A New Christmas Tradition

African American father and mixed race son making Christmas cardsWhether we are savoring a slice of homemade cheesecake or the accomplishment of a life-long dream, we enjoy it to the fullest. When we savor something, we take the time to relish in the moment, get lost in the experience, and mindfully focus on every joyful sensation. I want to encourage you to have that same enjoyment by savoring your family this Christmas. Savoring your family builds intimacy. It establishes a family environment of safety and security. It creates joyful memories that will last a lifetime. How can you savor your family? Let me share four ways.

  1. Laugh together. You can laugh at funny stories, jokes, or even TV shows. Whatever you choose, find ways to share laughter. I don’t mean just a little chuckle now and again. Share belly busting, rip roaring, roll on the ground, bring tears to your eyes laughter. Let the laughter bring down the defenses and draw you into one another’s joy.
  2. Acknowledge your pleasure. Give voice to how much you are enjoying the family experience or activity. Talk about it. Tell your family how much fun you are having with them in the moment. Let them know how much you value your time spent with them.
  3. While you acknowledge your pleasure, label any positive emotions you experience and share them with your family. Happiness, joy, peace, calm, delight, elation, glee…name them all. If you find something beautiful, exciting, hopeful, or lovely, go ahead and state it for all to hear. Pleasure increases and positive emotions grow when we verbally share them with others.
  4. Take some pictures. Pictures keep the moment alive. After all is said and done, you can review the pictures and relive the joy. You can even put a few pictures on the fridge where everyone can see them. Every time you look at the pictures you can savor the moment of remembered joy…and repeat steps one through three for even more savoring!


Savoring family builds intimacy and establishes a family environment of joy. It builds a deeper sense of safety and security. It creates joyful memories that we will cherish throughout our life. These four ideas can get your started. Why not start today? The Christmas season presents an excellent time to build a tradition of savoring your family.

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