The holiday season is here. It is time to celebrate, to add some colours and lights to your walls and windows. It is also a time to immerse yourself in the magical and festive atmosphere to feel like a child again. To keep the holiday spirit alive not only means to spend time with your loved ones, but also to get involved in a good cause.

Enjoy the holiday cheer with your grandkids

Enjoying the holiday cheer starts with making the most of designated Christmas attractions. During the holiday season, stores and malls are swathed in beautiful decorations. Christmas lights, Christmas carols, and most of all Santa Claus himself make their appearance! This is the perfect opportunity to listen to your inner child and to let the magic operate. We cannot forget to mention the magic and delicacies of Christmas fairs. There is no doubt that your grandkids will enjoy sharing these moments with you!

Some cities like Montreal organize different activities, some of them free, such as concerts, Christmas villages, shows, games, and projections on building walls, just to name a few. With the onset of the winter blues, enjoying these urban activities and exploring beautifully decorated residential neighbourhoods should help you regain some vitality.

Are you a fan of winter sports? Why not take out your snowshoes, your skis, or your ice skates? The Place D’Youville ice skating rink in Quebec is a wonderful place to go at night, a place where modern buildings meet Old Quebec architecture. And what about the ice paths of the Domaine Enchanteur? There, you can skate through a pine forest while feeding cute animals. Your friends and family will absolutely want to go with you!

Do volunteer work

While the holidays are a synonym of joy for most of us, not everyone can say the same. Almost anyone can help, to the best of their ability, those who face these difficult and precarious situations. Sometimes, a simple gesture is enough to change someone’s day; and what better time than the holidays to help others by doing volunteer work. Here are some concrete examples:

Get involved in a Christmas baskets initiative

Many organizations like food banks put together Christmas baskets for their recipients. It is usually possible for you to get involved by volunteering your time. This is a very noble way to help those in need. Moreover, this is a good way to meet new people. You can get involved in this initiative in different ways:

  • By collecting foodstuff from citizens in a public space, or by contacting businesses.
  • By helping put together the baskets with a group of volunteers.
  • By distributing the baskets.

The reaction from the fellow citizens, from kids to adults, to whom you bring this gift will warm your heart!

Join a Christmas choir

Another way to contribute to your community while having fun and meeting new people is to join a choir. Some like to sing in retirement homes during the holidays. Such choirs can feature kids, adults, and elders. If you love singing and can do so in tune, this is your chance! Singing in a choir allows you to express yourself and to gain some self-confidence. It also has several benefits for your physical health. It is, truly, such a pleasure for both you and your audience!

Visit isolated people

Loneliness is particularly hard to face during the holiday season. The simple fact of being there, of listening, is a greatly appreciated gesture. On December 24th, the “Les Petits Frères” organization organizes visits for elders at home, in hospital, or in a retirement home who are no longer able to go out and hence suffer from loneliness. Just imagine their reaction when they see a volunteer come in with gifts and a meal! This gesture brings joy to both the giver and the receiver. In addition, the organization offers a telephone support line that matches volunteers to elders all year long. A single phone call can change someone’s life!

Host your loved ones extravagantly or in slow living fashion

The holidays are also an opportunity to take time for yourself and to decorate your home. Most of all, don’t forget yourself. If you have the energy to prepare a feast for all your loved ones, that’s great. Otherwise, peacefully enjoying each other’s presence in a small group brings as much joy to those involved.

Take out your Christmas tree, lights, garlands, and your special dishes. If preparing sophisticated dishes sounds too exhausting for you, why not cook your usual recipes, and serve them with a vegetable plate and dip, sauces, and fruit jellies? If that is still too much, you can ask people to bring their own food. Another option is to get a feast delivered, or even to hire a chef to cook at home with everyone’s contribution.

Refreshing your old Christmas CDs and movies collection will make for a new and fun experience for your guests. Take out some board games to please kids and adults alike.

This is also the perfect time to call that friend you have not seen in a long time. The holiday season is conducive to reunions! 

Make the most out of this time of year! From illuminated stores and Christmas fairs to choirs and volunteer work, you and your loved ones will certainly be sharing incredible moments.

What do you have planned for this magical time?

 

 Sources (mostly in French):

https://www.protegez-vous.ca/nouvelles/loisirs-et-famille/6-facons-d-etre-solidaire-durant-le-temps-des-fetes

https://www.petitsfreres.ca/programmes/les-grandes-fetes-et-les-sorties/

https://lebelage.ca/mon-moral/bien-etre/benevolat-du-temps-des-fetes/

https://www.moissonmontreal.org/moisson-de-noel/#

https://www.domaineenchanteur.com/activite/sentiers-glaces/

https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/citoyens/loisirs_sports/installations_sportives/patinoires_exterieures/patinoires_exterieures_fiche.aspx?entID=161

https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/citoyens/loisirs_sports/installations_sportives/patinoires_exterieures/galerie_photos/patinoire_place_d_youville.aspx   

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