Three Cheers for Holiday Fun!

Day 3 Laughter and play (1) crop

The holiday season: busy days bursting with joy and bliss, stress-less and anxiety-free because everyone’s in the spirit of happiness, kindness and health. Who am I trying to fool?! However, planning for plenty of laughter and play  – the L in our BALANCE acronym – does help make it possible to experience positive attitude and energy in the 12 BALANCEd days of Christmas. Read on for ways to create holiday fun this season!

Schedules and routines are often off-track from the norm, allowing more time and creativity with the holiday fun factor. Rather than going to a nearby park for your weekly Frisbee free-for-all change it up with something really different. If you’re near an ocean beach, dress up appropriately (no bathing suits and sun hats in our Northern Hemisphere!) to run and explore the beach. Yes, kids will push and jostle to see how close to the waves they can get without getting wet – and end up getting wet! Be prepared with towels, blankets, maybe some hot chocolate –  and definitely some healthy granola bars (recipe below) for sustaining energy levels.

Ages of holiday guests often spread over several generations. A holiday fun game of charades using Christmas terms can involve everyone and is sure to initiate a lot of “hoots” and “what is that supposed to mean?” Boys against the the girls can encourage healthy competition – with the winner instead of the loser doing the after-game clean-up!

A calmer holiday fun activity enjoying a huge comeback is colouring – and not just for kids. Stock up on some interesting designs for different skill levels, pull out the crayons and coloured pencils  and don’t forget the sharpener! A pot of tea to share, background Christmas music, creating beauty – it’s a holiday fun recipe for de-stressing and “being” together.

Is it adults only, you, or just a few during these days of Christmas?  It really is a fine season for digging out the oldies, i.e. Pictionary, or choosing your favourite just for fun movie.

Laughter and play – plan it, look for it, enjoy it, to reduce the stress and elevate your holiday fun and happiness meter.

Do you have something planned for this season’s holiday fun and play? Please do share with us in the comment below!

Ps! You can catch-up on any missed 12 BALANCEd Days of Christmas posts here:

Day 1: The Practice of Mindful Eating Through the Holidays

Day 2: Healthy Holiday Gift Giving: The Want, Need, Wear, Read Guide [PLUS One Addition]

Healthy Oats and More Granola Bars

Day 3 Laughter and play (1)


1 cup packed dates, pitted

¼ cup honey (or substitute maple syrup)

¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter or almond butter

1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped

1 ½ cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)

½ cup dried cranberries

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

½ cup chocolate chips


  1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a dough-like consistency. (If dates are too dry initially they may need to be soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained before processing.)
  2. Toast oats and chopped almonds together in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
  3. While oats and almonds are toasting, warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Let cool slightly until oats and almonds finish toasting.
  4. Place oats, almonds, dates, cranberries, sesame seeds in a bowl: add warm honey mixture. Stir in chocolate chips – which will slightly melt as you stir all together.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with parchment paper so they will lift out easily. (Loaf plan will yield thicker bars.)
  6. Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment and let sit in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
  7. Remove from pan and slice into even bars – the size you desire. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

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