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Health Information Giving the Gift of Fun

You may want to give the gift of good old-fashioned fun this holiday season starting with alternatives to electronic entertainment.

Much too often these days it seems as if we are drawn away from direct social interaction by our seeming addiction to being connected (via cell phones, e-mail messages and the Web). In theory these activities keep us connected to the world, but often at the cost of our interactions with those right in front of us.

Added to these distractions is electronic entertainment. Some keeps us relatively mobile, such as cell phones and individual music and media players. Other entertainment has us mesmerized and stationary, like handheld electronic games, surfing the Internet and video games.

Many adults have been guilty of being couch potatoes for years, now it seems that our kids are joining the ranks. The trick is to draw these adult and child zombies away from the television and other electronic entertainment long enough to get them involved in some unplugged fun, like playing cards, working on an arts and crafts project or just having a pleasant conversation.

Some ideas for staying active and engaged during the holidays:
 

  • Take a walk – taking a walk can be a good way to both be physically active and have meaningful social interactions
  • Shut off the television – people will naturally begin to interact if given the chance
  • Have a conversation
  • Do something interactive that everyone can participate in – organize a short skit, play word games or get everyone involved with a game of charades
  • Play cards – there are a variety of games (gin rummy, go fish, euchre, etc.) that you can play depending on the number of people and mix of ages. Poker is a good game for a larger group.
  • Bake cookies or work on some other meal preparation project. This gives you time to talk and catch up.
  • Gather around the piano – sing favorite holiday songs together (if you feel the need to incorporate a little something more high technology, you can have a karaoke contest instead)

Being unplugged allows you to share yourself with those around you, which can be the best gift of all.


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