One Thing I Always Do at Family Gatherings

A Tip for Family Hangs

This year, I figured out a trick for big family hangs…

Often, in the past, we’d hang out in a large group of parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, etc. At the end of the trip, even though we had technically spent days together, I’d feel as if I didn’t get quality time with certain people because the crowd was so big. It almost felt like we’d been at a cocktail party, where you chat about this and that, but don’t really talk.

A Tip for Family Hangs

But then on our family vacation this summer, my dad and I decided to sneak out to dinner, just the two of us. We left the rest of the crew at home, and we went out for fish and carrots and chocolate mousse in little glasses. We talked about everything, from work to raising kids to books to Seinfeld quotes. It was such a special evening for both of us.

A Tip for Family Hangs

Funnily enough, it actually reminds me of a kids’ behavior tip: If the boys are acting out overall, we try to spend 20 minutes on the floor with them, just playing and chatting, and it helps so much with their behavior because they feel connected and don’t need to seek our attention. But it feels so great with parents/in-laws/siblings, too!

Now my dad and I will jokingly ask for our “20 mins” on a trip and go for a walk together or grab a glass of wine at a neighborhood spot. My mom and I went to a movie when she visited last month, and my sister and I got pedicures this Thanksgiving; it’s always wonderful to get that one-on-one time.

Things you could sneak away to do with a special person:
Go for a stroll around the neighborhood.
Browse a nearby bookstore.
Try on makeup together or do masks!
Go out for tea or coffee.
Get a manicure or pedicure.
Even just steal away to a quiet room in the house together for a cozy chat.

Thoughts? How do you connect with family? I’d love to hear…

P.S. The weirdest best part of trips, and going to the White House holiday party.

(Photos of my dad at Fitzroy in Cornwall.)