Ah, the holidays – company shindigs and neighborhood gatherings and all of the family events… so much small talk and time to be together

Here are my hints to a more peaceable holiday season:

  • Children ALWAYS get asked about school; older and it’s work. Older still and they’re asked how they enjoy retirement.

    Holiday conversations

    Disrupt the status quo –ask what they’re doing for fun, what they’re reading, what recently made them say “Wow!”

  • Potlucks mean you can always ask about the food they brought -get the recipe or another good takeout suggestion!
  • Social media can be a blessing – “Oh, I just love seeing pictures of your dog…”
  • Family gatherings are a chance to hear a story from your history—especially useful this year might be stories about origins and resilience.
  • And oh, yes—we’ve just had a brutal election cycle. Need some ideas on civility? I love the resources at Teaching Tolerance.
  • Conversations do not need to be shared 50-50, right down the line. Magic can happen when you let someone open up, or when you have that chance to be heard deeply.

And of course, you don’t need to fill every silence. Sometimes it’s enough to be together.

  • Take a walk.
  • Make something together, whether it’s bread or a bookshelf or sidewalk chalk art, or putting new flowers in grandma’s front bed.
  • Family games, puzzles, or companionable reading
  • And if the silences are getting you down, you can always watch a movie together—at the theaters or at home. (Have I mentioned that Redbox, Netflix, and Amazon video are available 365 days a year?) Common Sense Media is a great online resource to find age-appropriate movies.

I look forward to sharing multigenerational time with you and yours this month, at our many holiday events and on Sunday mornings.

With love,
Katy Carpman
Director of Religious Education