As we enter the final weeks of 2021, many of us are looking forward to stepping away from work and school for a few days or weeks and spending time with our families. For those of us seeing family for the first time in a while, make this holiday season special by creating some new family traditions.
Family traditions can help us to strengthen our relationships and access a greater sense of acceptance and belonging. Here are some ideas to make the most of your time with your loved ones this year and many more to come.
1. Claim a tech-free family night.
Gathering with multiple generations of loved ones is always special, but getting the younger ones to engage can sometimes be a bit of a struggle. With computers and phones omnipresent, tearing your kids away can be a challenge. Choose a night and let everyone know ahead of time there will be a no-tech time to be spent together as a family. Round up all the phones and set out a Time Timer, ideally the Time Timer Plus which gives you a full two hours, and do something all together. Get out the board game that you never have enough time or attention to play or gather the family around the living room and reflect on the past year and share your goals and aspirations for next year.
Setting aside some time without phones and other technology can be a simple, yet important way to connect with our families. Sit by the fire, enjoy a warm drink, play a game together, or engage in conversation. It will be well worth your time, and you may find it so enjoyable that the whole family is on board to make it a weekly event, creating a tradition that carries on past the holiday season.
2. Try a special dish to add to the holiday recipe collection.
Do you have the usual holiday meals that you make every season? We all have our favorites, but it might be fun to try something new this year, and create a new (and delicious!) holiday tradition of making new-to-you recipes with loved ones. If you’re together for a few days, take some time together to try out some holiday traditions and cuisine that you don’t typically celebrate. Have everyone in your family pick a country and then randomly select one of them. Learn about the holiday meals and traditions from that country and make or share them together as a family.
This can be a fun way to learn about the tradition and cuisine of those you might not know very well, as well as create a unique memory for your family to have. Make this a yearly tradition and have a new and fun experience each time you gather together as a family.
3. Start a holiday book collection.
Curate a selection of books to read during the holiday season. This is something you can slowly build on each year, adding a book or two at a time. Include stories from other traditions that you may not personally celebrate to learn more about different cultural traditions with your family and encourage an atmosphere of openness and appreciation.
Once you’re ready to read, wrap all of the books and place them in a basket. Then each night, open one of the packages and enjoy the surprise of which book you have chosen to read together as a family.
As we gather together with our loved ones this holiday season, do something new and special to make the most of your time together. If the last year has taught us anything, let’s use our time together to create unique memories and start new traditions to celebrate with our loved ones.