Start the Conversation Now: Ways to Connect This Holiday

Published: December 20, 2022

A family of eight poses together in front of a holiday backdrop.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Alliance for a Healthier Generation believes asking unique, engaging questions is just one of many ways we can better connect with neighbors, friends, and family. In a recent collaboration with Kohl’s, they created an innovative family health and wellness initiative, Kohl’s Healthy at Home. Along with Blue Star Families, the organization put together a one-of-a-kind resource and learning activity to aid families in capitalizing on the time they spend with others.

Why Time Together is Precious

Would you rather be able to talk with animals or understand every human language?

In the 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, eight in 10 active-duty family respondents reported being separated from their family or service member in the past 18 months. Time apart has many effects – from mental health to economic stability, to how families perceive their surroundings. 

In the same survey by Blue Star Families, only 30% of active-duty family respondents felt a sense of belonging to their local civilian community. When military families feel disassociated from their community and are separated from loved ones, the outcomes are tough.

For children, this can mean increased emotional difficulties, depressive symptoms, and anxiety and behavior disorders. What’s more, caregivers and children from military families report child emotional difficulties at higher levels than have been observed in the general United States population. Additionally, military spouses report similar issues related to depression and anxiety. While little data exists on the effects of the separation of military families from their extended families-such as grandparents, siblings, and close friends-it’s likely there are similar emotional impacts. 

Ways to Engage

What’s your favorite way to get your body moving?

Quality time with friends and family helps mitigate the burdens of separation, and the holidays are often when many can finally do just that. Whether you’re spending time with family or friends this season, or you’re restricted to virtual meetings, Alliance for a Healthier Generation has a solution to help “improve social skills, boost children’s confidence, and increase feelings of happiness.” 

Check out this 10-minute learning activity for fun ways to create quality time in no time. With a combination of printables and interactive tiles, the activity guides you through many ways to interact with others during the holiday. It’s also fitting year-round – especially for families on the move or navigating a deployment on the horizon.

Consider printing out the “Silly and Speedy Conversation Starters” and asking them to those you call virtually or around the table during mealtime. For more resources, visit

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