The holidays can be a challenge for many people because family is not always easy to deal with. But what if the connection and table conversation could be sweeter?
We at Ontario Bakery know “sweet” very well and we’ve learned from experience that it doesn’t just stay with desserts. Conversations and attitudes are key to keeping the peace during holiday dinners and we’ve come to learn the “sweet” is the secret ingredient. When you meet with your family and everyone is gathered around, it’s easy to get side-tracked and distracted by our hurts, memories and strong opinions. But what if you were to remember the word “sweet”? How would that change the atmosphere and direction of the conversation?
We want to share a few ways to keep things sweet and keep the peace this holiday season.
Play Sweet Music. They say that music soothes the savage beast and it’s true. Make sure there’s music playing in the background but keep it calm and neutral. Choose music that makes people feel good inside.
Talk About Books: Talk about the books you’re reading and stick to fiction if you can. Talking about fiction and fantasy is a perfect topic because it isn’t real and it also brings out the child inside.
Share Memories: Have everyone share a totally embarrassing story. Maybe focus on embarrassing things that happened at school or at work. After the end of the story, have a show of hands of who can relate or has gone through something similar!
Care For the Children: Often times, these celebrations start a little early and children are hungry and restless. Give them snacks here and there leading up to the meal so they don’t have a blood sugar crash. And remember, large meals make a person tired or restless. So have an activity available after the meal for the kids to make sure they’re needs are met; like moving their bodies or relaxing with a movie.
Real Gratitude: Instead of the usual “sharing what you’re thankful for”, really be in gratitude. Before or after the meal, take turns sharing their gratitude for both the person on their left and one other person at the table or in the room. We as a society are great at sharing that we are thankful for food, shelter, clothing and such - but we fall short in sincerely sharing our gratitude for other people. When people feel they are appreciated, they do more of whatever has been noticed and appreciated. Appreciation creates a desire in our hearts to do and love well.
Sweet Talk: The biggest way to add sweetness is to find it and share it. Look for ways to compliment your family and friends. Let them know that you see them. Listen carefully when they speak. Smile. Say kind words, even if you disagree. No one is likely to change someone else’s opinion during these gatherings, so stick to loving each other.
These tips will help you to get deeper and closer to your friends and family members while avoiding unnecessary conflict during a time of togetherness.
And if it’s a different kind of sweetness you seek, be sure to contact us at Ontario Bakery to have the best desserts possible during your holiday parties and gatherings.