During the holidays, friends and families gather to celebrate and spend time together. This is a wonderful opportunity to create meaningful connections between people of different ages. However, it’s not uncommon to struggle with how exactly to do this when those of different generations, political and cultural beliefs, and religious backgrounds often seem worlds apart.
If you’re looking for thoughtful ways to connect all generations of your family, from the youngest to the oldest, and bypass divisive topics these smart ideas will inspire.
Passing down trades and traditions
Older generations have wisdom, experience and many traditions to share with those willing to learn. Talk with loved ones about their favorite traditions and then ask which they could teach to family. You might be surprised what older generations cherish as traditions.
For example, consider organizing a time for everyone to bake a time-honored recipe together. Perhaps it’s learning a holiday tradition that provides a cultural experience that younger generations have never done. It also could even be teaching a classic skill such as woodworking, knitting or calligraphy. Keeping an open mind and trying something new together is guaranteed to be a bonding experience.
Storytelling and archiving
One of the most meaningful ways people of different generations can connect is through sharing stories. Sometimes you just need a little help getting the conversation started. That’s why Atria Senior Living, inspired by its residents, created Atria StoryWise, a curated collection of cards featuring thoughtfully selected topics and cues designed to spark memories and fuel conversation.
You can spur conversation with loved ones in a similar manner with the Atria StoryWise companion app, available free to everyone. Instantly access intriguing topics to encourage meaningful conversation, plus the app allows you to record, share and keep the stories – and voices – of family and friends forever.
A few conversation starter examples from the app:
* What you wanted to be when you were little.
* The secret to a long life.
* Your idea of a perfect day.
* A value you’d like to pass on to future generations.
Learn more at AtriaStoryWise.com.
Plan a game or movie night
Games and movies are timeless activities that appeal as much to Grandma as they do to your 5-year-old. By planning a game or movie night, you’ll bring everyone together for a good time. Consider finding a board game or movie that was popular when you or your parents were kids so everyone enjoys their time together.
To make the day even more special, shop for old-fashioned candy and snacks that spark nostalgia. You may have to order some items online, but it’s worth the effort because everyone will think it’s fun to sample the treats that were popular during different decades.
Flip through photo albums and scrapbooks
There’s nothing like a nostalgic image to get people talking. Whether it’s a photo featuring childhood friends, a school portrait or wedding images, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Dig out those old photo albums and flip through them with the entire family.
Another worthwhile activity that brings generations together is making a scrapbook. You can use old images or focus on recent pictures, but collaborating on a craft is time well spent. If you prefer, use a digital scrapbook program to organize photos. Whatever path you choose, take notes of who is in the image and any fun stories that go along with them. This is what turns a typical photo album into a cherished keepsake.
Use these ideas to transform your next holiday into one filled with memories. You’ll inspire new connections between family members as you laugh, love and live life to the fullest.