While there is a different feel and routine during the holiday months, it can still feel like the “same old holiday routine” as every other year.
What can you do to make this year more memorable, enjoyable and fun? and not just for you, but your entire family, people who are visiting or you will visit.
When we gather to the family table for a meal, discussion tends to generally revolve around a couple of topics:
- Football. On Thanksgiving there are always a couple of big NFL games. Many families also have their own 'turkeybowl' tradition. Christmas time is college bowl season, so there are always big games coming up.
- Politics. Just because it seems to have infected every aspect of our lives now.
- family memories and reminiscing.
What about sharing family and personal stories? How can the older generation more easily share fun and interesting parts of their lives? How can the younger generations do the same and feel comfortable while doing so?
Following are ways to do exactly that.
Use greetingStory cards as an 'icebreaker game' or as seating cards.There are two ways to do this and both work well. Version one goes like this:
- As people arrive, give them a greetingStory card. You could let them choose from an assortment, or give everyone the same card, the choice is yours. Have them fill out the card and return it to you before sitting down for dinner or starting the official festivities (tip: if you are using an assortment of cards, instruct them to hide the cover from other people. That's part of the game later on). They should add their name on the inside of the card so you know whose story is whose.
- Place all the cards on the table, one at each place. As you eat, go around the table, each person reading the story.
- Here's where you can mix it up a little. When they finish reading the story, they can say who wrote it, or everyone can guess who wrote it. Both ways elicit some fun conversation, but letting people guess is always a little crazier/more fun.
- Use the greetingStory cards as seating cards. Write the persons name on the back and place it with their name facing the setting. Include a pen with each card.
- When they sit down, ask everyone to take a moment and fill out their card. Invite people to share their story while you eat.
Play “Guess Who” with greetingStory cards
For this game, you'll need some greetingStory cards that have already been completed, but with no name on them.
Place cards in areas where people might gather to talk (i.e. the coffee table, the hearth, in the kitchen) before your meal. Invite people to read the stories and try to guess whose story it is (tip: include a post-it in the card where people can write their guesses). You can talk about the guesses during or after dinner. One thing to remember here, these stories can be from deceased or living family members. It's a great way to learn about both!
Both of these are great ways to get people talking about family stories while improving family relationships.