What’s important for your holidays?

Labor Day passed, launching the start of the holiday season! At least that’s how I perceive it each September.

Halloween, my favorite, came and left quickly. But really, it’s on it’s way again, in just 10 1/2 months!

Thanksgiving was quiet in my house. Although I am truly thankful for ALL the blessings in my life, our table was empty that day. Dawson was off with friends and to the only open gym in Logansport! Rachel and Kyle are far away in sunny Florida. Tony cooked some food, but it just didn’t appeal to me, still healing from surgery.

A ribbon of faded Thanksgiving memories from years ago wove through my mind and heart. When I was very small, we went to grandparents’ homes far from ours. I can see smiles, smell the wonderful cooking, feel the warmth from a brick fireplace.

As a preteen, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a ‘must see’! Helping mom with the turkey and setting the table felt so special and grown up.

Then more years passed by quickly and traditions ended. Family members were no longer there, my brother and I grew up and away from home.

The very last holiday my parents were together before they died within seven months of one another, was Thanksgiving, 2006. They had moved here from Arizona. I was so very thankful to have just a little more time with them.

The very last holiday my brother lived to see, was in 2016. It was the last day we ever texted and sent photos to each other. Then he left this world in his sleep at the age of 51.

Thanksgiving is when we are to be thankful and create memories to last. And I have. I am thankful for the times I did have with my parents, brother and extended family. I’m thankful for the years in between, and all the years with my husband and kids.

Now that they have grown and moved on to new lives of their own, Thanksgiving is more of a quiet affair. Reflection and photographs, phone calls and texts.

the Christmas season is in full swing. It too, is quite different than it has been before. Our son spends his days working out at the gym and working at Home Depot. He’d rather spend time with new friends than with us. Which is the way it’s supposed to be I guess.

Our daughter is celebrating her first Christmas as a married woman with husband Kyle in sunny Florida.

There is no tree in my living room window. No stockings filled with treasure hanging from the fireplace.

There are simply memories and holiday music playing on Pandora to fill my days. I light candles scented like Christmas trees, cookies and spice.

I think about what’s important to me and how I want my grown kids to remember Christmases of their pasts with Tony and me. I hope they loved the gifts we gave them as children as much as we enjoyed shopping for them! It was so fun to find the Lego kits, beautiful dolls, bicycles, games and clothes.

Selecting angel tree tags to give other kids a happy holiday was something we participated in every year for a long time. I hope they take on that tradition in their adult lives.

Time is all we really have my friends. Time to live life in the small and big moments. Memories and photographs to keep us happy, humble and looking forward.

I hope that whatever celebrations this holiday season brings to your door, you take the time to imprint the details. The good and the bad. Circumstances you find yourself in by choice, or by accident, know that time moves constantly. Try to find peace, find laughter, find empathy and give as much as you can to others.

As I see the popular saying so often, that you never know what others are going through. Smile and say hello at the very least. Pay it forward when you can.

Embrace the ones you love. Tell them you love them as often as you can. Even if they say you love them too much! (You know who you are).

Treasure this season of celebrations and the cold winter months. Spring will come before we really know it. All the colors of spring and summer are sleeping now, waiting to come alive in months ahead.

Don’t waste your time and moments.

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