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5 Ways to Keeping Family Bonding and Festive Celebrations Alive in Times of Social Distancing

25 October 2020

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Never before we`ve experienced the distance from our loved ones as we`ve this year. The year of a global pandemic has made us realize many truths of life that were going ignored in the hectic pace of modern urban life earlier. And one such truth is how much our family, friends and our loved ones mean to us.

We might not have paid attention to this earlier and families might have been growing apart and apart in the race of living modern, ambitious lives. But the prolonged period of lock-downs, travel bans and social distancing has actually brought us closer to each other.

Not being able to meet with our family and friends has made us realize how much we value their company and how badly we miss being with them. Their absence truly has made our hearts grow fonder.

We all have been together in being apart from each other. What an irony!!!

In our modern nuclear families, this time apart has been especially challenging. Unlike earlier, Indian families are now smaller and living in separate parts of the country or even world in the quest to prosper. And that means that many of us have not been able to visit our family members over this year.

These times are even more troublesome for parents with young children. Being locked at home, while managing all the work, tensions and fears of a looming infection danger, with no helping hands available and with children getting crankier with every passing day, the Covid-19 social distancing norms have been especially difficult for such families.

With the festive season just around the corner, we`re feeling helpless even more. How do we keep our family bonding and the festivities alive during these difficult times, is the question lingering on everyone`s mind.

Here are some reasons why is family bonding even more important in times of social distancing:

  • Prolonged and forced isolation can get to our mind
  • We`ve been busier and helpless than ever
  • We`ve got social distancing burn-out and are craving for some human companionship
  • Children need family bonding time to grow in wholesome environment
  • We all need to feel safe and families are our safety heavens
  • Families instill a sense of belongingness and ground us
  • We`re human and we`re social beings at our core

How to keep the festive spirit alive in spite of Covid constraints and remoteness?

Get in the Mood

The first step towards bringing the festive spirit alive is to get in the right mood and mindset. We need to let ourselves feel relaxed and allow ourselves space to feel genuinely excited. The fear has been playing with our minds for a while now and has dampened the mood in general. But the key to celebrating is to start feeling like it. And mood is a very infectious (pun not intended) emotion.

Your mood rubs off on the people around you and they reciprocate the same. So get in the festive mood and let everyone in your family feel it and reflect it, creating a festive vibe all around your home. So get up, dress up and get in the festive mood. There is no better time to feel festive than now.

Involve family members, specially children, in festive preparations

Planning and preparing for festivals is one of the key aspects of family bonding. Preparing for festivals gives everyone in the family something really nice to look forward to.

Children feel especially excited when they`re involved in festive preparations. This is a good time to give them some manageable responsibilities. It not only makes them feel involved and instill a sense of belongingness, but they can also get creative and give their own spin to usual festive fervors. Preparing for festivals is the perfect way to help them learn through play.

Afterall, what can feel more festive than excited children, busy running around and fussing over their festive preparation tasks.

Plan for fun activities

Every festival has its own charm, story, rituals and some distinct activities associated with it. Planning for some fun activities around key festivals not only brings the festive flavor to our homes, it also is a good way to bond with each other.

Some theme-based games and other such activities can be a really good way to both unwind and to bond with each other. This is how we create long-lasting family memories that we cherish for our lives.

Festive activities are also a great way to help our children understand the importance of these festivals and the nuances associated with each of these festivals.

For example, we recently organized fun activities such as exploring the story of Ramayana through hand puppets and bookmark making activities using Gond Art, during our Dussehra Special Camp.

Similarly, on the occasion of Halloween, we`re organizing fun activities around the pumpkin carving tradition for the children. All of these are organized online and the parents find these to be very creative and engaging ways to learn about and connect with festivals for their children.

More details about these activities can be found here :

Schedule family celebrations and times in advance

Since a lot of us would be celebrating remotely and will be connecting with our family members over long distance calls, it’s important to properly schedule these times and be ready accordingly. A well planned family activity can still be a lot of fun even over long video calls. Though it doesn`t come close to actually being with our loved ones in person, it still is a great way to feel togetherness.

Make sure that everyone is aware of the exact scheduled times, has blocked the calendar for the celebrations, the right tools are installed and tested. Oh, and don`t forget to double check on the time zone differences.

Have fun and stay safe

Last but not least, have loads of fun and don`t let the distance cloud your happiness and precious family bonding. Treat this like an adventure with your kids and enjoy it like a novel experience. Be hopeful that life will be normal and hopefully soon, we all can travel and mingle freely to be with our loved ones as and when needed. When that happens, let`s make sure that we don`t take that freedom for granted and make it a point to connect with and spend lots of time with our loved ones. That can be one the biggest takeaways for all of us from this period of forced longing.

And needless to say, practice social distancing norms and stay safe during this festive season.

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