5 Ways to Give the Gift of Quality Time This Holiday Season
Does your holiday season look like one giant to-do list? From buying presents and dealing with broken Christmas lights to scheduling travel plans, we often get so swept up in the chaos (and unexpected expenses!) around the holidays that we end up forgetting what the season is all about: creating memories with the people we love.
This year, if you find yourself standing in a crowded mall with a giant shopping list and a million errands running through your mind, take a deep breath and try to reclaim those warm, fuzzy Christmas feelings from when you were a kid.
You can do that by focusing on giving yourself – and your loved ones – the gift of quality time this holiday season. Studies show that 20% of people report quality time as their top love language. Make your Christmas merry and bright by learning to speak it.
Time with your partner
The romance of falling snow, cozy fireplaces, and mistletoe tend to drift away when we’re distracted by late-night runs to the store for stocking stuffers. Schedule some one-on-one time for just you and your spouse, and suddenly, Christmas will feel a lot more magical.
Wait for the kids to go to bed and then make spiked hot chocolate or mulled wine and sit by the fire. After it snows, go snowshoeing together or just take a walk and marvel at the winter wonderland around you.
You could also go for a romantic drive at night, look at Christmas lights, and listen to old-fashioned songs on the radio.
If there’s a holiday activity you’ve been dying to do that you know the kids won’t be up for, use it as an opportunity to take your spouse on a date. Oh, and one more thing, never underestimate the power of some well-placed mistletoe!
Time with your children
The holidays are about more than just Christmas lists and presents under the tree. Teach your children the importance of valuing quality time over material goods by making time for memorable experiences.
If you’re on a busy schedule, you can do this by including them in some of your holiday tasks. Have the kids help you with holiday baking, decorating, and wrapping presents. Get some crayons, glitter and other craft supplies and make Christmas cards together. Offer to show them how to make some fun DIY gifts for their teachers instead of buying something from the store. By including them in holiday tasks, you’ll pass along treasured family traditions and recipes.
Time with relatives and friends
With all of the holiday parties you have to attend and all of the relatives you need to visit, sometimes it feels like there should be more than 31 days in December. Fortunately, spending time with immediate family and close friends doesn’t have to mean leaving out relatives and acquaintances.
If your friends and relatives live far away, find a convenient time to FaceTime or chat on the phone. Even an email or text can show them that you’re thinking of them.
For nearby friends and acquaintances, pick a free activity in your town like a tree lighting, holiday market, or an ugly sweater party at a bar and invite everyone.
For elderly relatives that live nearby, choose a time to drop off cookies and spend an hour or two having tea and talking.
Time with yourself
When things get hectic, it’s easy to neglect one very important relationship: the one you have with yourself. Rediscover the meaning of self-care this holiday season by spending quality time with yourself.
It may feel silly at first, but once you get in the habit of taking care of you, you’ll realize how much it actually benefits everyone else around you. In a perfect world, you’d have time for a full day at the spa – and if you do have space for that in your schedule, go for it!
But if like most people, you don’t, do a DIY spa night where you paint your nails, take a bubble bath, put on a face mask, and enjoy a glass of wine.
How to prioritize quality time
OK, so now you’ve got some solid ideas for spending quality time with family, friends, and even yourself this holiday season. But how do you transform those goals into plans?
Start by writing down your ideas and aspirations for spending quality time with all of the people in your life. Treat these goals as if they are as important as all of the holiday parties, Christmas shopping trips, and seasonal obligations. By actually writing down and scheduling quality time, you’re more likely to make it a priority.
As things get busy in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, look at these tips as a reminder for giving the gift of quality time. If you do, the memories you make will remain long after the tree is gone, the cookies are eaten, and the presents are unwrapped.