How to connect with families in our practices during the busy Christmas period
Here we go again – another Christmas is upon us. Whether that means cold and dark or hot and sunny, it seems that both the little and the big people in our practices are tired and on edge, ready for a break. The kiddies are super-excited about the big guy in the red suit visiting, while their parents are worried about what that means in time, financial strain and socialising with loved – and maybe not so loved – ones.
The upcoming festive season can be a challenging time in the practice as well, as we mentally and physically wind down; maybe not sticking as diligently to best procedures and letting things slide. Unfortunately, speaking from my own hard-earned experience, this can result in a slow start to the new year as it takes a while to get everything cleaned back up and running again.
So, what can be done to help keep our families sane during this busy season and prioritise their health, including keeping their chiropractic care going? There are probably many answers to that, but two springs immediately to mind:
- Plan ahead
- Remind them that you exist.
Planning ahead involves organising themes, events and marketing for next year well in advance of the big day. Advertising your ‘Back to school’ backpack and shoe assessment or a posture screening now will make people know you are open and ready for them in January.
In my practice, we like the ‘New Year – New You’ event: cardboards on the walls ready for people to write their New Year resolutions on. The kids love sharing their thoughts or just having the opportunity to draw on a wall! The grown-ups often decide they want to get fit and healthy starting in the new year, so maybe have exercise posters, hand-outs and challenges ready as well as offering the opportunity for a chiropractic check-up.
Christmas really is a time to enjoy, relax and reconnect, so the reminder that you exist could be a hand-out or social media posts providing families with fun ways to do things together.
Here are some suggestions, but obviously be as creative as you please.
You could provide:
- A recipe for a healthy Christmas treat (or a seriously sinful one) that the family can make together.
- Prioritise outdoor time – go for walks, go to the park and/or the beach. We all know how much better we feel once we are actually up off the couch and moving no matter what the weather.
- Make food art competition: Who can make the best Santa from fruit and vegetables?
- Dance-offs – Take turns choosing the best dance music and each family member shows off their best/worst moves. Alternatively, make a family choreographed dance performance to show off when the relatives arrive.
- Parcel wrapping game: Two people link arms, so only one free hand is available from each person. They then work together to wrap a box in wrapping paper with sticky tape and pretty ribbons.
- Bauble competition – See who can balance the most Christmas baubles on a ruler balanced on a 30-40 cm tower of blocks/Duplo/LEGO in 1 minute.
- Christmas card frisbee: Pull the back off last year’s Christmas cards and have a competition about who can throw the most into a box from 1 metre away.
This is all about us connecting with the families in our practices, let them know we care, and for us to all lighten up as we step back and fully enjoy Christmas for what it is: a time to step out of our daily routines and celebrate life with our loved ones.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.