The holidays are upon us, and for many, that means a house full of extended family. Not sure what to do with everyone? Here are four ways to embrace time with your extended family in Santa Barbara during the holiday season!


If you’re looking to get everyone in your family involved, I suggest having a tournament! This could be checkers, chess, or our family favorite, rummikub! You can also play corn hole, ping pong, or our newest favorite sport, pickleball! These tournaments can be tons of fun and are a great way to bring everyone together!

Christmas Light Tour

A classic holiday tradition is going on a tour of Christmas lights or to a light village. Getting the jams going, grab some snacks, and just wander around to see how everyone decorates! While it may not seem like a lot, these moments together create memories that last for a lifetime. If your family is on the larger side, consider renting a limo or party bus to keep everyone together!

Movie Marathon

Movie marathon days are perfect for activity days!  Pop on How the Grinch Stole Christmas and decorate gingerbread houses or string popcorn and cranberries for fresh garland. Movies don’t just have to be everyone piled on the couch! Bust out the Uno, decorate some holiday cards to send to a nursing home or those spending their holidays in the hospital, or make ornaments, all while watching Elf for the 10th time!


Family walks are part of our holiday tradition. We always hike Ellwood Bluffs on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It's great to get moving as a family and walk off some of that turkey! I wrote a whole blog post about family hikes and you can find it here.

Extended Family Session

Having everyone together only happens once, maybe twice a year for most families! I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and sign your family up for an extended family photo session! This is the perfect time to update your family photos while everyone is together! Don’t leave it to a phone propped up on the fireplace!

Friends, the holidays are such a special time of year, and I encourage you to embrace the time you have with your loved ones! If you are in the Santa Barbara area and would like to get your family together for an extended family session, click the button below, and let’s chat!