family building activities for holiday gatherings

3 Family Building Activities for Holiday Gatherings

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Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

There are moments in life that teach us valuable lessons of the brevity of life and how quickly time flies. Some are positive experiences, while others…not so much.

My spunky 7 year old loves to roller skate around the house…on my hardwood floors. A few weeks ago, she went whirling around and landed straight on her tailbone. My fearless girl who rarely cries, ran to me with tears streaming down her face. I held her. I rocked her in my rocking chair and prayed over her. It was as if time stood still, just for a moment.

It was in that moment, as her long legs draped off the sides of mine, that I realized how quickly life was passing by.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital? How did she grow up so fast? As I sat holding her I reminisced of holding my oldest son, whose now 18. No longer a baby, but a grown man. He’ll go off to college next fall and our family dynamics are sure to change.

Change is hard for this momma. My heart wants my kids to stay small, while my mind knows they are growing up.

I began praying over my family. Over each of my children and the dynamic future that God has for them. As I poured out my heart, God poured out His wisdom.

[bctt tweet=”I can’t prevent time from going by, but I can make this time count.” username=”Alisa_Nicaud”]

We can make every holiday and family gathering count.

So we are!

To make the most of our holiday season, I’ve planned out some activities.

3 Family Building Activities for Holiday Gatherings

family building activities for holiday gatherings

Tablecloth Memories

Every Thanksgiving we go around the table and tell what we are thankful for. This year we will be doing the same thing, but taking it a step further. I will have a white tablecloth placed on the table. Each person will choose a sharpie color and write their name, the date, and finish the sentence I am thankful for… in the spot where they are sitting. Each year we will add the same information until the tablecloth is full. Not only will this provide a time of bonding for our family, but we will have a family heirloom to pass down in the future!

To add to the table bonding experience, my girls came up with the idea to draw names before we begin Thanksgiving dinner. The person we each choose will be the person we serve for the day. If they need a drink, we’ll offer to get it. If they forget to dump their plates, we will pick them up. I love that my girls want to serve each other! When they brought up this idea, I quickly agreed before they had a chance to change their minds! We may do this for Christmas Dinner too!

 Carousel Questions

This year we are doing an activity I’m calling Carousel Questions. We will have a round box filled with questions. The youngest will start first and draw a question out of the box. She will answer the question and then pass the paper onto the next person.  We’ll go around in a circle until everyone has answered the question. The last person to answer will place the paper in the middle of the table and the person next to the youngest will then draw the next question. We will repeat until all the questions have been asked. Here are some sample questions I’ll be using:

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? (For adults, what did you want to be when you were growing up?)
  • If you had a million dollars, what would you do with the money?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  • If you could meet any famous person (alive or deceased) who would it be and what would you ask them?
  • What is one thing you are good at and one thing you wish you were good at?
  • Who is one person you truly admire and what do you like about them?

Family Prayer Circle

The one thing I love the most about family time in our house is praying for each other. At the end of our meal we will go around the table and share our prayer requests. Each person prays for the person next to them. The fruit that comes out of this far surpasses just answered prayers. When our kids pray for one another, the bonds they share become stronger. Their hearts become soft to each other and God begins to move in the relationship. Peace is another blessing that comes out of it! The most tranquil moments in our 7 person home, are usually after we’ve finished worship or prayer. Another idea I had for this year is to have the kids write down their prayer requests and place them in a box. We would continue to pray over these requests during our regular family time until we see breakthrough. It reminds me of one of my favorite Psalms:

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133

When we gather together in unity, praying for one another, the blessing of the Lord is there! This holiday season, I want my family to bond. I want us to appreciate each other, serve one another and grow together in the Lord. I want to make each moment count as we celebrate together.

How does your family celebrate holidays? What are some activities you do together to bond? I’d love to hear from you!


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  1. These are great ideas! I really love the Carousel Questions. It sounds awesome.

  2. What fantastic suggestions! I just scheduled them to share on Facebook and said I’m doing 2 of these this week and I think I will do the 3rd, the tablecloth one, on Christmas! Treasuring the moments is so important, isn’t it? They do go by so quickly!

    Thanks, friend, for being such an awesome part of #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,

    1. That’s awesome, Lori!! We’ve already seen some fruit from these when we did them at Thanksgiving. Good ole fashion gatherings around the table really bond us together as a family. I can’t wait to do it again at Christmas! Maybe we’ll do some of these all year!

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