If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with. - Crosby, Stills and Nash
If you’re reading this & are celebrating Xmas today without family & friends who would normally be there, my heart is with you. The same is true for my son and me.
But even if your family group is smaller today, I want to tell you how your home can help you draw closer to the ones who are there...
How to Love the Ones You're With
Want help with strengthening a shared family identity and forming stronger bonds?
You can use the strategies I am about to share all year long, but if you have family members coming over today, to celebrate, or you're working with a smaller family crew, there may be one or two things you can do to enhance the closeness you feel or lay the foundation for the closeness you want..
3 Tips for Creating or Strengthening Family Bonds, Identity and Closeness
(1) Make sure that in the common spaces - like the family room - there are personalized items that reflect you as a family.
Adding photos and souvenirs to commonly owned spaces in a home is a way for the people living there to bond with each other. - Dr. Sally Augustin
(2) Add one or two items that are comforting and meaningful to each person, which supports them, individually. For extended family, that might mean getting out the gift you have been hiding in the back of the closet.
(3) Arrange the seating in the family or living room so that each piece of furniture points toward an imaginary center of a circle. This strategy makes eye contact easy, which is important for strengthening a sense of connection.
(4) Make sure the seating is comfy and cozy. That will make it easier for everyone to relax, and they will be more likely to start conversations that take a while.
And once that kind of cozy seating is in place, along with the shared identity items, this room is a good one for making family plans, and having family occasions that repeat, like pizza or movie nights.
(5) Avoid harsh lighting overhead. Opt for softer lighting and candlelight, when possible.
Now that you have read these ideas, which ones seem doable today? Perhaps you have a little time before the family dinner?
If not today, can you imagine making some of these changes to make at least one room a true “family” room?
Hi, I'm Jeanine
Author, tea matchmaker, self care coach and lifestyle blogger. I help women who want more time for tea breaks & self care simplify, and find time for both. More here.