In the figurative sense, that is. We can always share a literal cup of hot coco with our family (which is nice), but let us remember that comfort runs deep. We can comfort our children by hugging them, holding them, listening to them, smiling at them, laughing with them. We can crouch down at eye level when they are speaking to us or when we are speaking to them. We can take a breath and a pause and another breath (so as not to thoughtlessly react) before we mindfully respond to something they did or said that frustrates us. We can make them food and bring them snacks and fix their toys and mend their clothes. We can fulfill our duties as their parent, making sure their clothes are clean and their bellies are full. We can kiss their boo-boos and wipe their tears. We can be a dependable parent who, though not perfect, tries the best that we honestly can and, because of that, earns the trust and respect that make a parent-child relationship work well. Comfort can come with words or without—but it is most resound-ly felt with action or gesture. Simply being available to our children—to talk or to simply be there—is enough to communicate the highly precious comfort that solidifies the connection we are trying to make with our children.
Comforting our spouse has some similarities—everyone wants and needs to be seen, heard, and understood. Listening—really listening—is a powerful conduit for comfort. So is basic friendliness. The weight of the day sometimes crushes our buoyancy, but it is vitally important that we seek to maintain our resilient cheerfulness because it is this that is our secret—the radiant happiness that we possess is what makes everything sparkle. There is no reason why we need to let our best quality fade just because we may have had a less-than-perfect day (spoiler alert: there is no such thing as a perfect day!). So our very personality can be a comforting thing (that we, ourselves, are a comforting presence).
During the holiday season, it is all the more necessary that we are quick to share comfort with those we love most. We lose nothing by giving it, and we gain everything by initiating it. By extending our hearts to our family in ways that they can feel and know and appreciate, and by keeping our souls open to theirs, we are allowing a very valuable type of bonding to continue to happen day by day that only strengthens the positive relationship we have been working to have with those who are closest to us.