Creating quality time with loved ones during the holidays can be a challenge. Different schedules, personalities, varying family dynamics, short tempers, variable expectations – there is all manner of influences that could crush quality time during the holiday season. In truth, this is meant to be a time of sharing, caring, remembrance and gratitude. The spirit of the season is all about appreciating what we have, spending time with who we love, and savoring all the blessings in life. But life gets lifey, and sometimes that’s easier said than done.
You want to create some of the best memories possible with your kids or significant other, along with all of the extended family as well. But getting it all to come together is not always as easy as it may seem. The trick here is to make the most out of the time you do have with your family. Here are a few tips for spending time with loved ones during the holidays so you can enjoy the most out of this special time of year.
Plan for Quality Time
This may not sound like the greatest way to have fun with your family, but a bit of planning can go a long way. Everyone is so busy this time of year. So making sure that you are all on the same page and able to communicate will make a difference. Pick times to hang out together and even plan out activities so that you know this time is devoted to your family and loved ones. Purposefully scheduling time can make a big difference in sharing quality holiday time with the ones you love.
This is especially important with extended family members. If you have to travel in order to see them during the holidays, then you might need to make some adjustments. Conversely, if you’re having loved ones travel to visit you during the holidays – this scenario might require a different commitment to time and scheduling too.
Communicate clearly with each other and make sure schedules are understood. Carve out time where you all can relax, talk or enjoy games. Don’t let the hustle-bustle of the season thwart your efforts for creating quality time with loved ones during the holidays. Active planning out quality time might not seem sparkly and spontaneous. However, sometimes it’s necessary to ensure your time together is never wasted during the holidays.
Turn Off the Tech
Holiday games & seasonal TV programs might be fun and festive. However, they can take attention away from what’s important – your loved ones. Try to avoid having all the phones, tablets, computers, and TVs on all the time when loved ones are gathered together. You can suggest that phones are turned off during holiday feasting around the table. This facilitates better connections and lively conversation. With the electronics turned off, you have a chance to talk with one another and actually communicate. Sharing a holiday meal together around the table is a great way to creating quality time with loved ones and promote closeness during the holidays. Turning off the tech will facilitate focus on the conversation and the people around them – making holidays truly bright.
Listen to Your Loved One’s Needs
Holidays can have a weird way of making life a little crazy. And if we are not mindful, the holiday becomes more about us, than how others are feeling. It is common for many members of the family to spend too much time communicating their needs, and not enough time listening to the needs of others. There is a time and place for you to get yourself heard, but if you focus on this all the time, then you will end up with a mess on your hands.
Learn the language that your loved ones use to communicate with you and listen for it. Rather than hearing the nagging of another person or the tempers of a child, listen to what they are trying to share with you during the holidays. This will help you stay more open to some of the different ways that they want to communicate with you. It will also allow them a way to be open and honest while getting their needs met.
In many instances, creating quality time with loved ones during the holidays is about the spirit of giving. So, give of yourself by paying attention and really listening to others during gatherings. You might be surprised at how this strengthens family ties and forges strong bonds with loved ones.
Watch Your Words
If you’ve ever read the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, then you’re familiar with my favorite of the four agreements, “Be impeccable with your word.” That doesn’t mean you have to speak perfectly. However, it does mean I’m encouraging you to be mindful of what’s coming out of your mouth.
Very often the holidays make us say things we might not normally utter. I know. I’ve been guilty of sticking my foot in it during the holidays. Tempers flare, family squabbles erupt, or the Cowboys lose the Super Bowl. Whatever – sometimes we all spew stuff we don’t mean to around the holidays.
Be careful with the words that you say to your family. Do not waste time being mad or saying things out of anger to your loved ones. There will be times during the holidays when this is harder to do than other times. Be aware of that and replace negative statements with uplifting words (or, at the very least – don’t say anything at all if you know you’re going to blow your top).
Speak positivity and happiness towards your loved ones. This will make a world of difference during your holidays. Try to pick out some words of affirmations this season. This does not need to be difficult or take up a ton of your time. But let them know that you love them with as much positivity as you can and see what a difference it will make.
The Last Word on Creating Quality Time With Loved Ones During the Holidays
I’ll be the first to admit that the holidays can make me crazy sometimes, and family get-togethers can be a little hair-raising too. That’s why being mindful of ourselves and others this time of year is crucial. At the very least, close your eyes and take a deep breath if a loved one is getting under your skin. That one tiny action can reset your mind, and clarify your energy so you can enjoy the holidays with loved ones more easily. Sending you merry wishes this holiday and all the best hopes for the new year.
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