Oh merry break time

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Christmas is a time for family and friends – a time to focus on what is really important. This is an ideal occasion to simply switch off smartphones, tablets and computers – and relax offline. It's called a digital detox. 10 tips for a relaxing holiday season.

The idea is to refrain from using digital devices for a period of time to reduce stress, consciously embrace our surroundings and connect with the people around us. Deutsche Telekom supports this trend, as demonstrated, for example, by the current TV ad with the Heins family. In this short film, the family members decide to take a collective break from their electronic devices and celebrate a joyful Christmas.

The holiday season is a time for family and friends – and there are so many activities that everyone can enjoy together:

Maintaining meaningful relationships
Genuine relationships make us strong and buffer stress. Spending quality time with loved ones – and not just talking on the phone or chatting – enhances our sense of well-being. So, what are you waiting for? Make a date, go out on the town, meet with friends and relatives and simply enjoy spending time with each other!

Sharing the joys of cooking and eating
Whether you would rather knead dough and bake cookies, or peel vegetables and prepare elaborate three-course meals, cooking and baking are rituals that we should share with friends and family as often as possible. And once everyone is settled in around the table to enjoy a freshly cooked meal, there should be an absolute ban on mobile phones.

Arts and crafts
Making something with your own hands is not only fun, it also stimulates the imagination and improves fine motor skills. Experimenting with paint and creating objects out of paper, glue, modeling clay and other materials is of vital importance for the development of children. But handicrafts are also important for adults – and they are so much more than just a sensible pastime. After all, homemade items often make prized personal presents.

Christmas time is cuddle time
When the weather outside is frightful, it's often absolutely delightful to simply stay home and snuggle. Children love spending cozy hours on the couch listening to music, browsing through photo albums, reading stories and listening to audio books. The atmosphere is perfectly complemented by flickering candles on the Advent wreath and the Christmas tree.

Buying the Christmas tree
Cutting down your own Christmas tree is a fabulous experience. Many Christmas tree farms have a wide range of cultivated varieties and allow customers to grab a saw and take down the tree of their choice. You may also be able to enjoy a campfire, mulled wine and barbecued specialties right on the premises – making the search for a Christmas tree into a winter adventure for the entire family.

Relax and unwind
Saunas, steam baths and hamams are the perfect places to relax and unwind. Basking in the heat of such pleasant surroundings melts away the tension in body and mind. Sitting together, sweating and chatting has a soothing effect on the soul and regular visits during the cold winter months can even strengthen your immune system.

Get some fresh air
Sitting around for days only breeds discontent. If you start to feel bored, you may soon find yourself sitting in front of a screen again. A long walk can work wonders, allowing you to breathe deeply, digest all that rich food and perhaps make some room for a piece of cake. Exercise is not just important for children. And, of course, if the weather outside is too unchristian, you can always go take a swim at the pool.

Fun and games for the whole family
Many games offer an ideal opportunity to laugh together, conduct negotiations and renew a sense of togetherness. Board and card games have a long tradition. They can be played with two, three or a number of individuals. And to top it all off, many parlor games delight grandparents and grandchildren alike.

Agree on device-free time
Technical devices are often children's main way of withdrawing to spend some time away from the rest of the family. Sulking children who are not allowed to chat with friends, watch videos or play computer games can quickly spoil the mood for everyone. Before the holiday season starts, sit down together and pool your ideas for alternatives. Jointly agree on device-free periods. After all, nothing is more frustrating for children than when adults arbitrarily ban them from playing with their favorite toys.

Out with the old, in with the new
The year is drawing to a close. Many cupboards, shelves and drawers are brimming with all the stuff that has accumulated over the past 12 months. It might be fun if everyone joins in for a few hours to tidy up, get rid of the old and make room for the new – like the many presents that will be opened under the tree.