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Making Time for Friends and Family During the Holidays

I'm not much of an entertainer, I must admit. It may shock you, but I dislike cooking and will do almost anything to avoid it. But of course that's not very practical over the holidays.

With all the varied employment responsibilities of every member of my family, it's really difficult to even sit down together for dinner - even on holidays. But this is a very important time of the day. Statistics prove that kids who eat regularly with their families are less likely to misuse alcohol and other drugs, exhibit less stress, eat a more balanced, healthier diet, get better grades at school and are generally happier. While my adult kids are gone much of the time, we did always eat together at dinner time and I was always very, very actively involved in their athletics and after school activities.

So here are a few ideas to help you increase the family activities in your household all year, not just during the holiday season.

  • Plan a Game Night - Pick one night a week or a month for playing games with your kids. They love them and they help you blow off some stress and bond together. Some games will even help members get to know each other more fully.
  • Send Something Unexpected - Don't be predictable with your contact efforts. Periodically I have a "girls day out" with my daughter. We go to the mall, usually, have my favourite meal (Panda's Express Orange Glazed Chicken and Fried Rice) and shop for whatever appeals to us. It's personal and a great time to talk and share. A little harder to do with my "way too cool" son, but look for ways to spend quality time with each child independent of the others.
  • Create a Family Photo Album - Sites such as Snapfish.com, Shutterfly.com or Kodakgallery.com allow you to create photo albums that everyone can post pictures to. It's a way to involve all the members of your family in one giant family project.
  • Share Books - If you have family members (even on the other side of the country) who like to read, start a book sharing family project. Exchange books. Share ideas.
  • Start a Tradition - Every year my daughter gives me a new key ring for Christmas. I don't even remember how it got started. Some year's I get a serious, dignified key ring. Other years I get something silly. It's just one more easy way to bond and have fun. No holiday would feel like a holiday without my Grandmother's 24-Hour Salad. I make it every year and it is a family tradition which my children will probably carry on after I'm gone.
  • Buy Gifts for the Family - Select gifts that involve your family, such as: DVDs, athletic equipment, arts and crafts supplies, song books for a sing-a-long, garden utensils (seeds, pots) and board games.

Making time for your family and friends is time-consuming, but one of the most rewarding acts you'll ever do - not just for you, but for everyone.

Quick Links for this Issue
November's Decorating Issue II
Planning Great Parties
Thanksgiving Bouquets
Christmas Lights
Thanksgiving Ideas
Carving a Turkey
Roasting a Turkey
Purchasing a Turkey
Holiday Time Management
Dried Floral Arrangements
Furniture Lifter and Sliders Set
Some Selected Free Tips
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