Enjoy the holiday season in Hampton, GA.

Part of what makes the holidays so special is the fact that they encourage us to give back to others, express gratitude, and cherish the people we love. Every family expresses these values through their own traditions, making Christmas a little bit unique no matter where you go. When you set out on your own or start a family, you often carry a lot of your childhood traditions with you and begin some of your own. If you’re looking for some new ways to enjoy Christmas this year—and perhaps to cut down on the stress that comes with hosting relatives or throwing a party—we have a few ideas we’d love to share with you!

1. Plan a fun night out.

The time you get off from work over the holidays provides the perfect chance for you to get out and have fun. You can plan a night out with your friends, go on a date, or spend an evening out with your family. There are many Christmas events to choose from, even if you’re on a tight budget. You can spend a little money to go ice skating or see a movie, or you can drive around to see Christmas light displays for free. Just make sure you take some time away from all the gift wrapping and cooking to have fun!

2. Hang mistletoe around the house.

When you’re decorating for Christmas this year, try hanging mistletoe around the house—both in expected and unexpected places. It’s a good excuse to shower love on your kids and get plenty of kisses from your spouse, which also makes it the perfect opportunity to tease your kids a little! The mistletoe will also go along with the rest of your Christmas decorations, helping your house look a little more festive for the holidays.

3. Write letters to soldiers.

If you find yourself with a little extra time this Christmas, consider writing a letter to a soldier who is serving overseas. It’s a quick and easy way to brighten the day of soldiers who have to be away from their families on Christmas. If you have kids, it provides an opportunity for you to teach them a little bit about what American soldiers give up to fight for freedom. It also actively shows your kids that Christmas isn’t just about the presents they get on Christmas morning; it’s also about the act of giving.

4. Host a game night.

If you’re hoping to host a gathering of family or friends that’s a little more unique than the typical Christmas party, a game night is a great way to get everyone laughing and talking. You don’t have to stick to classic board or card games, either; there are a lot of newer games to choose from that encourage players to move around in their seats, try to bluff successfully, or even work together. A game night makes for a fun evening, especially if you or your friends are on the competitive side!

5. Don’t go overboard when you clean your house for visitors.

When you’re hosting a Christmas party or relatives are coming to stay, you tend to start noticing every little speck of dust in the house. It’s easy to stress yourself out by trying to scrub the entire house from top to bottom, but that’s not a fun way to spend the holidays, and your guests probably won’t notice a little bit of dust. Resist the urge to do a deep clean of your house. Instead, focus your efforts on decluttering and cleaning easier but more noticeable areas of your house. Try implementing a rule that each task on your to-do list shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to clean. Your house doesn’t need to look like it belongs on a magazine cover; most of your guests won’t even notice a few imperfections. While cleaning the house is important, it shouldn’t get in the way of spending time with your family or enjoying Christmas.

6. Visit the dentist.

While you have time off of work, it’s a good idea to visit your local dentist office for an evaluation. We understand that going to the dentist probably isn’t your favorite thing to do, but it’s incredibly important for your long-term oral health. General dentistry works with you to help protect your oral health by working to treat and prevent periodontitis, cavities, and painful toothaches. You should visit your local dentist office even if you aren’t in any pain since cavities and periodontitis are both painless until they become major issues. If you wait until you’re in pain, you’ll likely need more invasive—and expensive—treatments, like root canals and dental crowns.

Gum disease, for example, is often painless but incredibly common, with nearly half of Americans aged 30 or older showing signs of the disease. When you go for your bi-annual evaluation, your dentist can remove hardened tartar from your teeth and spot issues early before they become a big deal. You can also improve your oral health through a good oral hygiene routine at home, which includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.

7. Settle down to watch your favorite Christmas classics.

While socializing and attending Christmas parties are a big part of the holidays, it’s also important to sit back and relax. Everyone has their favorite Christmas movies, whether it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas, or Elf. Whether you decide to make a tradition of watching the same movie every year or keep switching it up, curling up on the sofa with a blanket and a mug of hot cocoa to watch a good movie is a great way to relax.

8. Decorate a gingerbread house.

Gingerbread houses are a fun—and delicious—way to decorate your kitchen for the holidays. You can make your own gingerbread or buy a kit to make the process faster and easier. This is a fun way to spend an hour or two, regardless of what stage of life you’re in, but if you have young kids, it’s also a fun family activity that they’ll love! Since you wouldn’t want all that gingerbread and candy to get stale or go to waste, you can also bring it to a party for people to tear apart and eat, making it both a fun activity and an easy party food.

9. Gift yourself something special.

During Christmas, it’s important to give back to others, but it’s also okay to take the opportunity to buy yourself something special, especially with all the Christmas sales going on. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still take advantage of sales to splurge a little bit and buy an outfit, a book, or a new set of sheets.

10. Invite someone to celebrate Christmas with you.

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to spend Christmas with their family. If you know a coworker, neighbor, or friend who will be spending the holidays alone, consider inviting them to spend Christmas with you and your family. Spending the holidays alone can be downright depressing, but ensuring they have somewhere warm and welcoming to go can change their entire Christmas. You might be surprised by the warmth and joy that inviting one person can add to your Christmas.

Whichever traditions you choose to take part in for Christmas, it’s important to remember that the holidays aren’t just about decorating your house or receiving presents; it’s not even entirely about the presents that you give. It’s about helping others and spending time with the people you love. If you focus on that, you’ll enjoy Christmas, no matter what!