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4 Ways to Create More Holiday Season Meaning with Loved Ones

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“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.”

Do you hear Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé renditions of “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” echoing through the halls as you prepare for friends and family to gather? The holiday season is here and most of us can agree it truly is the most wonderful time of year. 

While the days can become filled with much celebration and joy, it can also carry with it the stress of frantically planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning. This makes it easy to let the time with loved ones pass us by without significance.

As family gatherings commence, consider how you can create more meaning from this rare moment of togetherness with the tips below.

1. Engage in Conversations and Practice Listening

It’s common to feel busier than ever during the holidays and our day-to-day conversations can reflect that feeling. This holiday season, we encourage you to take a step back, fully invest yourself in the moment and make the most of the conversations you have with loved ones.

Consider these discussion topics to engage in meaningful conversations during the holidays: 

  • What food couldn’t you imagine the holidays without?
  • What Christmas or holiday song is your favorite?
  • What’s the most memorable gift you’ve received? 

As you open one of these conversations at the next family gathering, make sure to prioritize listening. The most valuable aspect of a conversation is often what we do when the other person is talking. Taking the time to listen can help build meaningful memories, and show the person that you care and cherish what is being said. 

>>>Related Resource: 9 Thoughtful Conversation Starters for Around the Table 

2. Find and Cherish the “Small Moments”

Holiday plans often involve the whole family or large groups of friends gathering together. “Small moments” are the times spent away from the group in a more intimate setting. The following “small moments” are the perfect time to reflect and revel on the year behind you: 

  • Decorating the tree before the holiday festivities.
  • Setting the table for the family dinner.
  • Cleaning dishes after the rush has settled.
  • Traveling in the car from place to place.

Our natural inclination may be to worry about our holiday to-do list, but remaining present in the moment can be one of the greatest gifts.

3. Show That You Care

We all have our own unique ways of caring. For some, it means offering a hug and for others, it may mean doing a nice gesture such as offering to wash the dishes after dinner. The holiday season is a perfect time to express our affection for those closest to us.

Consider these meaningful opportunities to show that you care:

  • Gift your loved one a handwritten card.
  • Help bake their favorite meal.
  • Give hugs and be open to receiving hugs.
  • Offer a hand in cleaning up after the festivities. 

>>>Related Resource: Remember Your Lost Loved One with Busch’s 12 Days of Remembrance

4. Be Honest

As the year comes to a close, the holiday season presents an excellent opportunity to reflect honestly on the past 12 months.

When asked, “How have you been?” our trained response is, “Good.” And while elaborating on life’s highs and lows when checking out at the grocery store may not be necessary, connecting with loved ones in real and genuine ways is important.

Those who gather during the holidays come together for a reason—to celebrate the highs and empathize with the lows. By being honest yourself, you may be surprised at how others respond and reveal their authentic selves.

>>>Related resource: 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Grievers

Create Meaningful Conversations this Holiday Season 

Go beyond the average family get-together and engage in conversations that grow you closer with friends and family. In our free guide, Busch’s Essential Guide to Meaningful Conversation, you’ll learn how to tackle some of life’s most important questions together. Filled with 25+ conversation-starting questions and tips, the entire family will appreciate the experience.

Download our essential guide to meaningful conversation

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2018, and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Cathy Nichols
Cathy Nichols
Considers it an honor as a Certified Celebrant to listen to life stories, and then design and conduct meaningful tributes. Cathy also trains celebrants nationally, equipping them to share those legacies in ways that comfort and enlighten. Honorably serving Busch families since 2004.

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