Share some memories this Christmas

I can hardly believe that the holidays are here again! I always think of my family when I think of holidays. It seems only a few days ago that I was planning to go to Victoria, Canada where both my children, Charles and Louise live. I will be returning again for the Christmas holidays. I always look forward to being together with them and their friends.

There are songs about the holidays like “There’s no place like home for the holidays” or “Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go…” These songs are joyous with connotations of love, togetherness, connectedness, and happiness. And that is truly what this time of the year is all about.

When I was in undergraduate school at Salem College, I remember how I couldn’t wait for my last class to end so I could drive to Monroe in my Pontiac Tempest. I would always be packed and ready to go. As I drove from Winston-Salem, NC to Monroe, NC I could see the corn stalks in shocks and the barren fields readied for winter.  Most of the vibrant colored leaves had fallen, so there were only bare trees leaves stripped by a cold wind. But I was always so excited to be going home.

My parents were always anxiously awaiting my arrival. My father worked and my mom was a housewife. She usually greeted me first, and then when my dad arrived I could see the relief in his eyes that I was safely home. As I entered our home I could smell wonderful aromatic odors of some of my favorite foods being prepared. Of course my mom would have baked one of her wonderful pound cakes. I would dash up the stairs to my old bedroom. I was home!!!

What can you do this year to make your family feel loved…to create happy memories for your loved ones? Too often the holidays can be a time of negative emotions, arguments, gossip, and selfishness and too much to do with too little time to do it. Maybe the emphasis is on the wrong values. You know the greatest gift is love. Show your loved ones that you love them in simple ways. Ask them about how they are…spend time with them helps them feel important and loved. Help with the many chores of the holidays…help with preparing the meals, planning the activities. Give lots of sincere compliments and many hugs.

This year my family is giving donations to several charities instead of expensive gifts. There are so many people, especially children in the world who don’t have even clean water…much less any food. There are animals that are treated poorly. The holidays are about LOVE. How can you show your love? How can you teach your family unselfishness? You always receive such wonderful feelings back when you share and give to others. Why not make these holidays different from last year?

So another year has gone by and I realize that my family and I are truly blessed. This year we will give thanks that we can all be together once more with thanksgiving and grateful hearts to celebrate that we live in a country at peace and we have people in our lives who love us.

Christmas 2008, Victoria BC / with my children – Charles & Louise

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