Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that the new year is upon us.
The holidays were wonderful and spent with both the nuclear and extended families. What I was reminded of and will remember BEFORE the next winter holidays are two big things: 1) It is the family experiences that make the holidays special and should be central and 2) Material excess takes away from the experience.
We had a wonderful time planning family activities. We went and saw Santa and rode a little train through a park filled with holiday lights. We roasted marshmallows and Melody tasted her first marshmallow. We went to a tree farm for our tree and decorated it together, reliving the memories and making new ones as we placed the handmade ornaments from the children. We left eggnog and cookies for Santa and made our own reindeer food to leave as well. We wrapped gifts in kraft paper and used stamps and ink to decorate them. We talked about some of the various holidays that fall in the season, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Chrsitmas, and Kwanza. We watched the children each open one gift a night for three days before Santa came. We woke up crazy early on 12/25 to make sure we could all see the delight in the faces of our 6 year old and 1 year old when they came into the great room.
My one sadness was seeing how the actual experience was really lessened by too much STUFF. My oldest daughter is mortified at the thought of making things less materialistic next year, but my almost 7 year old seemed excited about making handmade gifts and scaling back next season. My teenage son does not seem to have the same family-type memories of the holidays that I have. In some ways, I feel that I have let down my older children by not doing a better job of making our celebrations more about people and less about things. I cannot undo the past, but I can be aware and do a better job NOW and in the future.
In the spirit of walking the talk, I want to will personally focus on striving to be more content. I want to will spend more time in the moment appreciating all I have for which to be grateful (and there is SO MUCH). I want to will live in the now. I hope know all the effort on MY part with MY life will make me a better model for my children, not just for holiday seasons but for living with love and gratitude EACH DAY.