Personal Essay

The Holiday Season

The Holidays bring about some of our best memories of our lives, but they can also be stressful. They can also make you realize that you are missing someone special to you that is no longer in your life for one reason or another. The Holiday season can often be a time we look hard at where we are with our lives and determine what we are thankful for and where we are going the next year, literally and mentally.  We can get bogged down in the small or large tragedies that crisscross our lives and the terrifying events that are going on in the world. They all have a huge effect on our psyche. But when you are least expecting it, something will happen to reassure you that all is right with the world. It can be a nice gesture by a total stranger, the touching surprise your spouse springs on you, or the kind thank you from your very own child.

Christmas always brings me memories of my Dad. He loved Christmas. After he passed, it seemed that he filled my every waking moment and my world was a gray place. While standing in front of the ice cream freezer at my local grocery store, wishing I could share some with him one last time, a very nice, older gentleman excused himself so he “could get some ice cream for his wife.” He smiled and wished me a good night. Then for some reason he turned around and started a conversation with me. There must have been something in my demeanor or face that told him I was going through a bad time and he took the moment to notice and care. He managed to make me laugh and before our time together was over, I saw pictures of his beautiful family and heard how successful they all were. The pride in his voice was evident to anyone listening and while he shared their story with me, I felt touched by his love of his family. I realized that being a father never ends and my Dad was just as proud of me even if he was no longer with me day-to-day.

So don’t be sad this Holiday when you think of those loved ones you are missing. Remember the times you had with them together and the special traditions you carry on with your own family that you were taught by your parents. When I was little, my Dad would go out in the virgin woods around our house and cut down a fresh pine tree. It was always too large to fit in our house the first time – guess they look smaller in the forest. And sometimes he brought in a critter or two, but never one that caused anything but laughter from us. So this Holiday while I miss my parents, the memories I have of them and the loving kindness they gave me will be passed on to my family. Start new customs for with your family and friends, Pinterest is full of ideas. I wanted to start a new one on Christmas Day where we ate and read all day but my family revolted. Whatever we end up doing will be filled with love and that is the most important part anyway. Next blog post will have my favorite books from 2017 and some good ones coming out in 2018! Wishing you all a very, Merry Christmas filled with love and joy!

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