Three questions that will enrich your Holidays

Rituals. They are the practices that we have as part of Holidays that give us comfort and stability. Rituals can be special foods, practices, or most simply “just how things are done” that provide meaning and significance.

Several years ago, I started a ritual with my extended family by asking three questions after our Christmas Eve meal and before we opened our presents. At the time my nephews were eleven years and younger, anxious to open up their presents. Although I was met with complaints, my family went along with it. I admit it probably wasn’t the best timing to ask the questions. It was my way of capturing the meaning of Christmas before the focus shifted to material gifts.

The three questions are:

  1. What was the highlight of your year?
  2. What are you most grateful for?
  3. What wisdom would you pass down to the next generation from a life lesson this year?

It took at the most 15 minutes for nine people to respond to the above three questions. The answers were superficial and without much thought. As soon as the last one spoke, everyone scurried into the living room around the Christmas tree while I sat there disappointed.

Despite the initial resistance, I kept at this ritual over the years. Now almost 15 years later, this ritual takes almost two hours and my nephews are ready and willing! We no longer do it on Christmas Eve but after Christmas morning breakfast that allows for more time.

Rituals help us to remember, mindfulness helps us to be aware. Combined they enrich times spent with those most important to us by fully embracing what’s here, right now. It’s the kind of goodness that lingers in our hearts and deepens our connections for months, even years to come.

Make a Conscious Choice to make rituals a part of your Holiday Season, and notice the effect on the time spent with loved ones.


Bonnie Artman Fox is a Mindfulness Trainer and Coach who has over twenty years in the healthcare and psychology fields. She specializes in helping Small Business Owners, Corporate Leaders and HR Professionals stay calm, be decisive, and lead by example. If you would like to improve your focus, presence, and inspiration as a Leader, contact Bonnie at 412.877.8331 or 

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