Lakeside is a special place to reconnect with loved ones, slow the pace of life, and provide rest and renewal. In the spirit of Chautauqua, here are 10 easy ways to slow down during the busy holiday season, share time with family and friends, and give generously.  

  1. Take time to write handwritten notes to family and friends. Say thanks for a special gathering you were invited to or a delicious meal you shared with a friend.
  2. Create your own wrapping paper. Add color, embellishments, kind words and special messages before wrapping your gift. This is sure to add a smile to a loved one’s face.
  3. Spend a few quiet moments each day and read a devotional on The Front Porch blog. Throughout the year, Lakesiders share their thoughts and perspectives on a scripture passage.
  4. Throw a gathering for your loved ones and friends. It doesn’t need to be complicated; simplicity is best. Fix hot chocolate or decorate cookies, and enjoy in fellowship together.
  5. Spend time cleaning closets. Donate your family’s unworn clothing and unused toys to a location shelter or thrift store.
  6. Challenge family and friends to make homemade gifts. Adding personal touches by gifting homemade presents shows your relatives and friends how much you care for them.
  7. Write special notes and spend time at your local retirement community. Deliver your special notes and visit with the residents to spread holiday cheer.
  8. Give a few small gifts to people who provide services throughout the holidays. Think about the person who delivers your mail, repairs something in your home, helps you at the grocery store or protects our country. Give a small bag of cookies or cup of hot cocoa to someone who helps you even in a small way. It will bring a smile to their face.
  9. Eat a holiday meal together with family and friends. Share why you’re thankful this holiday season before sitting down to enjoy your favorite dinner together.
  10. Disconnect from technology and TV. Get out the board games, gather around for carols or read a holiday book for an evening of family fun, away from electronics.

There are so many ways to give back and spread cheer this holiday season, after all, this is the happiest time of the year.

How do you give back in your community? What family traditions have you started to spread holiday cheer? Tell us in the comments below.