Most people look forward to the holidays. Special seasons allow time to celebrate the joy of family. Whether large or small, it is an opportunity to come together in a more intimate way without the distractions of the outside world. For some, because of distance, or hectic schedules, holidays are the only time they get to see their whole family congregated under one roof.

Some families play cards or board games, while others binge-watch Christmas classics. My family does a marathon of PIXAR films. Some families just sit and talk, savoring the precious moments, and reveling in each other’s presence.

Families aren’t just those who are connected by blood; they’re people to whom we are bound by love. They are the people who stand by your side and love you unconditionally. Precious time spent allows familial bonds to be reinforced, and provides the opportunity for us to learn from one another. They’re also just plain fun!

Self-Reflection Questions for You and Your Children:

  1. What is the fondest memory I have from a family get-together?
  2. How might I be able to connect more consistently with family that I don’t get to see regularly?
  3. What are some of the lessons that I have learned from older and wiser family members?
  4. What important values/lessons have I learned from other family members?

Add other questions to the list to begin a conversation that could be be both illuminating and rewarding. In the past, we have turned this into a gratitude experience by writing what we felt our blessings were down on a strip of paper and placing them into a jar. On the holiday, we take turns randomly choosing and reading them. It gives us an opportunity to reflect and be thankful as a family.

Be creative and use your familial gathering as a opportunity to create extra-special memories.


Additional Resources:

7 Ways Gratitude Benefits Your Family According to Research

10 Science-Based Benefits of Practicing Gratitude With Kids

Benefits of Intergenerational Connections



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