Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Beast (TV)

Perhaps the "unplugged Christmas" is referring to the unplugging the TV. Why when we get together with our extended family that we can think nothing better to do with each other then sit around the glowing screen? Sure, it is a long day, so watching a movie together would be fine. But does it have to be on ALL day?

In our own house the "beast" (aka the Television) lives locked up in it's cage, it is our only beast. We regular let it out for about an hour or two a day, and feed it Discs and VHS tapes. Occasionally, we will use it's ears to view our good channel. So, how is it that we have not been able to do the same out at family get togethers? It robs us of face to face connection and does not do much in the way of relationship building.

Some times technology brings us closer together, and it improves our lives. Facebook may help me send pictures to my brother in Kazakhstan, my brother-in-law in Japan, my Welsh childhood pen pal and my friend in Bosnia all instantly at the same time. However, it can never replace face to face contact. TV works in the same way. It allows us to go places we may not go other wise, but at the same time it can asourb a whole generation of men.

Do you guys have any ideas? What activities do you do with extended family on holiday gatherings?


  1. Karen, we have the same problem when we see our extended family. It may even be worse since my parents (and brother) now own a VERY large flat screen TV and have it on constantly. We actually had a no TV rule today since my kids were tuned in all of Christmas and the next day. It's especially bad for my older one who never takes a break from it if it's on. Over Thanksgiving it was the same, and I was later on convicted that I made a couple comments around my brother, sister, and her boyfriend about how I rarely watch TV and how the commercials annoyed me. They love TV, and I felt that my comments were a poor witness to them. I think we must be careful around our families, especially non-believing families, but maybe politely asking to not have it on so much would make a difference? Also, we got around the piano and broke out the guitar and sang Christmas carols. That was a fun break from the TV. The TV purge afterward is a help as well. I hope this is encouraging to you.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. It can be very tricky reaching our goal without sounding judgmental in the process.

    I am frustrated that I cannot think of activities my extended family would enjoy together. If I could provide an alternative to watching TV that they would opt for, then I could causally turn it off. Singing is a good idea, it worked for the Ingalls.

    Maybe there is a book I can read about non-TV extended family activities. Family Fun usually has some ideas. They had some cute ones this year for Thanksgiving.

    Side note: using the term "Beast" to refer to the TV is not meant to be offensive. The Maxwells ( refer to it by that titled. I just think it is funny, yet true at the same time.