04 Sep Managing to Keep the Get-together Practical!
Sometimes it can be easy to get caught in the net of weighing our lives in the balance against someone else’s, particularly in today’s world of social media, the Internet, cell laptops, phones and tablets. Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying it in a simple, profound way: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
This concept of selecting bigger and better while trying to keep up with the Joneses can seep into our family vacation time, but it doesn’t need to. Getting stucked in the “keeping up” philosophy can really impede the chance for families to connect and enjoy meaningful experiences. So, when you’re aiming to tune everything out and pay attention to enhancing the relationships that mean the best to you as you come together this year, the following are 15 tips for keeping it simple.
Put up a fire and roast s’mores. Remember to buy extra chocolate (insert: when can you have too much?).
Do a round of everyone sharing their favorite songs they found in the past year, the songs they ended up enjoying again and again. Who doesn’t love new tunes and artist referrals?
Watch the stars. It sounds so uncomplicated, but when it’s quiet and dark and you’re lying on blankets watching the night sky, you’ll enjoy beauty and likely share some meaningful talk, too.
Dance. Yup! When everybody’s mingling, crank up some tunes and get the entire family– uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, young ones and old ones– on their feet. Together. This is SO MUCH FUN.
Enjoy a game. Take off the decks of cards, take out that new favorite board game, take your favorite snacks, and gather round. Chuckling is sure to occur.
Go get ice cream. Pile everyone in the car and go get shakes at the local drive in. With so many people getting different flavors, you may get lucky to try more than just your own.
Build sand castles. If you snuck away to the ocean or a lake not far from home for a few days, take along some sand gear and hang around talking with each other as you construct your best version of a medieval fortress.
Venture out and move together. Set up a family 5K and enjoy motivating each other (and likely stirring up some healthy banter, too!).
Enjoy a flick. Nothing wrong with blankets, popcorn, and snacks, too.
Sing with each other. There’s something about getting together in a circle, singing, and harmonizing together. Do not forget to pull out your iPhone and take a voice recording! You’ll listen to it later and be happy that you did.
Have a family talent performance. If you do, odds are good that some actions will have you splitting a gut, while some other may leave you in awe of the gifts your people have.
Go around the circle and have everyone share something they’re thankful for from the previous year. This one prompts people to examine deep, so don’t be amazed if you end up needing a Kleenex box.
Read something meaningful aloud. Maybe it’s a quote that changed your perspective or a passage from an essay that’s funny. Sharing and talking about thoughts is fun, and it helps you get to know one another better, too.
Create a memory by doing something surprising. Try new food together, start exploring a peak in the middle of the night, or do something that gets you out of your comfort zone.
Find out your favorite family stories. When you’re with the people that actually understand all the nuances and family dynamics at play, they’re funnier.
Looking at everyone else’s vacations on social media may make you feel as though yours has to be bigger and better to be great, but these simple suggestions will help you focus on your relationships, get quality time in, and walk away having connected with each other. And if you need a way to get the family from point A to point B during the reunion, we’re only a call away!