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.
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.