Slowww Down and Reconnect this Holiday Season

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the shopping, decorating, rushing around and other holiday hoopla that tends to consume the stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. But solely focusing on your to-do list can deprive you of one of the greatest joys of the season: reconnecting with family and friends. Add a few more entries to this season’s to-do list that make that re-connection a priority, something you can easily achieve in various ways.

Host a casual get-together.

Notice we said casual, which means you don’t have to go nuts bedecking the halls and other areas of your house. And you don’t have to dress up in gowns and tuxes. Notice we also called it a get-together, not a party, bash or gala affair.

Call up a few friends or family members to play a game of cards or Monopoly in front of the fireplace. Serve up refreshing drinks, hot cocoa, a few bowls of nuts and you’re done. Or meet a few pals or long-lost relatives for lunch in a favorite café, an option that doesn’t even involve serving nuts or drinks.

Reserve time for your holiday cards.

Skip the one-size-fits all holiday letter that tells the same ole story to your entire mailing list. Instead pick out a few different sets of decorative Christmas cards, making a point to include a truly personal note on each. And no, “It’s snowing here” doesn’t count as personal. Really think about the person as you’re writing the note, recalling fond memories or moments that made you two special in each other’s lives.

Don’t rush through the pack just to get them done. Treat the task as a fond walk down memory lane instead of a race to the finish. Your season’s greetings are sure to spread much more joy when they include a heartfelt message.

Pick up the phone.

Email, texting and checking up on family and friends on Facebook are fine, but they don’t take the place of the person-to-person communication you can get from a simple phone call. Even if you can only talk for five or 10 minutes, take the time to reach out and call someone who may have been on your mind – or out of it for far too long.

Combine interests.

Many of your friends and family members may be as busy with the hustle and bustle of the season as you are, a perfect excuse to run errands together. Here you can enjoy face-to-face time in the car and waiting in lines while ensuring your dozens of errands are getting done.

Even if the last tip doesn’t technically count as slowing down, at least you’re still spending time with someone whose company you enjoy. And that’s what the season is really all about. Make the most of it by ensuring your holidays include a series of meaningful re-connections and not just a series of hurried chores.