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© 2019 StoryCombs

  • Ellie Lebo

How to Resolve to Spend More Time With Family This Year



“Hopefully, I’ll see you before next Christmas.”

“I wish we got together more often.”

“I can’t believe it’s already been three years.”


If you find yourself saying these same phrases over and over at every family gathering, then it is high time to make a change. You can make changes at any time of year, of course, but who doesn’t love a good old fashioned New Year's resolution?


This year, resolve to spend more time with your family in whatever ways you can. You want to spend more meaningful and intentional time with family, but it’s difficult and life can get so busy. This resolution doesn’t have to be like all the others: declare in December and forget by February. With the proper motivation and commitment to a plan, spending more time connecting with family can be both attainable and sustainable! Below are a few ideas to get you on the right track for keeping this worthwhile resolution—and having fun with it, too!


Spend More Time With Family Near:


1. Family Dinner Night


Designate one dinner a week where all the screens are put away. Ask each member of the family to share something from their week. Whether they share a goal, a disappointment, or a victory, the speaker gets to be heard, and everyone else gets to learn something new.

2. Family Game Night


Host a game night once a month. It can be ‘immediate family only’ or you can extend the invite to include more distant relatives or old family friends. Either way, it’s sure to be entertaining!


3. Quality Kiddo Time


If you’re lucky enough to have family living really close by, get them involved in your kids’ lives, through school projects, sports, museum visits, and whatever else your kiddo is into these days. Your relative will appreciate the quality time, your kiddo will appreciate the extra attention, and you will appreciate someone else entertaining them for a change!


Spend More Time With Family Far:


4. Family Story Time with StoryCombs


Once upon a time, you could sit on the floor and listen to your grandmother tell stories all day if you wanted to. Now, you only make it to her house once a year, if that. You may miss your grandmom, but you don’t have to miss out on the stories! Get your family set up with a Hive on StoryCombs and check it whenever you have a spare moment. You can view and comment on other family members’ photos and videos and upload your own so they don’t “forget what you look like,” as they often threaten to.

Bonus tip: Ask some family members to add some bedtime stories to the Hive so your little ones can have a whole host of bedtime storytellers, even if they live really far away.

5. Phone the Family


Commit to calling once a month, or even once a week if you can manage it. Who should you call? Well, that’s up to you! Make a list, make a schedule, and make the effort. You’ll be glad that you did.


Festive Family FaceTime


Make it a habit to video chat with family members who can’t make it home for every holiday or celebration. You can plan it for a time when most of the family will be in one place so they can see and chat with everyone, watch people open gifts, and witness the classic shenanigans that will inevitably become part of the family folklore. Or maybe you’ll be the one calling in on Christmas.

“Remember when Annie knocked over the Christmas tree?”

“Of course I do; I was watching from your phone!”


Spend Time With Family Here and Now:


Now you’ve got enough to get started. But again, you don't have to wait for the new year to start making and saving some precious memories. Below is a short list of things you can do with your family on New Year's Eve to kickstart a year of quality time and connection.


6. A Toast!


Write some short prompts like “funniest thing to happen this year” or “best dinner of the decade” down on little pieces of paper. Shortly before midnight, have everyone draw a prompt and tell their story. Toasts to the future are great, but toasts to the past help you understand each other a little better and help start your year with an attitude of gratitude.


7. Picture Perfect


Spend some time looking at older family photos while you’re all in one room. You can always learn new things from the people who were there when the photo was taken. A picture’s worth a thousand words, preferably spoken by someone who was there. Keep those words forever by making some narrated photos for your family’s StoryCombs Hive. It’s a super simple way to save family memories while you’re making them!

Bonus tip: Remember to take new pictures for your Hive, too. Today might not be a family story yet, but one day it will be. When you look back later, you’ll be glad you took the time to document the day and save it forever.

8. Plan on It

Bring out your calendars, digital, paper, or otherwise. Set some dates in stone. Don’t just tell your cousin that you should "totally get coffee some time." Pick a time and a place and put it down in pen. No more leaving the party wondering when you’ll see someone again. If your goal is to spend more time with family, you have to make that plan. So the saying goes: a goal without a plan is just a wish.



If your new year's resolution is to spend more time with family this coming year, share your ideas in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook @StoryCombs for even more ideas on how to prioritize family and strengthen your sense of family narrative. Here’s to a happy new year, full of family and fun!

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