comscore Positively Young: Create deeper connections with family at Christmas | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Features | Live Well

Positively Young: Create deeper connections with family at Christmas

For many, it’s been a lot of work to get to today. Taking Christmas photos, sending cards, finding the right gifts, delivering them, hosting and attending parties, decorating the house and more.

The moment of Christmas 2018 has arrived in all its glory and you might find yourself just going through the motions because you’re simply exhausted.

Let me ask you this: How will you measure success today? Finding a second wind and creating a personal metric of success is not such a bad idea. And it’s not too late.

After all, you want today to count and be a memory of a lifetime. Let’s hope that at the top of your wish list is creating a deeper connection with loved ones. The perfection of the meal or the thrill of new toys pale in comparison to the joy of feeling more connected to the people you are related to.

Here are some easy ways that won’t require a lot of energy to support connecting with loved ones today.

>> Minimize judging and your need to fix. It’s so easy to have negative thoughts about the relatives that we do not share values with. You might look at them and think they should spend their time, money or energy differently.

You may think they are making the wrong choices in life, or they are raising their children wrong. Today, instead of judging them or trying to fix them, love them for who they are.

After all, they are probably thinking the same things about you. Change the energy of the relationship by stepping out of judgment and into appreciation. Say something genuine.

>> Have a different conversation. When was the last time someone asked you about yourself, and really cared to know the answer? It feels good to know someone cares to know about you.

As such, make it a point to ask the people you are gathering with about their lives, their families, their hobbies, goals and visions. Really listen to their response. Be there with them in that moment.

Many times we take for granted the routine of getting together, and the day goes by without enhanced value.

Being together is nice, but you can make an effort to show you care in a different way. And remember, no judging or fixing.

>> Move outside your normal groove. Take breaks from hiding in the kitchen or gluing yourself to television football. When was the last time you smiled at a family member?

We smile at friends, or when we want to make a friendly impression on another, but minimize its importance when it comes to family. Today, make it a point to look your family members in the eye and greet them with an authentic smile.

Most of us have a deep desire to connect. It is our most innate longing to love and be loved. Measure today’s success not by whose team won the game but the time and bond you shared. With a little mindfulness, that bond can become a little stronger because of your willingness to connect.

Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit

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