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New Christmas Tradition: Have a Screen-Free Family Night at Home

Created November 15, 2018
Take a break from your data plan and make memories for years to come with some face-to-face family time—no phones allowed.

From scoring the best online deals on presents to streaming the newest Christmas movies, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our phones, computers, tablets and TVs during the holidays. And while everyone enjoys getting the perfect gift or watching that one movie you always watch, one of the best ways to make memories with your family is to give each other the gift of undivided attention.

This year, start a new tradition, and focus on each other, with a screen-free family night. We’ve got 12 ideas for having fun—and making lifelong memories—IRL.

  1. Write a letter to Santa. The USPS even has instructions for getting a reply from the big guy, complete with a North Pole postmark!
  2. Fill a Christmas book basket. Put all of your family’s Christmas books in a basket, and take turns picking titles and reading them together.
  3. Bake chocolate chip cookies. The instructions are right on the package, so you won’t need to look up a recipe online.
  4. Decorate the tree. Turn on some Christmas music, make some hot cocoa and unpack those ornaments!
  5. Look through family photos. Flip through pictures of Christmases from when you were a kid and tell your kids about some of your favorite holiday memories. Show them their “Baby’s First Christmas” photos and tell them all about what you did that year.
  6. Play board games. Make it feel extra magical by turning off all the lights in the room (except for the twinkly Christmas kind).
  7. Make an old-fashioned Christmas craft, like our favorite scented cinnamon ornaments or paper snowflakes.
  8. Build a gingerbread house. You can get a kit from a grocery store, or make a mini village of gingerbread house cookies.
  9. Wrap presents for family. Share your favorite stories about each relatives as you wrap their gifts.
  10. Have a dance party. Skip the streaming apps and listen to—gasp!—the radio. Most towns have at least one station that plays Christmas music 24/7 leading up to the big day.
  11. Write a list of what you’re grateful for…starting with each other.
  12. Sit down to dinner together. Invite each of your family members to talk about what they love most about the holidays, or what they’re looking forward to most in the new year, while you share one of these comforting home-cooked dinners: