[heading] by: WYNNE LOVE [/heading]

My husband loves the holidays.  He showers everyone with gifts and if I mention the budget, his response is “Money, schmoney.”  But at the end of the frenzy of shopping, wrapping, and visiting, even he has admitted that we don’t seem to spend much time reflecting on the real reason for the season.  This year, we are determined to change that, so we asked local families about favorite holiday practices that they feel add meaning to the season.  Here are some of the great suggestions we received.

Get Excited –

Mark each day and make the season last by counting down the days till Christmas or New Year’s with an advent calendar or other concrete method, while also counting your blessings!


Get Spiritual –

Attend a service – any service. Go to your own, go with a friend, or try something new. Whether you’re a regular or not, you’ll get a chance to reflect on what makes the holidays special for so many.


Get Charitable –

Giving back by volunteering is a wonderful way to reaffirm the spirit of the season. Help out at the San Diego Food Bank, adopt a family, or donate to a worthy charity.


Get Decked Out –

Make decorating an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane, listening to music, sipping cider, and discussing the significance of each item you display.


Get Connected –

Invite family and friends to help you make treats or try a new recipe, stage a potluck or a progressive dinner.

Get Traditional –

Enjoy a holiday tradition of watching a favorite movie, reading a favorite story, completing a favorite puzzle, or playing a favorite game.


Get Going –

Drive along Christmas Card Lane in Peñasquitos or through the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ Holiday of Lights. Take a holiday home tour or walk your own street visiting with neighbors or even caroling.


Get Cultured –

Watch a live performance of The Grinch or the Nutcracker. Participate in a local holiday parade, or visit a favorite haunt like Balboa Park, Old Town, or the Zoo and enjoy their holiday festivities.


Get Goofy –

Some family’s favorite activities are their own special tradition like hiding the gifts, putting on a family performance or pageant, or participating in a white elephant gift exchange.