We hope that you will be inspired to engage with your family and community during this season of giving and in the new year.
1. Express Gratitude – Like any habit gratitude can be cultivated. Share three things you are each grateful for each day and share over your holiday table.
2. Demonstrate Care for Others – Help family members, friends or neighbors who are in need by offering to lend a hand. Rake leaves, pick up trash, share cookies you baked, or grab groceries for them when you go to the store.
3. Tell Your Family Story – While your family is together for the holidays, take the opportunity to discover and record the stories of our elders. Shoot a simple iPhone video or do an audio recording. Take a few action pics as the stories are told. It’s never too early to capture the stories of those we love. Try the StoryCorps app.
4. Convey Family Blessings – Invite each member of the family to write a note to every other member of the family, highlighting a nice thing about their character or something they did that you admire. Set a time to “deliver” the notes.
5. Family Movie Night – Watch a family friendly film together and during the popcorn and hot chocolate ask each member to reflect on one example of a positive value they saw acted out by one of the characters. Discuss how your family puts its values to work during the holiday season.
6. Gifts for all – Reach out to local family service agencies and adopt a child for the holidays. Consider asking your kids to contribute their money or use a night of Hanukkah or one gift less under the tree to help pay for these gifts. Shop together to reinforce that all kids should have a present at the holidays.
7. Pay it Forward – For each gift received over the holidays, encourage children to pay it forward by giving away one itme for every one they received. Sort through those gently used toys, books, and clothes in January.
8. Make a Good Deed Family Calendar – Create a calendar of good deeds your family can do together each week of the year. Designate a night to share over dinner. Good deeds could be anything from picking up litter, to donating items, to being nice to school friends. Let your kids be a part of the calendar creation.
9. Use some of the down time around the holidays to reflect on what’s most meaningful to you and whether you’re embracing that in your everyday life. Ask yourself: Am I living my values? How might I give of my time, talent, treasure and ties to live in alignment with my values?
10. Share your values by using the words you treasure as values when talking to your family. “We value everyone having a Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate like us, that’s why we’ve signed up to volunteer to serve meals to folks who might not have a Thanksgiving meal this year.”
Special thanks to our colleagues at 2164.net. You can find additional ideas curated by the 2164 team here.