#Take20withKids for Holiday Magic

The holiday season is here! The weather might be a little more frightful, but the holidays can be a delightful time to #Take20withKids. Whether you’re traveling far and wide or enjoying a cozy winter break at home, there are plenty of opportunities to have conversations around healthy decision-making and empower your kids to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking. To wrap up the 20th anniversary of Ask, Listen, Learn’s underage drinking prevention program, here are 20 ways to spark some holiday magic (and conversations) with your kids.

  1. Take 20 seconds to be mindful of modeling responsible behavior over the holidays. Kids are always watching, so if you choose to drink alcohol, do so responsibly and never drive impaired.
  2. Spend an afternoon baking cookies – this is a great chance to talk about making healthy choices and enjoying things like desserts in moderation.
  3. Tap into your family’s creativity with some holiday crafts like making ornaments, cutting out snowflakes, or writing holiday cards. Sitting down together provides an opportunity for you and your kids to have fun together while expressing yourselves creatively.
  4. Take 20 minutes to decorate your home for added holiday cheer. 
  5. Spend the day outdoors! Try a winter sport like ice skating, sledding, or snowtubing, or just take a hike, and talk about the importance of healthy behaviors like exercise and making safe choices while being outside.
  6. Before going to a holiday party where adults might be consuming alcohol, take 20 minutes to discuss the dangers of underage drinking with your kids and explain how alcohol could impact their developing brains and bodies. Use our conversation starters and infographic to get the conversation started.
  7. Take 20 minutes to share childhood stories with your kids.  Use this time to discuss lessons learned and share at time when you had to make a responsible decision.
  8. Volunteer together in your local community. Find a toy drive, soup kitchen or food pantry. This can create an opportunity to talk about your values and the importance of giving back to the community.
  9. Encourage your kids to sort through their toys and clothes and donate what they no longer need. This allows them to reflect and talk about how they have grown and how their interests and values have changed.
  10. Take 20 seconds to stop and explain your decision-making process with your kids so they can see and practice decision-making too. Let them know that they should always try to make smart decisions like saying “NO” to risky behaviors including underage drinking and underage cannabis use.
  11. Snuggle up with a holiday movie and discuss some of the choices that the characters make.
  12. Take 20 seconds to pause and consider how you’re handling holiday stress. The holidays can be overwhelming, so be mindful of your emotions and how you might be exhibiting signs of stress and coping around your kids.
  13. Cook a holiday meal together. Let your kids choose a dish that they are responsible for making. With your guidance, have them plan what they need to do, shop for ingredients, and follow the recipe. Discuss the responsibility of kitchen safety.
  14. Take 20 songs and make a playlist. If you’re traveling by car over the holidays, have each member of the family select songs to be included and take turns guessing who chose which song.
  15. Take 20 minutes to do a compliment exchange. Have members of your group write a note to each other about something they admire about them.
  16. Take 20 seconds to express gratitude for your friends, family, and teachers and reflect on a favorite memory that you’ve made during the holiday season.
  17. Take a moment to reflect on 2023 with your kids. What are your favorite memories from the year? What challenges did you face this year? What are some of your best accomplishments?
  18. As New Year’s approaches, have your kids write a letter to themselves that they will read at the end of 2024. They can write about their current interests, goals, hopes for the new year, and anything else that they want their future self to know about them.
  19. Ring in the New Year by talking about goal setting with your kids and talk to them about how engaging in harmful behaviors like underage drinking or cannabis use can get in the way of achieving their goals.
  20. Finally, take 20 seconds to tell us how you sparked holiday magic on social media by tagging Ask, Listen, Learn and using #Take20withKids!

Although our 20th anniversary celebration is coming to an end, continue having conversations and providing your kids with tools to avoid dangerous behaviors like underage drinking going into the New Year. As parents, you are the #1 influence on your kids’ decision to drink – or not to drink – alcohol, so thank you for all that you do to empower kids to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking.

Happy Holidays!

-The Ask, Listen, Learn Team