Being Present

Snow on Trees

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Article written by Kayla Hinrichs, Extension Educator, (khinrichs3@unl.edu)

Planning purposeful time with family and friends may help you slow down and appreciate those around you. Give thanks for unique gifts everyone brings to make your family special.

During December, it is easy to feel you are always on the run to ball games, a concert or holiday gathering. Follow these tips to find time to enjoy the month, your family, and friends.

  • Pause, and reflect on what makes you happy. What brings joy to your family? Give yourself and your family the gift of planning meaningful ways to spend time together.
  • Savor family meals. Whether it means eating breakfast or supper together, taking time to unplug from technology and connect with each other can create special memories.
  • Invest your time to get to know your children better and understand their likes. How can you help them develop a skill or talent or learn more? You might start with a trip to your library for ideas to build a passion around.
  • Share your time and talents with others. Let your children experience the joy of giving.

Festive Fruit Bark

This fun recipe is kid friendly to create!

  • 1 (32 oz.) container vanilla Greek yogurtFestive Fruit Bark
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups frozen blackberries
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jelly
  • 4 tablespoons blackberry jelly
  1. Line a 10 x 15 x 1 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread the yogurt on top of the paper. Place strawberries and blackberries on the yogurt.
  2. Drizzle with the strawberry and blackberry jellies. Tap on the counter slightly to help the fruit settle in the yogurt. Freeze for 4 hours. Take the bark out and cut or break into pieces.
  3. Store this treat in a zip-close bag in the freezer. Pull it out to enjoy a healthy, frosty snack. You may want to let it thaw 5-10 minutes before eating. Makes 16 servings. Each serving contains 87 calories, .1 g fat, 17 grams of carbohydrate, 1.6 grams fiber and 20 mg sodium.
  4. Try new combinations of fruit and jelly (note: jam may be substituted for jelly). Check out additional tips and holiday recipes to create this season.

Take Time for Exercise

Think how your family might enjoy time being present together and incorporate exercise in fun ways.

  • Go sledding
  • Walk through the neighborhood to enjoy holiday decorations
  • Make snow angels
  • Go caroling to brighten others’ day
  • Create a snow fort
  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway
  • Ice-skate
  • Build a snowman family or other snow sculpture