Investing in Family: The Holidays

Investing in Family: The Holidays

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, many of us are starting to focus on the other big days in our holiday celebrations, whatever religion we may be. And many of us have been busy making preparations for the day, figuring out our menu and who's going to sit where. Of course, the holidays go deeper than food, drink and gifts. They are often a time to gather together with family and friends while reflecting on the blessings we have in our lives.

Start a New Tradition

Maybe your holiday celebration needs a kick-start. The past few years have involved you slaving away over a stove for most of the morning, the gang chowing down on the feast in a matter of minutes, then dispersing to the living room for gifts or naps or just hustling out the door after eating. Why not think about giving your family gathering a new tradition, something that will promote togetherness?

If you're looking to involve your family more in the holiday and make it more than just scarfing down your favorite holiday foods and desserts, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Holiday Tablecloth: This is an awesome idea I just read about recently in a magazine. It involves a fabric tablecloth that guests to the dinner can decorate with holiday greetings, words of appreciation and pictures. Everyone who can hold a permanent marker can get involved with this one and can leave their "mark" on this year's holiday. Make it a tradition and pull out the tablecloth every year for more additions and to spark meaningful dinnertime conversation.
  • Board games: These are a family favorite at our annual gathering, and most everyone is a willing particpant. Pictionary, Balderdash, Things, Catchphrase, Taboo: these are all stellar games that promote interaction and are friendly for a wide variety of ages.

Make Room For a Newbie

You probably don't need me to tell you there are many out there who simply don't have a place to go to for the holidays. Maybe they have no family, or maybe they're far away from their immediate family due to school or work. Whatever the case may be, chances are you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) that fits this bill. Why not consider making room for one more at the feast this year?

I think most of us humans are fairly social creatures who crave the company for others, especially when a holiday rolls around. Talk over with your family the possibility of sharing your home and company with someone who might not have that experience or opportunity this year.

If no one comes to mind but you still feel the urge to open up your home, check out International Students, Inc. This is a group that helps match up international students studying in the U.S. with American homes and families to help them adjust to the local culture. There usually is a need for families who are willing to share their homes for a meal or day around the holidays.

As the holidays approach this year, you might wish to start new traditions and invite others to join you and your family for the celebration. Spreading goodwill is what the holidays are all about, and both family togetherness and hosting a new guest could help make your holidays the best yet.

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