Christmas is a wonderful time where we get the opportunity to spend valuable time with loved ones, show our love and appreciation for one another, and overall give thanks. It’s a time to build fond memories that will last a lifetime. If you want to have the most memorable Christmas this year or start a fun and exciting Christmas holiday tradition for the whole family, we’ve got you covered. Here are some delightful and healthy family activities you can try this year to enjoy a truly special Christmas!

1.   Have holiday trivia showdowns.

What wonderful way to teach yourself and the kids the true meaning of Christmas than to challenge everyone with some Christmas trivia? Pull out trivia about Santa, the Christmas tree and even Christmas traditions from across the world throughout the day to keep everybody guessing. Even better, set aside a dedicated time for showdown and have the family compete for prizes, such as dessert, kiss or bear hug. Not only does playing and laughing bring family and friends closer together, it’s also a proven stress buster.

2.   Make a family gratitude tree.

Apart for decorating the Christmas tree with ribbons, ornaments and lights, add a personalized touch and transform it into a gratitude tree. Have the whole family write down their messages of gratitude and hang them on the branches to show their love and appreciation all season. The little ones can draw, paint or color whatever they are grateful for this year to hang on the tree. This is a wonderful tradition you can start that will help everyone develop an attitude of gratitude for all the little blessings life brings.

3.   Read big family moments out loud.

Have a session where the whole family sits down together and write big family moments that have happened throughout the year. Ask everyone to read out loud their big moments for some good family laughs and cheers. This is a lovely Christmas tradition you, the kids, relatives and friends can go back to years later, read and reminisce over. With the thoughtful annual journal entries safely in place, you will never fall short of treasured moments to recall.

4.   Catch up on some holiday reading.

Cozy up as a family each night and catch up on some good Christmas holiday classic reads until Santa makes his annual pilgrimage down the chimney. Make sure everyone has a turn to pick their favorite Christmas book or timeless tale during the month and a chance to read it out loud for the whole family to enjoy. Some popular holiday classics you can read include “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,””The Night Before Christmas” and the popular teen novel “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

5.   Head out for light Christmas walks.

It might be chilly outside, but that shouldn’t stop you from gathering your family and heading out for light holiday walks. Light holiday walks are a great way to get into the holiday spirit, while enjoying the invigorating winter air and spectacular holiday lights on display around your neighborhood. Just try it this festive season. You’ll feel great on strolls, work up a healthy sweat and burn those extra holiday calories. Don’t be surprised if you enjoy it so much that you end up walking longer each time.

6.   Give our furry friends holiday treats.

There is an old Norwegian legend about the birth of Jesus Christ that says that God granted the animals in the manger where Jesus was born a voice so that they too could offer their praise for the miracle birth. To celebrate and commemorate this night the animals talked, many families leave treats out for pets, wildlife and other furry friends to enjoy every Christmas Eve night. Share in this popular legend and give your favorite animal friends a holiday treat this year. You can set out a salt lick for the deer, nuts for the squirrels or simply fill up the bird feeder. Whatever you do, treat animals with kindness this Christmas season.

7.   Give back to your community, as a family.

Giving back during Christmas doesn’t have to only involve helping out in a soup kitchen. You can also volunteer and give back in a number of other ways, including visiting an elderly home and handing out homemade cookies, taking a Christmas card with a box of homemade cakes to your doctor, dentist or pastor and buying thoughtful gifts for a child in the long-term care wing of the children’s ward and bringing a bouquet of flowers for his or her mother. When you give back, you not only do a lovely thing for others, but also a wonderful thing for your emotional well-being as a family.