Ideas for making your celebration more meaningful

As the year begins to wind down and we gather with family and friends to celebrate, we reminisce about our past gatherings and reflect on the year we’ve had. We all look forward to these times when we can forget about the struggles of our every day lives and get lost in the moments we wait all year to spend with those we love most. That is why it’s important not only to share food and company but to also share our thoughts of gratitude and appreciation and to take the time to actually connect with those around us so that we have stronger memories to take home.

Take a moment during the hustle and bustle of gatherings to stop and share your thoughts with one another to make this holiday season more significant:

The Traditional Way:

Many people already participate in this gratitude-sharing tradition where each person is given the chance to share what they are most thankful for. Don’t underestimate this simple encourager; some great conversation may arise.


A twist on the traditional, the Flashback requires you to record each person’s responses from the previous year and read them the following year. This is a fun way to show how people have grown, changed or matured over the years. It can also be a great conversation starter.


A new and fun activity to begin this year can be joke telling. Tell everyone to come with his or her best jokes and have a “comedy hour” during your celebration. This is a great way to get a lot of smiles, even if the jokes aren’t so funny.

Highs & Lows:

Each person shares the Best and Worst part of their day or week or month. Sharing your “lows” may serve as a release and may even help you laugh about it at the end of the day.

Shine the Spotlight:

Each person draws a name of another person at the table, then they share a reason they are thankful for that person. Making each person feel involved and special.

Holiday Hopes:

Ask guests to share their hopes (not gift wishes) for the upcoming season. Encourage non-material wishes like goals the person wishes to attain. This can help everyone prioritize what’s important before returning to their everyday busy lives.

You may want to participate in these activities or even begin your own new traditions. Taking the time to share thoughts can really add meaning to each celebration, so your guests leave feeling refreshed and loved. When it’s your turn to share, we encourage you to be honest and to truly open up to those who care about you most. You never know what your words may mean to someone else.

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