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15 tips for quality family time this holiday season

Family with sparklers during holidays

The holiday season is meant to be fun, festive, and full of family, but that's not always the reality. There are cookies to bake, gifts to buy, and classic movies to watch.

When it’s all said and done, however, what sticks with you is the time you got with family. So this year, make that your priority. We may not be able to make all the holiday stressors go away, but here are 15 ways to maximize your family time this holiday season. 

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1. Make a to-do list. The holidays will feel a lot less stressful if you can at least see a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t abandon the family to rush off for an errand that just popped in your head; stay organized with a list of all the things you need to take care of. 
 
2. Make another to-do list. Your first list is for chores. Now make another list, this time of the fun things: Christmas movies, gingerbread houses, snowball fights. How can you incorporate the whole family into these memorable activities? 

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3. Involve the kids in chores. Chores like decorating with garland are a lot more fun than taking the trash out. You can have fun scratching off the tedious tasks on the to-do list if you involve the whole clan.
 
4. Double up on dinners. There’s no way around it; you’ll do a lot of cooking in December. While you’re in the kitchen, up the portion sizes that way you can make multiple meals and save yourself from cooking every day. Put your Tupperware to use and clear up your evening schedule. 

Another way to save time is to subscribe to a meal delivery service, which cuts down on prep time. One option is Blue Apron, which offers AAA members $63 off their first 3 boxes.

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5. Get out of the kitchen. If making memories in the kitchen doesn’t sound like something that would bring joy to the world, get out of the house and dine at a variety of restaurant that offer AAA discounts.  

See restaurants

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6. Enjoy a holiday movie. There seems to be an endless holiday movie selection. Pick a couple favorites as a family, sit back, and enjoy together. Just make sure to limit use of cell phones and other distractions during the movie. Let your AAA discount at local theaters help you out. 

Movie tickets

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7. Unplug when you’re at home. Speaking of screen time, too often people end up staring at their phones when they’re together with loved ones. Start with yourself—put the phone away during family time.  If you have teenagers, you may need to make this a household rule.
 
8. Start new traditions. Which activities would help you feel like you maximized your family time this year? Baking cookies, caroling, driving to find the best holiday lights? Anything you do this time of year can become an instant tradition. 

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9. Make the holidays pop. Whether you’re throwing a party in need of snacks, or stringing together homemade garland, The Popcorn Factory fits nicely into your holiday tradition. 

Shop Popcorn Factory

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10. Don’t compare your family to others. Other families are always going to look like they have it all together on social media. Rest assured, they have the same stressors as you. Online envy won't equal more time with your own loved ones.
 
11. Serve others. Give back as a family this holiday season. Find a charitable facility where you can donate your time and instill the importance of hospitality in your young ones. 

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12. Don’t be a Scrooge. At night during the holidays, not a creature should be stirring. Make sure you get enough sleep so you’re not cranky during the day. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, maybe the New Year should mean a new mattress. 

Hyphen Mattress

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13. Take time off. Over 50% of Americans have unused vacation time at the end of the year. Don’t let that be you. There’s not a better time of year to get away from work and soak up quality family time.
 
14. Give gifts that create bonds. Board games, crafts, even gift cards. All these kinds of presents can equate to bonding time after Christmas morning. 

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15. Shop online to save time.

You don’t need to be told how shopping online can save you time to spend instead with your loved ones. We will, however, remind you to start your search with AAA Discounts to save money. 

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