How You Can Connect with Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

It can be so easy to fall into the motion of the holidays: going from one gathering to the next, rushing from party to party, and commuting from place to place…

When this happens we miss the opportunity to connect and soak up time with the people we are around. This is so unfortunate because the holidays should be about quality time with loved ones – that’s why we make so many plans: we want to see as many of our favorite people as possible!
All the busyness of these parties and meals can be STRESSFUL, especially if you get so swept up in the hustle and bustle that you’re not getting to enjoy your loved ones.
So to combat the chaos, here is a list of tips, tricks, and ideas to break the cycle of rushing.
Try them out and get closer to all of your friends and family this winter:

Two hands hold a pink or soft red gift box against a table background. The box is prettily decorated with metallic scroll patterns on the box itself as well as a shimmery ribbon tied around it.
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels

If you’re exchanging gifts, substitute in things that center on spending time together rather than gadgets.
For example, a board game for you to play as a group, tickets to see a show, a “certificate” for a night out together, etc. If you want to exchange gifts, emphasizing them as a launching pad for hanging out is the best way to make sure presents aren’t distracting from the best the holidays have to offer us (time with each other). 

When you’re together, make plans for after the craziness of the holiday season.
We shouldn’t only be connecting with each other when there is a holiday party or dinner. Using the holidays as a time for planning when you’ll meet up next is the perfect key to more quality time throughout the months to come.

During a conversation, take care to practice good listening.
If you catch yourself waiting for your turn to talk or spacing out entirely, refocus and try to truly pay attention to what your conversation partner is saying. This will allow you to learn more about their life and interests, pushing your relationship to new levels.

Three people are standing in a kitchen, cooking. One person has their back to the camera, two people face the camera. The people facing the camera are smiling and working with food on the counter.
Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

DO something together; don’t just eat and run out the door to the next gathering.
We recommend activities that encourage conversation. These can be things like preparing the meal beforehand, crafting or making art with each other, or playing games. The nice thing about connecting during an activity is it builds in a subject to talk about, creates more concrete memories (“remember the time we…”), and allows people to relax and have fun. 

If everyone is on-board, propose trying a “no phones at dinner” rule.
We’re not saying that phones are evil – nope, we think they’re super handy tools! But, during a big meal it can be easy for someone (or multiple someones) to withdraw into their phone and miss out on connecting with those around them. Encourage people, at least while you’re all sitting around for the meal, to keep their phones put away.

An old wooden box is open, showing stacks of old black and white photos inside.
Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Go through old photographs together.
This can open the door to reminiscing about previous gatherings and events. It can also be a great reminder to take at least one picture together in order to commemorate the day! 

Plan an activity that encourages silliness, goofiness, and laughter.
Perhaps you could try charades, word games, pictionary, or another popular group party game. The idea is for everyone to let loose and bust some of the holiday stress to re-focus on what really matters: spending time with the people you love. 

Start a new tradition together.
We don’t want to give away too much right now, but next month’s blog post will be chock full of ideas for traditions for your family to adopt this year. Stay tuned 😉 

A parent and child sit with their backs to the camera. They are facing a christmas tree, wearing Santa hats, and the parent's arm is warmly wrapped around their child.
Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash

Have some more ideas for ways to connect with loved ones during the holiday season? Drop a comment down below and let us know!

Warmly wishing you the happiest of times with your loved ones,
Apple Pie Painting