“The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us all to become our best while looking our worst.” – Marge Kennedy
Christmas is one of the few times of year that is dedicated to family time. Even if you don’t mange to spend quality time with your loved ones for the rest of the year, most of us can guarantee that we will have time in abundance when December comes around again. In order to make the most of this time and to genuinely connect with your loved ones, we have compiled a list of activities for you to share with your family, whether chosen or biological, this festive season; activities that are geared towards fostering togetherness in a mindful and present manner. Try a few out this season…
1. Family Games
Family games are a staple of many Christmas celebrations. However, some games lend themselves to unity and mindfulness better than others. In fact, it has not been unknown for a game taken to seriously to create significant hostility. The best way to avoid this is to play games that involve teams as opposed to individuals pitted against each other. This fosters teamwork and comradery, and also shared loss/success. It also means that quieter or less able family members (young children or elderly family members, for example) can easily be included without pressure to perform.
Jigsaw puzzles might seem like an old-fashioned idea, but my family use these to great social success. Designate a table upon which to assemble a puzzle. What is great about this is that it is accessible to all members, there is no competition, you can leave and join as you please, and eases the pressure of having to make conversation. A puzzle will often be assembled over a number of days in my house, as there is no pressure with it whatsoever.
3. Neighbourhood Walk
A walk around your part of town with the family is a great little activity. If it is just after Christmas dinner, the pumping blood and the cold will wake you up for one thing! The thing about the days around Christmas is that the outside world tends to be very tranquil and unpopulated… the perfect opportunity to take in the wonders of your neighbourhood. Even better at night, as you will be able to do a tour of all the houses on your street that are adorned with a host of mad lights and decorations.
4. Movie Time
We love a festive film, don’t we? But when we put movies on these days, we have a habit of ‘multi-screening’. What I mean by this is having the movie on whilst also occupying your attention with your phone or tablet. To really enjoy a movie together, you must be watching it together. So, put all your phones in another room, pop the film on and truly enjoy the film as a group.
5. Homemade Decorations
Nothing brings a family together like a good crafting session. As it’s Christmas, some homemade decoration sessions might be in order. It can be whatever you want, but just make sure that it is something everyone can do.
Whether you are making it together or sharing it with each other, food always brings a smile to our faces. Baking is the perfect activity for the family as it is really tactile, connecting you with the food. It is also, once again, something everyone can do regardless of their ability. If a part of the process is a bit tricky, then somebody who can manage can take charge of that bit, if something is a little easier then the kids can get involved there (they love mixing things and cutting things out!)… it is a team effort, and therefore gets you all connected. For ideas, check out this list.
7. Hot Chocolate Time
An evening activity that all can appreciate. I don’t really know anybody that would turn a hot chocolate down. So, get together a big pan of fancy hot chocolate and then set out a buffet of extras so that everyone can adorn their mug with extras; cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, coco powder, whatever you fancy. Then sit down together and enjoy your warming drinks together.
By Chris Thomson
Keep your whole Christmas conscious by giving the best presents: Conscious Christmas Gifting
*The Conscious Professional is dedicated to providing corporate mindfulness and professional resilience training, executive coaching and wellbeing services at the level of professional excellence. Thank you for following our blog.