Festive gatherings don’t need to be reserved to overindulgent food buffets, gifts you will probably want to return, and surface-level conversations. You can design your experiences more mindfully and add a deeper meaning. Choose what matters to you. Here are three simple steps you can take to enrich the experience of celebration and gathering around the table as a family or group of friends.
Encourage each person to contribute. One person can bring their favorite bread, another can cook a starter, while anyone with a sweet tooth can take care of dessert. That way, the pressure isn’t all on the host and everyone is immediately more engaged and connected, sharing the anticipation of a great time together.
Before eating, take a moment to express your gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal together. You can also define what makes this gathering so special. Or you can share your favourite festive memories of you and the other person.
Gratitude, in any ways of expression, is a fundamental part of any conscious lifestyle, and we tend to practice it on an individual level in our Five Minute Journals, but holiday gatherings are a great opportunity to introduce this concept to your family and friends and practice gratitude as a collective.
Cultivate engaging conversations—this means talking less about the weather and politics and going deeper—ask about dreams for the future, favorite memories, or current challenges.
When gathered around the table, in between meals, or while on your coffee––or mulled wine––break, add an extra element to your dinner experience by playing the Let's Get Closer: Table Talk game. This compact conversational game combines simple, yet still meaningful questions that create opportunities for more fun and engaging conversations with your guests. Listen mindfully and ask second questions if you feel like it will help the person open up and go deeper. Sometimes, the most interesting conversations come after the initial answer.
At the end of the day, the original meaning of the holiday season has always been about human connection and creating memories you will share and cherish together. Fancy decorations, glamorous outfits, and indulgent meals are just the sprinkle on the top, not the core reason for celebrating.