the most perfect time of year to unplug and appreciate one another a little more.

Beyond the delicious feast, I love Thanksgiving because, to me, it’s a day that’s 100% about family and friends. The added stressors of gift-giving are gone and the focus is on appreciating one another and all that we can be grateful for in this life. This year, I’m hoping to take the notion of gratitude and appreciation of being present with family beyond Thanksgiving Day. And I’m hoping to share that feeling with the rest of my family.

It’s the little things, like putting my phone away while driving in the car with the family and instead being 100% present in the conversation. It’s watching a movie together as a family with a big bowl of popcorn instead of having the TV blasting in the background while we are all yelling over it trying to get things done. It’s making Thanksgiving dinner as a family (messy and imperfect and all) instead of stressing over it getting done and executed perfectly or bundling up and taking a walk through the neighborhood on the first snowy night.

I think we can all benefit from unplugging a bit more. Here are 3 simple ideas for you and your family to unplug (from the phone, the computer, the TV, you name it!) and spend a little more time appreciating each other and laughing in each other’s company.

1. Get In The Kitchen

Maybe it’s a traditional pie or two that you always have at the Thanksgiving table, or a cookie you bring to the annual neighborhood cookie swap, but this year consider incorporating the kids. Baking can be a really fun way to engage the entire family in an activity. Yes, the floor might be a mess. And yes, it might take twice as long. But kids (young and old alike) usually LOVE getting in the kitchen. Not only do you all get to partake in the creation but you can then be proud of – and enjoy – your final product!

You can do this with cooking too! Let the kids pick a weekend (or weeknight – whatever works for you) meal and help with everything from shopping for the groceries to preparing the feast. Pizza night is a fun one for this with everyone making their own individual pizzas.

2. Good Old Fashioned Game Night

Whenever we have a game night I always ask myself why it took us so long since the last time. Games can range everywhere from a wild game of hide and seek simple card games, or a rousing board game that both teenagers and grandparents can get into. Bonus is that with a simple deck of cards or some games you likely have sitting around, game night is an inexpensive way to have a lot of fun and plenty of laughs with your family.

3. Get Crafty

Go to your local craft store and purchase construction paper, glue, markers or crayons, stickers, and any other art supplies to spend an afternoon or evening creating place setting cards for the Thanksgiving table or holiday cards to give out to teachers and friends. You can make the craft as advanced or basic as the age of those participating and your local craft store should have an entire section to help guide and inspire you.

Beyond place settings or cards you can make advent calendars, dreidels or holiday garlands to hang through the house, and more. I like starting at Pinterest to get inspired – just search “holiday crafts.”

Tell us, what are some ways you cut the screen time and spend more time together as a family?

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Kim McDevitt, MPH RD

Kim McDevitt works at Vega as a National Educator. A runner, cooking enthusiast, plant-focused flexitarian, Kim has passionately built her career in nutrition. Noticing that her running performances were closely tied to what she was eating, Kim decided to study nutrition and pursue advanced degrees in Dietetics and Public Health, to better understand the power of food in performance. Today, Kim specializes in sports nutrition to enhance athletic performance and focuses on realistic and approachable ways for improving health through educated dietary choices within an active lifestyle.

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