The most wonderful time to build relationships

“Relationships are a cornerstone of happiness and living a full life.” Students can use yummy treats, thoughtful gifts, and fun festivities to build new friendships and strengthen existing relationships during the holiday season.

Building a gingerbread house is the perfect way to spend time with loved ones during the holidays. Photo by Kayla Sullivan.

The holiday season is a great time to improve relationships with loved ones. This may be why Andy Williams’ holiday hit “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” rings true while describing a time when, “There’ll be much mistletoeing, and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near.”  

As reported by, Dr. Patrick Keelan, a psychologist residing in Canada, stated that “the reason for cheerfulness around the holidays goes beyond just decorations and imagery. In fact, he said people feel happy because it’s a time that emphasizes family bonding.” Keelan further explained that the holidays “allow for many people to have more enjoyable social interactions with friends and family” and that “positive social interaction is a robust predictor of better happiness.” 

Julianna Fotheringham, a senior double majoring in business and computer science, agrees with Keelan and shares the opinion that holidays give many opportunities for individuals to strengthen their relationships with friends and family. “At the end of the year when the heavy snow and lack of sunlight should make things dark, holiday activities with loved ones makes everything bright,” she explained.

“I have seen the holiday season be able to bring me closer to some of my family members, especially those who are closer to me geographically,” said Nicholas Capeto, a junior majoring in accounting. “It is a time that I get to spend with them which can enhance our relationships with one another.” 

Eugene Therapy, a telehealth service for the state of Oregon, stated, “Relationships are a cornerstone of happiness and living a full life” and that they “tend to bring us plenty of laughs and as a result lots of joy.”  Some institutions such as DOVE International, a global family of churches and ministries, even claim that relationships are “the most important thing in life.”

Holidays allow individuals to take time off school and work and focus on strengthening the important relationships in their lives. This Christmas, students can improve their social wellness by decorating a gingerbread house, visiting grandparents, attending holiday parties, going on drives to see holiday lights, watching holiday movies, eating seasonal foods with friends and family, or taking part in any activities that help them draw closer to those they care about.

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