Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is family centered and not ‘things’ centered. It is a time to gather family around you and enjoy some time together. It doesn’t mean that there is no stress or tension but hopefully it can be a time spent together building memories.
As we start into the holiday season I hope you take some time to set your priorities to make this a family-centered and low-stress time (I know it cannot be a stress-free). It is hard to keep from getting caught up in the materialistic side of the holidays. We want to give our children what they want. We want to make them happy and watch them enjoy the things they have. Thanksgiving is time to encourage them to be aware of the people in their lives and the things they already have. Children are a gift to us and the values we share with them are our gift to them. Take some time to enjoy the treasures you have in your children and reflect on all the joy they bring to our lives.
This year will again be a time of change for our family. As we have added another family member, a new daughter-in-law, we will be adjusting our family traditions so that we can enjoy time together. There have been many changes in our family the last few years. We started some new traditions as our family has changed and our sons, with their wives, start their own traditions or as their lives and schedules mandate a change in our existing traditions. This year we have experienced the excitement of weddings - the marriage of Nick to Greta and my first nephew getting married. We are all eagerly awaiting the birth of Joel and Danielle’s first child, and our first grandchild. There will be a celebration as my Dad turns 85th and family gathers together. We have also experienced the loss as a very special family member, John, passed away. John was the oldest member of our family and will be missed by all of us. As our family changes we will continue to add and adjust family traditions as needed. It is important to remember that it is the time spent together that is important. We are working at being flexible as we start new traditions and as we discontinue ones that no longer work for the whole family. The memories will always be with us as we remember all the family times we have had in the past and we can enjoy the time we spend together making more memories from our new activities, new times of celebration and as we establish new places to be together as a family. The most important thing is to enjoy being together. The bond we have as a family started when our sons were young. We built relationships during the time we were together. Memories are made during the day to day little interactions, the laughter we shared during dinner, the time taken to admire the world around us and the moments spent really listening to each other. It is during your daily interactions that you get to know these little people that you are blessed to call your children.
As the nights get darker and we spend more time inside it is a great time of year to do family activities that do not cost a lot of money. Just enjoy these little people because they will be big people before you know it!
I remember how busy the days were when our children were little. I remember times when it seemed like the day would go on forever and it just merged into the next day. I never thought I would ever get a good night’s sleep! Then there days when it was hard to believe how fast the boys were growing up. Yes, some days seem to go on forever and some are over in a heartbeat. Yet, in the blink of an eye they have become adults. It is hard to believe but soon your children will be in grade school, middle school and then high school - and driving a car – when again you will not be sleeping at night!
As I watch your children at preschool I am reminded how lucky we are to have the chance to see the world though their eyes. Take some time this month to count your blessings and give thanks for the treasures we call children.