New ways to connect with friends, family this holiday season

by Brittany Gilbert

This entire year has been new territory for us all. We’re having to figure out every holiday, birthday, special event or celebration in new ways. I imagine we were all hoping that we could have life as usual by the end of the year, but the closer we get, the more it seems we will still have the same guidelines to follow. What will Thanksgiving and Christmas be like without all of the parties and family get-togethers? 

Our family has discovered just how much we needed our calendar to be cleared. The hustle and bustle that we were experiencing at the beginning of the year is almost nonexistent now, and we are able to say yes to things we really want and say no to the things that start to shift our focus away from the things we want to be intentional about. Still, the inability to gather with just anyone we want in any way we want (sans mask and in large gatherings) has left us feeling like we’re missing something this season. I have come up with a few ways to connect with people in a season meant for gathering. These are specific for kids!

Amp up the random acts of kindness. Brainstorm with your family about ways to bless, encourage or simply surprise others you know. Text a family and say, “Dinner is on us tonight. Check your porch at 6 p.m.” Email a gift card to a friend out of the blue. A coffee gift card with $30 goes a long way. 

Have you heard of “boo bags” for Halloween? I love the idea so much that we’re doing it randomly for the rest of the year. There are so many ways you can tweak this simple idea, too. The original idea is to fill a small bag with candy and set on a friend’s porch and tell them they’ve been “boo’d.” You can do this any time of the year, especially in a season such as this. You could put candy in treat bags, but you could also do a pumpkin with carving utensils and challenge friends to a contest, or include a small art project. Hobby Lobby and Michaels have little art kits for a few dollars that have enough for several to participate. I’m sure you can come-up with some really neat ideas for these bags, and I would love to read about them. If you want to share your ideas with me, feel free to send to the email in my bio.

Just because the focus of our holiday season is on family, now more than ever, it doesn’t mean we can’t connect with friends in interesting and unique ways. It can be easy to neglect reaching out to others because we aren’t gathering as regularly; however, holiday seasons can be hard on people even in the most normal of years, so be sure to reach out to others and connect in whatever way you can.

Brittany Gilbert
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