The holidays are upon us, and we all know what that means… ’tis the season for bonding with our loved ones, especially for family gatherings! 🙂
Personally, I love family gatherings (that’s my extrovert self speaking, I think). There is something about being with those near and dear to us that just, well, warms my heart!
However, we all know that not all family reunions end up great and stored in our memory banks. Personally, there have been countless times in the past when I have felt saddened or hurt or angered (or a combination of emotions) during family gatherings. Sometimes, this has been due to misunderstandings or well-meaning but insensitive comments by relatives (you know the ones! 😉 ), or other reasons. Still, these are not things that we should dwell on, right? After all, Christmas is all about HIM, and not about us nor our relatives.
Having said that, I think it would help to keep some things in mind when it comes to making family gatherings memorable. Here are just a few of them:
1. Focus on the relationships.
This can be easier said than done because of the “hustle and bustle” that is usually associated with the holidays. But, but, but we must always remember that our relationships with our family members (and those beyond our family, too) are more important than how fancy or “complicated” our family gatherings are. There is no need to hold reunions at big-time venues like hotels or resorts — what is important is the quality of time you spend together. (Of course, if your family can afford to do so, there is no problem with that!)
2. Prepare yourself (and your loved ones, too).
If you’re the type who can be overwhelmed by big crowds (hello, dear introvert friends!), big family gatherings may be a bit too much for you. So prepare yourself by psyching yourself up mentally and emotionally to face your relatives. Focus on your relationships (see number 1).
Also, since holiday gatherings can be overwhelming to the younger members of your family, i.e. your kids if you have them, it’s best to prepare them ahead of time by explaining to them where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, who you’ll be meeting, and the like. This will help all of you make more meaningful connections with loved ones, especially extended family whom you may not have seen in a long time.
3. Look for meaning in the ordinary.
The “holiday rush” can sometimes make us forget to look beyond the “ordinary” and see beauty and meaning. I don’t know, maybe it’s the spirit of Christmas and all, but even simple shopping trips can make me feel sentimental lately.
Actually, preparing for Christmas always makes me extra sentimental, because it’s really the time for family reunions and making meaningful memories with our loved ones. Even this video of my friend Beng of The Parenting Emporium and her mom checking out sofas made me feel a bit emotional… it brings back memories of my mom… and our whole family, actually… spending time together, bonding together as a family… *sigh* (Get me some tissue please!)
I will actually be extra happy during the upcoming holidays, because we will be spending even more time together as a family. I pray that you will be able to do so too, friend. After all, the holidays are all about our loved ones, right? Especially our Greatest Love of all — Jesus, the Reason for the season!
P.S. Don’t the sofas featured in the video above look so comfy and cozy? One day, when we get our own family home, I hope and pray we can get one of them for our living room! In the meantime, I will drool over them and place these photos in our family’s dream board. 😉 Which one do you think is best? (You can check out more great choice for furniture on the BLIMS website — they have an ongoing holiday sale!)