During the holiday season it can be all too easy to lose yourself and get caught up in the wrong things.
Often, there is more attention paid to the price of the gifts, the elaborateness of decorations or the decadence of the food. But the holiday season is the perfect time to focus on family.
Here's a charge: Instead of focusing on the things that will only matter for a day or two, focus on building better relationships with family or celebrating the family's history.
Trust us, those gifts will still be there under the tree when you're done.
In that spirit, we've collected five things that you can do to celebrate family during the holiday season. First on the list is to do something special with a kid or a few kids in your family ...
Day with youth of family
If you insist on gift-giving during the holidays, give the gift of your time. Tell a family member who has younger children that you are going to relieve him or her for the afternoon, although all day would likely be better.
This will give that family member some adult time to relax and rejuvenate for the little one's return. If the child is younger, consider an age-appropriate outing such as Disney on Ice or a kid's movie. Some type of athletic event will make any youth excited, too. Consider even playing a few video games together.
Baking cookies or a cake could be a blast. Arts and crafts, too.
For children who are preteen or teen, a meal at their favorite restaurant will also offer an opportunity to eat and have good conversation.
But while there is a need to focus on the younger ones in the family, there is a definite need to focus on the older family members ...
Wisdom found in matriarch, patriarch
A lot of times, families forget about the fountain of wisdom and knowledge that older relatives have.
The holiday season offers a perfect opportunity to show love and respect to one of the elders in the family and to also gather important family stories.
While many things in life remain the same, there are many things that change. Elders can provide a firsthand account of how things used to be. They also contain information that, if they should die without telling, will be forever lost.
According to Kimberly Powell, a professional genealogist, a few questions that will provide invaluable information are: What was your house like? How were holidays celebrated in your family? How is the world different today than it was when you were a youth?
All of this information should be recorded or written down.
Once gathered, it's important to keep it and pass it to a person of the next generation who is responsible enough to keep the family history ...
Family history in a box
Once important family history and facts have been gathered, there are a few other things that should be collected during the holidays.
The elder should be asked to produce any old photos of even older family members, if possible. While a current video can definitely be shot, ask the relative if there is any historic footage of the family or family events. This will make great conversation.
If there are any letters, newspaper articles or other documentation about the family, include it.
Put everything together in a box.
One or two people should be appointed to maintain the family records. It's always better to have two copies of everything just in case.
Don't let this discussion cause any dissension in the family, however. But if there are any estranged or quarreling family members, the holiday season is also a time to put it to an end ...
Stop fighting family members