Make Time to Unplug This Christmas

A couple of weeks ago when a big snowstorm swept through the area, some friends of mine lost power, so my husband and I welcomed them into our home for the night. Shortly after our friends arrived, our internet and cable connection went out. Later that night, we lost power! Despite losing our modern conveniences, we still had a good time together, and it reminded me of this Waitrose ad I saw earlier this season.

The folks in the ad were trapped in an inn due to a storm, and despite the inconvenient situation, they managed to enjoy the time together. I imagine it was uncomfortable at first, seeing as most of them were strangers to each other, but then they made the best of the moment and connected with each other. Isn’t funny how at the end of the video when they finally have the chance to leave, they choose to stay? (I’m sure all the food had something to do with it!) In the same way, when we lost power at my house a fortnight ago, it forced us all to get off our phones, tablets, and computers and really be present.

This Christmas, I invite you to take a “tech sabbath.” Resist the urge to pull out your phone and instead engage with those around you. Whether you’re spending time with loved ones you see daily or only once a year, make this Christmas one where you unplug. Afraid you’ll be bored? Here are some ideas to help you get ready ahead of time.

Activities & Games:

  • Pull a few board games out of the closet so they’re nearby whenever someone wants to play. My favorites right now are Sequence, 7 Wonders, and Quirkle.
  • Create a reading nook. Put books and magazines in a basket and set it in a corner with pillows and blankets.
  • Set out a few extra blankets on the sofa for folks to snuggle up.
  • Print out activity worksheets and coloring pages. Set them in a basket with pencils and crayons for the kiddos.
  • Round up crossword puzzle books, word search books, Sudoku books, etc. If you have a lot of family, you may want to have several books on hand. I like to scoop them up at the dollar store.
  • Play “I Spy.” This game usually entertains my nieces and nephews for 30 minutes.
  • Play Tic-Tac-Toe. If 3×3 games are too easy for you, play a 4×4 or a 5×5 game instead! Put a stack of white copy paper in a basket or bin with pencils so you’re ready to play.
  • Tell knock-knock jokes.
  • For creative folks, keep a couple skeins of yarn in a basket under a coffee table. When inspiration strikes, you can make festive pompoms with just yarn and scissors.
  • If the kids are getting restless, head outside to play a game of tag or hide and seek.
  • If the kids are getting too loud or rowdy, try playing Sleeping Alligators. To play, the kids must lay on the floor without talking or moving. The goal is to be the one who “sleeps” the longest. If a player moves or make a noise, they’re out of the game. Note: I find that this game doesn’t last very long, as kids are quite squirmy, but it does provide a brief quiet moment!

Conversation Starters:

  • Ask basic questions such as: How’s life? Your job? Your family?
  • Do you any upcoming travel plans?
  • What was your favorite part of this past year?
  • What are looking forward to in the new year?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • If you could be an animal, what would you be?

How are you planning to unplug this Christmas? What fun games or activities does your family like to do together? Let me know in the comments below!

Mary

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