Here are some attitudes that help make the family celebrations great ones as you get together over the holidays. These are free, beneficial and almost always well received. I’m blessed with an easy-going family – on both sides. But, I’ve heard stories of the stress of holidays as people have met with in-laws, siblings and extended family. If you are from one of those families, give this a try.
Be a Listener
Everyone has something to share. Ask an open-ended question or two, then sit back and listen. One of the best gifts you can give people and one of the best connections you can have with them is to listen to them. What has been going on with you since the last time we’ve been together? Do you remember when…? What did you think about…?
Be an Encourager / Be Positive
Encourage people in your family – on their clothing, gift buying skills, etc. Be positive about the food, the planning, the times, the people. Maybe it’s harder to do than it is to say, but saying it is a start. Just decide that you will be positive today! Steer clear of conversations that will go downhill.
Be an Audience
Everyone likes to tell stories. They like to be noticed. All they need is an audience. Laugh when people are trying to be funny. Listen to their stories. Don’t try to one-up their stories. Look people in the eye.
One key to a great attitude is to smile! Smile all you can.
Set Technology Aside
If at all possible, use natural communication and connections this year. Sometimes a connection we have with someone might be tech stuff – how to get something to work on your phone or iPad. In that case, using your phone or computer with them is a great way to connect. Otherwise, don’t just sit by yourself looking at your phone. Try doing other things – games, helping in the kitchen, etc. Time is precious. If you think about it, if a person lives to an average age of 80 or so – that’s only 80 Thanksgivings and 80 Christmases! They are pretty special days!