“Christmas Compliments” are something I have used in the past and when I do I find them to be the BEST gift ever! Why is that? Well, it can be very rewarding when you trade “Christmas Compliments” with your family members. Letting each other know what you like about each other can go a long way to building and strengthening relationships. Family life can feel stressful and hard at times, especially as a parent when you are setting limits and children are not always so happy with these necessary boundaries. Or maybe as a couple you are feeling like you are way to negative with each other.
So I hope you will consider this holiday season a time to balance what you are putting out there with words of acknowledgement of what you like about your loved ones. There is more than one way to give each other Christmas Compliments. Some possible ways you might consider are:
- Have each family member write out (or dictate to a parent to write) a compliment for all the other members of the family. They can be deposited in the Christmas stockings and read when stockings are opened on Christmas morning or at the appropriate time. If your children still thinks Santa brings their gifts and fills their stockings you may want to choose another option. For example: Each family member could have a special Christmas tin where their compliments are left. This option would allow them to have a fun place to keep their compliments too. Having each person put their name with their compliments makes them more meaningful.
- Family members can wrap up the compliments like a gift for each other or use envelopes to put their compliments in for each other.
- Have each family member verbally give each of the other members a compliment at one of your holiday meals.
- One variation is using the 12 days of Christmas theme and for twelve days before Christmas each person gives other members a compliment. The Christmas tin or a Christmas cup may work well with this variation. Of you could have a nightly dinner ritual where you verbally share your compliments.
- Use your imagination and personal knowledge of your family in finding ways to modify and use this potential strategy to appreciate each other more.
It may be necessary to explain what you mean by a compliment. Older children will of course pretty much know what you are talking about, but younger ones may not be so sure. You will have your own words. Some possible things you might include are: A compliment is something you say to another person that makes them feel good. It can be something that you liked that they did or something you admired that they did. It is positive and not negative. It is something the other person will like hearing.
Note: This can also be done as a couple. It can be just as fun and uplifting.