At Rancho Sahuarita, we are all about family, friends and fun. And with the holidays approaching that means there are lots of opportunities for time with those loved ones. But with the stresses of the season, it’s easy to get caught up and miss precious moments to spend time with those nearest and dearest to us. Here’s a list of fun ideas for you to pass the time and remember the magic of the season, courtesy of various lifestyle blogs, online postings – and even some of our own team members!
1. Keep traditions alive
Whether you honor longstanding family traditions, or plan to make some new ones of your own, traditions are a great way to celebrate the season and connect generations of your family together. We talked to Rancho Sahuarita Resident Relations Manager and community resident Trish Tracy about her favorite family tradition for the holidays. “I have also loved getting together as a family to decorate our Christmas tree while listening to music. It’s really an amazing opportunity for everyone to come together around a common goal and around something that we are all able to enjoy. This year, my daughter is away at school, but still doesn’t want to miss out. So we are waiting for her to come home so that we can all do it together like we’ve always done.”
2. Cook something delicious
One of the best parts about the holidays is food – because after all, it’s fun, delicious and universal! Peoples and generations come together around the table – to converse, to share, to visit, to connect. The holidays are a great time to test out new recipes you find online, or continue trying to perfect Grandma’s age-old green bean casserole. The choice is yours, and the possibilities are limitless.
3. Decorate to your heart’s desire
Whether you adorn a Christmas tree, light a Menorah or celebrate another holiday this season – for many decorating is definitely one of the highlights. There’s something about driving down a neighborhood street with your children, gazing at all the bright lights and fun adornments to be seen.
a. If you like holiday lights, be sure to attend this year’s Winter Festival and Holiday Parade, on December 11th from 5 – 9 p.m. at the Sahuarita Town Center, for the Holiday Light Parade (at 6 p.m.). Local groups and organizations will be decking out floats and displays with holiday brightness and cheer, and touting their creations in the parade as it runs along. The event will also include a Kids’ Wonderland area (complete with ice rink), arts and crafts, food, visits with Santa, the lighting of the official “Sahuarita Tree” and more! Visit www.ranchosahuarita.com/inyourbackyard-eventcalendar for more details; or download a copy of the Winter Festival Flyer!
i. Gilbert Contreras, Facility Maintenance Supervisor for Rancho Sahuarita, looks back on the years with his children spending time doing the very same thing, saying “I loved taking a drive through the neighborhoods at night to look at all the residents’ Christmas light decorations, then afterward making hot chocolate and eating cookies!”
4. Make some arts and crafts
Why you’re busy gazing at the spectacular displays all around you, join with your family and make some of your own! The season presents lots of opportunities to make fun arts and crafts, and play all sorts of games unique to the season. You can find many ideas online, like this list here from ParentMap.com.
5. Play games (like Secret Santa)
Rancho Sahuarita recently began hosting a new event this year, our Family Game Nights. The team at our Clubhouse wanted to offer such an event because it is a great way to connect families and give them a pressure-free way to pass the time together. Have your own Family Game Night! Take turns suggesting the games – like Holiday Bingo or Pin the Red Nose on the Reindeer! Spots like Michael’s or Joann’s have lots of cool knick knacks that will help you create any game or activity; try having a contest in your house for who can come up with the most fun or most inventive family game. Now you’ve not only got a new pastime, but a brand new family tradition!
6. Get out in the community
All across the Sahuarita and greater Tucson area this holiday season, tons of fun events and get-togethers are happening. From the various resident events happening here in December, like the Children’s Holiday Party or the Pet Pictures with Santa event, to Zoo Lights at the Reid Park Zoo or the Enchanted Snowfall up at La Encantada up in Tucson, there’s something going on nearly every night of the month. Check out this great calendared list from TucsonTopia!
7. Give Back (Together)
As great as the value we get from spending time with loved ones is – even greater is the value that we can give back to someone else. Remembering those less fortunate in our communities is so important, especially in this time of family and celebration when some might be forgotten. Volunteer together at the Sahuarita Food Bank, or help collect toys for children with organizations like Toys for Tots. Rural/Metro Fire Department and Rancho Sahuarita are making it easy for you this year, at the Pancakes with Santa and Toy Drive event on December 12th. From 8:00 – 10:00 a.m., stop by Rural/Metro Station 82 (in the northern region of the community) and bring your much appreciated donations of unwrapped items. Rural/Metro will be cooking a free pancake breakfast in exchange for your kindness.
Celebrate family, friends and community this season in Rancho Sahuarita. From our families to yours, we wish you happy holidays, and a blessed and joyful New Year.