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The holiday season is upon us and of course it’s full of examples of the power of stories. Some of them are authentic and others aren’t quite true – like Santa’s story.
But even Santa’s story is an example of the importance of authentic stories. Think of how excited children are when they believe. Once they learn the truth, it can be quite a let down. “Santa doesn’t exist? WHAT?” Some might even exclaim: “You lied to me?”
I still remember my feelings during the holidays. Feeling is another indicator of good stories and experiences. They make you feel something and you remember that feeling – sometimes decades later.
I remember how the excitement built and built as my family and I were waiting to enter our living room to see what presents were under the tree. I grew up in Germany and we celebrated on Christmas Eve.
Today, living in the United States, many of us have plenty of family events to attend on Thanksgiving and other holidays.
Take the time to really share what’s been going on in each other’s lives. If you don’t like attending the event at the in-laws this might get you closer to them. Go first and ask “what’s new?”
That simple question often gets people started. I’ve done entire interviews for newspaper articles that started with that question and then had follow-up questions.
If you’d like to be more specific maybe look at the in-laws’ Facebook pages (you are friends with them, right?) and ask them about something they have posted about.
Remember to remember what the post was as they may not remember it. I had somebody say to me: “I saw your post on LinkedIn and had a question.”
Since I’m rather chit chatty on social media and post several times a day, I had to ask: “Oh yea? Which one?”
Once I knew I was happy to talk about it, of course.
We can also document our holiday stories somewhere. We can take photos (and not just of the kids opening presents) and maybe write them down even.
I wonder if some children might enjoy that. “Would you write this story down for us?” My six-year-old writes stories all the time – just because she wants to.
Let’s take the holidays to share our stories, get closer to each other and enjoy each other’s company.
You or at least the children will likely remember the stories for years to come.