Keeping in Touch | Light the World

Well friends, it’s getting down to the Christmas wire, and I find that I’d rather hang out with family, read, and do holiday activities than blog. Sorry. But blogging about #LightTheWorld, spreading the word, trying to bring a little more love to the world, is important. So here I am.

Christmas is about Jesus Christ, love and light. It’s about tradition and family. But it’s not the only time when life should be about family. I think we’re all guilty about taking family for granted. I know I am. We get so mixed up in life that we forget to really connect with those closest to us and neglect to keep in touch with those who live further away.

Ways to Connect

Keeping in touch with family can be tricky because there’s so much emotion there. We know that they’ll always be there for us, so we can let the communication lapse a bit without breaking the relationship. After all, blood binds us, right? Yes. But for that reason we need to make the effort to connect more often. No relationship is as satisfying as a strong familial bond. My little sister, my niece, my little brother, my sister-in-law are some of my best friends. I truly enjoy spending time with the rest of my family. I adore my nieces and nephews.

I never had a strong relationship with my extended family (aunts, uncles, and cousins) as a child, but I can’t imagine not having one with my siblings and their children now. If you need some ideas on connecting with your family this holiday season (and throughout the year), here are some ideas:

  • Leave hand-written notes. There’s something special about hand-written messages. Maybe because it’s so personal. That ink on the paper you’re holding traveled from their pen to your paper (even if it just traveled within the same house).e It’s like having a little piece of them.
  • Send a card or letter. If your family is far away, that traveling ink is even more valuable.
  • Try FaceTime, Skype, etc. We live in a world of technology, and sometimes that’s really good. Like when you want to see your faraway family members. With family across the country, this is big.
  • Plan family cookie exchanges and/or parties. I have a cookie exchange with my sisters, sisters-in-law, and mother every year. We have a truly dizzying array of sweets, Christmas movies, laughter and conversation, and holiday crafts.
  • Say I love you out loud. Because sometimes people just need to hear it. Your family might know that you love them, but they deserve to hear the words.
  • Hug them all. My Dad’s a hugger (for all of you who know me, this is common knowledge), and through him I’ve learned the value of hugs, the power of them. Humans need physical contact, and there’s no better place to get that than in a family.
  • Give a good gift. We all know that gifts aren’t about the money but the thought.

This holiday season has been one of family connection for me. I dream of a day (most likely fictional) when my entire family—parents, nine siblings, and 29 nieces and nephews—are together for Christmas. I’d probably have to be rich and rent out a mansion, but it would be awesome. In lieu of that, I connect the best I can and revel in the warmth and love of family. They make me happy.

Choose Joy.

—A

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