The holiday season has a way of helping us focus on the things that are important to us – especially when it comes to our families. While celebrating the memories, the traditions, and all that we are grateful for, a real sense of wonder and of joy can arise. If only we could maintain that sense of closeness and joy going all year long!
Well, maybe you can! Here are five ways that can help you find and keep more joy in your family throughout the coming year.
Bake or Cook Together
The holidays aren’t the only time of year for cooking and baking together as a family. No matter what time of year, passing on family favorite recipes and traditions can be a bonding experience. Why not use these times to put together a family cookbook to keep a record and share memories? Around the world, the kitchen is considered the heart of the home. It’s the perfect time and place for older generations to teach younger ones about favorite foods and to share family histories to be shared and passed down.
Play Games Together
Families who play together tend to stay together, and games are a perfect way to interact and spend time with each other. Whether you play board games or get everyone together to play bingo, game participation increases concentration, memory and reasoning skills, can teach good sportsmanship. If you don’t have any board games on hand, there are plenty of family game apps. These are available at either a low cost or no cost at all. For example, your child could play bingo games online to strengthen their math skills. If you win, you could share your winnings with your family for dinner and a night at the movies or taking a trip on a vacation that you’ve been planning for.
Play Music Together
In the days before television and the internet, families would often play music and sing together. Some have even gone on to fame and fortune. Singing and playing musical numbers together can lift your mood and bring your family together through memories and stories shared.
Have a Cup of Tea Together
Having a cup of tea with your family is always a good idea. It can create a positive communication in your family, help everybody to feel understood, respected and valued. But it isn’t just a comforting and pleasant beverage, it also has remarkable healing properties. When you feel tired or have headaches and at the same time need to strengthen your relationships with the members of your family, just have a relaxing cup of herbal tea.
Book Family Time
Prioritizing one night a week as family time can go a long way to bringing joy at home. It’s good to have a routinely prioritized day each week, however, it’s also important to remain flexible. If something comes up, don’t stress about it. Having a list of several different activities or backup plans in case something doesn’t go as planned is important to reducing unnecessary stress and maintaining a sense of joy when life doesn’t go your way. Get out the calendar and set a date for a time when the kids are out of school and everyone can get away for a day, a weekend or longer and take a vacation or a trip together. Be sure to take plenty of pictures or keep a travel journey to share with each other again later.
Have an Attitude of Gratitude
The holidays aren’t the only time we should be expressing our thanks for our loved ones and all of the good things that surround us. Saying ‘thank you’ and counting all of the things that we have and are grateful for is also contagious. One idea is for each family member to keep a gratitude journal. When shared and acknowledged, such things are sure to bring more joy into your family’s daily life.