Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Building Family Bonds During Holidays

Holidays mean family gatherings, and, for many, that translates into stressful and potential volatile interactions.

Diffuse the holiday with a little planning. This week, plan something you can do to lighten the atmosphere. Games are always a good choice. Everyone moans at charades, but it's always fun, and all ages can play. If it's fair weather, head out for an Easter Egg hunt - hey, who said adults don't like candy? - or a scrimmage game.

Or get out. Go boating, canoeing or hiking, if your family is so inclined. If the parents or grandparents won't go, then go with your siblings or younger relatives. There's nothing that says everybody has to stay in the same room after the meal. Breaking into smaller groups can help you bond with individual members of your family.

If you don't think you can get your family off the couch after the big meal, try these alternatives:
  • Bring a game system and play something fun, like Lego's Star Wars or Dance, Dance Revolution. No G games? You can always rent.
  • Beg, borrow or rent a Karaoke machine.
  • Play poker or Rook.
  • Look through old pictures of vacations and other fond memories.
  • Rent a fun movie everybody can enjoy. Even animated feature - such as Shrek - which appeal across the generations. Pop Peeps instead of Popcorn.
Studies indicate that couples who engage in fun, new activities renew the feelings of falling in love. Why shouldn't this logic apply to families as well?

I'd like to hear other ideas on how you can build family - instead of fight - during a holiday. Our next major holiday: Mother's Day!

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