Cultivating Connection over a COVID Christmas

In this different kind of year, we’re all working hard to stay connected to each other, the Back2Back family, and the Lord. We’re grateful for the trauma training we’ve had over the years and the truth that connection and presence brings healing.  There’s plenty of healing needed, so this holiday, as we make travel plans and gift plans, I am making a Guckenberger connection plan.  I’m sharing it for accountability and encouragement, may you and yours experience extraordinary relationship this season. 

(Activities forCultivating Connection Over a COVID Christmas

  • Compete. I know it sounds counter to the goal, but we will be playing lawn games, board games, card games, and football games… It provides the opportunity for healthy teasing, and team building. 
  • Chips and salsa– Here’s our recipe, it’s easy and reminds us of people and places we love.  4-6 red tomatoes, ½ onion, 2 jalapenos, salt, 1 bunch cilantro. Boil tomatoes, onion and jalapenos until soft. Blend in blender, adding cilantro and salt to taste. 
  • Christmas movies– Sometimes they play in the background like music, but it adds to the festive spirit of the house.  My favorite: It’s a Wonderful Life! 
  • Cut-out cookies- It’s more like a craft you can eat, but anything that creates memories, can be a competition, and tastes great, is a win in our house. I pre-make the dough to have on hand, so when the mood strikes, it’s ready. 
  • Create a custom family Christmas playlist- This gives us a chance to express our uniqueness with each other. There is literally every category of music represented, but that just adds to the party. 
  • Church- Even masked, it feels more important than ever to gather with others and worship. 
  • Christmas caroling- Our kids mock us and pretend to hate it, but there would be rioting if we didn’t do it. Pro tip: put small kids up front, they are cute and distract from any off-key singing! 
  • Capitalize on long-standing traditions– Since much has been different this year, making sure we ice skate, or eat a meal downtown, or go to the movies on Christmas night feels extra important.  
  • Carry someone’s burden– We want to reinforce our family’s cultural value of generosity, so we’ll be on the lookout for opportunities to serve.  
  • Chill- It’s been a wild year, with disappointment, sprinting, and plenty of pivots, so rest is more important than ever before! 

There are cultural adjustments, but these kinds of activities will be happening in Nigeria and Haiti, Mexico and India. We will be encouraging families and caregivers, teens and children to prioritize stories over stuff. I hope you and yours have an amazing rest of 2020, let’s redeem it and finish strong, anchored to Jesus, and talking about things that matter with each other. Amen.