Lots of families have a hard time visiting over a long day. Chats turn into criticism and irritation over old habits invade what's supposed to be a pleasant holiday.
What if you could change it this year by getting out of the rut?
For musical families, the change is easier than you think. Tell everyone to bring their instruments and have a good old fashioned jam session.
What if you're not so musical?
Plan some silly moments around creating music with odd instruments and rhythm. Spoons, rubber bands, boxes, pots and pans, old glasses filled with water. See if guests can guess that tune. Then everyone divvy up the parts and try playing it. Start simple with children's songs and build up. The familiarity will give everyone confidence.
Try karaoke in the living room.
Pass out kazoos or penny whistles.
Put in a musical and create a sing-a-long.
Find Silly Songs from the Vegie Tales. (You'll be shocked at how many adults know them too!)
Using music in the background can add dimension and atmosphere. It can also bring back the 50's, 60's, and 70's! Teach the younger generation the dances from your generation. Get them excited about it by dressing for the event in costumes.
Talk about the history of your family and how certain songs remind you of significant family or historic events. Were any of your family members involved in those historic events? Protests, wars, the Great Depression, serving during a catastrophe all have huge impact on our country and telling those stories crosses generational lines. Did anyone become a hero or cross paths with a famous American? Play the music that helps you tell the stories. Share the stories that shouldn't be forgotten.
The idea isn't to show off your talents but to invite, encourage, and enlist everyone present to be a participant in the laughter and bonding.
May your gems of wisdom overflow and fill the treasure chests of those you love,