How to Make Your Family Get-Togethers More Meaningful This Holiday Season
Everyone loves the holiday season, right? It reminds us to take a break from our hectic schedules and take stock of how far we’ve come. As I head into the festive season I know I’ll be spending quality time with my extended family. For some of us, they can be a purely joyous and raucous time. For others, it can sometimes be a mixed blessing – with simmering family tensions to negotiate when you pile three (or more!) generations into a house and fill it with sugar, monopoly, whiskey and over-indulgence.
You only have to think of movies such as The Family Stone with Diane Keaton and Sarah Jessica Parker or Four Christmases with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn to know what I’m referring to!
“Christmas is far and away my favorite holiday. I love everything about it…but mostly I love having family and friends gathered, and sharing traditions.”
Ellen Hopkins, Novelist
Nevertheless, we all know that our sense of belonging which comes from our family is so crucial for our emotional well-being.
So how do we make the most of this family time? How do we reconnect with family we’ve not seen much over the course of the year? Especially with the older generation (there might be some differences) – our parents or even grandparents who are not on Facebook or Instagram – how can we bring them up to speed with the special moments from the past year?
One of the little traditions we’ve added to our family get-togethers is – a Review of the Year.
First, when I’m hosting family I make sure to leave out photo albums, and my latest My Social Book albums, on the festive table. Photo albums are such a wonderful way of evoking special memories – and My Social Books are a really great way for the family to see what me and my family have been up to over the months and years. The kids love flicking through the albums with uncles and aunts and it's always a great ice-breaker.
Then, before we begin tucking into the yummy dinner – each guest is invited to share their favorite moment of the year. You can spice it up by adding other questions like “your proudest moment” – “funniest moment” – “yuckiest moment” etc.
It’s a simple but really lovely way of connecting and it never fails to provoke laughs and sometimes tears & a bunch of new memories.
If you find the idea of making photo albums daunting (just another things to add to your bursting –re-holiday to do list) – don’t!
If you’re already on Facebook, My Social Book does all the work for you – you simply go to their website or download their app from the Apple app store – choose the time period for the album you want to create and they create your yearbook in seconds! I’ve found My Social Book the perfect, fuss-free way to do the album making in minutes. And because it captures not only pictures you get a really rich tapestry of your life that’s fun to share with the family for generations to come.
So, why not add “sharing memories” to your family tradition this holiday season – it’s easier than you think!