Christmas is a special time for so many people around the world and is often filled with family, food and sometimes presents. But, having a Healthy Christmas is not usually the focus as we indulge in festive feasts. This blog looks at Christmas traditions around the world and offers healthy activity and food alternatives to make this your healthiest holiday season ever!
Traditions Around the World
- The Philippines holds the Giant Lantern Festival known as Ligligan Parul where the lanterns symbolize the Star of Bethlehem
- In Japan, Christmas is not a religious holiday but one that has been traditionally celebrated by many families with a visit to their local KFC, which became a tradition in 1974 after a marketing campaign that translates to “Kentucky for Christmas”
- In New Zealand, where Christmas falls during summertime, grilling out is a common tradition and families will spend time singing carols under the shade of the Pohutukawa trees that bloom bright red in December
- Austria includes a devil-like creature named Krampus to their celebrations. Good children are rewarded with treats on Christmas morning, while bad ones worry about a visit from Krampus
- In Iceland, Christmas Eve is Jolabokaflod or “Christmas Book Flood” when families exchange gifts of books and spend the evening reading
No matter where you are in the world, new traditions can be started and during this pandemic some changes have had to be made. Here are some ideas for some healthy and fun activities to add to your Christmas celebration!
- Celebrate the season of giving by decluttering as a family and donating to a local charity or give back by volunteering for a local soup kitchen or animal shelter
- Give some of your Christmas spirit to your neighbors by cooking a meal for neighbors in need, shoveling snow, helping to hang their Christmas lights, or wrapping presents
- Get outdoors! Get some fresh air and sunlight to help battle those Winter Blues by planning outdoor family activities like ice skating, looking at Christmas lights, or having a snowball fight! You could even try some outdoor family yoga for fun!
- Have a Christmas movie marathon complete with healthier Christmas snacks (see below!)
- Make a Christmas video as a family! Do a dance routine or play a game or just have fun and make memories to keep!
- Run a holiday race together! There are several fun runs and even marathons on or around Christmas Day!
Now that you have some activities planned… how about the refreshments? Those Christmas cookies are always calling my name, so here are some healthier cookie alternatives from Cooking Light for your festivities!