1. Make it fun! Prepare questions and games that help you connect with one another. Learning about your heritage can be fun with games centered around a uniting passion point. This holiday season, Ancestry has partnered with the popular conversation game, TABLETOPICS. If you purchase any gift subscription on Ancestry.com starting November 1, you will receive a free Ancestry TABLETOPICS edition (only while supplies last). By providing other questions for families to ask and answer, you will unlock stories about your family you never knew and in turn, build a deeper connection with one another.
2. Find the common ground. Discovering more about yourself and your family's unique past can strengthen bonds across generations. Connect with loved ones by building a family tree on Ancestry ? it's incredibly easy to do. You will bond over discovering and sharing family stories while ensuring that the legacy is preserved for generations to come.
3. Pivot from unsolicited advice. When it comes to how to deal with and avoid negativity or unsolicited advice, I recommend steering the discussion to shared experiences that everyone can relate to. Bridge the conversation to a topic everyone at the table can relate to, such as your family's past, a shared favorite holiday tradition, or a recent funny family story.
4. Skip the gifts; consider family mementos. Personal tokens or family keepsakes are such a nice way to honor your loved ones and remember those who couldn't join you for that holiday gathering. Not only will this experience help you bond with one another, but you will these mementos and your family's legacy will be preserved for generations to come.
5. Host a cooking/baking night before the gathering. An easy way for the whole family to come together is by planning a cooking or baking night before the big holiday gathering. It's a fun experience teaching both adults and children how to recreate those coveted family recipes, plus having extra hands with all the prep work leaves more time for the family to spend quality time together.
6. It all starts with being a good listener. Listening is such an important part of connecting with others. Here are a few tricks I learned throughout my career. First, stop talking, and give yourself the opportunity to listen. Taking a pause before you speak and being patient can allow the other person to provide additional information that they might have originally held back. Give the speaker cues that you have heard them, to show you are really paying attention and curious about the topic they are discussing. When you approach a conversation with an open mind, and have empathy and compassion, you can find some really amazing stories.I encourage you to have these meaningful conversations during your family holiday gathering and begin exploring what makes your family story special ? you never know what you could discover!