1. Living Room Dance Party.
Not sure which is more fun, moving all of the furniture out of the way, or jamming out to everyone’s favorite groove. Either way, dancing is a sure way to get positive vibes, with lasting smiles and some good laughs. Here’s how: get everyone to pick their favorite jam out tunes. If you don’t have some ready, head over to Pandora or Spotify and look for “Best Dance Music” or other pre-made playlists for free.
Tip: Add them to a playlist and in the future, your favorites are just a click away.
2. Baking Marathon.
Baking in the winter holiday months is one of the best ways to warm the house and the heart. But wait! It DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COOKIES! When the kids have asked you a million times, what’s to eat and you just can’t think of another nutritious pre-packaged food, check out this list for easy, nutritious recipes.
3. Stargazing the Hawaiian Heavens.
We are blessed to live with minimal light pollution. What better time to give thanks than during a once in a 800 year event? Leading up to the winter solstice December 21, the day that there is the most stargazing opportunity, Jupiter and Saturn are on a path toward each other. When they arrive at the great conjunction, the two planets appear so close together they blend into a single point of light called the “Christmas Star.”
Get the best out of it: The first night slightly before dark, take a piece of paper outside with you. Stand in a place where you can see the low in the south-western sky. Make a mental note of where you are standing. Sketch out some rough markers of the sky line – a big tree, valley or mauna. As dark takes over (the planets set at 8:00 pm), locate the two planets and note on your drawing their location. Go out every night about the same time and plot their path across the sky. You will enjoy their movements across the sky until the solstice when you get to see the great conjunction. This conjunction will be the closest since the great conjunction in 1623, the last one having occurred in May 2000 and the next occurring in Oct. 2040.
Tip: Download an app for more information about the current sky.
4. Confetti 2020.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could throw all of the fear, anxiety and negativity of 2020 away? Well maybe we can, at least enough to clear space in our hearts and minds to all the optimism, hope and joy we want to invite in 2021. Get a sheet of 8.5×11 (or whatever is handy, like recycled junk mail envelopes) and divide it into 10 squares. Cut them apart. On each one write or draw something you want to let go of. You don’t need to share with others, but can if you want.
- something that you don’t want to take into the new year
- a negative thought you keep having
- a feeling that holds you back
- an unhealthy habit
- a problem with a family member
- what keeps you up at night
Then, take the pieces outside and rip them up into a single bucket and mix them well. Remember, we’re all in this together! Then everyone takes a handful and throws them up into the air releasing negativity that is taking space in our minds. Just be sure to pick up the pieces and throw them away in the trash when you’re done so we don’t litter.
5. Make a Wish Come True.
Wishes may take a little work, but they can come true! Wishes are really goals and goals are obtained first by setting intentions, and then following through with those intentions. Setting goals may seem overwhelming, so it’s important to remember that it is the small daily actions that move you toward larger goals. Be kind to yourself! Recognize your efforts, large and small. Watch yourself progress along the path you wished and thank yourself for remaining committed. If you miss a step, accept it and move on. Each day is a new opportunity to reset your daily intention.
Tips: Find a flash card or piece of paper and write down the following ideas. Keep this on your refrigerator, stuck to the bathroom mirror, or in your cell phone case…wherever you can see it daily and use it to motivate yourself to take the small daily steps toward your wish.
Set a Goal:
- What is something you want to welcome?
- What brings you joy and gets you excited?
- What feels hopeful for the new year?
Make Small Action Steps:
- How can I achieve this?
- What small daily steps can I take to move myself closer to my goal?
Take Time to Reflect:
- Take time to review what you’ve accomplished. This will help you to continue to move forward.
- Share your progress with others.
- Practice gratitude toward yourself and others who have helped you get to where you are.
- Keep this intention with you and remind yourself what you chose to let go of and what you wanted to invite into 2021.
6. Go Outdoors and Discover.
The natural world is a wonderful place to reset the mind, relax the body and get out of the daily noise. Lace up a pair of shoes, grab a bottle of water and head out. Here are some suggestions on where to go:
Hiking. New! Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program announced on Monday the addition of the Kaulana Manu Nature Trail, nestled in the shadow of Mauna Kea. Looping a total distance of less than one mile through a section of native forest at an elevation of 5,500 feet, the trail features nine big interpretive panels and 25 small plant identification signs so visitors can learn a great deal in a short walk. The trail is at the 21 mile-marker on Saddle Road and has a comfort station with a parking lot. For more information on hiking trails visit the DLNR website.
Biking. Downtown Bayfront Trails provides a great place for young kids to get started on their wheels. Park down by the canoe club along Bayfront Highway. There are two completed pathways. The first runs makai along the ocean shoreline. The second completed segment runs from Pauahi St. around the soccer fields. If you want to get involved with this project, there are many ways to do so. Visit https://hilobayfronttrails.org/ for more information on the project, future trails and how to help build a better future.
Swimming. You have your favorites. Just because it’s winter and a little bit grey and cooler doesn’t mean that the water isn’t fantastic. In fact, the whales are here! Go get wet and feel the soothing power of the ocean.
7. Make a Mess and Get Creative.
We could be sad or angry that it’s not recommended to get together with all of our friends and family, but our response is our choice. Instead, let’s use the time and energy to create something fun and fantastic! Part of the fun of art is the inherent mess, so be sure to put down some newspaper or other cover if you are concerned with clean up. Grab markers, pens, pencils, paint, chalk – whatever you have on hand and start creating.
- Fear of the blank page? Just make a mark on it, and get it out of the way. It can only get better from there!
- Need inspiration? Use yourself for inspiration. Imagine your wish or intention for the upcoming year. Draw, paint, or create a collage to represent this vision. It doesn’t have to be literal. Maybe your vision is happiness. What colors are happiness? Use those colors.
- Make an outline of a word and then decorate it. Try BEAUTY, ‘ĀINA, PEACE
- Like something more defined? Use the Keiki Hero coloring sheets to get you started.
- Try a different medium: Salt Dough Ornaments
8. Make Tūtū Laugh.
What better way to spend than remembering people, places and moments in time? Too often our photo albums (digital or analog) get put aside and collect proverbial dust. Take the time to look through a set of pictures and have everyone tell the stories behind them. Often you’ll find one that is funny or has a different story than you remember.
Tip: If those in the pictures can’t be with you, be sure to share with them – send the pictures and let them know you’re thinking of them. Practice the super power of Kindness!
9. Video Velocity, Full Speed Ahead!
Some of us want to just cuddle up with a cup of tea and chillax with a total holiday line-up. From classic tear-jerkers to whimsical fantasy, there’s a holiday movie that fits your style. Since we’re in a year of change, you could try something new, or maybe just stick with your favorites and step into the familiar.
Tip: Here’s a list of family favorites and where to find them.
- Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) – Netflix
- Klaus (2019) – Netflix
- Home Alone (1990) – Disney+
- Elf (2003) – Amazon Prime
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Disney+ or Amazon Prime
- The Grinch (2020) – Amazon Prime
- A Christmas Story (1983) – Amazon
- ‘Ōiwi Keiki TV: ʻŌiwi TV
10. Science Fridays for Everyday.
If you haven’t heard about Science Friday, today is your lucky day! Science Friday broadcasts fascinating science podcasts encompassing a variety of different science fields. Now would be a great time to get into a new habit and learn about the interesting world around us. Both you and your keiki can enjoy easy to digest science topics and further engage with online videos and at home activities. Learn about things you never thought to ask: What do octopus think? Why do cookies smell so good? Take a trip to space without leaving your house. Take a few moments each week and embark with a (re)new interest:
Tip: Here are a few links you can enjoy with your keiki.