Hi, folks, school holidays are just around the corner from now. Christmas is drawing closer by the day! This is such a golden opportunity to spend some well-deserved “family” time! It can be an exciting season, spending good and momentous moments with our loved ones. This is especially so in an era when life gets more hectic by the day as compared to a few years ago. The question is: how can we make holidays memorable for the entire family? I would like to suggest three possibilities.

Firstly, consider doing something that members of your family are interested in. Instead of planning for something that you are keen on, why not discuss with your loved ones what they enjoy most. With a united decision comes ownership and that makes it so much easier to plan for the holiday. For example, it could be a long- awaited trip to Sea World at the Gold Coast. It will be great to look at the types of activities they have there and get a consensus as to what your loved ones are interested in and plan accordingly. A more economical yet just as much enjoyable trip could be to South Bank. It is highly preferable as there is much going on in this Christmas season. Why not prepare a nice picnic basket for all to share? Spend some glorious moments basking in sunshine (with slip, slap and slop) alongside river views and fresh air! How good is that!

Secondly, take time to reflect even with your loved ones how the year has been. It can be vulnerable to share with our family members, but it can also break down a lot of “walls” that we sometimes put up for self-preservation. Quality time spent talking, listening and empathising with one another is powerful and essential. It is good for the soul, friends! Such quality times are highly memorable and foundational in building stronger family ties! Another suggestion is playing board games. Bring it on! Have times of laughter and healthy competition whilst talking and jesting with one another! It is a great way to bond closer. In this era, people tend to go on social media and computer games which may be enjoyable, yet these cannot compare to face to face type of memorable family interaction times.

Thirdly, some may say a totally left field approach. Consider taking the entire family on some ministry or mission trip. Try engaging everyone in some form of activity and assistance. Such occasions are useful in drawing everyone together to seek God as well as being a blessing to other lives. Various family members will also be utilising their gifts and talents with their involvement. Such trips can broaden our perspective of life and help us to invest and contribute to other people’s wellbeing. It also teaches us to be more God-centred and people-centred. Many testimonies can arise out of such memorable family occasions.

So, friends, may this 2018 holidays be most memorable and bring most positive impact for you and your loved ones!

Ps Lai Ling