How to survive a screen-free holiday family visit
The holidays all about spending time with family. But with the proliferation of electronic devices in our lives, family time can be less meaningful. All of this distraction really only serves to lower the quality of the “quality time” we are supposed to be spending with the ones we love. If you would like to get back to nurturing those meaningful connections, consider going screen-free during your next family visit. While it may seem like a daunting task, there are ways to survive it. Take a look below for some of the best ways you can pass the time without needing a screen.
Play games. An easy way of getting a group together to have collective fun is to break out a game. Whether it’s in the form of cards, dice, boards, or some combination of the three, games give you the chance to be silly together while competing in a lighthearted way. Even if you feel like you may not have all that much in common with the people you’re seeing, you can unite and bond when you’re having fun together.
Get deep into conversation. If you are visiting with people whom you haven’t seen in some time, there must be quite a bit to catch up on. Keep the connections to your loved ones strong by taking a real interest in their lives and what they have to say. It’s always a good idea to have some conversation topics in mind before the gathering so you can keep the conversation going. But if the conversation reaches a stopping point, take a lap around the room and catch up with someone else. By using this precious time the way it should be used, you’ll feel better about your holiday experience.
Get creative. You don’t need a screen to be entertained, especially if you have creative materials available to you. Try drawing with the kids in your family; you may be surprised by their artistic abilities! If you’re more musically inclined, bring an instrument and play some holiday tunes for everyone. If multiple people can play instruments, you might even be able to improvise some songs together, which can really liven things up. The more creative you are, the less tethered you’ll feel to devices in those moments.
Cook together. One of the best and most fun ways you can bond with others is by cooking with them. Even if you aren’t an avid cook yourself, learning how to make family favorites can be fun and rewarding for all involved. Learn Grandma’s tomato sauce recipe, or find out how your aunt makes those delicious chocolate chip cookies. These things can become family traditions, handed down from generation to generation, but you can only enjoy it for years to come if you participate. The end of your cooking session is something to look forward to because you’ll then be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Screen-free Holiday Challenge [Psychology Today]