Keeping the Holidays Spirited

The world does not have enough compassion, enough love, enough hope. Remember the hopes and dreams you had as a kid? Somewhere, we have lost sight of the joy and the peace these hops and dreams bring. But it was never just us. This holiday season, teach your kids that it is never just us. There is a whole world of people with hopes and dreams.

The holidays are always such a magical time for children. There’s the lights, the sounds, the enthusiasm. Kids all over the world are celebrating many different holidays around this time of year. In our house, we are getting ready for Christmas this weekend. The presents are wrapped, the tree is lit up, and the kids absolutely cannot stand the fact they still have a few days left before they can open presents.

I remember when I was a kid and the excitement that the holidays brought. I would sneak out of my room early in the morning to take a peek at what Santa had left me. Then, of course, there was the night I did just that to find my parents sleeping on the living room floor, waiting for my early morning arrival. There were also Christmas parties, caroling, church activities, and riding around to see the lights all over town and at the zoo. It was true magic at the time.

Growing up, I never would have known if we were rich or poor. To this day, I really can’t answer that question. But then again, it never mattered in the first place. My parents made sure that we knew that the holidays were not about the gifts we wanted or the gifts we got. In fact, it wasn’t about the gifts at all. We were always reminded of why we had these holidays, their meanings to us, and what the true spirit was all about. Gifts are nice, anytime of year, but there is a bigger focus to be looked upon during these holidays.

In an age of instant gratification and material excess, it becomes ever more important that we teach our children about the true spirit of the holiday season. Religion doesn’t matter, tradition doesn’t matter, and the gifts don’t matter. This is a time to be reminded to think about our fellow humans. It is a time to remember that we all have wishes, we all have dreams, and we all have that hope that life still holds magic, and is still ours to grab by the horns.

This holiday season, it is my hope that we will draw just as much attention to these facts as we do making sure they get what they want. It is my hope that our children will exit this holiday season with a sense of others. The world does not have enough compassion, enough love, enough hope. Remember the hopes and dreams you had as a kid? Somewhere, we have lost sight of the joy and the peace these hops and dreams bring. But it was never just us. This holiday season, teach your kids that it is never just us. There is a whole world of people with hopes and dreams. There is a whole world that desperately needs compassion, love, and less self. Let’s fill this world with these things starting by filling ourselves with a senseless heart, and passing on the sense of others to our children.

The Value of Family

We will rejoice in our blessings and never forget who we are, and who’s we are. That is family. That is the value.

The holiday season it steeped in family tradition. We all have places we go, certain days to spend with family and the traditions in our immediate homes as well. It has been six long years since I have spent Christmas in the home I grew up in for 22 years. Six years it has been since I last spent Christmas day the traditional way we always did. We open presents Christmas morning at the house. Then we load up the car to go visit my grandparents and other extended family. The whole day was spent with family.

Since those times I have gotten married and started a family of my own. We have had our own traditions with The Kiddos and with my wife’s family. My parents usually come up to visit sometime immediately around Christmas. I know, they come to see the grand kids, not us (but we love them anyway. Right Nana and Papa?)

This year we have been blessed for the opportunity for me to take a full week off from work to visit my family. Christmas day we will travel to see my grandmother’s and other extended family. We will spend time with my sister, her husband, and The Precious. We will share in the memories created that day and live in the moments that create those memories. The love of family and the bonds of tradition will warm our hearts.

I hope that one day my children will grow up to have families of their own. Whether they live next door, or hundreds of miles away, I hope they will remember tradition. I hope they will share the stories of the traditions they grow up in with their children. I hope they will one day return to live those traditions another time. No matter what the future holds, the value of family and the time spent with them will forever stay in our hearts. The traditions and memories will be engrained in our minds for all of time. We will rejoice in our blessings and never forget who we are, and who’s we are. That is family. That is the value.