Establishing Holiday Traditions That Don’t Revolve Around Food

Establishing Holiday Traditions That Don’t Revolve Around Food

As the days get shorter and the temperature drops north of the equator, we begin to say goodbye to the warm rays of the sun. Children and teens are firmly established entering their second quarter of education. With that brings us a new season of month-long multi-cultural events.

With the changing of the seasons, holidays are just around the corner. We have many different celebrations. Whether you celebrate Winter Solstice, Christmas, Channukah, or Kwanza, all of these bring us to the closing of yet another year.

If you have children, how will you celebrate?

So many wrap the holiday season around food-related events. While I will agree that there are so many wonderful recipes out there for the Low Carb/Paleo family, have you stopped to think about the reason for the season? As I get older and remove myself from what seemed like insanity, I have realized that while my children were small we created traditions around baking cookies, eating copious amounts of mall food and indulging in far too many spirits only to tell myself I would “clean up” with a resolution.

I have 2 grandchildren who are being raised on a Weston Price/Paleo diet so of course, this subject is near and dear to my heart. I have made a commitment to assist my children in raising their children through solid dietary advice as well, give them the culture and life education that is missing today.

I would like to make some suggestions among the hustle and bustle of winter vacations, holiday celebrations and traditions that you might consider.

I think we can all agree that in the U.S. there have been some tumultuous economic times. For me, this brought a lesson of living with a bit less, appreciating our time together and placing great value on just “being.” I look back at the stressful times of just trying to get by. I’m disappointed that I raised my children to expect things rather than to give things and to eat rather than feed. Of course, this is a societal pressure and I didn’t intentionally teach these values but through our way of celebrating our holiday, this was the end result.

From stocking stuffers to gifts, baking and beyond, your holiday does not have to be a “greed and feed” festival only to create the “gimmies” while bouncing off the walls and hitting that flat line of carb coma.

What New Holiday Traditions Will You Begin to Incorporate?

While we generally repeat tradition or create tradition that we longed for, we can have a bit of fun with food but I believe it’s imperative to make new traditions. New traditions that will benefit those less fortunate, teach your children compassion, help them understand and appreciate what they have and what they will be getting. But most importantly, understand the meaning of season you are celebrating. Many children today don’t value the meanings of our winter holidays. They have their sight set on the gifts, food and time off.

Establishing Holiday Traditions That Don’t Revolve Around Food

Here are some ideas for you to create these memories and traditions so they may be passed down to future generations with great meaning and value. Give the children the authority and direction as age appropriate to coordinate teaching them responsibility with lists, calendar dates and other organizational skills.

Establishing Holiday Traditions That Don’t Revolve Around Food

Establishing New Holiday Traditions

  • Tour your local senior care home caroling. Elders love to see children during the holiday season and if the home allows, bring a friendly pet or two to brighten their day. Your children can offer to bring a small tree and decorate it with handmade ornaments.
  • Sponsor a family for the holidays through your local non-profit organizations that you trust. You can even sponsor a child within your own neighborhood if you know of someone in need. Are you tight on funds? Suggest your child organize a neighborhood drive for a local family sponsorship. There is no cost to organize and if you can spare a few dollars, something as simple as picking out a pair of socks can give your child a feeling of satisfaction. We all love to receive but giving is a wonderful feeling even for those who are used to receiving.
  • Look for communities in your town that decorate elaborately. This can be a fun and magical drive through a neighborhood after dinner.
  • Establish a tradition of attending a local ballet, play or other theatrical events. Many high schools and community colleges have inexpensive productions like The Nutcracker. I love the ballet and this is one tradition I am just tickled to share with my grandchildren one day.
  • Many craft stores today have so much to offer in many price ranges. Handcraft ornaments and meaningful representation of your celebration.
  • You might consider a “homemade holiday”. Children can make many items for their siblings and parents with inexpensive items. Bookmarks, ornaments, snow globe with glitter and a mason jar, decorate brown paper bags for wrap. The list is endless really with one search and a bit of creativity.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pick up point. I believe that this is very important and valuable lesson. Teaching our children that if we have shelter, food and clothing, we have far more than so many others.

  • Movie afternoons are always nice particularly if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow. Put on the tea kettle or hot cocoa and allow each member of the family to choose a movie or put a classic on that everyone will enjoy. As silly as it sounds, our traditional movie is A Christmas Story and my adult children love it to this day. My Father even has a “holiday leg lamp”!

Ask Your Children

Don’t forget to ask the children what their thoughts are on this subject and let them know how important it is to devote a little time to others and less focus on ourselves. This will not only establish family traditions but it will prevent you from feeling the pressure of potential diet pitfalls and negative health consequences for the entire family.

Misty Humprey co-wrote the CarbSmart Low-Carb & Gluten-Free Holiday Entertaining cookbook

CarbSmart Low-Carb & Gluten-Free Holiday Entertaining

Check Also

Healthy Valentines Day Ideas for the Entire Family

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not – Healthy Low-Carb Valentine’s Day Ideas for the Entire Family

No matter what you chose for your Valentine’s Day meal, remember a Low Carb Lifestyle is a Whole Food Lifestyle and it is not necessary to celebrate with food each time a holiday rolls around. You can celebrate with your loved ones without relying on the empty, sugar-laden calories of most Valentine meals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.