Each family is different. We all have our own unique traditions and ways to bond. Some families are tiny, some are huge, some invite nothing but warmth and safety, and some are full of strained relationships and resentment. Still, for most of us, spending holidays with family is important and usually the perfect time to enjoy their company.

But how can going to your parents’ place for dinner or taking your kids camping really benefit you? If you want to find out and get some advice on which activities will help you all grow closer to those important people, read on.

You’ll build stronger bonds

Regardless of how close you might be to someone, even the best of relationships can weaken if you never spend any time together. Holidays with family give us the opportunity to take a break from work.  Nothing holds you back from gathering around those who matter the most and simply talking to them and listening to what they have to say in turn. This is especially important for those busy folks who rarely get to focus on things that aren’t work, but who long for warmth and closeness. It’s time to take a break and make family time a tradition for holidays.

You’ll break the monotony

We all get stuck in a rut, especially once we start building a family of our own. We go to work, kids go to school, we cook, clean, and run errands, and then the cycle repeats itself every week. It can become mind-numbing and boring, and breaking out of it is extremely beneficial. The best thing you can do is go on a little weekend getaway for the holidays, or better yet, find a way to get outdoors! Go camping. Children of city folks really do need to spend more time enjoying nature, and you can easily find any gear you might need on a camping sale or by borrowing it from neighbors. Let your kids feel actual fresh air and see trees outside of parks, and let them learn a few useful survival skills. Pretend you’re all adventurers and teach them how to gather wood and prepare food, and if you’ve got teens, teach them how to build a fire.

You’ll teach your children how to respond to social situations

Letting your kids see you talking and being polite to everyone and handling social situations can actually teach them how to do the same thing. Put your children in a safe environment where they can talk to various different people. Doing this,  gives them a  good idea about how to handle other children at school and how to treat people with kindness and respect.

You’ll find peace in forgiveness

No family in the world is perfect. Even the best of us sometimes get into a fight or start harboring resentment towards a certain person. Whether it’s your mom criticizing your life choices or a careless uncle who hurt you with a mean comment, holidays are the time for self-reflection and forgiveness. It’s not even about other people, it’s about you. Letting go of bitterness and finding enough goodness in your heart to forgive something can be a very liberating experience. Life simply feels much better when you don’t waste time on sulking and being angry.

Having said that, there are cases which are more serious than a simple argument or bad words said in the heat of the moment. Sometimes family members can be extremely toxic, in which case it’s totally fine to put some distance between you. If spending time with them, leaves you exhausted and feeling low self-esteem, you may forgive them, but try to avoid them.

You’ll make everyone feel safe and loved

Spending holidays with family members who’d do anything to help you will make you feel safe and loved. There’s a lot of joy in looking around and realizing you have so many people who’ll be on your side no matter what. The best thing, you can do the same for them. A family means no one gets left behind. In this tough world having that kind of support makes a lot of difference.

Even though your family might be imperfect, they’re still your family. They’ll accept your imperfections, so embrace them and use this holiday season to get reconnected.

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