Quality time is subjective. It likely holds different meaning for anyone who hears the phrase. With the advent of another holiday season, opportunities for quality time appear more frequently.
Family and company gatherings will bring together participants who may not interact much during the year. Multiple generations will join around a table for food and fellowship. Scattered teams may come together for an annual meeting or social occasion.
Quality Time Defined
What defines holiday quality time? While your perspectives may differ, here are my observations.
For families, holiday gatherings offer a rare chance for meaningful conversations and learning. It might include hearing stories about a parent’s childhood or sharing laughter over a nearly forgotten family memory. It could mean spending time playing games, combing through photo albums, reading to a niece, or sharing a favorite recipe.
What’s not on this list is spending the day glued to a smart device screen or plopped in front of the big screen to zone out on football.
With the rise in social media and smart devices, quality time may soon be absent from holiday gatherings.
Businesses may have a harder task creating quality time. That’s because many holiday social gatherings rely too much on alcohol and loud venues to entertain. My best memories of these gatherings were more intimate table conversations where food was the focus.
My Best Holiday Memories
Seven years ago, my dad had a stroke near the end of our family’s Thanksgiving Day gathering. My spouse and I accompanied him to the hospital and sat in vigil through the night while his condition was assessed and his survival was in the balance.
Nothing can replace my memories of that time together. He was not always alert and slept frequently but that didn’t matter. Our presence was comforting to him and mattered more than conversation. He died a few days later with us by his side once again.
Five years later, the day before Thanksgiving, my family sat in vigil around mom’s bedside as she passed from this world to the next. These sacred moments create a definition of quality time that will last a lifetime.
What’s Your Quality Time Definition or Memory?
I realize some families and businesses are dysfunctional. Any gathering may quickly descend into arguments about politics, family dynamics, or what’s for dinner. My practical way of thinking about life and work tends to imagine creative ways to change that. Maybe you have some thoughts or a memory to add about how you experience quality time.
Let’s start a conversation about how we might change the way we create holiday memories. Who’s willing to start?
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