12 Days of Christmas Connection
Jump ahead to the day you’d like to see.
Family Focused Gift Exchange
“This is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
A great way to start off your holidays is a family focused gift exchange! The gifts don’t have to be elaborate. You can print and frame a picture of an ancestor, give a short history of your memories of a special sibling or grandparent, create a unique family tree for display, find a token or memorabilia from a shared homeland, create a small album of old family photos with names added to each, or share a candy or snack from a place your ancestors lives. You could assign specific ancestors to each person or let everyone choose their own. FamilySearch Memories makes it easy to access pictures, documents, stories, and letters from your family’s archives. Need more ideas? In these 21-day plans (can be done sooner), walk you step by step through creating your own recipe book, storybook, or photo gift!
Good Conversation is the Equivalent of Shared Emotion ~ Marty Rubin
Have an intentional conversation with a family member! Whether it’s an immediate family member or an extended family member, connect by having a one-on-one conversation. If you won’t see them live, set up a Zoom, FaceTime, Duo or even just a simple phone call. Not sure what to talk about? Here are a few ideas:
- Try the questions in our speed interview question generator!
- Bring up a shared memory. “Remember when” moments can be especially powerful and connective.
- Invite them to share a favorite memory or story. “What did you love most about Grandma Seal?”
- Tell your loved one, one or two things you’ve noticed and love about them.
- Ask questions about how they feel in addition to how they are and take the time to actively listen.
Connect Through Pictures
If family pictures are worth a thousand words (and we think they are!), then let’s shout those words from the rooftops and share them. Bring a spot of joy to a family member by texting, emailing or even snail mailing a picture and let that loved one know you’re thinking of them and why that picture is important to you. Just one picture that sparks joy for you, can spark joy for your loved one. Share a photo on social media by using one of our fun Make My Meme templates! Tag us @21DayConnect or use #21DayExperiment so we can see too!
Connect Through Travel
“May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher
Travel is a big part of many families’ holiday memories. You traveled to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving or your family went on special trips when school was out. Spend time remembering your travel memories together. Set aside some time to document your holiday travel memories. The easiest way to do this is to press record on your phone.
“Traditions touch us, they connect us, and they expand us.” ~Rita Barreto Craig
Many families have long established traditions surrounding the holiday season. Traditions are ideas, activities and beliefs passed down from one generation to the next and can have deep connective bonds when participated in year after year. Think about adding a new tradition this year. Make sure you poll your family and get their input on what traditions to add.
“Take a break and chill because this is the time of the year to rejoice, celebrate and, also, feel rewarded.” ~ Porsha Williams
Create a space for yourself this holiday season. Take some time to meditate on or even write a list of things you’re excited about and even some things you know will be difficult this holiday season. Some other holiday self care activities could be: holding space for what matters most, putting what matters on the calendar means you don’t miss out. Schedule downtime, you can enjoy your holiday moments when you make sure you have the time to enjoy and do them. Get things done by making a list and checking it twice.
Foods & Treats
“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” ~ Anthony Bourdain
Food is an important part of the holidays. Ponder how food is important to your family. Lots of people give out treats to neighbors or will make treats from their ancestral homeland. Food is a great way to help a group of people be comfortable and most will talk with each other. If you are staying at someone’s house try making them a meal.
“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” ~Elton John
Music is another important element of the holidays. How has music been important in your family during the holidays? Write down the memories that come to mind when you hear holiday songs play. Make a playlist of some family favorites and share it with them. Try Christmas caroling as a family, in person or on Zoom! Find a concert to attend, this could be a new tradition! Share your favorite holiday music with us on social media! Tag us @21DayConnect or use #21DayExperiment so we can listen too!
Decorating with memories is a unique way to bring your family past and present into your holidays. Ask family members to send you their favorite holiday memory, print them out and display them in your home. Or you could make a family memories book. Making Christ cards and cutting snowflakes are a fun way to get crafty this holiday season. We want to see your decorations! Take a picture and share it with us on social media! Tag us @21DayConnect or use #21DayExperiment so we can be inspired.
“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.”~ Anonymous
The holidays seem to be a time when people are focused on other people. It’s a great time of year to serve others. Some simple service ideas are to watch someone’s kids while they go Christmas shopping, participate in a food or toy drive, or visit the elderly or widowed who are lonely.
Record A Memory
“It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”
– Agnes M. Pharo
Record a holiday memory today. This time is so busy that it’s easy to forget the little holiday moments that are happening. Record a current memory or think back to one from your childhood.
Save The Memories
“The season of festivities and wonder is waiting for you to unwrap joy and gaiety!” ~ Unknown
The holidays are unique to each family and person that celebrates them. What does your holiday time look like? Record the sights, smells, and sounds of your most memorable holiday season. Share with us what your holidays look like for each of the five senses on social media! Tag us @21DayConnect or use #21DayExperiment