In our last edition, Nikki Kinder answered the question, “What is the glue that keeps our families together?” Her answer was that it was living out our faith as a family – not just saying it, but living it. To make it concrete, there were five easy ideas: Eat together, have a conversation, play together, reach out and touch, and unplug.

Why not make this evening a time of family connection? Here are some easy ideas for creating a special time together, centred around the idea of being grateful as a family. While you implement these ideas – or even starting in the morning of the day you plan to use them – be sure to make a special mention of all the blessings your family has, from a choice of breakfast meals,  to warm beds to sleep in, to your family pets!

Unplug – Ask each family member to put aside their phones or tablets, turn off the TV and enjoy your time to connect.

Eat together – At supper time today, prepare a treat that the family can enjoy together – baked goods, hot chocolate, or a “cheat” meal. Sit down together at the table when it’s time to indulge. If you have one or more children who love to be involved in the kitchen, why not include them in the preparation? If you do, remember to thank them for their contribution.

Have a conversation – Before digging in, go around the table and ask each family member to list three things they are thankful for. If you wish, you may choose to have someone be a “scribe” and write down or draw the things you list.

Reach out and touch – Pray together, thanking God for all of the things you listed. While you do this, hold hands or put your hands on each other’s shoulders.

Play together – After the meal, choose a game that is a family favourite – the sillier, the better! Some ideas might be a board game, charades, musical bumps or Simon Says.

Remember, the important thing is not what you do – it’s the time spent together, intentionally connecting and focusing on each other. Be sure to include each member of the family, giving everyone a chance to talk and to participate in whichever game you choose.

If you enjoy your time, maybe you’d like to consider making one element of the evening a family tradition that you can repeat daily or once a week, keeping your family knit tightly together.

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