touch

7 ways to make the important people in your life feel… important

It’s easy to get crazy and frenzied during the holiday season. And it’s easy to sacrifice the most important people in our lives on the altar of Christmas shopping, holiday parties, and All The Things to do.

Take a few days this week, and try out a few small but helpful ways to make our loved ones feel noticed in the midst of the festive flurry flurry.

1. Write a daily letter to someone during one week.

If it’s your spouse or teenager, tell them the things you like about them, how you see them. If it’s a young child, draw them a picture that tells them how much you enjoy their company.

2. Really listen during conversations.

Ask genuine, thoughtful questions—then be interested in the answers. You might be surprised what your teen or school-aged child tells you about their day.

3. Take a responsibility off of the plate of your spouse or family member.

If your daughter normally walks the dog or takes out the trash, do it for them this week. While you’re doing it, be thankful for them. It’ll relieve them of a chore, and it’ll kindle in you gratitude for their presence in your life.

4. Give gifts that speak to them, not to you.

It’s taken me awhile to realize I should give gifts to that appeal to my loved ones and not to me. If your mother-in-law’s love language is candles and perfume, then that’s what should be under the tree.

5. Put down your phone/computer/work and sit with someone.

I knew my seven-year-old needed me the other night, so I put down my work and sat with her on the sofa. I asked her about her television show, I laughed with her, and I held her close. In that moment, she knew she was the most important person in the world to me.

6. Touch.

Some people respond positively to touch, and often, when we’re busy, we forget to touch our most important people. Take your spouse’s hand when you sit with him or her; when you walk with one of your kids, put your arm around his or her shoulders.

7. Just say it.

When I asked my husband this evening what made him feel important, he said, “Just telling me.” I looked at him in the car right then, and I said, “You are important to me.”

What a crazy season the holidays can be—don’t let them pull you from the people sitting right next to you.

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Sarah Markley

Sarah Markley is a mother of two daughters and lives in Southern California.

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Comments

  1. Good reminders, our kids are easier to take a moment of stillness with because they demand it. Read me a book. Let me sit on your lap. But as adults we have to make time for one another even when it isn’t requested.

  2. Love these!

  3. Great tips and reminders. I’m going to work on putting social media to bed for a while and just focus on my family.

  4. It’s amazing how many people think “Oh she or he knows I love them” its an important reminder to actually DO stuff that will show them that we do. Writing a letter will also probably go over better if its a real letter, not an email 🙂

  5. This was great for me to read because I’ve been thinking about this very topic the last few days: how to be more present to my family and leave holidy “busy-ness” aside. Last night I had so much work to do, but I put it aside to watch a movie with my kids and husband. We had a great time together. Glad I didn’t miss it.

  6. Love these, thankyou for the reminder during this craaaazy month 🙂

  7. I love the idea of writing letters. It’s such a forgotten art but receiving a note in the mail means that someone took the time to write something and go to the work of mailing it! This year I’ve realized that in the days of e-cards and too much on our plates we’re missing out on the joy of tangible Christmas cards. It always feels really special when I get one of those bright red envelopes in my mail box, even if the person only signed their name to it!

  8. I’m so lucky to have the chance reading the book “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider. Thanks a lot. It is just like fresh air and clean water for my life.

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