Christmas usually means spending time with your extended family. Extended family gatherings look very different; your family may be the Baileys or they may be the Griswolds. Really, the McAllisters are probably the most normal and fall somewhere in between. Remember this scene?
My extended family get-togethers are usually the complete opposite– definitely no pizza, not this loud and no physical fighting at least. There are lots of conversations that start with, “Do you remember such and such? You know, they live on the old somebody farm.” And we usually say, “Sure, sure,” to keep the story going even though we have no idea who they are talking about.
I suppose I either want family gatherings to be fun or a time that we reconnect and grow closer. So if your family is like mine, let’s suggest and plan a few new (or forgotten) activities to make this year more memorable.
- Play board games.
We used to do this when I was a teen, and I have great memories of us all laughing hysterically at the table after dinner. Our favorites were Taboo and Pictionary. And I’ve heard rave reviews recently about Speak Out. (If you want a good laugh, watch this YouTube video about Speak Out.)
- Build your family tree.
Use a family tree printable like these from Family Tree Templates to chart your family members and have the opportunity to share memories about those you knew. This is an informal way to learn more about your family and where you came from.
- Go for a walk.
With all the extra food we enjoy at Christmas, we could all benefit from bundling up and taking a walk around the neighborhood. If your family is the musical kind, you could carol as you go. What a very Little Women thing to do!
- Break out the home videos.
Have each family bring an old home video. Everyone can gather around and enjoy memories of when you were younger, thinner and more energetic. Ha!
Most of all, don’t leave home without spending a little time with Jesus. You may have a couple of relatives are crazy and drive you crazy. And if you don’t have a crazy relative, you may be the crazy relative. And I don’t know about you, but if I don’t take the time to get my heart right, it’s way too easy to get irritated, run out of patience and see all the things I don’t like about others. And for that relative who get under your skin, take a minute or two to think of 1 or 2 good qualities of that person. I read that tip in a magazine, and it certainly changes my perspective.
Choose your attitude and plan your time together to have the best extended family Christmas yet!