12 Ways to strengthen your connections at Christmas 
November 29, 2023

Expert Advice: 12 winter warmers to strengthen your connections this Christmas


The holiday season is a special time when we come together with family and friends to celebrate and share the joy of Christmas. Amidst the festivities and traditions, it's also a perfect opportunity to strengthen our personal connections and create lasting memories. Whether you're gathering with loved ones in person or connecting virtually, there are numerous ways to enhance your relationships during the festive season.  

We've enlisted the expertise of our very own Dr Shannon Hirst, to provide expert advice on 12 simple ways to make this holiday season not only merry but deeply meaningful. Here’s Shannon’s top tips to deepen your connections this Christmas season:  

1. Practice active listening: giving your full attention when talking to loved ones and showing genuine interest in what they have to say is the foundation of stronger connections.

2. Express gratitude: a heartfelt 'thank you' is a powerful tool for nurturing relationships. Let your loved ones know how much you appreciate them as this can go a long way.

3. Focus on quality time: put away the distractions and be present in the moment. Spending meaningful time with family and friends is the key to creating lasting memories.

4. Small acts of kindness:  The little things matter. Sending thoughtful messages, making a cup of tea, offering kind words, or sharing a hug can be the glue that strengthens your bonds. It's the season of spreading joy through small gestures of kindness.

5. Forgiveness:  Christmas is the perfect time to let go of grudges and give yourself the gift of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the cornerstone of deeper connections. Extend the hand of reconciliation and heal those old wounds.  

6. Shared activities: engaging in activities that everyone enjoys fosters shared experiences and lasting connections. Be it baking, playing games, or watching films together.  

7. Open communication:  Encourage open and honest conversations while respecting each other’s boundaries. Sensitivity is key in deepening connections. Speak from the heart with respect in.  

8. Embrace empathy: "empathy is the bridge that connects us to others. Try to understand their feelings and perspectives, especially during challenging times.

9. Create meaningful traditions: establish traditions like tree decorating or playing games, weaving threads of togetherness. Embrace nostalgia, a poignant emotion at Christmas, to deepen connections and create enduring memories.

10. Connect with absent loved ones: even if they can't be with you physically, reach out to absent loved ones through video calls or heartfelt messages to maintain connections.

11. Focus on giving:  Embrace the spirit of giving by fostering connections in your community. Volunteering at a local charity or simply checking in on elderly neighbours can create meaningful bonds. Share a cup of coffee, extend an invitation to Christmas dinner. Giving back builds new connections.

12. Reflect and set intentions: taking time to reflect on your relationships and setting positive intentions for the upcoming year is a collective effort to strengthen your connections.


Improving personal connections during Christmas is all about nurturing the bonds with your loved ones and creating lasting memories. With Shannon’s guidance, we've explored 12 invaluable ways to make your Christmas connections stronger.  

Let these expert tips serve as a roadmap to a holiday season filled with love, understanding, and cherished moments that will last a lifetime. After all, the most precious gifts of Christmas are the connections we nurture.

For more free advice, tips and resources, you can visit our free relationship support platform Click, our online service providing early intervention relationship support from experts and the community, and See it differently, our online video resources providing communication skills for parents, co-created with Good Things Foundation.