It is chaos with a theme: Family is together for the holidays.You have heard the horror stories. Perhaps you have shared a few of your own. There are in-laws you don’t care for, sibling rifts that linger longer than they should, and the inevitable turn to politics and other topics that send some to the wine cellar and others to a hastily booked hotel room. It can get a little hectic. There’s not really a lot you can do about it. People are people, regardless of relation, and rather than spend a few precious days per year amplifying your differences why not open the gift of understanding. Or at the very least an attempt at patience. It’s the holidays, and despite the stresses of the season, it, like everything, is quick and fleeting. Every moment is a memory in the making, so why not make the type you would like to keep?
There’s a lot to be said for happiness. Here are some ideas for quality family time over the holidays:BE ACTIVE Go for a hike or a walk around the block. Take the kids to the park and kick the soccer ball around for a couple of hours. Not only does the physically activity do all the awesome things that physical activity does for the body, but it is also a great way to remove yourself from stress, unplug from the Internet, and clear your mind of the burdens of “real world” baggage—even if it is only temporary. REMINISCE It’s great to share stories about your current job, the stuff the kids are doing, and that sweet trip to Sweden, but don’t forget the people that made it all possible. Remember family and friends that are no longer with you—the funny things they did and the things you loved about them. Melancholy may not sound like the merriest of holiday emotions, but there can be great comfort in it, and the sharing of such creates its own stories in return. Life is circular like that. DO GOOD The fact that you have family together for the holidays is, in itself, a far greater gift than many people ever know, regardless of the season. Pay it forward. Find a charitable cause, organization, or event in your area and have everyone add their support to it. Doing good together is good for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The bottom line is that family, regardless of our differences, is a pretty special thing, and while there are rough patches and rougher edges, finding common ground and ways to express our true feelings can make the season bright—and the future all the brighter. Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Know anyone who could use a little extra holiday cheer? Share this with them! What are you most thankful for this holiday season? We'd love to hear in the comments!