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‘Fill up your cup’ with gratitude during the holidays

With the holidays creeping closer and closer, many people eagerly await a welcome break from work to spend with family and loved ones. And to make the holidays even better, we’re sharing insight on the (often underestimated) effects of gratitude, and how it can even spill over to better social connections between parents and children.

First of all, one of the best ways parents can care for their children is, somewhat paradoxically, to care for themselves. Similar to that thing they tell you in airplanes about the oxygen masks: you can only help another effectively if you help yourself first.

But a great and concrete way to do that is to practice gratitude. A recent study set out to test the effects on parents’ wellbeing and family functioning. Turns out that “parents tended to experience greater daily well-being—fewer negative emotions, and more positive and empathic emotions, life satisfaction, meaning in their lives, connectedness to others, and autonomy—on days when they felt more gratitude than usual, regardless of how much daily happiness they felt.” Additionally, “parents tended to feel greater closeness and less conflict with their children on days when they felt more gratitude than usual.”

This study shows that when parents (or anyone for that matter) ‘fill up their cup’ with positive emotions, it often spills over to improve the mood and wellbeing of those around them. So during the next Christmas dinner, take a second to reflect on (or share) what and who you’re grateful for in life.

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Douwe Knijff

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Kim Pillen


Before Kim Pillen started as a trend consultant at TrendsActive, she worked for four years as a creative strategist at Dept. For brands such as Philips,, Beiersdorf, JBL, and the Consumers’ Association, she built (online) campaign, brand, and social media strategies. After four years, she decided that she wanted to better understand people and society in order to advise brands more effectively. That’s how she ended up at TrendsActive. Here, she can do what she loves most: digging into people’s needs and then working with brands to see how and where they can be relevant and meaningful.

Douwe Knijff


Douwe is fascinated by how people work. With a background in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (Bachelor) and Psychology (Master) and an analytical mind he tries figure out how societal shifts manifest themselves through social culture and human behaviour.

Aljan De Boer

Keynote speaker

Aljan has been widely recognized as an inspiring professional speaker on the critical trends that will shape society in the decades to come. He works as the Head of Inspiration at TrendsActive, a trend consultancy from the Netherlands using social science to human-proof business decision for brands like

  • Disney
  • Vodafone
  • Hugo Boss
  • ASR
  • Rabobank

Next to his role at TrendsActive he is the Community Director at the Institute for Real Growth where he inspires and connects a global community of +400 CMOs.  

He has been on the board of the Dutch Platform of Innovative Marketing for almost a decade. Regular speaker and moderator for the Dutch Marketing Awards and 3 times winner of the best of MIE. 

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees his purpose is to help ambitious leaders and brands to human-proof their business. In 2003 he founded TrendsActive, a trend consultancy enabling brands to become more human centric.

Kees consults global brands like

  • Disney
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Asics
  • Discovery Channel
  • Swiss Life
  • Vodafone

and many more.

Next to being the founder of TrendsActive, he is also initiator of the first academic trend master for executives at the University of Utrecht and is initiator of various trend studies and white papers on subjects like trust, meaning, visual culture & generations.


Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist