Baby It’s Warm Outside

In every holiday movie, Christmas carol or seasonal commercial, you see glistening white snow, frosty cheeks, steaming hot chocolate and warm woolen mittens. It seems like the whole Christmas season is wrapped in snowflakes and icicles. So, what are you to do if you live where the weather is tropical and warm year round? Getting into the Christmas spirit while surrounded by palm trees and cacti can be a challenge, but you don’t have to blast the AC to feel festive. There are all sorts of ways to make it feel like Christmas even if you live where it’s 72 degrees and sunny.

Two hands hold two lit sparklers in a holiday-decorated living room.

CREATE AN INDOOR WINTER WONDERLAND

Whatever the weather outside, it can look like an arctic paradise inside.

ADD SOME SNOW
Decorate your mantel with cotton batting, snow globes and miniature frosted trees  to add a wintery mix to your home. Gather tree branches and spray them with white paint or with spray snow and group them in containers of varying sizes on your tables or hearth. Fill mason jars or apothecary jars with fake snow and winter accents like pine cones and berries for a wintery centerpiece. BONUS: None of it will melt! 

IT’S STARTING TO SMELL A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS
Bring in the scent of a winter woodland and fresh pine with a real Christmas tree. Or, if a real tree isn’t your jam, choose fresh garland or pine springs that you can use throughout your house. Mix pine sprigs with battery-powered lights on your mantle, wrap a garland of fresh greenery on a stairway handrail or over a door frame, or hang a fresh evergreen wreath on a wall to fill your home with the aroma of Christmas.


A woman decorates for Christmas where it's warm

ADD SOME SPARKLE

There’s no time like Christmas to add a little shimmer and shine inside and out.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
A classic holiday staple for a reason! Sparkling Christmas lights make it look festive wherever you live on the map – and, there’s no such thing as too many lights. Add them outside to your house, landscape, and trees along with other lighted yard decor such as lit snowmen, reindeer or elves. Wrap tree trunks and branches, use net lights over your bushes, and place landscape spot lights to shine on your front door. Inside your home you can add strands of lights in so many more places than just on your tree. Frame a window or door with rope lights, hang a strand of icicles lights across the mantle or across the headboards in your bedrooms. There are so many types and shapes of Christmas lights to choose from including icicle lights, colored bulbs or tiny white battery-powered fairy lights. (Pssst… we like these glow-in-the-dark night lights that can add a pop of color.) Mix a fun variety of sizes, colors and shapes to shout, “It’s Christmas” from every corner of your home.

YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY CANDLES
For some romantic sparkle, use candles throughout the holiday season for decorating and entertaining. Choose some festive scents like cranberry, pine, cinnamon and gingerbread for your kitchen and bathrooms. For a beautiful table centerpiece, cluster candles in glass votives and jars and place among greenery and berries. You can even find flameless LED candles to use throughout your house and in your windows to get the same ambiance with less worry

SHARE IT WHILE YOU WEAR IT
Share the holiday cheer by adding some shimmer to your wardrobe! Try a DIY ugly Christmas sweater. If the weather is too warm to wear a sweater, then choose a sequined t-shirt or sparkly jewelry. Too warm to wear a fur-trimmed coat? Don’t be afraid to pair your shorts with some shimmery shoes and a fur-trimmed Santa hat.

PLAY FESTIVE GAMES

The reindeer aren’t the only ones who play games at the holidays. Plan a few days of seasonal and glowing games to get everyone in the holiday mood.

SNOW MANY GAMES TO PLAY
Play a Snow Shovel Relay Race game by filling two big buckets up with cotton balls or fake snow purchased at a craft store. Then divide into teams, give each team a shovel and let players race to scoop the snow out of the large bucket and fill up smaller buckets that are 20 feet away. Then, they pass the shovels off to their teammates for a turn until the bucket is full. Another hilarious game is to divide in pairs and use rolls of toilet paper to wrap your partner up like a snowman from head to toe, and then add a hat and scarf to complete the look. The first one with their partner completely wrapped and dressed is the winner.

STARLUX GAMES
The glow-in-the-dark games at Starlux Games are the perfect way to add more shine in warm locations where you can be outside and active during the holidays. These games add excitement, action and adventure to any Christmas family party or group gathering. Check out Capture the Flag REDUX: a futuristic twist on the classic game complete with glowing orbs to use as flags and color-coded LED bracelets to differentiate teams. Or, choose Glow Battle and prepare for fast-paced running and dueling with harmless glowing batons. For a fantasy-filled game, Wizards and Werewolves will transform your backyard into an epic glowing mythical competition. There’s even a Starlux Swimming Games kit that comes with glow-in-the-dark pool lights…definitely a benefit of living where it’s warm.

A decorated gingerbread house

EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY

Festive food, drink and merriment can definitely complete the mood for the perfect Christmas season. 

A TROPICAL TWIST
For a warm-weather twist on some traditional holiday fare, throw the ham on the backyard grill with some pineapple, add some sides like fruit salad and a veggie tray and then serve Christmas dinner under the lights outside. Don’t forget to finish it off with holiday-themed desserts like reindeer cookies or snowball cupcakes.

HOT CHOCOLATE… MINUS THE HOT
If it’s too warm where you live for steaming mugs of hot chocolate, try frozen hot chocolate. It’s also the perfect time of year for frosty cocktails like eggnog, cranberry-mixed drinks, and other fun party punches that will keep you cool. 


Whether it’s 32 degrees or 82 degrees, the best way to celebrate Christmas when it’s warm is to be merry! Enjoy spending time with your family and friends doing the things you love. Watch holiday movies, play the classic Christmas carols, head to the local ice skating rink or holiday parade…and send everyone warm wishes for a happy new year.

The More the Merrier

Christmas is coming and that means party, party, party! After all, it’s the most magical time of the year, and festivities are everywhere. If you’re in charge of a big group holiday party or want to host one, you may have some gnawing questions about how to entertain during the holidays dancing around your head instead of visions of sugarplums. 

How will I feed all of my guests? 

How long will they all stay? 

And, how (how?!) will I ever keep all of the different ages entertained? 

Don’t panic. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to big holiday parties. To help you, we’ve broken it down to the three basic factors of any festivity, otherwise known as the three F’s of entertaining for a big group  – Friends, Food & Fun.

Two friends are dressed in holiday pajamas and holding champagne while smiling.

1. FRIENDS


First and foremost, you must consider who will be coming to your big group gathering. Whether it be friends, family, or friends of family – make a list of who you’ll be inviting and how you can best entertain them. If it’s family guests like Aunt Ida and little nephew Joey that will call for a different plan than if it’s work guests like your boss and fellow coworkers. Whether you’re hosting your entire in-laws side of the family, your book club or your office staff, make sure you keep it to a manageable size for your location and budget.

Based on your overall list, you can come up with a good date and time frame for your party, as well as a fun theme. The holidays are a busy time of year, so be sure to get the date out early, or at least a “save the date” text or email. Order or create festive invitations and send them out at least two weeks ahead of time. A creative theme and invitation could be the reason guests choose your party over another during this busy season.  

Ask for a final RSVP a week or so before the date so that you can get a good grasp on how many will be attending, what ages will be there and how to feed and entertain them. You will also need to consider whether guests will know other people at the party. If not, it may call for fun name tags or a special ice breaker to introduce everyone.

A table is set with holiday decor and food.


2. FOOD


Once you have a general idea of how many will be coming to your party, it’s time to start thinking about how to feed all of your guests. First, decide how formal the refreshments will be. Is it a sit-down meal, a buffet, or just appetizers. Keep in mind that finger foods require no utensils and can make for less clean up and less stress. Next, decide whether you will want to hire a caterer, make the food yourself or ask your party-goers to bring a dish. You can always include part of the theme in the menu like “Spice up the holidays – bring your favorite spicy dish” or “Christmas around the world – bring your favorite international appetizer.” 

When you have your menu and food plan in place, make a grocery list and check it twice. Make sure that you have planned enough quantity for the size of your group and included any kid-friendly foods that might be necessary to keep the under 12 crowd happy. Also, be sure to add any paper products such as festive napkins and plates that you may need.

Whatever the food plan, don’t forget the drinks and desserts. Holiday parties are a perfect time to make fun punches and signature cocktails. Plus, you may have a massive riot on your hands if you dare to throw a party at Christmastime without desserts! Pinterest is a great place to search for holiday-themed dishes, party punch recipes, snowman-shaped cheeseballs and reindeer-inspired desserts.

Holiday drinks and mistletoe sit on a wooden table.

3. FUN


Sometimes the best tradition is not having a tradition at all. Choose a night for a surprise adventure for your family and pick a last-minute, spur of the moment activity.  Pile into the car for an outing to the bowling alley – a great place to get some “turkeys” – or head to the roller rink or ice skating rink or indoor miniature golf course. You just may want to confirm what their holiday hours are before you go. If you want to plan a stay-at-home surprise, try renting a big screen and projector for a home movie night. Don’t forget the popcorn and soda!

A couple wearing santa hats are smiling and have their hands in the air as confetti falls in their home.

The final “F” is what makes your party the most memorable. Compiling a list of games for every age will help make your big group get-together a holiday hit. Make sure your arsenal of games are ones that include everyone so that no one feels left out. Be sure to choose fun and simple games that are engaging and light-hearted. If there is a big range in ages, you can modify games and rules so that the younger kids can play as well. It’s especially fun at holiday parties to choose Christmas-themed games that you can’t play the rest of the year. Check out this list of go-to holiday games.

YULE NEVER GUESS:

Before your holiday get-together, write down the names of some famous Christmas characters (Frosty, Rudolph, Scrooge) on blank stickers. As your guests walk in the door, place a sticker on their back so that they can’t see it. Then, they can ask other guests only “yes or no” questions until they figure out who they are. It’s a great ice-breaker for parties where guests might not know each other that well.

CHRISTMAS CHARADES:

Divide your party-goers into two teams and have each team write down ten different Christmas carols on separate notecards. Then, one person from each team draws one of the opposing team’s notecards and has to act out the Christmas carol for their team without using any words. Set a timer and give the team two minutes to guess it. If they get it right, they get a point. The team with the most points after all of the cards are acted out are the Christmas Charade Champs! 

PRESENT THE PRESENT:

Before the party, wrap up twenty empty boxes of varying sizes as presents. Then, split your guests into two equal number of players to make up two relay teams. Place ten of the gifts on one table and then place the other ten on a table that is twenty feet or so away. At “go,” one team member from each team grabs a present and has to carry it across to the opposing table. Then, the next player takes the gift and places another one on top and carries them both across the room to a third teammate. The players keep stacking gifts and carrying them until they stack all ten present boxes. The first team to carry all ten of the gifts back to the starting point without dropping any is the winner. 

LET IT GLOW, LET IT GLOW, LET IT GLOW

Nothing says “festive” like glowing games. To really get your guests up and moving, try out these fun holiday-theme variations on the below glow-in-the-dark games by Starlux Games available here. If the weather cooperates, your party guests can bundle up and play in the backyard. And, if the weather doesn’t permit, choose a variation that allows you to play in a large inside room where you have open space. Either way, these games will ensure that all will be merry and bright.

A group of kids stare each other down as they old Capture the Flag REDUX gear.

CAPTURE THE FLAG REDUX

Gather your holiday crew for an exciting game of Capture the Flag revolutionized with futuristic glow-in-the-dark lights. Just like the traditional game, players split into teams and then work together to break teammates out of jail, sneak into enemy territory, protect base and steal the flag. But unlike the classic, the flag is now a glowing orb and players wear color-coded LED bracelets to differentiate team members and glowing jail markers. For a special holiday treat, play REDUX – Fugitives. This is the variation to determine Santa’s “naughty versus nice” list. The fugitives start on one end of the playing field marked with blue jail markers and the cops starts on the opposite end and try to tag the fugitives. Will naughty or nice prevail?

GLOW BATTLE

There are times when you really want to thwack your friends, relatives or co-workers, and Glow Battle is one of those games that encourages just that. Players use strategy, teamwork, and their own warrior instincts to team up and take down their opponent using harmless, glowing batons. Teams are designated by different colored LED bracelets have a base to “recharge” after they get hit. Pit cousin versus and cousin or uncle versus aunt in this thrilling glow-in-the-dark battle. For a true holiday gift giving extravaganza, play the Thieves and Guards variation. Purchase a handful of small gifts ahead of the party and adapt this game variation to let players capture the gifts instead of lights. You can even use the captured gifts as part of a gift exchange at the end of the match.

Start a New Tradition This Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year when everyone runs to the grocery store to buy cranberry sauce and yams. In fact, it’s the only time of year that we all eat cranberry sauce and yams. They are part of the Thanksgiving tradition, after all. But who says that you have to eat dry turkey and stuff your face with pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving? Or maybe you’re tired of shoving your way through crowds while Black Friday shopping and your football team just isn’t that good this season. Thanksgiving break is one of the few times of the year that we get together with our families or our chosen families, so we should get to enjoy every minute of it doing things we love with the people we love. This year, choose to start some fresh and unique traditions to make extra special memories. They don’t have to be expensive or fancy. They can range from crazy to meaningful, food-focused to fun-focused, or both. You might just be surprised at how ready your family is for a change.

1. BREAKFAST TRADITIONS

Move over big turkey dinner. There’s room for another fun meal in the house. What could be a better start to the holiday than staying in your pajamas and getting a delicious first meal of the day? Start Thanksgiving day off with a big breakfast that will hold everyone over until the main event. Make it extra fun with a top-your-own pancake bar, a hot chocolate bar or breakfast snack board. Check out Pinterest for some cool ideas on how to start the day off right. Or, choose the day after Thanksgiving to be your time to stay in PJs and host a fabulous fun-filled brunch.

2. GLOWING TRADITIONS

Add a little sparkle to your Thanksgiving weekend with some glowing evening activities. Start with a big fire pit and eat your dinner outside sitting around the fire. You can even roast marshmallows for your sweet potato casserole right over the fire.

Be prepared to entertain your group with some glow-in-the-dark games from Starlux Games. All ages will love playing Capture the Flag REDUX. It’s the classic Capture the Flag game revolutionized with futuristic glow-in-the-dark lights. Bring your backyard to life Thanksgiving night as you team up to break players out of jail, sneak into enemy territory, protect base and steal the glowing flag to win. Each game box includes two glowing orbs to use as the “flags,” color-coded LED bracelets to differentiate team members, glowing jail markers, and a rulebook.

Or, if the night calls for indoor play, try Glow Battle. Simply clear some indoor space, dim the lights and hand out the glowing batons. Then, use the harmless, glowing weapons to attack your opponents, and send them running back to their base to “recharge” before they get hit again. Players use strategy, teamwork, and their own warrior instincts to team up and take down their opponent. Both games are a great way to burn some Thanksgiving calories and energy!

Four kids point glow swords from Glow Battle at the camera.

3. THANKFUL TRADITIONS

When it all comes down to it, the real purpose of Thanksgiving is sharing what we’re grateful for, and there are so many fresh ways to add this tradition to your holiday. Pour some flutes of cider and go around the table after dinner letting everyone make a toast to someone or something that they are thankful for. You can also use butcher paper as your table cloth and include jars of markers and crayons for adults and kids alike to write or draw why they are grateful. Pass out cards for all to write down what they give thanks for and then play charades after dinner to guess the answers. You can make crafts or cookies or write notes to thank the people that have helped you throughout the year. Your guests can also group call or FaceTime family members or friends that are far away to send love and thanks.

4. SURPRISE TRADITIONS

Sometimes the best tradition is not having a tradition at all. Choose a night for a surprise adventure for your family and pick a last-minute, spur of the moment activity.  Pile into the car for an outing to the bowling alley – a great place to get some “turkeys” – or head to the roller rink or ice skating rink or indoor miniature golf course. You just may want to confirm what their holiday hours are before you go. If you want to plan a stay-at-home surprise, try renting a big screen and projector for a home movie night. Don’t forget the popcorn and soda!

5. TWISTED TRADITIONS

The fun of Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t have to end when the pumpkin pie is gone. Give the holiday weekend a twist by planning an extra day like Snacksgiving. This is a day for some serious junk food or everyone’s favorite snack, and a great way for the chefs to relax after a hard day or two of holiday cooking. The menu from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special is a silly way to bring smiles to your crew. There’s nothing like serving a plate of jelly beans, popcorn and pretzels to make kids happy. And, if too much family time has you worn out and you need the support of friends, try a day of Friendsgiving with friends, food and fun. Petsgiving can be a fun day for everyone to bring their dogs to your backyard for a playdate. Twist it up this year… you’re only limited by your own imagination.

6. MUSICAL TRADITIONS

Thanksgiving kicks off a season of magical music, so why not add a musical twist to your traditions. Gather your crew, bundle up and go caroling around your neighborhood or an elderly community. Purchase tickets to see a holiday production like the Nutcracker, or attend a local concert. Making a holiday playlist by getting input from your holiday guests, both young and old, on their favorite Christmas songs. Then, pull out the laptop and compile them all in a family playlist. Crank up the speakers and sing or dance the night away!

7. CHARITABLE TRADITIONS

The very best traditions are those that you share with others – whether it’s spending time with those you love or spending your time volunteering for others. Adding a little charity to your holiday could be just the thing you need to make you truly grateful. Plus, it teaches your children how to share with those who are less fortunate. Ask your family to help you go through their closets and donate gently used toys and clothes to a local shelter.

Sponsor a family in need and purchase Christmas gifts for that family. Volunteer your time at a local food bank or soup kitchen. Organize a canned food drive and collect non-perishable foods that you can donate to a food bank. You can even sign your family up for a Turkey Trot race that takes place to benefit local charities. Spending quality family time by helping others is the perfect tradition to make a difference and spread holiday cheer! Check out VolunteerMatch.org to get started.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Once the turkey left-overs are wrapped in tin foil and the last piece of pumpkin pie is devoured, the cooks all breathe a sigh of relief and the real quality time together begins. If your post-meal Thanksgiving activities include a food-coma and staring blankly at a football game or a movie on the television screen while the teens all stare at their phone screens – then it’s time to add some new activities to your Turkey Day line-up. Here is the best menu for some holiday fun for every age that will help make your Thanksgiving get-togethers a little more festive. Think of it like a full-course meal of motivating and fun activities!

MAIN COURSE

One of the best ideas is to rally your holiday group together for some family-friendly games that will burn off some of the calories from the Thanksgiving meal. If the weather is cooperating, head outside for a scavenger hunt in the backyard once all of the feasting is done. Be sure to incorporate some games that will appeal to all ages – from young to old. Have plenty of equipment handy for a Turkey Day Thanksgiving Tournament like single elimination games of flag football, corn hole or bocce ball. Then, let the play-offs begin, and let the winners strut their stuff.

SIDE DISH

If the sun is setting on your Thanksgiving day event, be ready with this glow-in-the-dark game. Capture the Flag REDUX is the classic game revolutionized with futuristic glow-in-the-dark lights. Grab the aunts, uncles and cousins and watch them get moving as they break teammates out of jail, sneak into enemy territory, protect base and steal the glowing flag to win. Each game box includes two glowing orbs to use as the “flags,” color-coded LED bracelets to differentiate team members, glowing jail markers, and a rulebook. As an extra bonus, each kit includes 12 game variation cards that offer even more ways to play Capture the Flag, as well as other games.

THE GRAVY

The game variations in the Capture the Flag REDUX box are like a little extra gravy on the side. You’re sure find something for every group of turkeys.

  • NINJA: One team is chosen to be “ninjas” and not wear the LED bracelets. This allows you to add 16 additional players without purchasing any additional game pieces. It also allows a younger group to have a sneaky advantage. 
  • WIZARD: Perfect for elderly family members or people who can’t run. Select one “wizard” who is unbiased as to who wins the game. This person has the power to yell “freeze” at anytime during the game and reposition players anywhere on the playing field, allowing Grandma a chance to create all kinds of mischief. 
  • TRAITOR: Team leaders secretly pick a “traitor” from the opposing team. Then the “traitors” choose a time to turn off their bracelets and turn to the dark side of the opposing team for the remainder of the game.

THE DESSERT

Even if the weather is questionable, it doesn’t mean you still can’t get the family up and moving after the meal. Clear some space in the family room, or the basement and have an epic Thanksgiving Glow Battle Showdown. Glow Battle can be played with anywhere from 2 to 20 players. Players use harmless glowing batons to strategize and take down their opponents. Physical activity becomes part of the fun as players run, jump and swing at each other to win. Each game box comes with 10 weapons, 10 glowing wristbands, 8 regeneration station markers and 10 game playing cards.

WITH WHIPPED CREAM, PLEASE

Just like the best part of the pie is the whipped cream, the best part about Glow Battle is that you can play it in so many different ways. 

  • GLADIATOR: It’s the ultimate family face-off, brothers vs sisters, fathers vs sons, mothers vs fathers. Whoever you decide to face-off, it’s fun rounds of one-on-one battles that you can turn into the ultimate Turkey Day Tournament.
  • STEAL THE BACON: Start with all of the weapons scrambled in the middle of the playing field then countdown to the race for the weapons. And, you’d better hope you picked the right weapon for your team color or you have to keep trying until you get it right.  

Make the most of the time you have with your family and friends this Thanksgiving. Turn off the screens and make memories with a menu full of fun activities and creative game choices. Not only will you burn off some calories, but you’ll also be building family bonds, silly stories and competitive bragging rights that will last a lifetime. Or at least last until the next holiday rolls around. Speaking of which – can someone pass the rolls?